September is a time when much of the Northern Hemisphere return to school or work. The summer leaves us, and the crisper weather of autumn turns the trees a lovely shade of gold and ripen the apples and berries on the branch.
The name of September is taken from the Latin septem meaning "seven," so called because it was once the seventh month of the Roman calendar. Originally the year began with March, but later January and February were added, shifting September to the ninth month. From the same route we also get the names Septimus, Septimius, Septima and Septimia.
September has had rare usage as a first name, but for translations we could use Medi (Welsh), Rujan (Croatian) and Září (Czech).
For much of the Northern Hemisphere, September is the beginning of Autumn. Originally the season was called Harvest, but we find the term Autumn in use from the 14th century, which eventually took precedence.Indeed, many old European names for September have the meaning of "Harvest month", a notion still reflected in the Finnish name Syyskuu "autumn month." Occasionally "Fall" was used: a term now used in the US but not the UK. Autumn derives from the Latin autumnus, but its original meaning is unclear. Autumn has been used as a first name since the 19th century, and ranked #179 for girls in England & Wales in 2011. Aki or Akiko "autumn" are used Japan and Hazan is used in Turkey.
Translations of Autumn include: Autonno (Italian), Haust (Icelandic), Jesie (Polish), Jeseni (Slavic), Jesen (Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian) Osen (Russian), Otoño (Spanish), Outono (Portuguese) and Rudens (Latvian).
The Autumn Equinox takes place in the Northern Hemisphere between September 21st to 24th. It is a day of equal daylight and nighttime hours, and marks the tipping of the balence when the daylight hours become shorter. It also coincides with the second harvest, and many schools will celebrate "harvest festival" at this time. Druids call the Autumnal Equinox Alban Elfed, from the Old Welsh words alban "solstice" and elfed "autumn." Alban, as a form of the Latin Albanus "from Alba", has had long usage as a name. St Alban was a famed 4th century British martyr. Elfed has seen usage in Wales since the late 19th century.
Others call the Autumn Equinox Mabon, a name taken from Mabon ap Modron, a figure in Welsh mythology for whom the Mabinogion is named. The ancient Celts knew him as the god Maponos "the Divine Son," derived from the Proto-Celtic root *makwo- "son."
Sapphire is September's birthstone. The name derives ultimately from the Hebrew סַפִּיר (sappir) which was used as the name Sapphira in the New Testament.
The Aster is the birth flower for September. The name derives from the Greek αστηρ (aster) meaning "star" which is the route for many Greek names including Aster, Astra, Asteris, Asteria and Asterope. A whole bevy of "star" names are listed in the Advent Calendar Star post.
Virgo "the maiden, virgin" is the astrological sign that runs from August 23 to September 22. According to Greek mythology the consellation represents Astraia (Astraea in Latin), the virgin-goddess of justice. Her name, coincidentally, also derives from the Greek aster "star". In Arabic the constellation is known as العذرا (al-adhra) "the maiden" which became rendered as the name Alundra. The Greek called the constellation παρθενος (Parthenos) "maiden, virgin". The related Parthenia was used as an epithet for the goddesses Athena, Artemis and Hera, and Parthenope features in mythology as a princess of Samos.
Virginia, taken from the Latin virgo, was coined as a name for Elizabeth I and was transposed in French as Virginie. Rhian is a Welsh name derived from rhiain "maiden." It is also found in Rhianwen (rhiain "maiden" + gwyn "blessed, fair"), Rhiangar (rhiain "maiden" + car "love"), Rhianedd and Rhianna. There is also Morwyn "maiden" in Welsh, cognate with the Cornish Moren which is found in the name Morenwyn (moren "maiden" + gwyn "blessed, fair"), Morwenna and Morvoren (mor "sea" + moren "maiden").
Many different countries have names associated with days of the year; most often they are the feast days of saints. Below are some of the names associated with the days in September around the world.
1 = Anna, Giles, Ruth, Samuel, Simeon, Verena
2 = Eliza, Ingrid, Lisa, Sini, Stephen
3 = Ambrose, Gregory, Phoebe, Seraphia, Solveig, Sophia
4 = Ida, Iris, Moses, Rose / Rosa, Rosalia / Rosalie
5 = Elizabeth, Justina, Lawrence, Raisa, Victor
6 = Beata, Bertram, Eugenia, Eva, Magnus, Zacharias
7 = Carissima, Dunstan, Ralph, Regina
8 = Adrian, Klementina, Maria, Mariana / Marianne
9 = Evert, Kieran, Joachim, Modwenna, Peter
10 = Finian, Inès, Nicholas, Turid
11 = Alexander, Evanthia, Felix, John Gabriel, Regula, Theodora
12 = Dagny, Dulce, Cyrus, Guido, Maria
13 = Amatus, Aurelius, Cornelius, Lubor, Tobias
14 = Catherine, Cormac, Ida, Roxana
15 = Dolores, Jolana, Melitta, Nicomedes
16 = Cyprian, Edith, Euphemia, Lucy, Ludmila
17 = Hildegard, Lambert, Robert, Sophia, Vera
18 = Ariadne, Irene, Joseph, Titus
19 = Constantia, Januarius, Wilhelmina
20 = Candida, Eustace, Fausta, Oleg
21 = Deborah, Jonas, Matthew, Maura
22 = Emmeram, Marisa, Maurice, Thomas
23 = Lina, Linus, Thecla, Vincent, Xanthippe
24 = Alvar, Gerard, Mercedes, Rupert
25 = Aurelia, Cleophas, Euphrosyne, Herman
26 = Cyprian, Eusebius, Justina
27 = Cosmas, Dagmar, Damian, Delphina, Elzear
28 = Convall, Leonard, Lioba, Wenceslas
29 = Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Theodata
30 = Geronimo, Gregory, Jerome, Sophia, Victor