It’s Not All About Halloween: October Dates You Don’t Want To Miss
Elise Pereira, Grade 10
It’s that time of year again! With spooky decorations and candy filling every store shelf, Halloween is fast approaching! However, Halloween isn’t the only special day in October! While we wait for the 31’st to come rolling around, there are plenty of dates to celebrate throughout this eerie month!
Starting off, October is known for being down syndrome awareness month! At this time of year, people are especially encouraged to show inclusivity and their acceptance of those who are part of the Down Syndrome community, by partaking in events such as joining a Buddy Walk, which is a fundraising event. Furthermore, October is also breast cancer awareness month. The symbol of a pink ribbon is often used and it is at this time of year that people wear pink or hold “Pink Events” to spread awareness.
October 2 - Gandhi Jayanti & International Day of Non-Violence
The second day of this month marks the celebration of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. Commonly known as the Father of the Nation, Gandhi is celebrated for not only playing a major role in India’s independence from the United Kingdom, but also for inspiring activists like Martin Luther King Jr. with his non-violent movements. This is also why we celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence, to correspond with one of the world’s most peaceful leaders’ birthday.
October 5 - World Teachers Day
The time to celebrate all educators for their hard work and dedication is on the fifth of October! The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created this day to observe the past achievements of all educators and the goals for improving our education systems. Although we should always show our gratitude for those who have an impact on our lives, this is a day to acknowledge teachers and say “thank you” for all they do!
October 10 - World Mental Health Day
Observed by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Mental Health Day offers everyone a chance to speak about their mental health and share their ideas on topics like social stigma about mental illnesses. With the current pandemic and increased use of social media, it is important that we discuss mental health and remember to be a helpful hand to others in need.
October 11 - International Day of the Girl Child
In 2011, the United Nations (UN) declared this day as the time to empower girls and remind them of their human rights. Not only can we promote gender equality through social activism, but we can also support this cause by visiting landmarks such as the CN Tower and Niagara Falls, which light up pink, and host events near the landmarks sharing encouraging messages for young girls.
October 13 - International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
On the 13’th of October, people all over the world spread awareness about the risks they may face and work to improve their lifestyle at home, in their communities, and at work. Researching safety tips and common threats in your area can help you stay safe amidst a disaster!
October 15 - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day & World Students Day
If you see a pink and blue ribbon around this time of the month, it is used to acknowledge Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Although this is a day for mourning child loss, it is also important to recognize and appreciate the gift of life. We can continue to celebrate life with World Students Day as well, which once again celebrates education and the hard work of students all over the world!
October 17 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Created by the UN, this day urges people to help the less fortunate in their communities and reminds others that in 2021 alone, an estimated 143-163 million people have gone into poverty due to COVID-19. We are called to do our part in ensuring others have the same access to their human rights as we do, by donating to food drives and shelters and continuing to speak up about the struggles faced in our very own communities.
October 24 - United Nations Day & World Development Information Day
We not only celebrate the peaceful unity of countries all over the world with United Nations Day but also the fight for development based on the voice of the people, with World Development Information Day! On October 24’th, we recognize the hard work of the UN and realize that our voices have a say in the causes we believe need help. We can take action to make a greater change in the world and by using the example of the UN, we can work in solidarity with others to make our desired impact!
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate great causes and October is full of significant celebrations! This year, while we wait for well-known holidays to arrive, let’s try to acknowledge the hundreds of special days that are less recognized! After all, every new day is an opportunity to learn something and experience the world in different ways!