On October 31st, Halloween brings out the ghouls and goblins, creatures, and strange folk. They come creeping about the neighborhood seeking favors over trickery.
People of all ages look forward to Halloween traditions. While dressing up and baking, we carve up glowing pumpkins. Children breathing life into storybook characters, practicing their trick or treat. In twos and threes, they traipse through the neighborhood, collecting their bounty in pillow sacks. A ghost, a pirate, a robot or Dorothy, and Toto. No matter their age, they come to the door. They knock or ring. Here and there, a screech or a boo!
The crisp air and autumn colors set the mood. Seasonings fill our senses with a taste of autumn. We set forth on an adventure and finish with a warm apple cider around a flickering fire.
HOW TO OBSERVE #Halloween
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising”). While many attend costume parties, bob for apples, and light bonfires, others look forward to counting trick or treaters. Houses are decorated with sprays of fall leaves, scarecrows, and pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns. Attractions include visiting a haunted house, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films.
However, trick or treating has also changed. In the United States, some organizations around the country offer trick or treat events for children to come dressed up and collect candy in a safe environment.They may also offer Halloween parties for children to attend, too.
In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remains popular. Although, in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration.
Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although no longer require, abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon, cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
For the safest Halloween trick or treating tips, be sure to check out the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Get your spook on and use #Halloween to post on social media.
Oh and folks, there are spooktacular deals to be found on October 31st, too! Be sure to check out the Celebration Deals page to find all the goodies!
The observance dates back to an ancient pagan harvest festival marking the end of summer and beckoning the beginning of winter. Seasons overlapped during Samhain (pronounced sah-win), and revelers believed the worlds of the living and the dead crossed. To interact with the spirits, the living would wear costumes and light, bright bonfires to help protect them.
Similar celebrations honoring the dead took place in Roman traditions, which were gradually blended and soon replaced the Celtic ceremonies. However, All Martyrs Day established by Pope Boniface IV in 609 A.D. was eventually moved by Pope Gregory III to November 1. Later, it became known as All Saint’s Day. The eve of this celebration became known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween.
Through the Colonial era in America, Halloween celebrations were considered taboo due to religious beliefs. By the Victorian era, though, Haloween traditions featured fall festivals, parties, and foods involving communities and neighborhoods.
NATIONAL KNOCK KNOCK JOKE DAY
Buff says Buff to all his men, and I say Buff to you again.
- 1934: The standard knock-knock joke format was used in a newspaper humor column:
- Knock Knock
Q. Who’s there?
- A. Rufus
Q. Rufus Who?
A. Rufus the most important part of your house.
1936: Likely the beginning of popularity for knock-knock jokes.
Knock-knock jokes became a regular part of the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in Show in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At a very young age, children often learn to tell knock-knock jokes as one of their first types of jokes. They also like making up knock-knock jokes to tell their family and friends. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
HOW TO OBSERVE #KnockKnockJokeDay
Take turns telling knock-knock jokes with your kids. Make up new ones or tell some old classics. Trade them back and forth and let the giggles ensue. Laughter is some of the best medicine you can share.
Have a knock-knock joke-writing contest. Take videos and share them. Visitfatherly.comto find some funny ones for kids.
We even have a guide to help you tell jokes,5 Types of Funny Jokes to Tell Your Kids.
Tell your best knock-knock jokes and use #KnockKnockJokeDay to post on social media.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for projects, puzzles, and more designed to Celebrate Every Day® with your students!
NATIONAL KNOCK KNOCK JOKE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origin of this fun day.
NATIONAL TRICK OR TREAT DAY
National Trick or Treat Day on the last Saturday in October extends one of the country’s favorite holidays – Halloween!
Dressing up as the scariest or most fascinating character we know draws us to the holiday. People of all ages put hours of effort into creating elaborate costumes for one big night. Wouldn’t it be nice to get dress up and pretend just a little bit more? Of course, it would!
This celebration offers the ideal opportunity to host spooky parties, neighborhood trick or treating or local festivals. And everyone gets to wear their scariest, most elaborate, delightful costumes, too! What a fun way to get together with friends and family to carve pumpkins and enjoy the fall weather while extending the life of your creative ideas.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TrickOrTreatDay
Get the whole family dressed up and go trick or treating! Organize a trunk or treat activity with your office, church, or volunteer group. Host costume party. No matter how you celebrate, extend the life of your costume for the season and make sure more people see your creative ideas. Be sure to take pictures and share them using #TrickOrTreatDay on social media.
NATIONAL TRICK OR TREAT DAY HISTORY
TheHalloween & Costume Association(HCA) founded National Trick or Treat Day in 2019 to extend the Halloween season. In 2018 they launched a national petition to change the date Americans celebrated Halloween. Nearly 70,000 people signed their change.org petition, and more than 200 major media outlets covered their story. After interacting with the public and listening to feedback, they initiated an extension to Halloween instead. Additionally, the HCA created an Official Halloween Toolkit with ideas to help communities all across to help implement parades, events and costumes.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed this spooky celebration to be observed the last Saturday in October, annually
NATIONAL MAGIC DAY
National Magic Day each year on October 31st recognizes the thrill of seeing the performance art. It takes place during National Magic Week.
