October is here and that means celebrating the month’s important holidays like Halloween and Columbus Day. But what other holidays, observances, and special days take place in October? Different types of holidays and observances are recognized in October. Some are the result of cultural traditions, others are based on religion, and some were started by presidential proclamation. October is an exciting month with lots of opportunities for fun, family, and celebration.
Both Columbus Day and Halloween are somewhat controversial holidays and not everyone celebrates these days. There are more holidays and observances throughout October to ensure that everyone can find a reason to celebrate.
Do you celebrate Columbus Day? Did you know there is a growing movement seeking to abolish Columbus Day and encourages people to stand with indigenous people? Columbus Day is celebrated on Oct. 10, 2016. Will you celebrate the federal holiday or protest it?
For many, October 31 is the most important day of the month. Others, often for religious reasons, choose not to celebrate Halloween. Those who feel the holiday celebrates supernatural, evil forces often exchange Halloween for Hallelujah events. For the most part, however, Halloween is celebrated as a fun, happy holiday where children get to dress up in costumes, participate in trick or treating, and indulge their sweet tooth. Halloween has been celebrated worldwide for centuries and it is believed the holiday dates back to the pagan religions of the ancient Celts.
While Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve serves as both a secular and Christian holiday, October 2016 recognizes many important Jewish holy days. October 3-4 is Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), October 12 is the Day of Atonement, October 17-23 is Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles, October 24 is the Eighth Day of Assembly and October 25 is Day of Celebrating the Torah.
Cultural events in October include Oktoberfest, LGBT History Month, Italian Heritage and Culture Month, Fair Trade Month, Filipino-American Heritage Month, Global Diversity Awareness Month, Polish-American Heritage Month, and Vegetarian Month.
Other October monthly observances include National Halloween Safety Month, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Bullying Prevention Month, National Cookbook Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Corn Month, Country Music Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, National Bake and Decorate Month, National Popcorn Popping Month, National Chili Month, National Pizza Month, National Positive Attitude Month, National Arts and Humanities Month and National Caramel Month. You’ll find that many retailers will celebrate October’s monthly observances with sales, deals, and specials.
Many of October’s weekly and daily observances and special days correspond with the month’s observances. For example, Halloween is celebrated on October 31 and October is also National Halloween Safety Month. October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week. This corresponds to Halloween as one danger associated with the holiday is fire due to jack-o-lanterns, bonfires, and flammable costumes. Fire Prevention Week creates awareness for fire safety and Halloween.
Another example is National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month. October is a time when we create awareness regarding bullying, but the third full week of October, from October 16-22 is Bullying Bystanders Unite Week. During that week, special focus is given to steps those who witness bullying can take to prevent and protect those being victimized. While some holidays and observances begin as a result of cultural or religious tradition, others are started in response to national crises and events. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center created the observance to show that bullying is not a normal childhood rite of passage but often has serious, negative consequences. Many victims of bullying suffer emotional consequences that remain their entire lives. Bullying can also lead to suicide. It has now been given the word “bullycide.”
What holidays and observances do you plan to celebrate this October?
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