What’s happening in November? Here at the Almanac, we think of November as the month of food, when the best of cooks can shine and the best of eaters will surely get their fill ahead of winter. Here’s what November brings—from weather forecasts to folklore!
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither …
–Robert Frost (1874-1963)
The Month of November
November, the 11th month of the year, has 30 days and marks the beginning of the winter holiday season for most folks, even if the winter solstice doesn’t occur until late December.
We’ve made this month, named for the ninth (novem) month in the early Roman calendar, into a social time of community suppers, feasts of thanksgiving, and general elections.
- November 1 at 2 A.M. is the end of Daylight Saving Time. Set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night at bedtime! See more about DST.
- November 1 is also All Saints’ Day.
- November 3 is Election Day (U.S.). Don’t forget to vote in state and federal elections! Every vote counts. Make an Election Day Cake to celebrate.
- November 3 is also Sadie Hawkins Day.
- November 4 is Will Rogers Day.
- November 11 is Veterans Day (U.S.) and Remembrance Day (Canada).
- If you’re fortunate, you may experience an “Indian Summer” in November; but according to the traditional definition, it can only occur between November 11 and 20! What is an Indian Summer?
- November 14 is Diwali, which is an annual festival of lights celebrating the triumph of good over evil.
- November 19 is Discovery of Puerto Rico Day.
- November 26 is Thanksgiving Day (U.S.). Understand the history and origins of Thanksgiving.
- November 29 is the First Sunday of Advent.
“Just for Fun” Dates in November
November is Banana Pudding Lovers Month—who knew? Here are some more wacky celebrations to look forward to:
- Nov. 1: National Cook for Your Pets Day
- Nov. 3: Zero-Tasking Day
- Nov. 9: National Scrapple Day
- Nov. 16: National Button Day
- Nov. 21: World Hello Day
- Nov. 23: Fibonacci Day
November Moon & Astronomy
The Full Beaver Moon
November’s full Moon is traditionally called the Beaver Moon. Why this name? In the Colonial Era, this was the month to set one’s beaver traps before the swamps froze and beavers retired to their lodges, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.
In 2020, November’s full Moon occurs on Monday, November 30, at 4:30 A.M. EST. Read our November Moon page for more information!
Catch a Penumbral Eclipse
On the night of November 29-30, a penumbral eclipse will be visible from North America. Appropriately filtered telescopes or binoculars are necessary for eye-safe viewing. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 2:30 A.M. EST on November 30 (11:30 P.M. PST on November 29) and leave the penumbra at 6:56 A.M. EST (3:56 A.M. PST) on November 30.
According to weather folklore, a heavy November snow will last until April.
November Weather Folklore
- If there’s ice in November that will bear a duck, There’ll be nothing after but sludge and muck.
- November take flail; let ships no more sail.
- If trees show buds in November, the winter will last until May.
- There is no better month in the year to cut wood than November.
- Ice in November brings mud in December.
- A heavy November snow will last until April.
Recipes for the Season
It’s time to start thinking about holiday preparations—for Thanksgiving and beyond!
Consult our collection of Thanksgiving recipes—from the big bird to stuffing to deserving side dishes to desserts!
You may also enjoy these make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes; they can be prepared ahead of the big feast day to save you some valuable last-minute cooking time.
If you’re serving turkey, here are tips on how to roast the bird.
Got leftovers? Try this Day-After-Turkey-Dinner Hash!
Learn more about Thanksgiving’s foods with these fun facts pages:
Use small stakes or markers where you’ve planted bulbs or late-starting plants in the perennial garden to avoid disturbing them when you begin spring soil preparation.
Check trees around your house for weak branches that should be removed by you now, rather than by snow and ice later.
If you’re in the midst of raking leaves, see our advice on how to use them in the garden.
See more gardening jobs for the month of November.
Did You Know: Autumn is the best time to prepare your yard properly for a healthy spring growth. It’s much easier to handle these tasks now! See our “10 Fall Cleanup Tips for a Better Spring Garden.”
November’s traditional birthstone is the topaz, usually a yellow to amber color. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. A symbol of honor and strength, topaz was also believed to bring longevity and wisdom. Learn more about topaz—and November birthstones.
Credit: Tinai Images Shutterstock
November’s birth flower is the chrysanthemum. Generally, chrysanthemums represent cheerfulness. A red one conveys “I love you.” White symbolizes truth or pure love. A yellow one indicates slighted love. Learn more about the birth flower of November.
The holiday season is now upon us! Check out our Holiday Cooking and Cleaning Checklist
It’s also the start of cold and flu season. Here are natural cold remedies for your body and mind.
Stay warm with a cozy fire. See our Best Bets for Firewood.
Good news. Election Day brings an end to Mercury Retrograde (the final retrograde of 2020)! See more about Mercury Retrograde.
November’s Zodiac Signs are:
- Scorpio: October 23 to November 22
- Sagittarius: November 23 to December 21