Start of ‘Ber’ months and the September Corn MoonSeptember 1, 2020
September 1 signals the start of the Yuletide season in the Philippines, which falls a day before the September Corn Moon.
For Filipinos, here and elsewhere in the world, Christmas starts in September. It is the time of the year when friends greet each other a “Merry Christmas” and disc jockeys play Yuletide carols.
Even the pandemic does not dampen the holiday spirit. Homes, offices, and hotels putting up Christmas decors in a predominantly Christian nation in Asia. Over 90 percent of the Philippine population identify themselves as Christians, most of whom are Roman Catholic.
Stars of the season
The central symbols of the revelry are the stars and nativity scene.
But the stars of the season are the Overseas Filipino Workers who send back home money for their loved ones. There are at least 2.2 million Filipinos working abroad, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In 2019, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the total OFW remittances totaled to almost US$3 billion, which is enough money for their families to say, “Merry Christmas,” literally.
In the past, the “Ber” months signaled the hopeful anticipation of the coming of the Advent Season. This has changed. It has become a season of joyful anticipation for OFWs to come home.
Sociologist Clifford Sorita, in an article with NPR, said the festive mood has something to do with the anticipation for each family’s OFW to come home for Christmas.
In the West, particularly the native Americans, September holds a lot of significance. It is a season of the Corn Moon, a full moon of September, which falls on September 2. NASA said the full moon rises until September 5.
Corn Moon suggests a season in the past when native Americans gather corn and other food crops such as beans, wild rice, and squash pumpkins. This activity will last until October’s Harvest Moon.
Scientifically, the full moon of September is 20 days before the fall equinox, the time when the Earth’s equator passes the geometric center of the Sun.
During fall equinox, day and night are almost equal. It is the only time of the year when the moon rises as the sun sets. (Antonio Manaytay/ Mindanao Sun)