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October Holidays, Events, and Awareness Dates to Keep on Your Radar

Welcome to fall! With the official start of autumn, it’s time to begin thinking about fall events that might not yet be on your radar. As the air gets crisper and days get shorter, we’re not far from the holiday season. Here’s a full selection of October holidays, events, and awareness dates that will keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners as the season changes. They’re well suited for promotional campaigns and giveaways, and they range from fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.


Daily Awareness Observances & Holidays

October 2-4 – Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, which means, “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days, also known as the Days of Awe, which typically take place in early autumn.

October 11-12 – Yom Kippur

Considered the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement. Jewish people observe this important holy day with fasting and prayer, often spending much of the day at synagogue services.

October 16 – World Food Day

World Food Day, celebrated each year on October 16, is a day of action against hunger worldwide and an opportunity to promote the belief that access to food is a human right. Observance events include hunger walks, World Food Day dinners, meal packaging events, and food drives.

October 17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Begun by the United Nations in 1993, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Poverty eradication is one of the core Millennium Development Goals as well as the developing Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN.

October 17 – National Boss Day

Begun by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958, National Boss Day is an opportunity for employees to thank their bosses for being fair and kind and throughout the year, with the goal being to strengthen intra-office relationships between managers and their employees.

October 24 – United Nations Day

United Nations Day marks the creation of the United Nations with the adoption of the UN Charter in 1945. It is celebrated with a special UN Day Concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Public monuments worldwide are often lit up in blue to promote the message of peace, development, and human rights.

October 31 – Halloween

Celebrated each year on October 31, Halloween is a children’s holiday in which kids dress up in costumes and go trick or treating in their neighborhoods. Homes and businesses often get into the spirit with pumpkin decorations and toys as well as other Halloween accessories.

Weekly Awareness Observances & Holidays

October 3-7: Customer Service Week

Begun by the International Customer Service Association in 1984, National Customer Service Week is a great opportunity for businesses to promote quality customer service and recognize the talent and dedication of their customer service reps.

October 9-15: Fire Prevention Week

Established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, Fire Prevention Week promotes education on fire safety. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait—Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every Ten Years.” It’s always a good idea to check your smoke alarm and refresh fire safety best practices.

October 12-18: World Rainforest Week

As tropical forests around the world are threatened by unsustainable logging practices, World Rainforest Week seeks to promote awareness of the situation and encourages people to take action. Communities around the world mark the occasion with documentary screenings, petitions for change, classroom presentations, and other special events.

Monthly Awareness Observances & Holidays

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer affects many women, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to increased awareness of the disease and how it can be detected in its early stages. Communities organize fundraisers, share educational resources, and offer support to women so they can learn how to protect themselves from breast cancer.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security is a major issue for us all. As of this writing it looks like Yahoo may have suffered a massive data breach affecting several hundred millions users. National Cyber Security Awareness Month encourages us to learn how to stay safe online, protect our personal information, and identify hoaxes or exploits we may come across. To learn more, visit Stop Think Connect.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Observed each year in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about domestic violence and how it impacts our relationships, our families, and our communities. Many people volunteer or donate to domestic violence prevention organizations, and advocates wear purple on October 20th, which is known as #PurpleThursday.

Employee Ownership Month

Employee Ownership Month is an occasion for businesses to recognize the many ways in which employee ownership, and having a stake in the company’s success, can help everyone within the organization align toward a common goal over the short and long term.

LGBT History Month

Celebrated each year in October since its inception in 1994, LGBT History Month is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history—including the gay rights and civil rights movements. It includes National Coming Out Day, which is celebrated on October 11. It also marks the anniversary of the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979. Since then, it has become a national coordinated effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month

National Animal Safety and Protection Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of caring for both domestic and wild animals. People may mark the occasion by learning about how to microchip their pet so they can be reunited if they should be separated, create a pet disaster plan that includes their pet’s safety needs, volunteer at a local animal shelter, or foster a pet in need of a loving home.

National Book Month

Love reading? Then National Book Month is for you. Schools and libraries offer special events on reading and literacy around this time, but it’s also a great chance to pick a book off the shelf (or download one onto your tablet or e-reader) and get lost in a fascinating novel or biography. It’s also a nice prelude to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which takes place in November.


Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for fall or the upcoming holiday season, or do you have a particular project or campaign on your radar we can help with? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you have an idea in mind that might benefit from some creative brainstorming, we’d be happy to share some recommendations. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on custom branded promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

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