Columns / Discourse / October 17, 2012

Did you know?: Lesser-known October holidays

The beginning of October is the beginning of preparing for the three major holidays that all come one after the other: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But there are so many crazy, bizarre holidays every day that not many people are aware of. Because there are so many holidays, I decided to focus on the month of October. Who wouldn’t want to have a reason to celebrate on the days leading up to Halloween?

(Oct. 18): No Beard Day. Have a beard? Have friends who don’t like it? Have a lady friend who doesn’t like it? Today is the day to shave it off and remind everyone that you have a chin. People might have forgotten what it looked like. And if you don’t like being clean-shaven, you can always let it grow back the rest of the year.

(Oct. 20): Sweetest Day. Similar to Valentine’s Day, except in October and less distressing for sad, single souls. The day was created in 1922 by Herbert Birch Kingston, which was a local candy company employee in Cleveland, Ohio. He wanted to show love to those who were often forgotten by giving them small gifts. It’s a day to spread love and cheer to the underprivileged. Retail Confectioners International describes it as a holiday “which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed.” Though the cheesy name was clearly created by some confectionery company, I’d buy into it.

(Oct. 23): National Mole Day. No, it has nothing to do with the human skin. If you’re not a chemist, you probably won’t be interested. The National Mole Day Foundation was founded by Maurice Oehler, a retired high school chemistry teacher from Wisconsin, after being inspired by the term “Mole Day,” which originated in an article published in The Science Teacher in the 1980s. This holiday is celebrated from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., deriving from the Avogadro constant, which is approximately 6.02×1023. It defines the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in a mole, one of the seven base SI units.

(Oct. 25): World Pasta Day. If it wasn’t obvious, World Pasta Day is the day when The National Pasta Association (that’s a real thing) and pasta manufacturers sponsor events and activities to educate the world about pasta and its nutritional value. Unsurprisingly, the day was established as an annual event in Rome, Italy on Oct. 25, 1995 at the first World Pasta Congress. Yes, there is indeed a World Pasta Congress.

(Oct. 28): Plush Animal Lover’s Day. It’s not a minute, not an hour, but an entire day to show love to your plush animals, whether they be stuffed or not. We forget that plush animals need our love and attention.

(Oct. 30): Create A Great Funeral Day. The purpose of this holiday? It acts as a reminder of the many benefits to planning your very own end-of-life event. This holiday was created and registered by Stephanie West Allen who published “Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook.”  It was after she took a class called “Counseling of the Terminally Ill and Their Families” that she began to really be interested in death, dying and incredible funeral stories. And she doesn’t mean “incredible” in the zombie/miracle way. So in the spirit of Halloween and all things scary, plan your own funeral! Just don’t plan anybody else’s.

Emily Park

Tags:  holiday October

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