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Multifaith Calendar ‑ October 17 ‑ 31

Posted by Human Rights & Equity Services on October 17, 2017 in General Announcements

October 17
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN)
Since 1992 this Day calls attention to the issues relating to poverty, especially in developing countries where it is most widespread and acute, and promotes action toward eradicating poverty.​

October 19
Diwali (Hindu, Jain and Sikh celebration)
A very popular festival known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali (Deepavali) is dedicated to the Goddesses Kali in Bengal and Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth) in the rest of India. Diwali is associated with a story about the destruction of evil by Lord Vishnu in one of his many manifestations.

Bandi Chhor Divas
Bandi Chhor Divas means “The day of the prisoner‘s release.” It commemorates the return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, to the holy city of Amritsar after his release from detention. Since he was released on the day of Diwali (the “Festival of Lights”), Sikhs in Amritsar illuminate the city.​​

​October 20
New Year Day & Day of Enlightenment of Lord Gautamswami
The Jain New Year begins the day after Diwali and is an occasion exemplified by joyful gatherings of Jains. The Jains begin the new year with a glorification of Lord Gautam Swami; and listen with devotion to the nine Stotras holy hymns and to the auspicious Rasa (epical poem) of Gautam Swami from their Guru Maharaj. Vikram Samvat 2074 begins.​

​October 22
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
The anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’i faith. Bahá’ís suspend work on this day.​

​October 31
This day celebrates the Celtic New Year. The dying God returns to the womb of the Goddess in preparation for rebirth at Yule. The souls of those who have died during the turning of the past year’s wheel are bid farewell. It also marks the third and final harvest. Vegan Wiccans harvest nuts, the kernels of which are symbols of wisdom. As the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thinnest at this time, ancestors can join the celebrations.​

The modern holiday of Hallowe’en has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.​ 
The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, where the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.​