Magic is a performance art entertaining audiences through the creation of illusions. The methods of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats use natural means. The person performing such entertainment is called a magician or an illusionist.
Humans have likely created magical displays throughout history. One of the most renowned magicians was Harry Houdini. Known for his *escapology, Houdini had developed a range of stage magic tricks and made full use of the variety of conjuring techniques, including fake equipment and collusion with individuals in the audience. His show business savvy was as exceptional as his showmanship. The Houdini Museum is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
* Escapology is the practice of escaping from restraints or other traps.
Some Magic Categories:
- Stage illusions –a kind of large scale performance on a stage.
- Parlor magic – a performance before a medium scale audience such as an auditorium.
- Micromagic – performed close up using coins, cards, and other small items. It’s also known as close-up or table magic. This type of performance occurs in an intimate setting.
- Escapology – In this type of performance, the artist escapes from a dangerous situation such as being submerged underwater while handcuffed or dangling from a burning rope.
- Pickpocket magic – A distraction type of performance, the artist, makes watches, jewelry, wallets, and more disappear through misdirection. The audience witnesses the entire event.
- Mentalism – This type of performance stuns the audience with the artist’s powers of intuition, memory, memory, deduction, and other feats of the mind.
Many magicians take their talents and combine them. Whether they take to show to the streets or entertain children, they hone their skills in a variety of ways. Others travel with fairs or demonstrate their skills with corporate or trade shows. Also, audiences enjoy comedy and magic together.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMagicDay
Attend a magic show or teach yourself a magic trick or watch other magicians perform. Read a book about Harry Houdini or another magician. Visit a magic museum.
Use #NationalMagicDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL MAGIC DAY HISTORY
The Society of American Magicians sponsors National Magic Day. In 1938, a Chicago member of the Society of American Magicians sought official permission for a Houdini Day. Mrs. Houdini sanctioned the observance, and October 31st was proclaimed National Magic Day in Harry Houdini’s memory.
Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)
NATIONAL DOORBELL DAY
On October 31st, National Doorbell Day will have doorbells ringing more than any other day of the year. The day recognizes the little buzzer, unique tones, and rings that alert us to visitors to our doors every day of the year.
More than 41 million American children dress up and trick-or-treat every Halloween. In honor of the workout the door chime will receive, the celebration recognizes J.Ralph Corbett, the inventor of the first NuTone brand melodious door chime.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDoorbellDay
Engage visitors with a riddle or tongue twister to celebrate the day. Greet family members with a password or trivia question about the doorbell to gain entry. Enjoy the festivities and stay safe this Halloween!
With every ring, chime, jingle and more, celebrate the day with each visitor.
Technology brings a variety of ways to explore the doorbell, too. What unique chimes do you recall from movies or television history?
Use #NationalDoorbellDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL DOORBELL DAY HISTORY
NuTone™ founded National Doorbell Day to celebrate the innovative development of the first melodious door chime invented by J.Ralph Corbett during the Great Depression. His invention replaced the buzzers and knockers that often alerted residents to visitors. Today, NuTone is proud to announce the launch of NuTone Knock™, the company’s revolutionary new video doorbell that allows homeowners to see and talk to visitors from anywhere in the world using their smartphone.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed the day to be observed annually beginning in 2017.
GIRL SCOUT FOUNDER’S DAY
On October 31st, Girl Scout Founder’s Day recognizes the founders and all the great things Scouting has done for girls since its inception. It commemorates the birth of the founder, Juliet Gordon Low.
The day is special for all girls. It is a time to think about who we would like to be, let our imaginations run wild and turn those dreams into a reality. We can genuinely transform ourselves into something different—something more significant, bolder, and more daring than we ever thought possible.
Girl Scouting in the United States of America began on March 12, 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout troop meeting. At the first troop meeting in Savannah, Georgia, there were 18 girls present. For these girls, Juliette Gordon Low organized enrichment programs, service projects, and outdoor activities and adventures. Since the time of the first meeting, Girl Scouts has grown to over 3.7 million members.
- The organization’s original name was the Girl Guides of America
- By 1920 there were close to 70,000 members
- By 1930 there were over 200,000 members
- In 2005 there were over 3.7 million members
- Motto – “Be Prepared”
- Slogan – “Do a Good Turn Daily”
“Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #GirlScoutFoundersDay
Share your Girl Scouting memories and use #GirlScoutFoundersDay to post on social media.
