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GLOBAL DAYS IN OCTOBER 2016

October is Black History Month

Its aims are to promote knowledge of black history and the positive contributions Black people have made to British Society and to heighten the awareness of Black people in their cultural heritage.

The origins of BHM go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor for 30 years of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America. Akyaaba Addai Sebbo set up Black History Month in Britain. He worked with the Greater London Council (GLC) to establish the event in 1987. Click here to to find out more.

OCTOBER 1ST - INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS

The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

The theme for 2016, Take a Stand Against Ageism, challenges everyone to consider ageism – the negative attitudes and discrimination based on age - and the detrimental impact it has on older people.

OCTOBER 1ST - WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY

World Vegetarian Day was founded in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978.

The day begins a month of celebrations and special days, and aims to promote the awareness of the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. The month includes: World Farm Animals Day (Oct 2nd), The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4th - see below), World Food Day (Oct 16th) and concludes with World Vegan Day (Nov 1st).

OCTOBER 2ND - INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE

This was established by the UN in 2007 to mark the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi: a leading figure in India’s history, helping his country to achieve independence through his policy of peaceful protest. Click here to find out more about him.

OCTOBER 2ND - WORLD SMILE DAY

World Smile Day is celebrated each year on the first Friday in October. The idea was started by Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, who created the Smiley Face in 1963. He felt his symbol had become over-commercialised and the original meaning lost, and thought we should all devote one day a year to smiles and kind acts.

The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we; the first World Smile Day was held in 1999. Make sure you smile at someone today!

OCTOBER 4TH - FEAST DAY OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Saint Francis of Assisi is best known as the patron saint of animals. Some churches hold ceremonies to bless animals. Click here to find out more about him.

OCTOBER 5TH - WORLD TEACHERS' DAY

World Teachers' Day commemorates teachers worldwide. Its aim is to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital contribution that teachers make to education and ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met.

Teachers develop learners' abilities to build a sustainable future with citizens who are able to take action in their own communities and contribute to global challenges.

OCTOBER 6TH - NATIONAL POETRY DAY

This is a day for poetry readings, events, competitions, quizzes, exhibitions, commissions, creations, recitations and more, all planned and launched by the poets and poetry lovers of the UK. This year the theme is Messages.

Click here to find out what’s on, dowload a free book and see all the different ways of playing with the theme of Messages in a poem.

OCTOBER 11TH - YOM KIPPUR

Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the most sacred and solemn day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day to reflect on the past year and ask God's forgiveness for any sins. Jewish people traditionally observe this day with a 25-hour period of fasting and prayer. Click here to find out more.

OCTOBER 14TH - ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

This year marks the 950th anniversary and many celebrations have been arranged, including a re-enactment of the battle.

The Norman invasion in 1066 was to change our way of life in England forever. Click here to find out how.

You can visit the site where the battle took place. Click here to find out more.

OCTOBER 15TH - GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

Global Hand Washing Day is a campaign to motivate and mobilise millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. This is the single most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. The theme for 2016 is Make Handwashing a Habit! Click here to find out more.

Pneumonia is the number one cause of death among children under five years old, taking the life of an estimated 1.8 million children per year. Diarrhoea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually around the world. Making Handwashing a Habit, before eating and after using the toilet, could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhoea by almost half, and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.

OCTOBER 30TH - BRITISH SUMMERTIME ENDS

Don’t forget the clocks will go back by one hour on Sunday 25th October as British Summer Time (BST) ends for another year. The official time changes at 2.00 am BST, moving back to 1.00 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) across the UK.

OCTOBER 30TH - DIWALI

Hindus all over the world celebrate Diwali in late October or early November. It is the Hindu New Year and is either a 3-day or 5-day holiday depending on where you come from.

It is an exciting and colourful holiday: homes are cleaned to welcome the New Year and windows are opened so that the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, can enter. People believe that she cannot enter a house that is not lit up, so every household burns special Diwali clay lamps (diyas) to light the way for the goddess, which is why the holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. Click here to find out more.

OCTOBER 31ST - ALL HALLOWS' EVE

What does it mean to you? Is it something we should be celebrating?

Click here to find out how it started, what you can do instead, and try one of our delicious pumpkin recipes.