The Gregorian calendar we use today is basically an update of the Julian calendar which dates back to around 44BC.
The update was that they added a whopping length of 0.002% onto the year, in order to synchronize it with the solar year (how long the earth takes to orbit the Sun once).
Before that there was the Roman calendar, which was last updated in 304BC. The Roman calendar was pretty much founded with Rome.
Rome was founded somewhere around 800BC. So the calendar we use is old, is what I guess I’m trying to get across.
And yet, despite all the changes that have happened to the number of months, the days contained within those month, and even that weird period where they just added in extra days that didn’t count towards the calendar… in all that time October has just been October.
Though I can tell you that October is both American Cheese Month and Toilet Tank Repair Month, so there’s that.
1st October – Homemade Cookie Day.
Have you ever read something so beautiful?
Today we celebrate the cookies that don’t come pre-packaged, but instead waft their aroma through idyllic childhoods and kinda burn your mouth when you’re too impatient.
Bake yourself a batch of cookies today, whether you share them or not is entirely up to you.
2nd October – Name Your Car Day.
So many of us rely on a car, whether we drive one or not.
Today, if you haven’t already, give a name to the mode of transportation that numbers a whopping 1 billion worldwide (as of 2013).
When I was a kid, maybe 5 or 6, my Dad had this car – this fifth-hand blue Honda that smelled like petrol and mud – that he called ‘Honeybun the Car of Destruction’, try to do better than that though.
3rd October – Techies Day.
The word ‘Techie’ comes from the 1970s (aka: the decade of orange everything), I suppose that is why it’s so visually abhorrent.
Personal feelings about etymology aside, today we celebrate ‘Techies’ from coast to coast (defined as people into technology or technicians).
Be nice to the IT guy today, buy yourself a really crazy gadget like a headset that enables you to control your computer (or at least a small collection of apps) with your mind.
Or just use today to celebrate technology and how much our lives depend on its varying forms.
4th October – Taco Day.
Tacos pre-date the 1519 arrival of Spanish Conquistadors in Mexico, which was only 501 years ago.
The Europeans that arrived in Mexico were more bothered about turning it into “New Spain” than they were about absorbing local cultures and learning the name of the foods they were being served, probably rather nervously, by the Aztecs who lived there.
Since the arrival of Hernán Cortés and his 500 man strong murder band was definitely not about appreciating Mexico, there seems to be no surviving information about the origins of the delicious taco.
However, there are so many varieties of taco available today that all tastes can be accommodated.
Be they traditional like the Tacos dorado (better known as taquitos to most) or non-traditional like the hard shell tacos that come in kits and break into a million piece when bitten.
Buy, make or simply assemble a taco today and be thankful that, even though their past is hazy, they’ll always be there to enjoy.
5th October – Do Something Nice Day.
Take a look at the world, it sucks right?
Wars, famine, door to door salesmen, illness, suffering, general intolerance from even the most well off individuals.
Today do one thing to make the world a better place, plant some flowers, buy someone a cup of coffee or actually make eye contact with the homeless people you ignore on a daily basis.
Don’t be a jerk, do something – anything – nice.
6th October – Mad Hatter Day.
Mad Hatter Day is all about being completely silly.
Named after the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll, but more specifically, it is named for the Mad Hatter as he is seen in the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland.
This is because the Mad Hatter is seen with a little receipt in his hat that reads “10/6” which actually means that the hat cost ten shillings and sixpence in old wacky English money.
However Americans have used the date 10/6, which would actually be the 10th June in England.
The Mad Hatter gets his name from the phrase “as mad as a hatter”, which came about because milliners (hat makers) used to use mercury in the manufacture of fancy hats, which would send them crazy from the mercury poisoning.
Buy yourself a top hat and act like a weirdo today.
7th October – Frappé Day.
Ever walked into a coffee shop and realized it’s too hot to consume your caffeine hot too?
Or maybe you like your fruit drinks iced and topped with cream?