GIRL SCOUT FOUNDER’S DAY HISTORY
Juliette Gordon Low, also known as Daisy, who was born on October 31, 1860, was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, along with the help of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement. In 1912, Low formed a Girl Guide troop in Savannah, Georgia, and in 1915, the Girl Guides became the Girl Scouts with Low becoming the first president. She remained active with the Girl Scouts until the time of her death in 1927. Low’s birthday, October 31, is celebrated by the Girl Scouts as “Founder’s Day.”
NATIONAL CARAMEL APPLE DAY
National Caramel Apple Day on October 31st celebrates a time-honored fall treat. Many of us remember eating caramel apples or making them with family. Whether it was at a fair, carnival or Halloween party, it was a special treat. Sometimes we even made them at home. No matter where we enjoyed them, the memory is a good one.
Caramel apples go by many names – taffy apples or even candy apples. They’re made by skewering apples on a stick and then dipping them in hot caramel. We make them extra delicious by rolling them in nuts, chocolate or other candies.
Sheet caramel allows for high production candy apples. The sheets of caramel are wrapped around the apples and then heated to melt the caramel evenly. The best caramel apples are made with tart crisp apples, such as Granny Smith or Fuji apples. Since apples come into season during the fall, Halloween is the ideal time of year to enjoy caramel apples.
The caramel-apple flavor is also a fall favorite. It finds its way into beverages, cakes, and other desserts. Add caramel to just about any apple recipe for a bit of caramel apple flavor. It also complements savory dishes, such as pork.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CaramelAppleDay
Host a caramel apple making day. Invite family and friends to make candy apples with you. Ask them to bring their favorite toppings. Celebrate with hot apple cider and sweet laughter.
Try this delicious recipe or share your own. Experiment with the caramel apple taste in the kitchen.
Share your creations by taking photos and post on social media using #CaramelAppleDay.
NATIONAL CARAMEL APPLE DAY HISTORY
The National Confectioners Association sponsors National Caramel Apple Day.
On Deck for November 1, 2020
October 31 History
The 22nd Postmaster General, Alexander Randall, issues an order describing letter carrier uniforms. The cadet blue uniforms included a black stripe on the pant leg. Throughout the U.S. Postal Service’s history, the style and color of the uniforms have changed. Today, postal workers sport darker postal blue uniforms with the eagle emblem.
Veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire for bicycles.
The Campbell’s trademark is awarded to Joseph H. Campbell Co. for baked beans.
When the money ran out, work stops on the giant sculpture started by Gutzon Borglum at Mount Rushmore. Even though Borglum’s designs included a more complete sculpture, no additional work has been added to the mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Pilot, Lt. Commander Conrad C. Shinn lands a plane at the South Pole for the first time.
The Soyuz TM 31 delivers the first resident crew to the International Space Station (ISS). Twenty years later, the ISS has been continually manned without interruption.
Recipe of the Day
Easy Corn Beef & Cabbage
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: All Day
1 4-5 lb. corned beef
5 or 6 medium potatoes
1 medium head of cabbage
6 to 7 medium carrots
1 large yellow onion
Slice potatoes into quarters.
Cut carrots into thirds.
Cut onion in half and chop each half into eight pieces.
Slice/chop cabbage down to pieces about 1 inch long.
Pour 1/2 cup of water into crock pot and place corn beef into middle.
Surround the beef with the vegetables.
Find the meat packaging for the seasoning packet supplied with the corn beef. Pour the seasoning over the meat and vegetables.
Cover crock pot with lid, turn onto medium and let cook.
- Adopt A Senior Pet Month
- Aviation History Month
- Epilepsy Awareness Month
- Family Stories Month
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- Military Family Month
- National Adoption Month
- National Diabetes Month
- National Alzheimer’s Disease Month
- National Native American Heritage Month
- National Family Literacy Month
- National Novel Writing Month
- National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
- NoSHAVEmber (US – Beard Month or Movember (Australia – Moustache Month )
- Vegan Month
For the complete list of month-long observances visit the November page.
October 31 Birthdays
Juliette Gordon Low – 1860
In 1912, Howe founded the Girl Scouts of America with 18 girl members in Savannah, GA.
Julia Peterkin – 1880
The Southern author of seven books is best known for her novel Scarlet Sister Mary for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.
Michael Collins – 1930
The astronaut piloted two spacecraft during his career. His first mission on Apollo 11 landed the first men on the Moon.
Katherine Patterson – 1932
The award-winning children’s author is best known for her novel Bridge to Terabithia.
Isabel Alvarez – 1933
The Cuban-born pitcher played five seasons in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Ethel Waters – 1900
The singer and actress began her career as a blues singer. Her musical talents brought her critical acclaim on both stage and screen. She was noted for her work in the Broadway hit Cabin in the Sky and the film Pinky.
John Candy – 1950
The comedian appeared in more than 60 films, including Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Spaceballs, Canadian Bacon, and Uncle Buck.
Vanilla Ice – 1967
The rapper turned DIY television host released his first album in 1989. Hooked featured his hit song “Ice Ice Baby.”
About National Day Calendar
National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
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