Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

Party On! 15 Ancient Observations and Holidays of October

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Avia

October, the month of crisp autumn air and falling leaves, holds within it a rich tapestry of ancient observations and lesser-known holidays that deserve our attention. As we bid farewell to September’s warm embrace, October beckons us with its enchanting blend of symbolism and celebration. From Rome to Japan, from Denmark to Mexico, let us embark on a journey through time and culture as we explore the hidden treasures of this captivating month. So grab your pumpkin spice cupcakes, cookies, or coffees and get ready to discover the fascinating world of the festivals and holidays of October!

Ancient Observations and Holidays of October

October, the month of crisp autumn air and falling leaves, holds within it a rich tapestry of ancient observations and lesser-known holidays that deserve our attention. As we bid farewell to September’s warm embrace, October beckons us with its enchanting blend of symbolism and celebration. From Rome to Japan, from Denmark to Mexico, let us embark on a journey through time and culture as we explore the hidden treasures of this captivating month. So grab your pumpkin spice cupcakes, cookies, or coffees and get ready to discover the fascinating world of the festivals and holidays of October!

Symbolism of October

This month is often associated with themes such as harvest, abundance, and the cycle of life. The crisp air carries a sense of anticipation as nature prepares for its dormant phase.

The month of October also symbolizes balance between light and darkness. As daylight hours decrease and nights grow longer, it reminds us to find harmony within ourselves. It encourages introspection and reflection on our own inner shadows.

In many cultures, October represents a time of honoring ancestors and departed souls. Festivals like Dia de Muertos in Mexico or Samhain Eve in Celtic traditions celebrate the thinning veil between the living and the dead.

Moreover, October signifies resilience in the face of adversity. Just like trees shedding their leaves but standing tall against winter winds, this month teaches us to embrace change while remaining rooted.

October invites us to appreciate both endings and beginnings – to acknowledge what has passed while embracing what lies ahead. It serves as a gentle reminder that life is an ever-evolving journey filled with beauty even amidst transition.

Little-Known Holidays of October Worthy of Celebrating

October is not just about pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween costumes. This month is filled with fascinating holidays from different parts of the world that are worth celebrating. Let’s take a closer look at some little-known holidays in October that deserve our attention.

Rome: Jejunium Cereris (Oct 4)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

In ancient Rome, the month of October was filled with various celebrations and observances. One such event was Jejunium Cereris, which took place on October 4th. This festival was dedicated to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and fertility.

During Jejunium Cereris, people would abstain from eating solid food in honor of Ceres. Instead, they would consume only simple meals or even fast altogether. The purpose behind this act of self-restraint was to show gratitude for the bountiful harvests that had been reaped throughout the year.

Ceres played a vital role in Roman society as she symbolized abundance and prosperity. By observing Jejunium Cereris, Romans acknowledged their dependence on the earth’s fertility for sustenance and recognized the importance of keeping a harmonious relationship with nature.

The festival also included rituals and ceremonies held at temples dedicated to Ceres. These sacred spaces were adorned with flowers and offerings such as wheat, fruits, and vegetables – symbols of abundance and nourishment.

Jejunium Cereris served as a reminder to appreciate the blessings bestowed upon them by nature. It fostered a sense of community as people came together to celebrate their collective fortunes while honoring Ceres.

Germany: Kermesse (Oct 7)

This traditional German event dates back centuries and holds great significance in local communities. Kermesse, also known as Kirchweih or Kerwa, is a festive occasion that brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. The festivities typically include music, dance performances, delicious food stalls offering local delicacies like bratwurst and pretzels, and exciting carnival rides for children and adults alike.

The inception of this celebration can be traced back to medieval times when it was associated with religious observances. Over the years, it has evolved into a joyous community gathering where locals come together to enjoy good company and embrace their shared traditions.

Kermesse’s ability to bring people closer through shared experiences makes it special. It serves as a reminder of the importance of community spirit in today’s fast-paced world. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident in Germany during October, attending the Kermesse will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories.

China: Chung Yeung Day (Oct 8)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

This traditional festival holds great significance in Chinese culture and is often referred to as the Double Ninth Festival. Chung Yeung Day is a time when families come together to honor their ancestors and pay respects to their elders. It is believed that climbing mountains during this day will bring good luck and help ward off evil spirits. Kite-flying is also a common activity during this festival of October. Many people take advantage of the autumn weather to embark on hiking adventures, enjoying the beauty of nature along with family and friends.

Another important aspect of Chung Yeung Day is the practice of ancestral worship. Families visit cemeteries, clean tombstones, offer food, burn incense, and perform rituals to show reverence for their deceased loved ones. It is seen as a way to ensure their ancestors’ well-being in the afterlife.

In addition to its cultural significance, Chung Yeung Day also symbolizes resilience and determination to overcome challenges. The number nine has long been associated with Yang energy in Chinese philosophy – representing strength and vitality – making it a fitting occasion for personal reflection and growth.

