October—the spookiest month of the year—is upon, and with it, a calendar full of offbeat holidays. Between your autumnal walks, horror movie marathons, and National Cat Day on October 29 (which is basically the year's most important holiday here at Mental Floss), see if you can squeeze in a few of these other unconventional celebrations.
1. October 1: World Vegetarian Day
It's easy enough to eat meat-free for a day, but this celebration is intended to kick off a month of vegetarian awareness and encourage more lasting change.
2. October 2: National Custodian Day
Because really, we should be celebrating them every day.
3. October 2: World Farm Animals Day
This may seem at odds with World Vegetarian Day, until you consider that this is actually a day to protest the farm in farm animal and the cruel conditions it often implies.
4. October 4: Ten-Four Day
The fourth day of the 10th month of the year is the day the world celebrates radio operators, to which we say, “Ten-Four.”
5. October 4: National Ships-In-Bottles Day
Someone spent a lot of time making this art happen, so let's take a little time to appreciate it.
6. October 7: World Smile Day
If the calendar says you have to do it, you have to do it.
7. October 8: National Pierogi Day
On this day in 1952, pierogies were first delivered to a grocery store in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and we’ve been devouring them ever since.
8. October 10: National Cake Decorating Day
Making a boxed cake recipe and applying the frosting with a butter knife definitely counts. (Especially if you use a few of these tips to make it taste more homemade.)
9. October 10: National Handbag Day
We carry them around, but in many ways, it’s the handbags that carry us.
10. October 11: Southern Food Heritage Day
Sorry, but if you're not eating a plate of chicken and waffles like the one above (or something equally Southern) on October 11, you're doing it wrong.
11. October 12: International Top Spinning Day
A good day to head to the toy store and take a spin.
12. October 15: National Grouch Day
For those who love one, and those who are one.
13. October 15: Sweetest Day
14. October 16: Dictionary Day
October 16th is Noah Webster’s birthday, so take a break from your lackadaisical use of the English language, k?
15. October 19: Evaluate Your Life Day
16. October 19: Hagfish Day
These eel-shaped, slime-producing fish are fairly disgusting (seriously), but they're also kind of awesome. They have four hearts, have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and can feed through their skin. So while it might not be beautiful, the humble hagfish does deserve a little love and respect.
17. October 20: Get Smart About Credit Day
This American Bankers Association holiday is all about educating the public on credit—and if that stresses you out, you should probably be observing this quirky commemoration.
18. October 22: Smart Is Cool Day
This is one holiday that Mental Floss HQ can really get behind.
19. October 23: National Mole Day
Neither a tribute to the animal, nor a skin feature, nor an undercover spy, Mole Day honors Avogadro's Number, which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry.
20. October 23: Canning Day
Nicolas Appert—the inventor of hermetically sealed food preservation and the "father of canning"—was born around this time circa 1750, and this day celebrates all things that come in jars. So, you know, put a lid on it.
21. October 23: Mother-in-Law Day
Unfortunately, this comes after National Forgiveness Day (that's October 7, 2022), so if you forget to give her a call it might be a long year before she forgives you.
22. October 26: National Mule Day
Now that you’ve celebrated moles, give a tip of the hat to mules—literal ones this time. On October 26, 1785, a pair of Spanish mules arrived in the U.S. as a gift from King Charles III. They’re said to have been the first mules bred in this country, by George Washington himself.
23. October 27: Cranky Co-Workers Day
Not that you have any of those ...
24. October 29: National Cat Day
We know you don’t need a date in the calendar for this, but it makes your cat-filled Instagram feeds all that much more justified.
25. October 30: National Candy Corn Day
Feel free to debate the merits of a holiday for this highly controversial, tricolored confection.
26. October 30: Checklists Day
Put this one on your to-do list!
27. October 30: Create A Great Funeral Day
Much of October is spent focused on ghouls and goblins, but this day is all about confronting the scariest thing of all: your own mortality. Between your apple orchard outings and haunted house trips, make sure you and your loved ones have a plan for after you've shuffled off this mortal coil. Happy October?
28. October 30: Haunted Refrigerator Night
This offbeat holi-night is about exploring the darker corners and containers of your fridge. After all, we've all got some metaphorical skeletons lurking in there.
29. October 31: National Magic Day
Halloween, shmalloween. This holiday is fittingly held on the anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini.
30. October 31: National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
There's no better time than the spookiest day of the year to tell some good (or bad) knock-knock jokes.
A version of this story ran in 2019; it has been updated for 2022.