National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Religion/Culture: Disability Culture
In 1988, Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The Office of Disability Employment Policy has the lead in planning NDEAM activities and materials to increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. Various programs carried out throughout the month also highlight the specific employment barriers that still need to be addressed and removed.
This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.
LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It is observed during October in the United States, to include National Coming Out Day on October 11. LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson.
Spectrum, MSU's LGBT & Ally Alliance, along with the Office of Multicultural Programs, provide a month-long series of events on campus to commemorate LGBT History Month. These include dances, panels, film screenings, fundraisers, discussions, art displays, and an annual talent show.
Disability Awareness Month
Religion/Culture: National Observance
Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The Office of Disability Employment Policy has the lead in planning NDEAM activities and materials to increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. Various programs carried out throughout the month also highlight the specific employment barriers that still need to be addressed and removed.
This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." More information
Day of German Unity
On October 3, 1990 the German Parliament voted on making the former East Germany a part of the united Germany. It is always celebrated on the same day in commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification.
People have a "buerger fest" which is celebrated in the streets of towns. Generally a government official presides. The official celebration is always in the capital of the different states, with one being picked as the main event each year. Lots of dancing and drinking is involved.
Occurring on the tenth day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish year, in which people atone for the sins of the past year. It is solemnly observed with ceremonial repentance, strict fasting and refraining from work for a twenty-four hour period that begins at sundown. Check with the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance for accommodation recommendations.
Note: Jewish holiday observances begin at sunset of the first date listed.
- October 8-9, 2019
- September 27-28, 2020
The festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of the Tabernacles, begins on the 15th of the month of Tishri, 10 days after Yom Kippur. The word Sukkah refers to temporary dwelling places, or hut, and the holiday commemorates the 40 year period during which the children of Israel wandered the wilderness, living in temporary huts for protection. Temporary huts are constructed - which must have open or unfinished ceilings made of organic material - and all eating takes place here for the duration of the holiday. It is decorated with fall fruits and vegetables. As a Jewish Biblical pilgrimage festival, Sukkot is one of the three holidays during which Jews historically traveled to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Observance begins at sundown on the first date listed and continues for a week.
- October 13-20, 2019
- October 2-9, 2020
Native American Day/Indigenous Peoples Day
Religion/Culture: Native American
Native Americans' Day is a public holiday in South Dakota and in Berkeley, California, instead of Columbus Day. Government offices are closed, as are many businesses and schools. Services such as police and fire departments, as well as emergency health services, may be available on this day.
In 1989 the South Dakota legislature unanimously passed legislation to proclaim 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” for Native Americans and to change Columbus Day to Native American Day. Since 1990 the second Monday in October has been celebrated as Native American Day in South Dakota.
In 1992 Columbus Day was no longer observed in Berkeley, California, but Indigenous People's Day would be celebrated instead on the second Monday in October. The city has been known for its political correctness and its officials designated 1992 as the Year of Indigenous People. However the city has been criticized by some community groups that believe that Columbus Day should continue to be observed. More information
- October 14, 2019
- October 12, 2020
National Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender coming out regarding one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The holiday is observed annually by members of the gay community on October 11.
Spectrum, MSU's LGBT & Ally Alliance, hosts a table in the PSU on National Coming Out Day encouraging students to be comfortable and open about who they are, no matter what their sexual orientation is. Traditions include a bake sale and an armoire to "come out" of while getting your picture taken.
- October 11th of every year
Birth of the Bab
One of the eleven holy days on the Baha’i calendar, this day marks the Birth of Bab ud-Din (Mirza Ali Muhammad), who declared himself the Prophet of God. Born in 1819 in Shiraz, Iran, his mission was to reform Islam, and his teachings became the foreground for the later developed Baha’i tradition. Baha’is celebrate this day with gatherings to pray, eat together, and read about his life. Work is suspended on this day. PBS Multifaith Calendar
This is one of the most important festivals of the year for Hindus. It lasts for five days and combines a number of festivals to celebrate different gods and goddesses and events in their lives as described in Hindu tradition. The day before Diwali is spent cleaning the house, shopping, and decorating with flowers. A design is painted in white in front of the door of the house to bring good luck. Lamps are lit for the entire five days beside roads and streams, along edges of roofs, and on window sills to enable Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity, to find her way to every home.
