October is all about scary movies, spooky costumes and freaky stories. But you can have a rockin' Halloween and still pay your respects to these other lonely holidays. Take a look at the October holidays and observances that may be feelin' a bit neglected.
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day was first observed in 1992, and is celebrated every year on October 10th. Each year there is a theme to help bring awareness to the world about mental health. In 2013, the theme is Mental Health in Older Adults. Find out if your school is planning something for this day and see how you can get involved in this cause!
This holiday is in honor of explorer Christopher Columbus, who first came to the New World on October 12, 1492. Since 1920, it has been an annual holiday in the United States. President Franklin Roosevelt set aside October 12th as Columbus Day in 1937. Later, President Richard Nixon declared Columbus Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Monday in October.
The origins of Canada's Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first of these Thanksgivings was celebrated in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in what is now known as Newfoundland in 1578. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts! But it wasn't until 1937 that the second Monday in October was officially declared a national holiday.
United Nations Day
United Nations Day is observed to celebrate the coming together of the 81 different countries that form the United Nations (UN). It was on January 26, 1945 that 50 countries signed on to be a part of the UN, and on October 24th of the same year, the United Nations Charter was passed and the United Nations became an official governing body. The United Nations Day mission statement is that the day "shall be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations, and to gaining their support for the work of the United Nations." The United Nations is involved with numerous humanitarian and war-related issues every year.
It's a night for goblins, witches and ghouls to come out and have a good ol' time. And it's time for you to bob for apples, carve jack-o-lanterns, dress-up in your scariest garb and head off to the Halloween dance. What could possibly make this day better? Why, getting free candy just for dressing up in a crazy costume! And if you're looking for a bit more info on the history of All Hallows Eve, then check out our History of Halloween article.
Have Your Say
What is your favorite October holiday? Let us know!