October is my favorite month for a lot of reasons but I just found a new one. The first of the month is International Coffee Day!!
International Coffee Day was inaugurated on October 1, 2015 in Milan, Italy at Expo 2015.by the International Coffee Organization and supported by its 39 exporting member countries and 35 importing member countries in writing, as well as by dozens of nonprofit organizations, membership organizations and other NGOs with ties to coffee production and trade. It seeks to celebrate coffee from around the world while honoring the farmers, traders, roasters and baristas responsible for creating the coffees that are enjoyed by so many people worldwide.
According to an Ethiopian legend, coffee, a black bean enclosed in red berry, was discovered by a goat herder in the Ethiopian highlands when he noticed that his goats had become overly energetic after eating the berries. Slowly, the herder’s discovery spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, into Europe and finally to the New World, increasing the demand for coffee and making it the second most sought after commodity in the world today (crude oil being the first).
October 8 is the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is the last day to atone for one’s sins of the Ten Days of Repentance, which started on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah).Jews seek to ‘purify their souls’ on this day, by abstaining from common pleasures. Yom Kippur is celebrated by most all Jewish denominations. It is a fast day from the eve until the next day nightfall (twenty five hours). No food or drink is permissible.
Oct 13 is another Jewish holiday. While Yom Kippur is pretty solemn Sukkot is can be a lot of fun. During Sukkot Jews are commanded to leave their permanent houses and to dwell in booths for seven days. The idea behind this is to remember that the Israelites lived in booths in the Wilderness for forty years. Tabernacles are typically built out of wood, sheets and have a roof of a natural product, such as leaves, palm branches, through which the stars can be seen at night. The Succah must be built of certain dimensions (not too low or too high) and should have three or four walls. Many Jews don’t live in circumstances that let them do this but I helped a friend of mine and her daughter build theirs one year and it was really enjoyable, decorating the Succah and teaching my friends daughter camping skills.
October 14 is Canadian Thanksgiving. The purpose behind Canadian Thanksgiving is pretty close to the American one, celebrating the sharing of food and thanking God for the year’s bountiful harvest and family health. The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to two events. The first Canadian appearance of the holiday dates back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher and his crew came together for a communal meal to thank God for reuniting the crew after they were separated due to bad weather. The second appearance dates back to 1606, when Samuel de Champlain organized the Order of Good Cheer to boost settler’s spirits after a dreadful winter. The feast included entertainment and was open to everyone, including the native Americans, and continued as a weekly tradition followed by an annual tradition every autumn season.
Under British rule, the holiday differed in theme and dates until 1957, when the Canadian Parliament finally declared the official date of Thanksgiving celebrations to be held on the second Monday of October. This date coincides much better with the actual date of Canadian harvests due to the arrival of winter.
October 27 is the date of Diwali in the United States, northern India and the U.K. It’s observed on the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. However, in south India it is celebrated a day earlier on the 26th.
Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival of lights, which represents the eternal triumph of light over darkness or the victory of good over evil. Diwali, which literally means row of lights in Hindi, is primarily celebrated in India. This celebration of light is India’s most important holiday and marks the start of the New Year.
Like many Indian festivals, Diwali celebrates different traditions and stories. One of the most popular stories celebrated by Diwali is the return of Lord Rama who had been exiled for 14 years. Diyas (lamps) are lit to guide and illuminate Lord Rama’s path back to his Kingdom. Diwali also celebrates the Goddess Lakshmi: Hindu goddess of prosperity and wealth. Throughout the festival, daily and nightly rituals differ. Diwali night is a festive occasion where celebrants adorn in jewelry and new clothing to light diyas and fireworks. Diwali celebrations last for five days.
October 29 is National Cat Day in the United States. In 2005, National Cat Day was created by Colleen Paige, a pet lover and advocate. National Cat Day also advocates spaying and neutering cats in order to control their ever-growing population worldwide. It seeks to raise awareness of the thousands of cats that need to be rescued and encourages appreciation of pet cats. Domestic cats are owned by many families in the US, however many other cats are homeless and or have been abandoned. Every year, these cats are taken into shelters, where millions of them are euthanized. In the US, approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal rescue shelters each year, of these, 1.4 million are euthanized.
October 31 is Halloween I am merely mentioning it here because of course I always go a bit overboard with October running up to this day as a grand finale. While is is most popular in the United States is is inceasingly celebrated elsewhere.