Autumn has arrived, and now is the time to swap out those sandals for cardigans and sweaters! This season is an opportunity to organize and donate gently used items you no longer require or desire.
October is also a month full of national days dedicated to food and art – let’s take a look! Let’s discover some fun national celebrations in October.
Halloween is a holiday designed to promote letting go of old energies and welcoming new ones while getting into the spirit by donning costumes or playing scary games. People often don costumes depicting ghosts or witches on this holiday, further contributing to its association with darkness and fear.
Halloween (also known as All Hallows Eve or All Saints’ Eve) is an annual festival celebrated mainly in Western world regions on 31 October, the eve of All Hallows or All Saints celebration, commemorating saints and martyrs from Christian religion history.
Halloween may have its roots in an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. Over two millennia ago, in what are now Ireland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and northern France lived the Celts who commemorated November 1 as harvest season ending and winter beginning; an association that they believed allowed spirits from beyond our world to return home on that night before New Years.
Over time, Halloween has evolved to incorporate many of its hallmark elements: masks, costume parties, trick-or-treating, bonfires, and pranks. Trick-or-treating may have originated from the English practice of All Souls’ Day parades, where poor citizens went door to door asking for pastries in exchange for promising to pray for deceased relatives; it could also have come from Roman celebration of Pomona, where bobbing for apples was an annual ritual that contributed to shaping Halloween traditions.
Today, Halloween has grown into an international event and one of the most beloved US holidays after Christmas. As such, it provides companies with a commercial incentive for costumes and candy production; entertainment businesses release films, TV shows, books, and music with supernatural themes; while some people use Halloween as a spiritual practice to let go of negative energy.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day takes place annually on the second Monday in October and honors Native American life and culture. It focuses on the positive aspects of Indigenous communities and remembering tragedies caused by colonization. This holiday serves several vital purposes; it helps counter what some have described as Columbus’ arrival into the Americas, which often ignores or downplays its impact upon Indigenous populations.
Although not yet a federal holiday, Veterans Day is celebrated across some states and localities. Originating in South Dakota in the 1980s, calls have since increased for it to become a national event.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day marks both the past and the future for Indigenous communities, honoring tribal relationships while working toward protecting Indigenous rights in our society. It’s particularly crucial given a survey by the National Congress of American Indians found that 87% of schools do not teach any Native American history post-1900. At the same time, 27 states fail even to acknowledge the existence of Indigenous people.
Indigenous peoples today are making great strides toward reclaiming their land and building healthy communities, despite colonization’s detrimental effects. The US government can play an instrumental role by upholding its trust and treaty obligations to tribes; Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s appointment has reinforced efforts towards doing just this.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day often sparks discussion regarding its differences from Columbus Day, celebrated annually on October 12. Columbus Day marks Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on this date in 1492; critics maintain that the holiday celebrates only his achievements without acknowledging any of his abuses against indigenous populations residing here before Columbus’ arrival; they point out that the Americas were already home to hundreds of nations when Columbus arrived.
Columbus Day marks Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America on the second Monday in October. Italian Americans observe him to honor their heritage while teaching children about colonization in America. Unfortunately, however, for Native Americans, it can also serve as a painful reminder of his atrocities against lives and cultures during colonization – they have called for it to be replaced with Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead – an idea that has recently gained momentum in specific locations.
Columbus Day originated from late 19th-century American Catholics – many immigrants or their descendants – who sought recognition within our national history while fighting off anti-Catholic sentiment with symbolic representation through Christopher Columbus as their symbol. Colorado became the first state to celebrate it, with Franklin Roosevelt declaring it an official federal holiday in 1937.
Columbus was an extremely divisive figure during his lifetime due to his voyages’ effects on those living in the new world and his personal life. He was known for being a rebellious sailor determined to escape Spanish rule and chart his course for himself in life. Columbus is widely believed to be the first European to reach parts of America before Columbus – however, evidence suggests otherwise.
Some critics object to celebrating Columbus Day because it relies on myths, including the idea that the earth is flat and that Columbus discovered America by accident. Others hold that celebrating someone who brought death and destruction to Indigenous populations should not be marked as being racist; these arguments have gained strength after police shootings of unarmed black people by police officers over recent years.
Veterans Day is an American national holiday to recognize those who have served in the US military and is distinct from Memorial Day, which honors those who have died while doing so. According to Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day commemorates service members who made the ultimate sacrifice, while Veterans Day celebrates all men and women who have ever served our Armed Forces.
Though many understand the significance of Veteran’s Day, some misperceptions remain. Some believe it should be written with an apostrophe; this is incorrect, as Veteran’s Day commemorates all veterans, not just those killed in the war. Additionally, other misconceptions arise concerning what or who it celebrates.
On Veterans Day (November 11), Americans traditionally observe two minutes of silence beginning at 11 am on November 11. Parades and other commemorative events also occur throughout the country to recognize America’s veterans.
The history of Veterans Day began in 1918 when Congress approved an act to honor Armistice Day on November 11, which marked the end of World War I. Subsequently, Veterans Day became an opportunity to recognize all veterans irrespective of branch or status within the military.
Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada all observe similar holidays to honor veterans, identical to those in the US on or around November 11th.
Celebrating Veterans Day can best be done by showing gratitude towards a veteran. Writing cards or letters, volunteering at local veterans charities, placing flags on veteran graves (an annual tradition among Scout troops and other groups), or placing one at their graveside (popular among Scout troops and other groups). Donating to charities that aid wounded veterans, like Homes for Troops, would also make for great ways of marking this special occasion.