October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.
October is LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement.
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, a month to celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.
October 1: The beginning of Black History Month in the UK, Ireland, and The Netherlands.
October 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Native American women and White men. Native American women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
October 4: St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, celebrated by many Catholic denominations.
October 4: Blessing of the Animals, in congruence with St. Francis Day. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, as St. Francis was known for his special connection to animals.
October 6-14: Navaratri, the nine-day festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It worships God in the form of the universal mother commonly referred to as Durga, Devi or Shakti, and marks the start of fall.
October 10: World Mental Health Day. First celebrated in 1993, this day is meant to increase public awareness about the importance of mental health, mental health services, and mental health workers worldwide.
October 11: National Coming Out Day (U.S.). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
October 11: Canadian Thanksgiving, a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.
October 11: National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.
October 15: Dasara, Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, in the eastern and northeastern states of India, marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma.
October 16: Milvian Bridge Day, a one-day festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It is the only day of the year people can BASE jump off a bridge into New River Gorge.
October 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place, and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.
October 19: Mawlid Al-Nabi, the observance of the birthday of Islam founder Prophet Muhammad, celebrated during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar. Shi’a Muslims celebrate it five days later than Sunni Muslims.
October 20: Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide.
October 20: International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Each year it is held on the third Wednesday of October.
October 29: Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Latinx women and White men. Latinx women are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
October 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.
October 31: Reformation Day, a Protestant Christian religious holiday celebrated alongside All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation.
October 31-November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.