Rome: Day of Felicitas (Oct 9)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

The Day of Felicitas, which takes place on October 9th in Rome celebrates Felicitas, who was the goddess of good fortune and prosperity.

On this day, the people of Rome would come together to honor and pay tribute to Felicitas. They believed that by offering prayers and sacrifices, they could ensure her blessings for their lives. It was a time filled with joy and gratitude as individuals sought to cultivate positive energy in their daily endeavors.

The festivities included elaborate rituals performed at temples dedicated to Felicitas throughout the city. The air was filled with incense and chants as Romans expressed their hopes for abundance, happiness, and success.

In modern times, we can still embrace the spirit of the Day of Felicitas by reflecting on our own fortunes and expressing gratitude for what we have. It is an opportunity to recognize the power of positivity in shaping our lives and cultivating a sense of contentment.

Denmark: Old Lady of the Elder Trees Day (Oct 11)

In Denmark, October 11th is a day filled with reverence for nature and ancient traditions. The country celebrates “Old Lady of the Elder Trees Day.” It is a time to honor and pay homage to the mystical elder tree, which holds great significance in Danish folklore.

Legend has it that deep within these gnarled trees is an old lady with immense wisdom and supernatural powers. She is believed to be a guardian spirit, protecting the forests and those who seek her guidance.

The celebration involves various rituals and customs centered around these sacred trees. People gather near elder groves, adorning themselves with wreaths made from its blossoms and leaves. They sing songs, recite poems, and share stories about their encounters with the Old Lady.

Families often come together during this festival to feast on traditional Danish dishes made from elderberries. These delicious treats symbolize abundance and prosperity while fostering a sense of unity among loved ones.

Denmark’s Old Lady of the Elder Trees Day serves as a beautiful reminder of our connection to nature and our ancestors’ beliefs. It encourages us to appreciate the wisdom found in ancient traditions while embracing the enchanting wonders that surround us every day.

Bangladesh: Festival of Durga Puga (Oct 14)

In the vibrant country of Bangladesh, October brings forth a celebration that is filled with devotion and joy: the Festival of Durga Puga. This auspicious occasion honors Goddess Durga, who symbolizes feminine power and strength.

During this festival, beautifully decorated idols of Goddess Durga are worshipped in homes, temples, and pandals (temporary structures). The atmosphere is electric, with enthusiastic devotees singing hymns and performing cultural dances to express their reverence for the divine goddess.

Elaborate rituals take place throughout the festival. Devotees offer flowers, fruits, sweets, and incense to seek blessings from Goddess Durga. They also engage in fasting and prayer as acts of deep devotion.

The Festival of Durga Puga signifies religious significance and serves as a time for social unity. Communities come together to organize processions where colorful idols are paraded through the streets amidst lively music and dancing crowds.

Nepal: Festival of Lakshmi Puji (Oct 16)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

In the enchanting land of Nepal, the festival of Lakshmi Puji takes center stage on October 16th. This vibrant celebration pays homage to the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Lakshmi.

As dusk settles over the picturesque landscape, families gather in their homes to light oil lamps and offer prayers to invoke blessings from Goddess Lakshmi. The atmosphere is filled with devotion and reverence as colorful Rangolis adorn doorsteps, adding a touch of beauty and auspiciousness to the festivities.

Delicious sweets are prepared with love and care, symbolizing abundance and good fortune. People don their finest traditional attire, creating a visual spectacle that showcases Nepal’s rich cultural heritage.

During this festive occasion, it is believed that by honoring Goddess Lakshmi with sincerity and gratitude, she will shower devotees with her blessings for both material wealth and spiritual well-being.

Japan: Kannamesai (Oct 17)

In the land of the rising sun, October brings with it a captivating festival known as Kannamesai. Rooted in ancient Shinto traditions, this sacred event is held at the illustrious Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture.

Kannamesai is an occasion dedicated to expressing gratitude for the year’s bountiful harvest. As worshippers gather beneath vibrant autumn foliage, they partake in rituals that symbolize unity and appreciation for nature’s gifts.

The highlight of Kannamesai is the offering of freshly harvested rice to Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess who reigns supreme over Japanese mythology. This radiant deity embodies fertility and abundance, making her an essential figure in agricultural ceremonies.

England: Great Horned Fair Honoring Cernunnos (Oct 18)

In the mystical land of England, nestled amidst rolling green hills and ancient forests, lies a festival like no other. The Great Horned Fair, held on October 18th, is a celebration that honors the enigmatic deity known as Cernunnos.

Cernunnos, often depicted with antlers upon his head and surrounded by woodland creatures, is the Celtic god of fertility and abundance. He represents the untamed forces of nature and serves as a bridge between humans and animals.

