If you thought our picks for obscure September holidays were weird, get ready for the non-spooktacular holidays October has in store. Sure, you could wait all month to celebrate Halloween, or you could get in on the festivities happening between now and then. So move over Christopher Columbus (you can celebrate his "discovery" of America on October 10) and make way for the wide-grinning, lesser-known October holidays.
World Vegetarian Day - Saturday, October 1, 2011
Break out your tofurkey, serve up some gelatin-free dessert and decrease your carbon footprint because the first Saturday this October is World Vegetarian Day. Animal activistgroup, PETA (don't worry, I am not carrying a clipboard and I don't intend to show you any videos) says, "The most powerful step that we can take as individuals to avert global warming is to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy products." This claim was backed by a New York Times article in 2007 and has been given support by reporters and researchers alike.
But this is a holiday! Show your friends how to reduce their carbon footprint, and maybe their waistline, with a vegetarian meal. Serve mock-meat dishes like cauliflower steak, Skinny Bitch's Shepherd's Pie, and get wild and serve a vegan dessert. For those of you who are feeling a little concerned, having one vegetarian meal doesn't mean turning over your Carnivore Card. So leave the salmonella behind this Saturday, try something new, make the planet a better place and celebrate another great holiday.
Techies Day - Monday, October 3, 2011
What are the odds that October not only lays claim to Techies Day, but Computer Learning Month too? Pretty good, because it's true. In America, everyone has their day and October 3 is officially Techies Day. Merriam-Webster defines a techie as "a person who is very knowledgeable or enthusiastic about technology and especially high technology."
This holiday goes out to those who love all things electronic, and perhaps most importantly, the Help Desk staff who manage to always say, "First, we need to turn your computer on" with such patience. Show a little love to the techie in your life with gifts from sites like ThinkGeek.com or try out one of Wired's 7 Great Activities for Techie Kids and Dads. If you're saving up for an awesome Halloween costume, send your resident techie a greeting card or at least check to make sure your computer, and all of its components, are plugged in before calling them to report an issue.
Moment of Frustration Day - Monday, October 12, 2011
We all have moments of frustration -- why not yell about them in unison? This may not be something you want to do directly outside of your office, but if we all take the time to air out our frustrations, we'll all feel better, productivity will increase, which will make our economy feel better, and maybe after World Vegetarian Day, the planet will be feeling better too! OK, that's overly optimistic, but this is still a holiday worth recognizing. In 2009, Scientific American reported that swearing may make you feel better and decrease the sensation of physical pain. So whether you've stapled your finger (we all do it, some of us do it twice) or have just had a rough week, take the time to yell it out. Need a little help getting started? I can't think of a better angry yeller than Adam Sandler (adjust your speaker volume in advance) to show you the way.
Dictionary Day - Friday, October 16, 2011
Bibliophiles, linguists and grammarians jubilate! And for the majority of the world, I encourage you to see the good in this holiday too. The English language is always changing -- we only need to look at the Oxford English Dictionary's recent inclusion of the words LOL, retweet and sexting to confirm that statement. So why not get in on the gig? Take this opportunity to learn a few new words and try them out in casual conversation. For example, those new to Urban Dictionary might want to try saying, "Hey Thompson, that presentation was an epic fail with those tacky PowerPoint transitions." Or those dusting off and dragging the OED off the shelf for the first time could try a phrase such as "After speaking with our new neighbor, I was able to ascertain that she is quite an intelligent young lady." There's a dictionary for most and an app for everyone else. If you can't get enough of Dictionary Day, keep the fun, and intellectualism, going year-round by signing up for Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day.
Frankenstein Friday - Friday, October 28, 2011
>Here's a holiday to help you prep for the one we'll all be waiting for. Frankenstein Friday is known as a movable holiday, meaning it always falls on the Friday before Halloween. Dim the lights, cue the "Monster Mash" and tighten (or maybe loosen) your neck bolts. It would be easy to turn this holiday party into a pre-Halloween party, but that would be a cop out. Instead, do Mary Shelley proud and throw a full on Frankenstein Bash. First, let's get the basics down. There are three main characters, and one overly common mistake: DOCTOR Frankenstein, Igor, and Frankenstein's (yes, as in the doctor) MONSTER. Once you get that down, you can plan an appropriate Franken Fest. I'd suggest having a movie marathon with Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and round it out with Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. You could also go a little retro and celebrate with a Munsters marathon.
When you've had your fill of dictionary loving, tofu eating, frustration releasing, techie appreciating, Franken fun, check back to see what's not gobbling in November. I promise carnivores, there will be no mention of tofurkey then.