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GLOBAL DAYS IN OCTOBER 2017

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. This year’s theme is: Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.

By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and above will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24. Stepping into the future, with pledges that no one will be left behind, we need to appreciate that the often overlooked and under-appreciated contributions that older people make to society are not only essential to their wellbeing, but also imperative for our sustainable development. The 2017 theme will explore how we can promote and strengthen the participation of older people in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.

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 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 - 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.

This year we are encouraged to: Do an act of kindness. Make one person smile!

OCTOBER 14TH - ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

In the early morning of 14 October 1066, two great armies prepared to fight for the throne of England. On a hilltop 7 miles from Hastings were the forces of Harold, who had been crowned king nine months earlier. Facing them on the far side of the valley below were the troops of Duke William of Normandy, who believed he was the rightful king. By the end of the day, thousands lay dead on the battlefield, and the victorious William was one step nearer to seizing the throne. You can visit the site where the battle is thought to have taken place, and there is an annual re-enactment of the battle. Click here to find out more.

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

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.

This year’s theme is Our Hands, Our Future, reminding us that hand washing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world.

We all hope for continued health, wellbeing, and productivity for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Hand washing is an affordable, effective way to achieve these goals. For example, hand washing with soap could prevent many of the 272 million yearly schooldays lost to diarrhoeal disease, and 50% of the infections acquired in healthcare settings. Click here to find out more.

OCTOBER 19TH - 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 29TH - BRITISH SUMMERTIME ENDS

Don’t forget the clocks will go back by one hour on Sunday 29th 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 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.