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 Art Day, and more. Here are 31 reasons to celebrate during the month of October.
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.
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October 1: World Vegetarian Day
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.
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October 2: World Smile Day* (first Friday)
World Smile Day became a holiday in 1999 to celebrate the simple act of offering someone a smile. Instead of hurrying past people today, aim to spread a little cheer and make a connection with a smile.
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October 3: "Mean Girls" Appreciation Day
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.
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October 4: Cinnamon Roll Day
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.
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October 5: National Be Nice Day
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.
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October 6: Garlic-Lovers Day
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.
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October 7: National Frappe Day
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.
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October 8: National Pierogi Day
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.
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October 9: International Beer and Pizza Day
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.
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October 10: National Angel Food Cake Day
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.
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October 11: Southern Food Heritage Day
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.
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October 12: National Gumbo Day
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.
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October 13: National Fossil Day
Fossils provide a fascinating look at history, and there’s still much more to be discovered. Take a moment today to learn about ancient humans that paleontologists have discovered, then check out what plants and animals used to look like throughout the course of history.
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October 14: National Dessert Day
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.
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October 15: National Cheese Curd Day
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.
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October 16: National Liqueur Day
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.
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October 17: National Pasta Day
Pasta is delicious hot or cold. It works in elaborate dishes with sauces, meats, cheeses, and veggies, and it tastes great on its own with just a little butter. Celebrate everyone's favorite carbohydrate today with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, homemade pasta salad, or another favorite pasta dish.
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October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day
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.
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October 19: National New Friends Day
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.
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October 20: National Brandied Fruit Day
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.
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October 21: International Day of the Nacho
Sometimes nachos are topped with black beans, and sometimes they're topped with beef. Sometimes they're drowning in queso, and other times they're packed with jalapeños. But when it comes to nachos, one thing is for certain: They're always delicious. So for International Day of the Nacho, whip up your favorite nacho recipe to celebrate.
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October 22: Eat a Pretzel Day
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.
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October 23: National Boston Cream Pie Day
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.
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October 24: National Bologna Day
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.
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October 25: National Art Day
National Art 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.
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October 26: National Pumpkin Day
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.
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October 27: American Beer Day
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.
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October 28: National Chocolate Day
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.
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October 29: National Cat Day
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.
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October 30: Haunted Refrigerator Night
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.
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October 31: Halloween
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.
* Denotes that date changes each year