October Around the World


Faith Bough, Editor in Cheif

As summer fades into the autumn season, leaves change their colors, cozy jackets come out of boxes and into fashion again, and individuals around the world prepare themselves for the celebrations to come. As Halloween is the most reputable holiday in October for Americans, other countries are celebrating unique holidays of their own, all in which have their own specific meanings and purposes.

Alike the United States, 14 other countries celebrate some form of the Halloween tradition, varying from Day of the Dead in Mexico, October Bank Holiday in Ireland, All Saints’ Eve in India, and variations of 5 other names in other regions. Each of these holidays are conspired by similar roots, the remembrance of the dead, including saints, martyrs, and all the faithful that have past. However, this holiday has shifted into what is more popular today, a month of carving faces into pumpkins, decorating the house with spider webs and skeletons, and a night full of sweets, disguises, and eerie vibes.

In other countries, October is the celebration of remembrance of important individuals. For example, in Burundi, Africa October 21st is the day of remembrance for President Melchior Ndadaye, an emblematic figure of the country’s democracy, whom was assassinated in 1993 at the age of 40. In Afghanistan, October 30th celebrates Arba’een, which is a religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura within Muslim affiliation. It celebrates the martyr of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. Although both of these are very different holidays, they are connected with the values of remembering those of significance in the shaping in their societies.

Many countries take this fall month to remember the fallen heroes and war time. In Greece, The Ochi Day (also known as Oxi Day), which is celebrated each year on October 28. The day commemorates the resistance of the Greek during the World War II, following the Italian army’s invasion. Today, there are military and naval parades , as well as memorial services all over the country. In Kenya, Africa, Mashujaa Day, also known as Heroes’ Day (“mashujaa” is Swahili for “heroes”), is a nationally celebrated holiday, which is observed on October 20th to collectively honour all those who contributed towards the struggle for Kenya’s independence or positively contributed to Kenya post independence.

Although most all Americans only affiliate themselves with American holidays, the United States is so full of diversity and not every individual may realize the perspectives and influences from around the world. Discovering holidays from different parts of the globe allow for a unique and festive October, no matter what is observed.