Since I started this blog I often check the lists of holidays, anniversaries and observances for new topics to interest my readers. In my search for the new and unusual, October comes up trumps. Of all the months of the year, it has the longest list of celebrations. They range from the sublime and the expected, such as Columbus Day and Halloween, to the ridiculous and really unusual like Babbling Day and National Mole Day. This last one isn’t about moles on your chin or under your lawn, but is an effort, they say, to increase interest in chemistry by celebrating Avogadro’s number, 6.022141527 × 1023: the mole. An unusual holiday, an unusual number, but has it increased your interest in chemistry? No, I thought not.
The holiday that first got my attention was Mad Hatter Day, which Carnegie Melon University’s website says is to be celebrated on October 6. It’s is an attempt to give the year a second day of silliness, six months later than April Fools’ Day. Why the sixth of October and not the first? Because in Alice in Wonderland, the Hatter has in his huge top hat’s band a label that says “in this Style 10/6” Ten shillings, sixpence. Someone clever noticed the convoluted connection of dates and madness and took off with it.
Foodie celebrations are rife this month: angel food cake, apple jack, bologna, brandied fruit, candy corn, cookies, country ham, eggs, frappes, mincemeat (you’d think that would be in December), nuts, pasta, pickled peppers, pizza (isn’t that every month?), popcorn, pork, pretzels, pumpkin cheesecake, seafood, spinach, and, not in alphabetical order, eew! Moldy Cheese Day. Yes, of course bleu cheese and others are moldy cheeses, but mold, like mole, has unpleasant associations. Added fun for foodies can be found on World Vegetarian Day, the end of Oktoberfest, Cookbook Launch Day and National Dessert Day.
How ‘bout Babbling Day? On October 21, it is the day for endless conversation, not a day to be quiet. There’s little to be found about the origin of this celebration, but it’s sure to be loved by teenagers with cell phones.
Under the heading “Why Would They?” can be found days like Bald and Free Day, Moment of Frustration Day, International Skeptics Day (are you sure?), Wear Something Gaudy Day, Count Your Buttons Day, and Punk for a Day Day. You can bet your buttons that the guys in this picture are Punks for more than a day. Those are coiffeurs to make the “Saturday at the Salon” set envious. Those hairdos take time and work, and a definite loss of sleeping comfort.
Under the heading “That’s a Nice Idea”, we’ve got International Frugal Fun Day, Sweetest Day, Smile Day, Dictionary Day, Mother-in-Law Day, Family History Day (get the details from your Mother-in-Law), and Make a Difference Day. In October we celebrate custodial workers, teachers, physicians’ assistants, TV talk show hosts, and the clergy.
There are many observances to make us aware of conditions like depressions, Down’s syndrome, and spina bifida. If you are of Filipino, Italian, German or Polish descent you don’t have to wait for Halloween to have a party. Just be sure to serve some of the foods on the October list.
There are celebrations and observances for every day, every week, and for the whole month of October – many more than could be included in this piece, which has become something akin to a shopping list. Some of these should be shared with December and July, the months with the fewest observances. If I’ve mentioned any holidays that appeal to you I’m sure there’s an ecard you can send for the occasion.