Holidays and Observances in October

National days to celebrate this month

Horizontal Shot of Pumpkins
Dan Kurtzman / Getty Images

October is best known for Halloween, but it's also a month made for New England leaf peepers and loaded with national and global honors and celebrations. There are also multiple days on the topic of bullying awareness and it's the best month for pasta lovers to rejoice. The religious holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot sometimes fall in October, and Diwali always falls in this month.

Here are all the official and unofficial holidays and special days you'll want to celebrate in October.

October Daily Holidays and Observances

  • October 1: Less Than Perfect Day, International Music Day, Homemade Cookies Day, International Raccoon Appreciation Day, National Hair Day, World Vegetarian Day
  • October 2: Feast of Guardian Angels Day, International Day of Non-Violence, Kid's Music Day* (varies), National Body Language Day* (first Friday), National Diversity Day* (first Friday), National Fried Scallops Day, National Manufacturing Day* (first Friday), World Farm Animals Day, World No Alcohol Day, World Smile Day* (first Friday)
  • October 3: Look at the Leaves Day, Techies Day, Butterfly and Hummingbird Day, Frugal Fun Day* (first Saturday)
  • October 4: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Improve Your Office Day, International Blessings of the Fishing Fleet Day* (first Sunday), National Taco Day, National Vodka Day, World Animal Day
  • October 5: World Teachers Day, Do Something Nice Day, World Day of Bullying Prevention/Blue Shirt Day* (first Monday), Child Health Day* (first Monday), Day of Unity* (first Monday), Get Funky Day, World Day of Architecture* (first Monday), World Habitat Day* (first Monday)
  • October 6: Mad Hatter Day, National Noodle Day, World Cerebral Palsy Day, National German-American Day
  • October 7: Coffee With a Cop Day* (first Wednesday), International Walk to School Day* (first Wednesday), National Forgiveness & Happiness Day, National Inner Beauty Day, National Kale Day* (first Wednesday), National Pumpkin Seed Day* (first Wednesday), You Matter to Me Day
  • October 8: National Children's Day* (varies), National Depression Screening Day* (first or second Thursday), National Pierogi Day, National Salmon Day, World Octopus Day, World Sight Day* (second Thursday)
  • October 9: Fire Prevention Day, International Beer and Pizza Day, Leif Erikson Day, World Egg Day* (second Friday), Curious Events Day
  • October 10: World Mental Health Day, I Love Yarn Day* (second Saturday), National Angel Food Cake Day, National Cake Decorating Day, U.S. Naval Academy Day, Universal Music Day* (second Saturday), World Homeless Day, National Family Bowling Day* (varies), National Chess Day* (second Saturday)
  • October 11: Clergy/Pastor Appreciation Day* (second Sunday), Southern Food Heritage Day
  • October 12: Columbus Day* (second Monday), Freethought Day, National Farmer's Day, National Kick Butt Day* (second Monday), National Savings Day, World Arthritis Day
  • October 13: English Language Day, National Failure Day, National Train Your Brain Day, Silly Sayings Day, U.S. Navy Birthday
  • October 14: Be Bald and Be Free Day, National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work & School Day* (second Wednesday), National Dessert Day, National Fossil Day* (second Wednesday), National Pet Obesity Awareness Day* (second Wednesday)
  • October 15: Blind Americans Equality Day, Get Smart About Credit Day* (third Thursday), Global Handwashing Day, National Grouch Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, Spirit Day* (third Thursday), Conflict Resolution Day* (third Thursday)
  • October 16: National Dictionary Day, National Feral Cat Day, Global Champagne Day* (third Friday), National Boss Day* (nearest weekday), World Food Day, World Spine Day
  • October 17: Wear Something Gaudy Day, Black Poetry Day, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, National Pasta Day, Sweetest Day* (third Saturday), World Trauma Day, Pay Back a Friend Day
  • October 18: International Necktie Day, Meatloaf Appreciation Day, National Chocolate Cupcake Day, National Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day* (third Sunday)
  • October 19: Evaluate Your Life Day, National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day* (third Monday)
  • October 20: International Sloth Day, World Osteoporosis Day, National Face Your Fears Day* (third Tuesday), Information Overload Day* (third Tuesday)
  • October 21: Celebration of the Mind Day, Reptile Awareness Day, Local Chamber of Commerce Day* (third Wednesday)
  • October 22: International Stuttering Awareness Day, National Nut Day, Smart is Cool Day, Eat a Pretzel Day
  • October 23: National Boston Cream Pie Day, National Canning Day
  • October 24: United Nations Day, Make a Difference Day* (fourth Saturday), Food Day, National Crazy Day, National Bologna Day, National Pit Bull Awareness Day* (fourth Saturday), Take Back Your Time Day, World Polio Day
  • October 25: International Artist's Day, Mother-in-Law Day* (fourth Sunday), National Greasy Foods Day, Sourest Day, Visit a Cemetery Day* (last Sunday), World Pasta Day
  • October 26: Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night, National Pumpkin Day
  • October 27: Navy Day, Cranky Co-Workers Day, American Beer Day, National Potato Day (and in August)
  • October 28: National Chocolate Day, Wild Foods Day, Unity Day* (fourth Wednesday)
  • October 29: National Hermit Day, International Internet Day, National Cat Day, National Oatmeal Day, World Stroke Day, World Psoriasis Day
  • October 30: Mischief Night, Buy a Doughnut Day, Checklist Day, Frankenstein Friday* (last Friday), National Candy Corn Day
  • October 31: Halloween/All Hallows' Eve, National Magic Day, Books for Treats Day, UNICEF Day, World Savings Day, World Cities Day, National Knock Knock Jokes Day, Caramel Apple Day

The Origins of Halloween

Halloween is actually a 2,000-year-old celebration of the Celtic New Year (called Samhain) and the end of summer when bonfires were lit and revelers would wear costumes to ward off evil spirits.

October Weekly Holidays and Observances

  • National Fire Prevention Week (always the week which includes October 9)
  • Get Organized Week (first week)
  • National Walk Your Dog Week (first week)
  • Mystery Series Week (first week)
  • Great Books Week (first week)
  • Kids' Goal Setting Week (first full week)
  • Financial Planning Week* (first Monday to Sunday)
  • World Space Week (October 4–10) 
  • Pet Peeve Week (second week)
  • National Metric Week (week containing October 10)
  • Teen Read Week (third week)
  • Earth Science Week* (week varies)
  • Chemistry Week* (week varies)

October Monthly Holidays and Observances

  • ADHD Awareness Month
  • Adopt a Dog Month
  • Bat Appreciation Month
  • Car Care Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Diversity Awareness Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Fair Trade Month
  • Financial Planing Month
  • Hunger Awareness Month
  • International Dinosaur Month
  • Italian-American Heritage Month
  • Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
  • Mental Illness Awareness Month
  • National AIDS Awareness Month
  • National Animal Safety and Protection Month
  • National Apple Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
  • National Child Month
  • National Cookie Month
  • National Dental Hygiene Month
  • National Dessert Month
  • National Ergonomics Month
  • National Pasta Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Popcorn Month
  • National Pretzel Month
  • National Seafood Month
  • Pear and Pineapple Month
  • Positive Attitude Month
  • Raptor Month
  • Sarcasm Month
  • Spinach Lovers Month
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Vegetarian Month

*Denotes that date changes each year.