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The Financial Express

Fest, fun, folklore in the special month of October

| Updated: October 08, 2021 13:28:25


Former US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump host a Halloween event at the White House in Washington on October 25 in 2020 –Reuters file photo Former US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump host a Halloween event at the White House in Washington on October 25 in 2020 –Reuters file photo

Many on social media may agree that the highest number of birthdays in their friend circle is celebrated between September and October.

Whether or not October owns the date of birth of yourself or your beloved ones, there is no shortage of reasons to mark October as a special month. And, why not?

The month begins with World Coffee Day and ends with Halloween. A popular event like Inktober is celebrated throughout the month.

Inktober

Inktober is a popular annual celebration of ink drawing during October. It was first started in 2009 by Jake Parker, an American comic short-story creator, concept artist, illustrator, and animator.

The announcement was made on his blog where he gave the challenge to create one ink drawing every day for each day of October and post them on social media.

Jake Parker started it to motivate himself initially. Later, in October 2015, over 1 million Inktober drawings were posted on Instagram. After that, in 2016, he started posting official prompt lists for each day's artwork.

Inktober was registered as a trademark in 2019, following which some participating artists received cease and desist notices for selling work created during the challenge. Parker later clarified that using the word ‘Inktober’ was permitted in a subtitle, but the use of the logo was not.

Be Sober

Sober October is a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, which is a UK-based charity that provides support to people living with cancer.

It began in 2014 when its primary goal was raising money. But the movement also emphasises the importance of checking in with yourself about your relationship with alcohol. Over the last few years, Sober October has become a more general movement around the world.

Racial significance

Also, the whole month of October is celebrated as Black History Month, which is a month-long observance devoted to education about the history of Black people and the celebration of their contributions to history.

Special days and weeks

The first day of October is known as World Coffee Day. In the UK, October 3 is celebrated as grandparent's day. October 4 is known as World Dyslexia Awareness Day. On the other hand, October 4 to 10 is an UN-organised week to celebrate World Space Week.

October 5 is World Teachers day established by UNESCO to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide. The day is also known as World Smile Day.

October 21, 2021, is World Singing Day which is a global sing-along held annually on the third Saturday in October. At the end of the month, after passing all the various fests throughout, Halloween is celebrated on October 31, the worldwide celebration of all things spooky and scary.

Scaring Daring Halloween

The tradition of Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland), when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.

It was the last day of the year as they used to celebrate their new year on November 1. In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mould Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighbourly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular but community-centred holiday, with parades and town-wide Halloween parties as to the featured entertainment.

Trick-or-treat

‘Trick-or-treat’ has been a tradition in the United States and other countries for more than a century. The custom was firmly established in American popular culture by 1951 when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip.

In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called ‘Trick or Treat’ featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

As COVID-19 is still a concern, attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays can be risky. Therefore, like last year, Halloween is going to be celebrated globally amid various restrictions this year too.

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