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October Cultural Awareness Brief


October is Filipino American History Month, commemorating the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States which occurred on October 18, 1587 when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California; the month celebrates and brings awareness to the significant role Filipinos have played in American history. October is also LGBT History Month in recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement, National Disability Employment Awareness Month which draws attention to employment barriers for the disabled, and Global Diversity Awareness Month to bring awareness to the diversity of cultures and the positive impact diversity can have on society.

October 1 is Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day, the aim of which is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Native American women and White men. October 4 is St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, celebrated by many Catholic denominations. October 4 to 5 (sundown to sundown) is Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and a day of atonement marked by fasting and ceremonial repentance. October 5 is Vijayadashami in the eastern and northeastern states of India and Nepal marking the end of Durga Puja and remembering the goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma. October 7 to 8 is Mawlid Al-Nabi and October 9 is Eid Milad un-Nabi, both commemorating the birthday of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a day meant to increase public awareness about the importance of mental health, mental health services, and mental health workers worldwide. October 11 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization. October 11 is also National Coming Out Day; for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian

October 9 to 16 is Sukkot, a seven-day Jewish festival giving thanks for the fall harvest. October 16 to 18 (sundown to sundown) is Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday also known as The Eighth (Day) of Assembly which takes place the day after the Sukkot festival. October 17 to 18 (sundown to sundown) is Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday marking the end of the weekly readings of the Torah. The Torah is read from chapter one of Genesis to Deuteronomy 34 and then back to chapter one again, in acknowledgement of the words of the Torah being a never-ending cycle.

October 20 is International Pronouns Day which seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. October 20 is also Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide. October 24 is Diwali, the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh five-day festival of lights that celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness. October 25 to 26 (sundown to sundown) is the Birth of Báb, a Bahá’í holiday celebrating the birth of the prophet Báb. October 26 to 27 (sundown to sundown) is the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í religion.

October 29 is Latina Equal Pay Day; the aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Latinas and White men. October 31 is Reformation Day, a Protestant Christian religious holiday celebrated alongside All Hallows’ Eve during the triduum of Allhallowtide in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation; and All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween, a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. October 31 to November 1 (sundown to sundown) is Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.



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