31 Reasons to Celebrate in October

Special days and unconventional holidays to observe

Calendar of days to celebrate in October

The Spruce / Joules Garcia

In addition to Halloween, there are many ways to celebrate in October. It is officially autumn, which means cozy apparel, your favorite chilly weather recipes, and beautiful foliage. October also is packed with food-centric holidays, such as National Dessert Day; creative celebrations, such as National Fine Art Appreciation Day; and more. Here are 31 reasons to celebrate during the month of October.

Fun Fact

October got its name from the Latin/Greek word octo, meaning eight, because it used to be the eighth month of the year under the Roman calendar.

  • 01 of 31

    October 1: World Vegetarian Day

    A close-up of a veggie burger.

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    These days, you can find a plant-based version of most popular dishes, from classic shepherd's pies to stacked burgers and cozy casseroles. In the spirit of World Vegetarian Day, try some vegetarian recipes—you won't even miss the meat.

  • 02 of 31

    October 2: International Day of Non-Violence

    Sidewalk inscription words of Gandhi

    Mick Haupt / Unsplash

    International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. It’s a day to mark Gandhi’s work using nonviolent protest to advocate for freedom and civil rights. The day also is a time to spread the message of peace and tolerance.  

  • 03 of 31

    October 3: 'Mean Girls' Appreciation Day

    Women laughing in a movie theater.

    flashpop / Getty Images

    A mid-2000s comedy classic, "Mean Girls" has become engrained in pop culture. Not only did the movie proffer adages such as "On Wednesdays, we wear pink" or "Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen," but it also solidified Tina Fey, the film's writer, as a comedic genius. To celebrate "Mean Girls" Appreciation Day, throw on an extra-large pink polo shirt and enjoy watching the movie.

  • 04 of 31

    October 4: Cinnamon Roll Day

    An overhead shot of cinnamon rolls with icing.

    Ryan Benyi Photography / Getty Images

    Ooey, gooey, and best served warm with fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls are a perfect breakfast for chilly fall weekends. For Cinnamon Roll Day, try making your own rolls from scratch. If you really want to take your cinnamon rolls to the next level, layer pieces of lightly baked bacon into the strips of dough before baking.

    Continue to 5 of 31 below.
  • 05 of 31

    October 5: National Be Nice Day

    Two Women Hugging Outside
    Alys Tomlinson / Getty Images

    You should be nice every day, but on National Be Nice Day, really commit to being kind, thoughtful, and positive in your interactions. Pay it forward by buying a drink for the person behind you in the coffee line, compliment a co-worker whose contributions often go unnoticed, or surprise a family member or friend with a small “just because” gift. 

  • 06 of 31

    October 6: Garlic Lovers Day

    A close-up of a garlic bulbs.

    Robert Daly / Getty Images 

    Any garlic-lover will tell you this: When it comes to adding fresh garlic to food, don't let a recipe tell you how much to add; let your heart tell you. Then, maybe just double up on the mouthwash after dinner. For Garlic Lovers Day, make your favorite garlic-centric dish. To keep it simple, try roasting a bulb of garlic with olive oil and spreading the soft garlic over crusty bread.

  • 07 of 31

    October 7: National Frappe Day

    Caramel Chocolate Frappe

    Armstrong Studios / Getty Images

    For the days when you’re sick of plain old coffee, there’s always a delicious frappe. This iced coffee drink with milk and sugar originated in Greece when a businessman couldn’t find hot water to make his instant coffee. He used cold water and ice instead, and the frappe was born. Today, there are many different flavor combinations, so pick your favorite to celebrate National Frappe Day.

  • 08 of 31

    October 8: National Pierogi Day

    A close-up of a pierogi on a plate.

    mikroman6 / Getty Images

    Stuffed with your choice of meats, cheeses, potatoes, or veggies; fried in butter; and topped with sour cream and onions, pierogis are tiny pockets of heaven. Try making your own for National Pierogi Day. If you're feeling extra ambitious, make some dessert pierogis with cinnamon and apples or strawberries and cream.

    Continue to 9 of 31 below.
  • 09 of 31

    October 9: International Beer and Pizza Day

    An overhead shot of friends drinking beer and eating pizza.

    mihailomilovanovic / Getty Images 

    Today's the day to dig into your favorite pizza, and then wash it down with an ice-cold beer. Looking for the perfect pairing? Opt for a crisp, hoppy brew to sip with your 'za. The bitterness of the beer will cut the richness of the pizza, leaving you with a perfectly balanced palate.

  • 10 of 31

    October 10: National Angel Food Cake Day

    A slice of angel food cake with funfetti icing.

