October 2 – Gandhi’s Birthday (India) – He is the National Father of India who adopted ‘non-violence’ in fighting for freedom of the country.
October 3-9 – Sukkot – Feast of Booths (Jewish) – The Feast of Booths is a joyful harvest festival lasting 9 days. A little hut called ‘sukkah’ is built outdoors where families eat to remember the time Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, sleeping and eating under the stars.
October 3 – Harvest Moon Festival (China, Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan) – The festival is celebrated with family reunions, moon gazing and eating of moon cakes. In Vietnam, it is called ‘Trung Thu’. On that night children form a procession and travel through the streets with bright lanterns, singing and dancing to the beat of drums. In Korea it is called ‘Chusok’. It is observed by paying homage to ancestors and expressing gratitude for rich crops.
October 4 – Pavarana (Buddhist) – Buddha went into intensive practice during the rainy season. This marks the end of the retreat.
October 4 – Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) – St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals was born in 1182 at Assisi. He abandoned his dream of becoming a knight, donned the clothes of a poor farmhand and began caring for the sick. He founded the Franciscan Order which today has about 33,000 members. He died on 3rd October 1226.
October 8 – Karva Chauth (Hindu) – A one-day fast kept by married Hindu women for the well-being and longevity of their husbands. The husbands feed the first bite to their wives only after they see the moon.
October 9 – Han-Gul Day (Korea) – This day commemorates the creation of the Korean alphabet of 29 phonetic symbols called han-gul by King Sejong between 1443 and 1446.
October 10 – Shemini Atzeret (Jewish) – On the eighth day of Sukkot, special prayers for rain are offered.
October 11 – Simchat Torah (Jewish) – Simchat Torah or Rejoicing in the Torah is the beginning of the synagogue’s annual reading cycle. It begins at previous sundown.
October 11 – Coming Out Day (Gay and Lesbian – USA) – The first National Coming Out Day was held on October 11, 1988. It is an international event which gives gay, lesbian and bisexual people the opportunity to ‘come out’ to others about their sexuality. It also provides a means of increasing the visibility of gay people.
Part of a posting series on multicultural events for 2009.