October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
It is the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days.
October is commonly associated with the season of spring in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and autumn in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to April in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.
October is best known for its Halloween festivities, but it’s also a month loaded with national and global celebrations. In addition to spooky revelry, October’s schedule includes multiple days on the topic of bullying awareness. It also has days that encourage pasta-lovers to rejoice, celebrate science and nature, pay tribute to teachers, and more.
In the ancient Roman calendar, October was the name of the eighth month of the year. Its name comes from octo, the Latin word for “eight.” When the Romans converted to a 12-month calendar, they tried to rename this month after various Roman emperors, but the name October stuck!
In Old England, the month was called Winmonath, which means “wine month,” for this was the time of year when wine was made. The English also called it Winterfylleth, or “Winter Full Moon.” They considered this full Moon to be the start of winter. In weather lore, we note, “If October brings heavy frosts and winds, then will January and February be mild.”
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It started as a spectacle in honor of the Bavarian royal wedding in 1810. Today, the carnival with rides, food, and, of course, beer tents lasts from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. Six million visitors consume around seven million litres (1.85 million gallons) of beer every year.
Halloween is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated
to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. One theory holds that many Halloween traditions may have been influenced by ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which may have had pagan roots – some scholars hold that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow’s Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow’s Day.
October 1 is World Vegetarian Day – these days, you can find a plant-based version of most popular dishes, from classic shepherd’s pies to stacked burgers and cozy casseroles. In the spirit of World Vegetarian Day, try some vegetarian recipes—you won’t even miss the meat.
October 4 is Cinnamon Roll Day – ooey, gooey, and best served warm with fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls are a perfect breakfast for chilly fall weekends. For Cinnamon Roll Day, try making your own rolls from scratch. If you really want to take your cinnamon rolls to the next level, layer pieces of lightly baked bacon into the strips of dough before baking.
October 6 is Garlic Lovers Day – any garlic-lover will tell you this: When it comes to adding fresh garlic to food, don’t let a recipe tell you how much to add; let your heart tell you. Then, maybe just double up on the mouthwash after dinner. For Garlic Lovers Day, make your favorite garlic-centric dish. To keep it simple, try roasting a bulb of garlic with olive oil and spreading the soft garlic over crusty bread.
October 7 is National Frappe Day – for the days when you’re sick of plain old coffee, there’s always a delicious frappe. This iced coffee drink with milk and sugar originated in Greece when a businessman couldn’t find hot water to make his instant coffee. He used cold water and ice instead, and the frappe was born. Today, there are many different flavor combinations, so pick your favorite to celebrate National Frappe Day.
October 9 is International Beer and Pizza Day – today’s the day to dig into your favorite pizza, and then wash it down with an ice-cold beer. Looking for the perfect pairing? Opt for a crisp, hoppy brew to sip with your ‘za. The bitterness of the beer will cut the richness of the pizza, leaving you with a perfectly balanced palate.
October 11 is Southern Food Heritage Day – there’s a dish for everyone’s tastes on Southern Food Heritage Day. Try some simple recipes, such as shrimp gumbo, Carolina rice with ham, or homemade biscuits with gravy. Not only do these dishes showcase the delicious flavors of the South, but they’re packed with history, too, so be sure to look up the history of the dish you decide to make.
October 12 is National Gumbo Day – gumbo, the state food of Louisiana, is the definition of Southern comfort food. With ingredients such as fresh shellfish or meat, strong stock, and the “holy trinity” (bell peppers, onions, and celery), homemade gumbo is packed with flavor. Add your favorite hot sauce or Cajun seasoning for an extra kick to celebrate National Gumbo Day.
October 14 is National Dessert Day – if you’ve been looking for an excuse to bake a pie or whip up a banana split, National Dessert Day is the perfect day to do it. Indulge in your favorite delicious dessert today, or try a new recipe. You can’t go wrong when it comes to dessert.
October 16 is National Liqueur Day – grab your cocktail glass and raise your pinkies—it’s time to toast to National Liqueur Day. Sipped straight or mixed into a cocktail, liqueurs can add richness, sweetness, and warmth to nearly any happy hour. Mix up your favorite drink or try something new to celebrate the day.
October 17 is National Pasta Day – pasta is delicious hot or cold. It works in elaborate dishes with sauces, meats, cheeses, and veggies. And it tastes great on its own with just a little butter. Celebrate everyone’s favorite carbohydrate today with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, homemade pasta salad, or another favorite pasta dish.
October 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day – There’s something about a chocolate cupcake that feels decadent, even though it’s a handheld cake. Whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes to celebrate this dessert-themed holiday. You can layer on the chocolate flavor with some chocolate frosting. Or go with another classic combination, such as buttercream or peanut butter frosting.
October 21 is International Day of the Nacho – sometimes nachos are topped with black beans, and sometimes they’re topped with beef. Sometimes they’re drowning in queso, and other times they’re packed with jalapeños. But when it comes to nachos, one thing is for certain: They’re always delicious. So for International Day of the Nacho, whip up your favorite nacho recipe to celebrate.
October 22 is Eat a Pretzel Day – soft, crunchy, twisted, or straight, pretzels have been a celebrated snack food for centuries. The origin stories for the pretzel are a bit murky, but the creation finally made its way to North America sometime in the late 18th century. It’s come a long way with various seasonings, glazes, and other toppings. Learn to make your own simple soft pretzel today for Eat a Pretzel Day.
October 26 is National Pumpkin Day – with Halloween only five days away, it’s pumpkin time. The uses for the season’s favorite gourd are extensive. Create an amazing carved pumpkin for your doorstep, make tasty pumpkin seeds with your favorite seasonings, or blend pumpkin flesh into baked goods for seasonal flavor.
October 27 is American Beer Day – there’s more to American beers than the bitter, flavorless brews bartenders sling by the thousands. In fact, the American craft beer movement has ushered in a golden age of beer. For American Beer Day, check out your local brewery for some new-to-you beers or try your hand at making your own beer at home.
October 29 is National Cat Day – if you’re a kitty parent, you know cats have many characteristics to love and celebrate. They’re absolutely adorable, cuddly (sometimes), and amusingly judgmental. Today, give your kitty a little extra love by extending playtime, treating it to a fun new toy, or offering a bit of catnip.