    Jamie Grill / Getty Images

    Light, fluffy, and extremely versatile, angel food cake is the delicious blank slate of the baking world. Learn to make your own for National Angel Food Cake Day. Then, top your cake with coconut icing, chocolate frosting, or berries for a sweet treat.

  • 11 of 31

    October 11: Southern Food Heritage Day

    A picture of hoppin john served over rice.

    Brent Hofacker / Getty Images

    There's a dish for everyone's tastes on Southern Food Heritage Day. Try some simple recipes, such as shrimp gumbo, Carolina rice with ham, or homemade biscuits with gravy. Not only do these dishes showcase the delicious flavors of the South, but they're packed with history, too, so be sure to look up the history of the dish you decide to make.

  • 12 of 31

    October 12: National Gumbo Day

    An overhead shot of shrimp gumbo.

    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    Gumbo, the state food of Louisiana, is the definition of Southern comfort food. With ingredients such as fresh shellfish or meat, strong stock, and the "holy trinity" (bell peppers, onions, and celery), homemade gumbo is packed with flavor. Add your favorite hot sauce or Cajun seasoning for an extra kick to celebrate National Gumbo Day.

    Continue to 13 of 31 below.
  • 13 of 31

    October 13: ​National M&M Day

    dinosaur fossils

    James L. Amos / Corbis via Getty Images

    What could be better than a day dedicated to M&M's? Grab a handful, pop them in your mouth, or go ahead and sort them by color before eating them (you know you want too!). Bake them in cookies, put them on top of ice cream, or eat them all on their own. The plain M&Ms were created in 1941, and now there are several other varieties, including peanut, mint, and caramel. Choose your favorite way to enjoy these candy-coated chocolates and celebrate National M&M Day!

  • 14 of 31

    October 14: National Dessert Day

    An overhead shot of a raspberry crisp with whipped cream.

    istetiana / Getty Images

    If you've been looking for an excuse to bake a pie or whip up a banana split, National Dessert Day is the perfect day to do it. Indulge in your favorite delicious dessert today, or try a new recipe. You can't go wrong when it comes to dessert.

  • 15 of 31

    October 15: National Cheese Curd Day

    A plate of cheese curds with dipping sauce.

    LauriPatterson / Getty Images 

    No one ever said "cheese curd" was the most appealing name for a dish. But these deep-fried blobs of cheese are so ridiculously good that most can overlook that. Whether you nom on some cheese curds in a classically Canadian poutine or eat them as a side dish, National Cheese Curd Day is the time to get your cheese curd fix.

  • 16 of 31

    October 16: National Liqueur Day

    Shots of Limoncello with lemon wedges.

    piazzagabriella / Getty Images 

    Grab your cocktail glass and raise your pinkies—it's time to toast to National Liqueur Day. Sipped straight or mixed into a cocktail, liqueurs can add richness, sweetness, and warmth to nearly any happy hour. Mix up your favorite drink or try something new to celebrate the day.

    Continue to 17 of 31 below.
  • 17 of 31

    October 17: Wear Something Gaudy Day

    Different varieties of dry pasta on a table.

    fcafotodigital / Getty Images

    Grab the loudest, flashiest, and gaudiest clothes in your closet and celebrate Wear Something Gaudy Day. Compare your choice of attire with friends, family, and coworkers, have a contest for the gaudiest outfit, and enjoy a day filled with laughter and fun!

  • 18 of 31

    October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

    A chocolate cupcake with colorful jelly candies.

    Raul Garcia Herrera / Getty Images

    There’s something about a chocolate cupcake that feels decadent, even though it’s a handheld cake. Whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes to celebrate this dessert-themed holiday. You can layer on the chocolate flavor with some chocolate frosting. Or go with another classic combination, such as buttercream or peanut butter frosting.

  • 19 of 31

    October 19: National New Friends Day

    group of friends at a bar

    Digital Vision / Getty Images

    While old friends are staples, there’s always room to make new connections. You never know where you’ll find a new best friend. So for National New Friends Day, strike up a conversation with a stranger or make a plan to hang out with an acquaintance, and find that common ground that could lead to friendship.

  • 20 of 31

    October 20: National Brandied Fruit Day

    Brandied cherries in small jars,

    fcafotodigital / Getty Images

    Finding fresh peaches or strawberries in the middle of winter is no easy task. But preserving your fruits in alcohol makes it possible to enjoy seasonal flavors all year long—and National Brandied Fruit Day is the perfect time to try this. All you need is the fruit of your choice, white sugar, brown sugar, high-quality brandy, and at least a month of preserving time.

