We wish all of our members of various faiths a peaceful holiday! Please let us know if your faith is celebrating a holiday that isn’t included. We would love to learn more!
List created by Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark
Monday, October 1
Simchat Torah – Judaism This festival, also known as “Rejoicing with the Law,” marks the end of Sukkot and the completion of the Torah reading cycle with the beginning of reading the first book again. Jews celebrate this day by singing, dancing, and marching around the synagogue or temple with Torah scrolls. This festival begins at sundown.
Tuesday, October 2
Jashan-e Mehregan – Zoroastrianism A celebratory festival of friendship, righteousness and justice.
Thursday, October 4
Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi – Christianity A celebration of the patron saint of animals and ecology and the founder of the Franciscan Roman Catholic religious order, known for its ethic of simplicity and service. Many Christians mark this festival by bringing their animal companions to churches for a blessing.
Friday, October 5
Worldwide General Conference begins – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints This is the largest worship service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) and lasts for two days. Conference proceedings are broadcast live over the Internet and through other electronic media.
Sunday, October 7
World Communion Sunday – Christianity
Tuesday, October 9
Navaratra or Navaratri Dusserha – Hinduism The beginning of a nine-day festival of the divine mother, honoring Shiva’s wife Durga and seeking her blessings. It is also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna. Fasting and prayer are practiced.
Friday, October 12
Ghambar Ayathrem – Zoroastrianism [through Tuesday, October 16] This festival celebrates the creation of plants, the sowing of winter crops, and herds’ return from pasture.
Saturday, October 13
Nichiren Shonin Memorial – Buddhism This day celebrates the monk (1222 – 1282 C.E.) who encouraged his followers to devote themselves to the Lotus Sūtra as the exclusive means to enlightenment.
Tuesday, October 16
‘Ilm – Bahá’í The beginning of the twelfth month of the Bahá’í year, meaning “knowledge.”
Wedneday, October 17
Birth of Gurū Ram Das – Sikhism This date in the Nanakshahi tradition celebrates the birth of the 4th Sikh gurū (1534 – 1581 C.E.), who is remembered for organizing the structure of Sikh society and for composing a four-stanza hymn that is the basis of many Sikh wedding ceremonies.
Friday, October 19
Dashara, Vijaya Dashami, or Dussehra – Hinduism Celebrates the triumph of Durga, the Divine Mother who manifests fierce compassion, over the forces of evil, as well as commemorating Rama’s victory over the demon Ravana.
Saturday, October 20
Installation of the Gurū Granth Sahib – Sikhism This date in the Nanakshahi tradition celebrates the transmission of the gurūship to the Holy Scriptures (the Gurū Granth Sahib Ji) by the tenth gurū, Gobind Singh Ji.
Wednesday, October 24
United Nations Day
Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Gurū Tegh Bahadur Ji – Sikhism This day commemorates the martyrdom of the ninth of the Ten Sikh Gurūs (1621-1675 C.E.). He is remembered for defending the Sikh faith, as well as the rights of Hindus and the cause of religious liberty.
Pavarana – Buddhism This day is the end of the three-month Vassa or rains retreat observed by Theravadin Buddhist monks.
Saturday, October 27
Karwa Chauth – Hinduism A day of fasting for married women, in which they dress like new brides and offer prayers for the long lives and safety of their husbands. Husbands offer sweets to their spouses at the end of the fast, once the moon is sighted.
Sunday, October 28
Atmasiddhi Rachna Divas (Creation Day) – Jainism On this day Jains celebrate that, in 1896, the poet Shrimad Rajchandra-ji (who was a spiritual guide for Mohandas Gandhi) wrote the legendary treatise Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, which explains the quintessence of Jainism.
Wednesday, October 31
Reformation Day – Christianity [Protestant churches] This day commemorates October 31, 1517 C.E., when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, eventually leading to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Most Protestant Christian churches will mark this on Sunday, October 28th.
Samhain – Wicca Celebration of the Celtic New Year. The dying God returns to the womb of the Goddess in preparation for rebirth at Yule. The souls of ancestors and those who have died during the turning of the past year’s wheel are remembered. Vegan Wiccans harvest nuts, the kernels of which symbolize wisdom.