Ancient Romans celebrating the Feast of Pumpkinspiceus
A Scholarly(ish) Analysis
Welcome to October, the eight month of the year!
Wait. What? The month of October takes its name from the Latin number eight. Why? Because the ancient Roman Calendar, credited to Romulus (brother of Remus, who told all those charming Br’er Rabbit stories), had only ten months. No, it wasn’t because Romulus was raised on fermented wolf’s milk (although that may have been a factor). It was because the Romans, whose feet were only ten inches long, rather than twelve like the standard foot, and who were very touchy about the subject, compensated by basing everything on the number ten.
Which was actually pretty sweet. I mean, who doesn’t wish the Romans had never stumbled across those other two months buried in the snow somewhere north of Buffalo, New York, and added them to the calendar? And now we’re supposed to freeze our togas off taking down Christmas lights in the snow? Thanks, Marcus Inconsideratus!
Anyway, October 1st is the true start of autumn. Ol’ number seven, September, has claimed to be the start ever since they kicked it out of summer, but just look at the thermometer while you’re batting mosquitos away from your hot chocolate in September and tell me it’s fall. September is clearly a liar!
October’s new official name in the United States is Pumpkin Spice (marking a tremendous comeback for the previously ejected American member of the Spice Girls). Unlike, say, curry in India or salsa in Mexico, pumpkins spice is used not only to flavor many American foods, but is now actually legally required in all American foods…
With the curious exception of pumpkins.