    Continue to 21 of 31 below.
  • 21 of 31

    October 21: Back to the Future Day

    Nachos with meat, olives, peppers, and tomatoes.

    Lorybelle Castillo / Getty Images

    Get ready to travel back to the future with Marty McFly and Doc Brown. October 21 is symbolic in the popular and epic movie series "Back to the Future," as the day Marty and Doc travel to help save his family. What happens? We don't want to spoil it for the ones who haven't watched this series yet. Whether a fan or a newbie, pop some popcorn and sit down to enjoy a movie night.

  • 22 of 31

    October 22: Eat a Pretzel Day

    A close-up of soft pretzels.

    Benjamin Egerland / Getty Images

    Soft, crunchy, twisted, or straight, pretzels have been a celebrated snack food for centuries. The origin stories for the pretzel are a bit murky, but the creation finally made its way to North America sometime in the late 18th century. It's come a long way with various seasonings, glazes, and other toppings. Learn to make your own simple soft pretzel today for Eat a Pretzel Day.

  • 23 of 31

    October 23: National Boston Cream Pie Day

    Boston Cream Pie

    Kristina Vanni 

    If you’ve never had Boston cream pie, you might be surprised to learn it’s actually yellow butter cake, not a pie. The cake is filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate. Grab a slice from your local bakery or make your own for National Boston Cream Pie Day.

  • 24 of 31

    October 24: National Bologna Day

    A close-up of a bologna sandwich.

    LauriPatterson / Getty Images 

    Bologna is usually made out of pork and contains various seasonings, but it also can be made out of other meats—there’s even vegetarian bologna. If you want a nostalgic reminder of school lunches past, make yourself a bologna sandwich in honor of National Bologna Day.

    Continue to 25 of 31 below.
  • 25 of 31

    October 25: National Fine Art Appreciation Day

    Artist throwing paint at canvas

    Vital Pictures / Getty Images

    National Fine Art Appreciation Day falls on the birthday of artist Pablo Picasso. To commemorate the day, try your hand at any artistic expression you enjoy, whether it be painting, dance, photography, music, or otherwise. There’s no wrong way to create art.

  • 26 of 31

    October 26: National Pumpkin Day

    A full frame of pumpkins.

    Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

    With Halloween only five days away, it's pumpkin time. The uses for the season's favorite gourd are extensive. Create an amazing carved pumpkin for your doorstep, make tasty pumpkin seeds with your favorite seasonings, or blend pumpkin flesh into baked goods for seasonal flavor.

  • 27 of 31

    October 27: American Beer Day

    Two friends toasting with pints of beer.

    Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

    There's more to American beers than the bitter, flavorless brews bartenders sling by the thousands. In fact, the American craft beer movement has ushered in a golden age of beer. For American Beer Day, check out your local brewery for some new-to-you beers or try your hand at making your own beer at home.

  • 28 of 31

    October 28: National Chocolate Day

    A close-up of almond chocolate.

    Anfisa Kameneva / Getty Images

    If you didn't already treat yourself on National Chocolate Cupcake Day, today is another good day to indulge in chocolate. Make a chocolate-centric recipe, such as cake, brownies, ice cream, or homemade candy. Or splurge on some quality chocolate that you can enjoy on its own.

    Continue to 29 of 31 below.
  • 29 of 31

    October 29: National Cat Day

    A cat looking up at the camera.

    Danielle Dondera / Getty Images

    If you're a kitty parent, you know cats have many characteristics to love and celebrate. They're absolutely adorable, cuddly (sometimes), and amusingly judgmental. Today, give your kitty a little extra love by extending playtime, treating it to a fun new toy, or offering a bit of catnip.

  • 30 of 31

    October 30: Haunted Refrigerator Night

    A woman organizing her refrigerator.

    Kentaroo Tryman / Getty Images

    Old tuna salad. Spoiled milk. A mystery blob wrapped in tinfoil. Your refrigerator can be a scary place. Today's the day to conquer your fears and banish the ghosts of foods past by cleaning and organizing the fridge. Start by tossing any old or spoiled food. Then, clean the interior surfaces and produce bins. Finally, reorganize your food.

  • 31 of 31

    October 31: Halloween

    A woman wearing a witch hat holding a jack-o-lantern.

    Esther Moreno Martinez / Getty Images

    After crafting costumes, carving pumpkins, and setting up a scary vignette at the front door, Halloween is finally here. Kick back and admire your spooky work with some witches' brew (also known as sangria) and a few candy bars before the trick-or-treaters snag them all.