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Events of the Month


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Events during 2002-October:

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. It is also Pastor Appreciation Month, a time to recognize the contribution of Christian clergy. The latter is mainly observed by Evangelical Christians.
bulletOCT-6: 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-6: This day is the first of nine days that constitute the 11th Annual International Week of Prayer and Fasting. It is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, and is an urgent call to convert the world to Catholicism, attain world peace, and to end abortion. 3
bulletOCT-6: 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-6: 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-14: 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-14: This is Columbus Day in the U.S. This holiday is considered a celebration by many Americans of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the new world.
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-11: In reaction to National Coming-out Day, some conservative Christian groups have advertised the same day as National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day. Persons with a homosexual orientation publicly declare it is possible to leave homosexuality by choosing to be celibate. Others with a bisexual orientation choose to restrict their relationships to opposite-sex partners. Both groups are often collectively referred to as "ex-gays," even though their sexual orientation remains homosexual or bisexual.
bulletOCT-14: Navaratri (aka Durga Puja and Dusserah) is a Hindu festival that started this year on OCT-7, and ends on this date. "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. Years 2001 to 2010 is the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
bulletOCT-27: Some Protestant Christians celebrate Reformation Sunday. 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.
bulletOCT-31: Wiccans and many 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 yearly festivals. Samhain is usually celebrated on the evening of the day before.
bulletOCT-31: Halloween is celebrated (a.k.a. All Hallows Eve).

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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.
bulletNOV-10: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church has been held on a Sunday each November since 1996. Christians are asked to pray for fellow Christians throughout the world who are suffering harassment, imprisonment, torture and even death. 

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Although care was taken in the preparation of this list, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or their consequences.

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  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 © 2002 and 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay prepared on 2002-SEP-30
Latest update: 2005-NOV-14
Compiled by B.A. Robinson

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