Calendar of Holidays & Festivals - October 2006

Calendar of Holidays & Festivals - October 2006

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October 2

Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement; humans' fates for the coming year are sealed by God (begins at sundown the night before).
Basics: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Primer
Feature: Jewish Holidays

Dussehra/Durga Puja
Festival celebrating the victory of good over evil; honors the ten-armed goddess of fertility and the third embodiment of the Devi, Durga.
Link: About Durga Puja

October 4

Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi
Honors the founder of the Franciscan order, patron saint of animals.
Excerpt: A Powerful Retelling of St. Francis' Conversion

October 7-13

Feast of Booths; harvest festival commemorating the divine protection of Israelites during their 40-year wandering in the desert (begins at sundown October 6).
Basics: Sukkot and Simchat Torah Primer
Feature: Jewish Holidays
eCards: Send a Sukkot Greeting

October 10

Karva Chauth (Karwa Chauth)
Fast observed by married women honoring the god Shiva and his consort Parvati; ensures the well-being, prosperity, and longevity of husbands.
Link: About Karwa Chauth

October 14

Shemini Atzeret
Completion of the annual cycle of the reading of the Torah.
Basics: Sukkot and Simchat Torah Primer

Winter Nights
Festival honoring the Disir or family spirits; a time to honor family, both living and dead (sometimes observed October 31).
Basics: Who Are the Asatruar?
Link: About Winter Nights and Other Asatru Holidays

October 15

Simchat Torah
"Rejoicing in the Torah"; celebrates the completion of the yearly Torah reading cycle and the beginning of the new cycle (begins at sundown the night before).
Basics: Sukkot and Simchat Torah Primer

October 19

Lailat ul-Qadr (Shab-e-Qadr)
"Night of Power"; commemorates the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad.
Link: About Lailat ul-Qadr
eCards: Send a Lailat ul-Qadr Greeting

October 20

Birthday of the Bab
Commemorates the birth of the prophet-herald of the faith (begins sundown the previous day).
Resource: The Birth of the Bab
Link: Baha'i Holy Days and Festivals

October 21

Five-day festival of lights; heralds joy, mirth, and happiness for the new year.
Essay: Diwali Days: Childhood Memories of a Hindu Festival
Link: About Diwali
eCards: Send a Diwali Greeting

October 24

Eid-al Fitr
Marks the end of Ramadan and the fast; festive and joyous occasion filled with special foods and delicacies.
Resource: About Ramadan
Links: About Eid ul Fitr, Id-Ul-Fitr

October 29

Reformation Day
Commemorates Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 theses on the church door, starting the Protestant Reformation.
Link: Questions and Answers About Reformation Day

October 31

The last harvest festival and the end of the Wiccan year; marks the death of the god.
Essay: The Spiritual New Year
Basics: The Witches' New Year, More About Samhain
eCards: Send a Samhain Greeting

All Hallows Eve
Evening of preparation for All Saints Day, once called All Hallows.
Feature: Do Religion and Halloween Mix?

Non-religious holiday recognizing the dead, celebrated in much of North America and parts of Western Europe.
Essays: Making Real Decisions About Halloween, Surprise: Halloween's Not a Pagan Festival After All
eCards: Send a Halloween Greeting

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