The Month of November 2018: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore

Everything You Need to Know About November

By Catherine Boeckmann
October 29, 2018
November Leaves

What happens in November 2018? 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. 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)


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 old ninth (novem) month in the Roman calendar, into a social time of community suppers, feasts of thanksgiving, and general elections. 


November Weather

According to weather folklore, a heavy November snow will last until April, but for most regions, The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a warmer-than-average month.

]This winter is looking to have above-normal temperatures, on average, and November is no exception. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts northern Alaska will see the highest temperature change, with an average temperature of 10°F; that’s 8 degrees above normal. Many regions, including the Atlantic Corridor, Southeast, High Plains, Deep South, Lower Lakes, Heartland, Ohio Valley, Texas–Oklahoma, and Upper Midwest, are predicted to see a 4° to 6°F increase in temperature. Only the Desert Southwest, Pacific Southwest, southern Alaska, and eastern parts of Hawaii are predicted to see lower-than-average temperatures, by a range of 1 to 2 degrees.

See your November and December long-range predictions—now on the Web site.

Recipes for the Season

It’s time to start thinking about holiday preparations.


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.

If you’re serving turkey, here’s 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:

November Moon

November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans. The Native Americans used the monthly Moons and nature’s signs as a sort of calendar to track the seasons. Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. The November full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon by other Native Americans.

In 2018, November’s full Moon occurs on the Friday the 23rd, at 12:39 A.M. ET.  Read our November Moon page for more information!



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.

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 Birthstone

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

Birth Flowers

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.


Everyday Advice

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.

Best Days for November

Based on the Moon’s sign and phases in November, the best time to harvest is on the 11th and 12th for aboveground crops and on the 2nd, 3rd, 29th, and 30th for those belowground.

Additionally, it’s helpful to know that during a waxing Moon, pruning encourages growth; during a waning Moon, it discourages growth.

How about dates to start dieting or quit smoking or cut hair? See our Best Days Timetable.

Mercury Retrograde

Get ready! In 2018, Mercury will be retrograde during November 17–December 6. See more about Mercury Retrograde.

November Zodiac

November’s Zodiac Signs are:

  • Scorpio: October 23 to November 22
  • Sagittarius: November 23 to December 21

See your Zodiac Profiles!

November 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.


The Old Farmer's Almanac


Reader Comments

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I love this site. I love the free newsletter too! Thank you! You are awesome!

folk lore

what does the color of caterpillars have to do with the winter weather?
any comments on salt? effects on salt during cold weather? moisture? wives tails? ;}

weather lore

The Editors's picture

As to the color of caterpillars, you might be interested in the folklore of the woolly worm, whose brown and black bands are said to predict the coming winter’s severity:

As to salt, weather lore says that it increases in weight before a shower. There is also a similar excerpt in an old weather lore book that says: “A farmer’s wife says when her cheese salt is soft, it will rain; when getting dry, fair weather may be expected.”

Hope this helps!


Which days in November, December or January are best for shoulder surgery?

What is the best day where

What is the best day where moving to our new house this coming December? Please help me, thank you and more power!

Moving house during a waning

The Editors's picture

Moving house during a waning moon is said to be good luck.

If I weaned my foal on

If I weaned my foal on November 16th how long should I wait to turn her out into the pasture freely with her mom.. Assuming that I do not want her to feed off her mom.. I was planning on waiting 30 days but was seeing if there was a magic date and time! Thank you in advance!

What are the best days in

What are the best days in November to paint so that it will stay?

When is the best day for

When is the best day for hunting deer for November 8th through November 30th for modern gun

My daughter is having her

My daughter is having her wisdom teeth removed November 10 and I was wondering if this is going to be a good day for that ?

What are the best days in

What are the best days in November 2014 to get your hair cut to encourage hair growth? I have accidently given away my 2014 almanac.
many thanks,
Shiela M Jarvis

The best days for November

The Editors's picture

The best days for November and December 2014 can be found here:
A full year of 2015 best days are in The 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac!

I have to have a third much

I have to have a third much more intensive hip surgery this month of November. I am a cancer and have misplaced my almanac for this year. I see the surgeon on the 11th and I need a good date to give to him for my surgery. Thank you in advance.

This site is awesome :-)

This site is awesome :-)

When is the best time to go

When is the best time to go to The Virgin Islands. I'm looking for temperatures70-80 and no type of storm( no tornados or hurricanes etc) Thank you