During this vibrant festival, locals gather to pay homage to Cernunnos through music, dancing, and feasting. The air is filled with joyous melodies from traditional folk bands playing lively tunes on fiddles and harps. Colorful ribbons sway in harmony with the dancers’ movements as they weave intricate patterns around maypoles adorned with flowers.

The heavenly scent of freshly baked bread mingles with the aroma of wildflowers as families share hearty meals together. Stallholders offer an array of handmade crafts inspired by nature – intricately carved wooden figures representing forest spirits or delicate jewelry adorned with acorns and leaves.

Children’s laughter fills every corner as they participate in games and activities designed to connect them to their natural surroundings. They sometimes dress up in costumes inspired by woodland creatures or don masks resembling Cernunnos himself.

As twilight descends upon the fairgrounds, a solemn procession takes place—a symbolic journey into darkness before rebirth—as participants carry lanterns through candlelit paths leading into enchanted groves where rituals are performed under starry skies.

The Great Horned Fair is not just a celebration; it’s an invitation for everyone to embrace their connection to nature—to revel in its beauty and acknowledge its power within our lives. It serves as a reminder that we are all part of something greater than ourselves—an interconnected web woven by ancient traditions that continue to thrive in the modern world.

Czechoslovakia: Day of Ursala (Oct 21)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

In the enchanting land of Czechoslovakia, nestled amidst ancient traditions and folklore, lies a captivating holiday known as the Day of Ursala. On October 21st, this unique celebration pays homage to Ursala, the Lunar goddess from Slavic mythology.

According to legend, Ursala embodies the moon’s ethereal power and is revered for her role in guiding travelers through dark nights. She symbolizes wisdom, intuition, and protection, which are celebrated on this special day.

During Czechoslovakia’s Day of Ursala festivities, locals gather in joyful merriment. Colorful processions wind their way through streets adorned with vibrant banners and lanterns. Traditional music fills the air as dancers twirl gracefully under an illuminated moon-shaped stage.

Delicious feasts featuring traditional dishes are shared among friends and families. It is a time for laughter and storytelling around bonfires where tales of mythical creatures intertwine with history.

The spirit of unity blossoms during this celebration as communities come together to honor their cultural heritage and pay tribute to the mystical lunar goddess who watches over them.

The beauty of these ancient observations lies in their rich symbolism and their ability to connect us with our past. The Day of Ursula reminds us that there is magic all around us if we take a moment to appreciate it – whether it be within ourselves or within these cherished traditions passed down through generations.

Japan: Hi Matsuri Festival of Fire (Oct 22)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

The Hi Matsuri Festival of Fire is a vibrant and awe-inspiring event celebrated in Japan on October 22nd. This ancient tradition dates back centuries and is filled with symbolism and excitement. The festival centers around the idea of purifying the spirit through fire as participants gather to witness breathtaking displays of flames.

During the Hi Matsuri Festival, giant torches are lit, illuminating the night sky with a mesmerizing glow. These torches symbolize renewal and purification as they burn away negativity and bring forth positive energy for the coming year. As spectators watch in amazement, they can’t help but feel a sense of wonder at this powerful midnight spectacle.

People come together to enjoy traditional music and dance performances as part of the festivities. The lively beats fill the air as dancers gracefully move to their rhythm, adding an element of celebration to an already magical atmosphere.

One unique aspect of this festival is that it also allows locals to express gratitude for blessings received throughout the year. It’s not uncommon to see individuals writing wishes or prayers on slips of paper and attaching them to bamboo branches – a heartfelt gesture that connects them with their deepest desires.

Ancient Phoenicia: Festival of Baal (Oct 28)

In the ancient land of Phoenicia, October 28 marked a significant celebration known as the Festival of Baal. This festival honored Baal, the powerful god associated with fertility and agriculture. It was believed that by participating in this festival, people could ensure a bountiful harvest for the coming year.

The Festival of Baal was filled with vibrant rituals and ceremonies. Priests would perform sacred dances and offer prayers to appease Baal and seek his blessings. People would gather together to feast on delicious food and drink, celebrating the abundance provided by their crops.

One prominent feature of this festival was the lighting of bonfires throughout Phoenicia. The flames symbolized purification and renewal, casting away any negativity or misfortune from their lives. It created an enchanting atmosphere as families gathered around these flickering fires to share stories.

United States: Native American Iroquois Annual Feast of the Dead (Oct 29)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

The Native American Iroquois Annual Feast of the Dead is a sacred and deeply meaningful celebration that takes place on October 29th each year. This ancient observance is rooted in honoring and remembering loved ones who have passed away.

During this solemn occasion, members of the Iroquois community come together to pay tribute to their ancestors and offer prayers for their spirits. The feast is held as a way to show gratitude for the wisdom, guidance, and protection bestowed upon them by those who came before.