Have no fear, today the Frappé, invented by the Greeks and NOT Starbucks thank you very much, has your back.
Traditionally a Frappé (which is a French word incidentally) is served with foam and ice and instant coffee.
However there are so many variations – both with and without coffee – that today you are spoiled for choice, enjoy a Frappé today.
8th October – Fluffernutter Day.
Allow me to explain for non-Americans, a fluffernutter is a sandwich, consisting of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, which is not fluffy but more sort of sticky, spreadable, marshmallow.
It was invented during World War 1 and was originally called the “Liberty Sandwich” (and you thought freedom fries was as bad as it got).
The fluffernutter is delicious, so delicious in fact, that they are trying to make it the official state sandwich of Massachusetts.
So go out and buy some marshmallow fluff, its available most places outside of the US these days, some peanut butter and some white bread and just go nuts.
If you have a peanut allergy, I’m really sorry.
9th October – Chess Day.
The predecessor to chess (chaturanga) originated in Eastern India somewhere between 280 and 550 CE, but it wasn’t much like the game we know today.
Instead of black and white pieces, there were four divisions: infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry.
As it made its way through Europe, people spent about 500 years (1200-1700CE) tinkering with it to make the games we know and get bored by today.
Chess is said to be a game for intellectuals, since each move is meant to be part of a grand strategy the results in your opponent crying on the floor and surrendering to your superior brain power.
So play a game of chess today in celebration of Chess Day.
I won’t, but that’s because I suck at it.
10th October – Angel Food Cake Day.
Angel Food Cake is a kind of cake that uses no butter and only the whites of the eggs to achieve a fluffy white sponge that people like to refer to as “the food of the angels”.
It was developed in the 19th Century, with the first known recipe being published in 1878.
It even has its own kind of special pan that has a tube in the middle that results in a doughnut shaped cake.
So eat some Angel Food Cake today, you have to, the internet said so.
11th October – Sausage Pizza Day.
Pizza comes with so many different bases, crusts, and toppings that there was bound to be another pizza day this year.
Another excuse to eat pizza? Yes please!
The catch? It has to have sausage on it.
Today is also Coming Out Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Is today the day you come out? Or the day that someone chooses to confide in you a part of themselves that shouldn’t really be up for debate?
Either way be nice and be safe, and go out for sausage pizza afterwards.
12th October – International Moment of Frustration Scream Day.
We’ve all had those moments where everything seems to go wrong, and oh my god would you just – AAAAAAAAARGHH!!!!!
There… didn’t that feel better? No?
Try it yourself, whether into a pillow or out of a window, you’ll feel better.
Also, if you scream out of a window at night in Sweden, there is a good chance that your neighbors will join in!
13th October – Train Your Brain Day.
Your brain is important, it stops you suffocating to death in your sleep and projects nice dreams about attractive celebrities for your own enjoyment (or is it for its own enjoyment?).
And yet most of us are happy to switch it off for most of our day.
Relaxing was rarely interactive before the advent of video games and social media, so don’t forget to exercise your brain today.
Do a crossword or Sudoku, read a book, download one of these brain training apps, or steal your mom’s original DS that she hides in her bedside drawer.
Just do something to help your brain get out of its rut.
It might thank you with more celebrity dream appearances.
14th October – Be Bald and Be Free Day.
Today is all about leaving your wig at home and walking outside feeling the wind in your scalp.
We all know that baldness has many causes, some are benign and others (usually medication related) are so awful we’d rather not think about them today.
Men go bald because of hormones, apparently no one knows why women go bald.
Some people with alopecia – a disease that causes pretty much all of your hair, from toe hair to scalp and everything else in between, to fall out – are thought to have an issue with their immune system.
Baldness flies in the face of the luscious thick tresses the media tells us are beautiful and today is about turning away from the norm and embracing your beauty, especially if you’re bald or have thinning hair.
This is not a day that can be universally celebrated, but if you laugh at a bald person today I heard a rumor that you’re going to get your butt kicked by Samuel L. Jackson.
