Daily Calendar for Friday, September 20, 2024

Ember Days happen four times a year at the start of each season. Traditionally observed by some Christian denominations, each set of Ember Days is three days, kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Ember Days for 2023
September: 20, 22, 23 
December: 20, 22, 23

Ember Days for 2024
February 21, 23, 24
May 22, 24, 25
September 18, 20, 21
December 18, 20, 21

These three days are set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer. The first of these four times comes in winter, after the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13; the second set comes with the First Sunday in Lent; the third set comes after Whitsunday/Pentecost Sunday; the four and last set comes after the Feast of the Holy Cross. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

β€œSant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.”

Which means:

β€œHoly Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, are when the quarter holidays follow.”

In Latin, Ember Days are known as the quattuor anni tempora (the β€œfour seasons of the year”). Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for three successive months. 

As with much folklore, this is grounded in some common sense since the beginning of the four seasons cue the changes in weather as well as a shift in how we keep harmony with the Earth and respect our stewardship of the Earth, our β€œgarden of Eden.β€β€œ

Observed each year on the third Friday in September, this is a time for Americans to honor the service and sacrifice of those who have been prisoners of war (POW) or are still missing in action (MIA). It is also a time to recognize how difficult this is for their families, to honor their courage, and to offer support. The day also serves to renew the commitment to account for all those missing from past wars and conflicts, and to work toward locating the remains of fallen soldiers and returning them home for burial.

Question of the Day

What is the best way to stack firewood?
You want to stack wood in a way that permits air to circulate through it. You also want to stack it so that it is stable and does not tip, causing a domino effect. Wooden pallets that lie flat provide a good base for firewood and can keep the wood away from ground moisture.

Advice of the Day

Brush the hair at least twice weekly and shampoo once a month. —The 1914 Old Farmer’s Almanac

Home Hint of the Day

To protect a new house under construction from termite infestation, especially in a forested area, install aluminum flashing fashioned to fit between the concrete foundation wall and the wood sill above it.

Word of the Day

Apogean Tide
A monthly tide of decreased range that occurs when the Moon is at apogee (farthest from Earth).

Puzzle of the Day

If you transpose a term for low, what horses have will plainly show. Transpose these letters yet once more, what’s said in churches you’ll explore. (What word fits the first clue, and when rearranged, fits the others?)

Mean - mane - amen


  • David Ross Locke (journalist) –
  • George Bird Grinnell (naturalist) –
  • Upton Sinclair (author) –
  • Maxwell Perkins (editor) –
  • Red Auerbach (basketball coach) –
  • Anne Meara (actress) –
  • Donald Hall (poet) –
  • Sophia Loren (actress) –
  • Guy Damien Lafleur (hockey player) –
  • Ray Gozalez (poet) –
  • Gary Cole (actor) –
  • Kristen Johnston (actress) –
  • Spencer Locke (actress) –
  • Harley (giant anteater, Caldwell Zoo, Texas) –


  • Jacob Grimm (folklorist) –
  • Benny Baker (comedian) –
  • Jule Styne (songwriter) –
  • William Rosenberg (founded Dunkin Donuts chain) –
  • Polly Bergen (actress) –


  • Navigator Ferdinand Magellan left SanlΓΊcar de Barrameda, Spain, for Spice Islands–
  • Slave trading abolished in Washington, D.C.–
  • Elisha Otis sold his first elevator–
  • Frank Schuman patented wire safety glass–
  • Billie King defeated Bobby Riggs in a tennis match in Houston, Texas, billed as the Battle of the Sexes–
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. took the day off for the first time in 16 years and ended baseball’s ironman streak at 2,632 games–


  • The Adirondack Tornado traveled 275 miles, starting over Lake Ontario, moving through New York State, and ending as a waterspout on Lake Champlain–
  • 4.88 inches of rain drenched Berne, Indiana–
  • Snow and 28 degrees F in St. Johsbury, Vermont–
  • Frost in Dublin, NH–
  • Peoria, Illinois, had its first summer freeze on record–

Explore Other Dates on the Calendar