For Native Americans, October marks the season of the Cherokee Green Corn Ceremony and the season of Xlaaw, the season to put up food for the coming winter.
Wednesday, October 2
- Jashan-e Mehregan – Zoroastrianism
A celebratory festival of friendship, righteousness and justice.
Friday, October 4
- Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi – Christianity
A celebration of the patron saint of animals and ecology and the founder of the Franciscan Roman Catholic religious order, known for its ethic of simplicity and service. Many Christians mark this festival by bringing their animal companions to churches for a blessing.
Saturday, October 5
- Bodhidharma Memorial – Buddhism
This day celebrates the monk (5th – 6th centuries C.E.) who emigrated from India and is credited with transmitting Ch’an [Zen] Buddhism to China.
- Worldwide General Conference begins – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
This is the largest worship service for Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) and lasts for two days. Conference proceedings are broadcast live over the Internet and through other electronic media.
Sunday, October 6
- World Communion Sunday – Christianity
Tuesday, October 8
- Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] – Judaism
The holiest day of the Jewish year. To reestablish their relationship with God, Jews ask for forgiveness and forgive others [Kol Nidre], and then they can confess their sins and ask for divine forgiveness. Prayer and fasting begin at sundown on this day and continue through the following day.
- Dashara, Vijaya Dashami, or Dussehra – Hinduism
Celebrates the triumph of Durga, the Divine Mother who manifests fierce compassion, over the forces of evil, as well as commemorating Rama’s victory over the demon Ravana.
Saturday, October 12
- Ghambar Ayathrem – Zoroastrianism [through Wednesday, October 16]
This festival celebrates the creation of plants, the sowing of winter crops, and herds’ return from pasture.
Sunday, October 20
- Installation of the Gurū Granth Sahib – Sikhism
This date in the Nanakshahi tradition celebrates the transmission of the gurūship to the Holy Scriptures (the Gurū Granth Sahib Ji) by the tenth gurū, Gobind Singh Ji.
- Shemini Atzeret [Eighth Day of Assembly] – Judaism
This eighth day of Sukkot [Festival of Tabernacles] features prayers for rain and a good harvest in the coming year. It begins at sundown.
Monday, October 21
This festival, also known as “Rejoicing with the Law,” marks the end of Sukkot and the completion of the Torah reading cycle with the beginning of reading the first book again. Jews celebrate this day by singing, dancing, and marching around the synagogue or temple with Torah scrolls. This festival begins at sundown.
Thursday, October 24
- Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Gurū Tegh Bahadur Ji – Sikhism
This day commemorates the martyrdom of the ninth of the Ten Sikh Gurūs (1621-1675 C.E.). He is remembered for defending the Sikh faith, as well as the rights of Hindus and the cause of religious liberty.
Sunday, October 27
- Diwali (Deepavali) – Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism
The festival of lights and Hinduism’s most popular festival. It is dedicated to the Goddess Kali in Bengal and to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, in the rest of India. Diwali is also associated with stories of the destruction of evil by the god Vishnu in one of his many forms, as well as with the coronation of Sri Rama. Sweets and gifts are exchanged, and it is a time for cleaning and preparing for the future. This festival is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains, with this day bearing additional names and significance as shown immediately below.
- Bandi Chhor Divas – Sikhism
Called “the day of the prisoner’s release,” this festival marks the return of the sixth gurū, Sri Hargobind Ji, and 52 other princes with him to the holy city of Amritsar after being released from detention in 1619 C.E.
- Mahavira Nirvana – Jainism
On this day Jains celebrate that the soul of Lord Mahavir (6th century B.C.E.), the 24th Tirthankara, attained nirvana and release from the cycle of rebirth [moksha].
Monday, October 28
- Atmasiddhi Rachna Divas (Creation Day) – Jainism
On this day Jains celebrate that, in 1896, the poet Shrimad Rajchandra-ji (who was a spiritual guide for Mohandas Gandhi) wrote the legendary treatise Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, which explains the quintessence of Jainism.
Tuesday, October 29
- Birth of the Báb — Bahá’í
Anniversary of the birth of the Báb, one of the twin Prophet founders of the Bahá’í faith, in 1819 C.E. His nineteen disciples, known as Letters of the Living, taught his religion throughout 19th century Persia. His shrine is located in Haifa, Israel. Bahá’ís suspend work on this day.
Wednesday, October 30
- Birth of the Bahá’u’lláh — Bahá’í
Anniversary of the birth of the Bahá’u’lláh (“Glory of God”), the founder of the Bahá’í faith, in Tehran, Persia [modern-day Iran], in 1817 C.E. Devout followers suspend work on this day; some begin their observance of the day on the previous day’s sundown.
Thursday, October 31 Halloween
- Reformation Day – Christianity [Protestant churches]
This day commemorates October 31, 1517 C.E., when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, eventually leading to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Most Protestant Christian churches will mark this on Sunday, October 27th.
Celebration of the Celtic New Year. The dying God returns to the womb of the Goddess in preparation for rebirth at Yule. The souls of ancestors and those who have died during the turning of the past year’s wheel are remembered. Vegan Wiccans harvest nuts, the kernels of which symbolize wisdom.