15th October – Grouch Day.
Everyone loves a grouch on TV, from Oscar the Grouch to Jay from Modern Family.
Living with one? Not so much.
Being one? Sucks.
But today you don’t have to feel bad about ruining everyone’s fun, it’s practically mandatory.
16th October – Dictionary Day.
Dictionaries have been around for so long, just so long you guys.
The earliest evidence of a dictionary originated around 2300BC in the Akkadian Empire which is now known as Syria.
This particular Dictionary Day is in honor of Noah Webster (yes, that Webster), an American lexicographer and spelling reformer.
He’s the guy who basically threw out the English spellings and replaced almost every letter S, he came across with Z’s and removed almost all of the U’s, which he saw as superfluous to the words.
The first Webster’s Dictionary was published in 1828.
So afford your attentions towards an educational tome which many a lexicographer has made his magnum opus, be it Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, or Sebastián Covarrubias, who compiled the first monolingual dictionary (in Spanish) approximately four hundred years ago.
17th October – National Edge Day.
This official holiday is celebrated by those who chose to live their lives “straight edge”, which is a punk movement that abstains from alcohol, tobacco, or other recreational drugs.
Many living the straight edge life also choose to be vegetarian or vegan.
Founded in 1999 in Boston, Massachusetts, National Edge Day celebrates a lifestyle founded as a sort of protest of the excess of drinking and drugs that was synonymous with the punk scene in the 1980s.
Today you could…erm… listen to some Minor Threat and have a cup of hot chocolate, I guess.
18th October – Chocolate Cupcake Day.
Did you read that? Chocolate Cupcake Day!
I’d tell you that the cupcake dates back to 1796, but you’ve probably already stopped reading so you can eat some chocolate cupcakes.
19th October – Evaluate Your Life Day.
Take some time to look at your life, whether you like your life or not.
Really think about your situation in life and wonder how it could be improved.
Be sure to weigh the good things and the bad.
20th October – Brandied Fruit Day.
To make brandied fruit you have to use a pound of fruit such as raisins or sultanas and then mix them together with sugar, orange peel, vanilla, water, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 80 proof brandy… that’s an alcohol content of 40%.
Every recipe I have found for it calls for at least 80 proof brandy.
Mix everything together and then leave in a jar for up to three weeks.
I’m not going to recommend that you actually eat the brandied fruit, because it’ll get you just… so drunk.
The practice of brandying fruit was utilized by people trying to keep it fresh, because as long as the fruit is submerged in alcohol it’s safe (playing fast and loose with the term safe here) to eat.
21st October – Reptile Awareness Day.
Many people like to keeps reptiles as pets, from snakes to bearded dragons.
The reptile family is comprised of turtles, snakes, crocodilians (which include alligators), amphisbaenas (frogs, etc.), lizards, and tuataras (lizards from New Zealand who come from a different lineage to the rest of the world’s lizards).
Reptiles need a very specific environment, so just buying a snake and keeping it in a hamster cage is stupidity bordering on criminal.
Reptiles aren’t as fluffy as dogs, but can be just as loving.
Today is all about raising awareness of reptiles particular needs and trying to ensure that reptiles kept as pets receive the appropriate care.
22nd October – Color Day.
Today is about how colors affect our moods, productivity, and behavior.
But were you aware that civilizations started naming colors based on how rare they were?
Red usually came first across ancient civilizations and their writings, since red was a vivid color that tended only to show up as blood or wine.
Blue and green were usually one of the last colors to be identified by many ancient civilizations such as the Greeks… because, and this is pretty clever, why name a color that comprises everything you look at?
The sky and the sea are blue, everything that grows is green, and so blue and green become background colors…why name what’s all around you?
So study up on the origins and effects of colors today.
Maybe you can fool people into thinking you’re sexy by wearing red, or diffuse a tense situation by painting yourself blue and running around in circles.
23rd October – iPod Day.
There is literally nothing I could write about this day that wouldn’t sound like an ad.
iPod day celebrates the anniversary of the portable media player, which was released in 2001.
