31 Reasons to Celebrate in October

Special days and unconventional holidays to observe

Friends having an autumn party

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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.

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

    Oct. 1: World Vegetarian Day

    A close-up of a veggie burger.

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    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. We promise you won't even miss the meat.

  • 02 of 31

    Oct. 2: World Smile Day* (first Friday)

    portrait of smiling woman
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    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.

  • 03 of 31

    Oct. 3: 'Mean Girls' Appreciation Day

    Women laughing in a movie theater.

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    A mid-2000s comedy classic, "Mean Girls" has become ingrained in pop culture. Not only did the movie give us adages like "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

    Oct. 4: Cinnamon Roll Day

    An overhead shot of cinnamon rolls with icing.

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    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. And 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.

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  • 05 of 31

    Oct. 5: National Be Nice Day

    friends hugging

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    Of course we should be nice to one another 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. The chances to be nice are limitless.

  • 06 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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. So 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

    Oct. 8: National Pierogi Day

    A close-up of a pierogi on a plate.

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    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.

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  • 09 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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. And top it with coconut icing, chocolate frosting, or berries for a sweet treat.

  • 11 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 12: National Gumbo Day

    An overhead shot of shrimp gumbo.

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    Gumbo, the state food of Louisiana, is the definition of Southern comfort food. With ingredients like fresh shellfish or meat, strong stock, and the "holy trinity" (i.e., 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.

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  • 13 of 31

    Oct. 13: ​National Fossil Day

    dinosaur fossils

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    Fossils give us 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. And check out what plants and animals used to look like throughout the course of history.

  • 14 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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 of us can overlook their less-than-appetizing name. Whether you nom on some cheese curds in a classically Canadian poutine or eat them as a side, National Cheese Curd Day is the time to get your cheese curd fix.

  • 16 of 31

    Oct. 16: National Liqueur Day

    Shots of Limoncello with lemon wedges.

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    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 cocktail hour. Mix up your favorite drink or try something new to celebrate the day.

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  • 17 of 31

    Oct. 17: National Pasta Day

    Different varieties of dry pasta on a table.

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    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.

  • 18 of 31

    Oct. 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

    A chocolate cupcake with colorful jelly candies.

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    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

    Oct. 19: National New Friends Day

    group of friends at a bar

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    While old friends are staples in our lives, 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

    Oct. 20: National Brandied Fruit Day

    Brandied cherries in small jars,

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    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.

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  • 21 of 31

    Oct. 21: International Day of the Nacho

    Nachos with meat, olives, peppers, and tomatoes.

    Lorybelle Castillo / Getty Images

    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.

  • 22 of 31

    Oct. 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. And it has 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

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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.

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  • 25 of 31

    Oct. 25: National Art Day

    Artist throwing paint at canvas

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    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.

  • 26 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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.

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  • 29 of 31

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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

    Oct. 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.

* Denotes that date changes each year