October is a month full of holidays, though it arguably doesn’t have any blockbuster holidays. Chinese National Day is probably the most notable event as one-fifth of the world’s population will have a week off this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic. The main U.S. holiday in October is Columbus Day. While it may be a federal holiday, it has taken a battering in recent years as many people reflect on Columbus as a person and the effect of European colonization on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Month info: The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, in Latin ‘oct’; means ‘eight’. October retained its name after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans.
Featured Holiday in October
October 1: Chinese National Day
This year the People’s Republic of China (PRC) observes the 70th anniversary of its foundation on October 1st 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China from atop Beijing’s Gate of Heavenly Peace.
In China, the holiday is officially three days, but the holidays are usually extended by bridge holidays compensated by working on weekends depending how the holiday falls in the week. This creates a so-called ‘Golden Week’ of holidays. This makes it the second largest holiday period in China. This approach was introduced in 2000 to help boost domestic tourism and to allow families to make long journeys to visit relatives.
Facts about China
- Almost a quarter of Chinese people share three surnames: Li, Wang and Zhang.
- One in every five people in the world is Chinese. China is the world’s most populous country, with over 1.38 billion people, and the second-largest country by land area.
- China has more English speakers than the United States.
- 1 in every 3 socks you have were made in the district of Datang in Zhuji, China, now known as “Sock City”.
- More people go to church on Sunday in China than in the whole of Europe.
- The Great Wall of China is 13,170 miles long. It was built by one million laborers 2,200 years ago. 400,000 of those workers died while making it and their bodies were buried inside the wall. It’s so long that it covers three countries – China, North Korea and Mongolia.
- In China, there is an “Elderly Rights” law which makes it illegal for anyone who has parents over 60 not to visit them regularly.
- Many Chinese words have been adopted into the English language including “ketchup”, “typhoon”, and “tycoon.”
Notable Holidays in October 2019
Oct 3: German Day of Unity
Since 1990, the ‘Tag der Deutschen Einheit’ has been a national holiday in Germany. It is the only official national holiday in Germany. All other holidays are managed at a federal level.
The reunification of Germany took place on 3 October 1990, when the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Following the GDR’s first free elections on 18 March 1990, negotiations between the GDR and FRG culminated in a Unification Treaty.
Oct 8: Durga Puja
Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Mahashtami, is a Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates the worship of the goddess Durga.
Durga Puja celebrates the ten-armed mother goddess, and her victory over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
While celebrated across India, In West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, it is the biggest festival of the year and the most significant cultural event in Bengali Hindu society.
Oct 21: The Ochi Day
The day celebrates Greece’s refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940.
In October 1940, Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, backed by Germany, demanded to occupy Greece. General Ioannis Metaxas famously responded “Ochi!” – “No!” in Greek.
That “No!” brought Greece into the war on the side of the Allies. Indeed, for a period, Greece was Britain’s only ally against Hitler.
Oct 31: Halloween
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of the Halloween festival. The Irish tradition dates back to the eighteenth century.
Halloween takes its roots from the old Celtic festival Samhain Eve, when it was believed that the link between the worlds of living and dead was at its strongest. Some scholars believe that Samhain was the Celtic new year.
Many of the Celtic Halloween traditions live on in Ireland today and were brought to America by Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century.
National Days in October
19 countries have their national days in October. How many people in the company do you know from each country? Remember to wish them a happy national day!
|Oct 01||China||National Day of the PRC: Proclamation of People’s Republic of China 1949|
|Oct 01||Nigeria||Independence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1960|
|Oct 01||Tuvalu||Independence Day: Independence from the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati) in 1975|
|Oct 02||Guinea||Independence Day: Celebrates the anniversary of independence from France on 2 October 1958|
|Oct 03||Germany||German Unity Day: Unification of West Germany and East Germany in 1990|
|Oct 03||Iraq||National Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1932|
|Oct 04||Lesotho||Independence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966|
|Oct 09||Uganda||Independence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1962|
|Oct 10||Fiji||Fiji Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1970|
|Oct 10||Taiwan||Double Tenth Day: Commemorating the 1911 Wuchang Uprising that led to the founding of the Republic of China|
|Oct 12||Equatorial Guinea||Independence Day: Independence from Spain in 1968|
|Oct 12||Spain||Fiesta Nacional de España: Columbus discovery of America in 1492|
|Oct 19||Niue||Constitution Day: Self-government in free association with New Zealand in 1974|
|Oct 24||Zambia||Independence Day: Declaration of independence from the United Kingdom in 1964|
|Oct 26||Austria||National Day: Commemorates the Declaration of Neutrality.|
|Oct 27||St. Vincent & the Grenadines||Independence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1979|
|Oct 27||Turkmenistan||Independence Day: Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991|
|Oct 28||Czech Republic||Independent Czechoslovak State Day: Independence from Austria-Hungary in 1918|
|Oct 29||Turkey||Republic Day: Cumhuriyet Bayrami. Republican constitution in 1923|
Throughout the month, there are days set aside to observe all sorts of events, some serious and some not so serious. These days can provide interesting ways to engage employees in diversity issues. The table below shows a selection of these days with some ideas how you could use them within your organization.
|1st||National Homemade Cookies Day||Bring some cookies to the office.|
|3rd||National Techies Day||If you use IT help desk today, make sure you wish them a happy Techies Day!|
|14th||Columbus Day||Quiz: How well do you know Christopher Columbus?|
|15th||National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day||Take 10 mins to get rid of those unused icons. Change your desktop background.|
|16th||National Dictionary Day||What’s your favorite word that most people might not know?|
|28th||National Chocolate Day||Poll: Favorite chocolate bar?|
|31st||National Knock-Knock Jokes Day||Post your best (and worst) knock knock jokes on the intranet.|