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Events of the Month

2001-OCTOBER

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Events during 2001-OCT:

October is a month that features fall harvest festivals: the Jewish Sukkot on the 2nd; the Canadian Thanksgiving on the 8th; the Wiccan Samhain on the 31st, and the secular Halloween, also on the 31st.

bulletOCT: This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Brain Injury Awareness Month in the U.S.
bulletOCT-1: This is the start of Pastor Appreciation Month, a time to recognize the contribution of Christian pastors. It is mainly observed by Evangelical Christians.
bulletOCT-2: A Pavarana service (aka Lent Ending Day and Oakpansa Day) is celebrated by Buddhist monks at the time of the full moon. Each monk asks his brethren for constructive criticism.
bulletOCT-2: Today is the Jewish Sukkot. This is sometimes called the Season of our Rejoicing or Feast of tabernacles. It is an 8 day harvest festival; a time of thanksgiving.
bulletOCT-7: Many Protestant Christians will observe World Communion Sunday. This is the held on the first Sunday in October each year. It is a day when many Protestant churches around the world celebrate communion. Often, a congregation will hold a multi-cultural service. "...on this Sunday we are reminded that Christ has called us to a table that is universal, that encompasses all the diversities of this world, a table that sees difference as a gift not a burden." 1
bulletOCT-7: This day is the first of ten days that constitute the 9th Annual International Week of Prayer and Fasting. It is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, and is an urgent call for world peace, an end to abortion and the conversion of nations to Catholicism. This year, the event includes an extra day, October 16, in honor of the 23rd anniversary of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. 3
bulletOCT-7: The 15th annual  International Life Chain occurs today. It is held yearly on the first Sunday in October the U.S. and Canada. Demonstrators will pray for an end to abortion, and hold signs promoting adoption and condemning abortion.
bulletOCT-7: This is World Angel Day. It is celebrated by groups in Australia, Canada, Europe, South Africa and the U.S. It is a time "when everyone will be touched and overlit by angels."
bulletOCT-8: This is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It is held on the second Monday of October. Being a harvest celebration, it is celebrated in Canada earlier than in the U.S. because it is so cold there. 6
bulletOCT-10: This is World Mental Health Day. It is sponsored by the World Federation for Mental Health and the World Health Organization.
bulletOCT-11: Since 1987, this is National Coming-out Day, celebrated every year on this day by gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and their allies. They are urged to "come out of the closet," and be open with their sexual orientation. 2
bulletOCT-17: Navaratri (aka Durga Puja and Dusserah) is a Hindu festival that lasts until OCT-25 or 26. "Navaratri" means "nine nights." "...the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers." 5
bulletOCT-20: The Birthday of the Bab will be celebrated by members of the Baha'i Faith, starting at sundown on the 19th.
bulletOCT-20: This day recalls the Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib -- the holy book of the Sikhs -- as eternal Guru by the Sikhs.
bullet OCT-24: This is United Nations Day. It commemorates the day that the U.N. Charter went into effect in 1945. 4 This year's theme is global health and interdependence.
bulletOCT-31: Wiccans and some other Neopagans will celebrate Samhain. No! Samhain is not the Celtic God of the Dead as almost everyone has been told. Samhain simply means "end of the warm season." It is the Wiccan New Year's Eve, and a major Sabbat -- one of eight festivals.
bulletOCT-31: Halloween is celebrated (a.k.a. All Hallows Eve).
bulletOCT-31: Some Protestant Christians celebrate Reformation Day. This is the anniversary of 1517-OCT-31, when Martin Luther is remembered as nailing his 95 theses to a cathedral door in Germany. This triggered the Protestant Reformation.

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Early in November:

bulletNOV-1: National American Indian Heritage Month begins today. It was established by Congress in 1990 to honor the important contributions made by America's Aboriginal peoples.
bulletNOV-1: All Saints' Day (a.k.a. All Hallows' Day) is a holy day when Christians in the west recall the lives of the saints. The Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate All Saints Day in the springtime -- the Sunday after Pentecost.
bulletNOV-2: All Souls' Day (a.k.a. the Day of the Dead). This is a Christian day for prayer and almsgiving in memory of ancestors who have died. Catholics pray for the souls of the dead, in an effort to hasten their transition from Purgatory to Heaven

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References:

  1. "World Communion Sunday," at: http://www.fbcss.org/sm100100.htm
  2. "A History of National Coming Out Day," at: http://www.hrc.org/ncop/history/index.asp
  3. "Ninth Annual Int'l Week of Prayer and Fasting," at: http://www.catholicexchange.com/vm/
  4. "United Nations day" at: http://www.unausa.org/programs/unday.htm
  5. Sri Swami Sivananda, "Durga Puja or Navaratri," at: http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/
  6. "Annie's Canadian Thanksgiving Day page," at: http://www.annieshomepage.com/canadianthanksgiving.html 

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Copyright 2001 and 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay prepared on 2001-SEP-26
Latest update: 2005-NOV-14
Compiled by B.A. Robinson

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