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Nuts and Bolts: Holiday Calendar Heads-Up! April 2013

April 18, 2013

nuts and bolts head

Really organized artists work about a year ahead of holidays, but everyone should be working 3-6 months in advance. Right now, here are the cards you should be working on (and any holidays beyond these in the calendar, too). You’ll find a very brief description of the occasion + theme suggestions. If you’re unsure, check the appropriate GCU category to see examples OR do an images search in your favorite search engine.


August 8 – Eid al Fitr
Islamic holiday celebrating the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Traditional and classic Islamic patterns and designs will always work: minaret, crescent moon, Moorish tiles, henna patterns, florals. Don’t attempt Arabic unless you know the language (Internet resources aren’t always reliable). Avoid depicting people/animals.

September 2 – Labor Day
Celebrating the American worker. A U.S. federal holiday— most employees get the day off. Themes range from patriotic to messages like “relax.” Picnic, barbeque, and beach are also very popular, someetimes in combination.

September 8 – National Grandparents Day
Honoring and celebrating grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grands, and so forth. All grandparents are included. Almost any design is acceptable provided it is relevant to the relationship between grandchild and grandparent. Popular themes include holding hands, hearts, child’s handprints, illustrations/photos of older people, baby’s footprints, etc.

September 11 – Patriots Day (U.S.)
Commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and remembering the victims. Patriotic American themes will obviously be the best choice.  This is a solemn occasion. Avoid phrases like “Happy Patriots Day.”

September 14 – Yom Kippur
Jewish religious holiday also known as the “Day of Atonement,” Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year usually observed with fasting and prayers. Themes include traditional Jewish design elements like Star of David, Torah, shofar (ram’s horn). Avoid messages like “Happy Yom Kippur” as this is a solemn occasion. Instead, stick to messages like “As you pray and atone, may you have an easy fast.” Avoid Hebrew unless you know the language (Internet sources aren’t always reliable).

September 19 – Sukkot
Jewish agricultural festival after Yom Kippur (see above).  A joyous occasion also called the “Feast of Tabernacles.” Themes include fruits, the sukkah (an open sided structure built to hold the participants), Star of David, palm fronds. Avoid Hebrew unless you know the language (Internet sources aren’t always accurate).

September 22 – Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)
In the pagan/Wiccan calendar the first day of autumn  is called Mabon, a holiday celebrating the harvest. Themes include the Goddess, colored  leaves, harvest fruits/vegetables like pumpkins, and general themes of magic and Autumn. Use “Blessed Mabon” rather than “Happy Mabon.”

September 25 – Simchat Torah
Jewish holiday celebrating the Torah with public readings. Themes include the Torah, Star of David and other traditional Jewish designs, a man or rabbi wearing a yarmulke holding or studying the Torah. Avoid Hebrew phrases unless you know the language (Internet sources aren’t always accurate).

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