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The Month of June 2021: holidays, curiosities and folklore

4 min read

“It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses.”
–N. P. Willis (1807-67)

The month of June brings beautiful flowers, delicious fruits and vegetables, and an urge to get out there and enjoy the sunshine.
June was most likely named for the Roman goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and the well-being of women, or from Lucius Junius Brutus, the one who drove out the last king of Rome and founded the Republic.
Another version says that the name came from the Latin juvenis, “young people,” who were celebrated at this time.
According to the Attic calendar, Apollo and his twin sister Artemis were born at this very time. In their honour Thargelies were celebrated, festivals which gave the month their name: Thargelion (Θαργηλιών).
In China, this month has the name Liúyuè (榴月), the month of Pomegranate, while in Japan it’s Minazuki (水無月), Water month, as this is the moment the rice fields are flooding.
In the Anglo-Saxon tradition it was called Brachmonat, Fallow month. In Finland it is Kesäkuu, where Kesä means Summer. In Iceland, this month’s name is Skerpla, its origins wrapped in mystery: it could be a goddess unknown to us, or maybe its root should be found in words like skerpa, vigor.
Even in the Jewish tradition, the arrival of the beautiful season was celebrated, and this period was named Sivan (סִיוָן), which comes from the Akkadian simānu, or Season.

June 2 in Italy is the Festa della Repubblica, one of the national symbols of Italy. The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.
June 5 is World Environment Day, a day meant to raise environmental awareness across the globe.
June 14 in U.S. is Flag Day and, if you are American, be sure to raise your flag! It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution, passed that June 14, stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
But the United States Army also celebrates the U.S. Army birthday on this date: Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.
June 19 is Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day). On this day in 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation aloud in Galveston, Texas, effectively liberating slaves in the state, which had thus far been beyond control of the Union Army.
June 20 is the summer solstice, which heralds the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the day with the most hours of daylight while, im the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins at this time.
In some part of the world June 20 is also Father’s Day this year while in Canada, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This holiday is meant to remind Canadians of the contributions of the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. This date was chosen as the statutory holiday for many reasons, including its cultural significance as the Summer solstice, and the fact that it is a day on which many Indigenous peoples and communities traditionally celebrate their heritage.
June 24 brings Midsummer Day, traditionally the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting.
Cut your thistles before St. John, on June 24,
and you will have two instead of one!
But not only: according to popular folklore, “if June be sunny, harvest comes early. June damp and warm does the farmer no harm.”
More fun things to celebrate this June?
June 6 is National Yo-Yo Day, June 21 is Go Skateboarding Day and June 30 Asteroid Day. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know.

About the Moon, June’s full Moon, or the full Strawberry Moon, occurs on Thursday, June 24. It reaches peak illumination at 2:40 P.M. (EDT) that afternoon, but will not appear above the horizon until just after sunset. Why it’s called the Strawberry Moon? This is another story…stay tuned!
In any case, June’s birth flowers are the honeysuckle and the rose.
A rose in general indicates love or desire, while specific roses may relate other messages. For example, a white rose may mean “silence” or “new beginnings,” while a yellow rose signifies “jealousy.”
The honeysuckle, on the other hand, denotes the bonds of love, or generous and devoted affection.

Images from web – Google Research