Monthly Cultural Almanac: November 2019

November 6, 2019

November is a time for reflection and remembrance, with some holiday shopping as well. The two biggest holidays during this month are Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Find out more about these holidays and other big events that happen every November in the United States below!

Veterans Day

November 11 - Many Americans have relatives who have volunteered to serve in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day is an official U.S. public holiday observed annually on November 11 that honors military veterans. Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. It is celebrated with parades and church services, and in many places the American flag is hung at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Click here for a list of Veterans Day parades, events, and more!

International Education Week

November 18-22 – Celebrate international exchange experience! International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Institutions across the United States and around the world are hosting events throughout the week to recognize international students, education abroad, and internationalization. Spirit will join institutions around the world to celebrate global exchange during the 2019 International Education Week. Attend events and help us spread the word about global exchange programs! Click here to find an event near you and send your photos and stories to to be featured on our Instagram page!


November 28 - Feeling hungry? Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. Historically, Thanksgiving has been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest. People will travel to see extended family or close friends and make a large dinner to spend the day with them and give thanks for what they have. We recommend trying popular dishes like green bean casserole, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, and - of course - turkey! If you want to make some traditional Thanksgiving foods yourself, be sure to check out these Thanksgiving dinner recipes. And check out this list of unique Thanksgiving events to attend!

Black Friday

November 29 – It’s shopping time! Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005. In order to take advantage of this, almost all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales including limited amounts of “doorbuster” items to bring in shoppers. Store openings can get very crowded and crazy! Spirit suggests you go shopping later in the day if you want to participate. Stay safe out there!