Recognizing the Festival/Holiday: Since Diwali is a "festival of lights," candles are an appropriate gift. In addition, sweets, dried fruits, cakes, or cookies called diyas made in the shape of the oil lamps used to decorate the walkways of one's house might be given. Keep in mind that Hindus neither eat meat nor drink alcoholic beverages. Appropriate greetings for all Hindu holidays include "God bless you with prosperity and happiness" or "I wish you happiness and prosperity."
- October 27, 2019
- November 14, 2020
Shemini Atzeret, meaning the “eighth day of assembly,” is celebrated after the seventh day of Sukkot, but is in fact a holiday separate from Sukkot. It is often explained that Sukkot is like a seven day party, where the Creator is the host who has invited his visitors for a limited time. On the eighth day, he has had such a pleasurable time that he asks for guests to stay an extra day. Shemini Atzeret marks the beginning of the rainy season. On this day, no work is permitted and a prayer for rain, called tefilat geshem, is recited, so that it will be plentiful and bring healthy crops. Simchat Torah commemorates the reading of the last part of the Torah and the beginning of the first part, to start the cycle of scriptural readings for the new year. PBS Multifaith Calendar
Check with the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance for accommodation recommendations.
Note: Jewish holiday observances begin at sunset of the first date listed.
- October 21, 2019
- October 10, 2020
Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn') is a very important date in the Pagan calendar for it marks the Feast of the Dead. Many Pagans also celebrate it as the old Celtic New Year (although some mark this at Imbolc). It is also celebrated by non-Pagans who call this festival Halloween.
Samhain has been celebrated in Britain for centuries and has its origin in Pagan Celtic traditions. It was the time of year when the veils between this world and the Otherworld were believed to be at their thinnest: when the spirits of the dead could most readily mingle with the living once again. Later, when the festival was adopted by Christians, they celebrated it as All Hallows' Eve, followed by All Saints Day, though it still retained elements of remembering and honouring the dead. More information
Reformation Day commemorates Dr. Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This act triggered the movement in world history known as the Reformation. While the historical date for the observance of Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday in October.
While it had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary, and artistic aspects of modern society, the Reformation was at its heart a religious movement. The Reformation was the great rediscovery of the doctrine of justification, that is, the good news of the salvation of all sinners by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. More information
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
Religion/Culture: Mexican Cultural Festival
Beginning on the evening of October 31 and celebrated through November 2 by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, this holiday has its roots in two traditions: the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Day, and two Aztec festivals in which the souls of the dead were welcomed back to visit those who remembered them. Central to the observance is the creation of an ofrenda, or altar, in the home, with flowers, foods, and favorite possessions to honor the memory of deceased loved ones and to welcome their visiting souls. The holiday is celebrated with family and community gatherings, music, and feasting, and the festivity of its observance acknowledges death as an integral part of life.
Recognizing the Festival/Holiday: In Mexico, candy sculls and skeletons are popular treats, along with pan de muerto, a sweet bread decorated with bones and skulls and colored sprinkles. In southern Italy, children receive baskets filled with nuts, pomegranates, and martorana, colored marzipan fruit, and are told it is a gift from their ancestors. Also popular throughout Italy are skull- or bone-shaped cookies made from ground almonds and eggs, sometimes flavored with cocoa, called osso da mordere, or dead man's bones, and butter cookies flavored with rum or brandy called fave dei morti, or dead man's beans, both of which are hidden as a present to the children from the departed ones. In Balkan countries, kolivo or zhito, a wheat porridge with raisins and honey, is topped with silver dragees or almonds to make a cross and the initials of the dead.
- October 31-November 2 every year