The significance of this event goes beyond mere remembrance. It serves as a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness between past, present, and future generations within the Iroquois culture. It provides an opportunity for reflection on the teachings and values passed down through generations.

Through storytelling, song, dance, and traditional food offerings, participants honor their departed loved ones while also strengthening bonds with one another. The atmosphere during this time is both somber and uplifting—a testament to the resilience and spirituality embodied by these indigenous peoples.

Mexico: Angelitos Festival (Oct 30)

Holidays of October - Celebrations, Observations, and Ways to Celebrate the Month of October

In the vibrant country of Mexico, October brings forth a fascinating celebration known as the Angelitos Festival. This ancient festival pays homage to two revered deities – Xipe Totec and Tonantzin – who hold great significance in Mexican mythology.

Xipe Totec (an ancient god of death), often depicted wearing flayed human skin, represents fertility, agricultural abundance, and rebirth. During the festival, participants dress in colorful attire adorned with feathers and flowers to honor this deity. They engage in traditional dances and rituals that symbolize sanctification and revival.

Tonantzin, known as “Our Mother” (or the Guadalupe goddess of mercy), is regarded as the goddess of corn and fertility. She is greatly respected for her role in nurturing life on earth. The festival provides an opportunity for people to express gratitude for the bountiful harvests bestowed upon them by offering prayers and offerings at sacred sites dedicated to Tonantzin.

With its rich cultural heritage deeply intertwined with indigenous beliefs, Mexico embraces diversity through these ancient celebrations. The Angelitos Festival serves as a reminder of the country’s profound connection to its ancestral roots while fostering unity among its people.

What About Halloween? (Oct 31)

You (hopefully) knew there’s no way I could close out this article about observations, holidays, and festivals of October without mentioning Halloween (my favorite)!

As the month of October draws to a close, one cannot ignore the grand culmination of ancient observations and holidays that take place on its final day. October 31st is a day filled with mystical traditions and celebrations around the world. This day holds great significance for many cultures, known by various names such as Halloween, Samhain Eve, All Saint’s Eve, and Dia de Muertos Eve.

In Western countries like the United States and Canada, Halloween is widely celebrated with costume parties, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and jack-o’-lanterns. It sprang from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marks the conclusion of the harvest season, and it’s also a time for honoring ancestors.

Samhain itself was considered a time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm was at its thinnest. This belief is shared by other cultures, too. In parts of Latin America and Mexico, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is observed to honor deceased loved ones through vibrant processions adorned with colorful sugar skulls and marigolds.

Similarly, in Ireland, where it all began as Samhain during pagan times before being Christianized into All Hallows’ Eve or Hallowe’en, people traditionally lit bonfires to ward off evil spirits roaming free on this night.

Across these different cultures, there are common themes – remembrance of ancestors or departed souls combined with an acknowledgment of death as part of life’s cycle. These observances provide an opportunity to reflect on mortality while also celebrating life in diverse forms.

Tips and Ideas On How to Celebrate Festivals and Holidays of October


Embrace the spirit of October by decorating your home with festive autumnal colors such as orange, red, and gold. Hang up leaf garlands, carve pumpkins, and place candles around your house for a cozy ambiance.


Explore different cuisines during this month’s celebrations. Try traditional dishes from the countries that observe these holidays, such as Roman-inspired pasta dishes or German sausages with sauerkraut. Expand your culinary horizons while immersing yourself in the cultural significance of each festival.


Attend local events or virtual gatherings that celebrate these October holidays. Many communities organize festivals, parades, or performances related to these ancient traditions. Joining in on these festivities will provide entertainment and an opportunity to learn more about diverse cultures.


Engage in spiritual practices associated with some of these holidays if they resonate with you personally. Light candles to honor ancestors on Day of Felicitas or participate in meditation sessions during Chung Yeung Day for self-reflection and clarity.


Incorporate elements from various traditions into your own personal rituals for Halloween or Dia de Muertos Eve (Day of the Dead). Create an altar honoring loved ones who have passed away using their favorite photographs, objects, and food offerings.


Take time to connect with nature by going on hikes through colorful forests, visiting orchards or pumpkin patches. Savor the marvel of the changing seasons while celebrating ancient customs.

Closing Thoughts About Observations and Little-Known Holidays of October

As we delve into the ancient observations and holidays of October, we discover a rich tapestry of traditions and celebrations from cultures around the world. From Rome to Japan, Denmark to Mexico, each festival offers a unique glimpse into the beliefs and customs of our ancestors.

These little-known holidays deserve recognition and celebration in their own right. They remind us that even in our modern society, there is still value in honoring ancient traditions and connecting with our roots.  By embracing these ancient observances, we can better understand different cultures while creating new memories and experiences. So mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and let October be a month filled with discovery, celebration, and gratitude for the diverse tapestry that is human culture.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy celebrating!

Mighty brightly,

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