Celebrations in October

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.  It is celebrated on the first full new moon on or just after the autumn equinox, which occurs in September or October.

Yom Kippur is the most important of the Jewish holidays and is celebrated 10 days after Rosh Hashanah.  It is considered the Day of Atonement where Jews atone for wrongs or mistakes made during the past year.  It is the last of the 10 Jewish holy days and fasting is done from sunrise to sunset.

Sukkot begins 5 days after Yom Kippur ends.  There are 9 days of feasting and harvest celebrations celebrating The Festival of Ingathering, The Festival of the Tabernacles, and The Season of Our Rejoicing.
Oktoberfest is a large celebration in Germany, particularly the southern part of Bavaria.  It is time for a big party with harvest food, pretzels, sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) wurst (sausages) and beer.  Originally, they celebrated the harvest of hops, which is used to make beer. Traditional German music is played and fun dances and contests are held.

Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated in October – 1 month earlier than American thanksgiving, since the winter comes earlier and harvesting is done sooner.  Thanksgiving is a time for feasting and celebrating, and is held on the second Monday of October.

October 12 – Columbus Day.  This is a celebration in the U.S. commemorating when Christopher Columbus left Spain to discovered North America.  Latin America celebrates this day (2nd Monday in October) as the Dia de la Raza, or day of the race, celebrating how Spain has influenced the world.

October 31 – Halloween Halloween is celebrated in North America, the British Isles, Australia and elsewhere.  Halloween dates back to Celtic times, when October 31st was New Year’s on their calendar.  Celts would dress up so the spirits wouldn’t recognize them as they honoured their chief god Samhain.  Today, wearing costumes is a big part of the tradition, as is ‘trick or treating’ – going door to door to get sweets, so a trick is not played on a house that doesn’t participate.  Jack O Lanterns, black and orange colors, Halloween candy, spooky music and decorations are all part of the fun.