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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about Hurricane Thanksgiving Day. This traditional holiday in the Virgin Islands signals the end of hurricane season.


CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. Each July, residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands pray to be spared the ravages of a hurricane during the coming season. By the third Monday in October, they're back in church, giving thanks that they've missed a major hurricane or at least survived the latest storm. Hurricane Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated since the early 1700s, when Denmark ruled this part of the Caribbean. Technically speaking now, hurricane season isn't officially over until the end of November. In fact, Hurricane Lenny was a reminder last year when it swept through the Virgin Islands on November 17. It seems like in recent years, twice a decade or so, the Virgins get slammed by hurricane force winds and rain. And there's not much by way of high land to retreat to so praying is one of the few options. Last year, the governor rescinded the official status of Hurricane Thanksgiving Day, perhaps after noticing too many people were observing it on the beaches rather than in the pews. But, many islanders still make time to give thanks. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth almanac.



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