You don’t need any more information than that.
24th October – Food Day.
What a lovely non-specific day for us to celebrate.
Food has always been something that brings people together.
Family mealtimes, state banquets, street parties, most gatherings include food in some form or another, so celebrate by cooking something adventurous, or something you love.
Just make, or go out for, a meal with the people who mean something to you, because tomorrow you’re not going to be able to move.
25th October – Greasy Food Day.
Something about this day seems wrong, but oh, so right!
Greasy food tends to be bad for you, so be thankful that there’s one day a year that you can leave the diet at home and eat something – anything – deep or shallow fried.
Today is also Chucky the Notorious Killer Doll Day, but who needs that noise?
Eat something greasy today!
And I accept precisely no blame for any of you who choose to watch the truly awful 1980s Child’s Play films that took themselves so seriously, they actually make me cringe when I watch them.
26th October – Pumpkin Day.
So, we’ve managed to make it quite a long way through the month without mentioning Halloween.
But nothing lasts forever, take today to carve your Halloween pumpkins.
You could roast the seeds for a tasty, almost healthy snack, but you’re not going to do that, are you?
You’re going to eat candy corn, throw the “guts” at each other, and one of you will always be the best at carving the pumpkins, this is the person everyone secretly hates. Happy Pumpkin Day!
27th October – Navy Day.
Navy Day was founded in 1922 to coincide with the birthday of the President of the United States voted most likely to kick all kinds of butt: Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt himself was a huge fan of the Navy, the military branch that floats.
Over the years people have tried to incorporate Navy Day into Armed Forces Day, or changed to October 13, as this was the date the Navy was founded way back in 1775.
However the Navy League of the United States have remained firm on the day.
So spend some time learning about the Navy and honoring all those souls deemed “Lost At Sea”.
28th October – International Animation Day.
Cartoons are great, they entertained us when we were kids, and they entertain us now.
Cartoons range from gross (see: the internet) to masterpieces (see: Studio Ghibli), but cartoons show us things that just cannot be replicated in real life.
They show us the sheer scope of what you can do just by drawing it, frame by agonizing frame, should be enough to make people celebrate.
Drawings that depict motion date back to Paleolithic cave paintings.
However animation as we know it today, where the image itself seems to be moving, began in 1824, as a simply two-sided child’s toy that depicted a bird in a cage.
As technology improved inventions such as the zoetrope in 1832, and the simple flipbook in 1868, brought with them the ability to make the viewer see and experience more.
Today you should find an animated movie you’ve never seen before, be it Disney or Japanese anime, and try to appreciate just how far we’ve come in terms of animation.
29th October – Hermit Day.
The term “hermit” is used to describe people who have chosen to live in seclusion, away from the rest of society.
They usually live in the woods, and usually with a lot of survivalist equipment to help them.
But the original term hermit was used to denote one of the four kinds of Christian monk, who also lived in seclusion from society, but instead of avoiding nuclear fallout and the tax man, hermits hoped that their seclusion would bring about a change of heart in order to achieve holiness.
I can’t recommend visiting a hermit today because, well it defeats the whole point of what they may be trying to achieve.
But you could use today as a good excuse not to venture outdoors.
30th October – Haunted Refrigerator Night.
I’m not sure if you convince other people that your refrigerator is haunted, or if you act like your own is haunted.
Maybe you could rearrange your fridge magnets to give spooky messages…
But either works!
31st October – Knock-Knock Joke Day.
The humble knock-knock joke comes from a 1929 children’s game called Buff where the children would bang sticks on the floor and say (and I’m not making this up) “Knock Knock, Who’s There? Buff, Who says Buff? Buff says Buff to all his men. And I say Buff to you again.”
Now you have proof that life was certainly not more fun ‘back in the day’ and a transcript to show your great grandma when she tries to prove otherwise.
Tell a bunch of knock-knock jokes today; I take no blame for the disgusted looks you will receive.