November is the eleventh month of the Gregorian calendar, with a duration of 30 days. Its name is derived from the Latin word November, which is derived from the numeral novem (nine), because in the ancient Roman calendar of ten months, November was the ninth month in order. Then, with the addition of January and February, the Roman calendar became a twelve-month calendar. November moved to the eleventh position but retained its old name.
In ancient Athens, November was equivalent to the second fortnight of the month of Pyanopsion and the first fortnight of the month of Maimaktirion. During this period the Athenians celebrated the:
Chalkeia, during which the blacksmiths of the city honored their patron god Hephaestus.
Maimaktiria, to honor the god of weather, Zeus the Maimaktes, i.e. the stormy one, and to ask him for mild weather at a time when the cold was getting stronger. From this nickname of Zeus, both the festival and the month took their name.
In the popular calendar November is called:
Sporias and Mesosporitis, because of the sowing of cereals and legumes.
It is called “Brutal” because of its rains.
Blended, because of the messy weather conditions.
Krasomena, because the barrels of new wine is opened (in many places on 3 November, the feast of the recollection of the relics of St George).
Ai Taxiarchis, Archangelitis, Archangels, Archangeliatis, Ai Stratis, and Ai Stratigos, from the feast of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel on 8 November.
Agiomenas, from the feast of St. Minas (11 November). On this day women did not open scissors and men a penknife, lest the wolf opens its mouth.
Philippi, from the feast of St. Philip (November 14).
Antrias, from the feast of St Andrew (30 November), because it is believed that cold weather ‘magnifies. St. Andrew is also called the Drill Fryer, because, it was said, he drilled the pans of those who did not make pancakes on this day.
From the feast of Saint Philip (14 November) to Christmas (25 December), the Church imposes fasting, known as the Lenten fast, while another feast marks November: The Presentation of the Virgin Mary (21 November), which reminds us of the coming of the young Mary (later Theotokos) to the Temple and her dedication to God by her parents Joachim and Anna. On this day, farmers used to have a holiday and eat polysporia, a mixture of grains and legumes. Another important church feast is that of St. Stylianos (26 November), the patron saint of young children, whom he “stylonei” (support/protect).