Black History Month (UK)
At London Met, we recognise that the celebration of Black history should not and cannot be limited to the month of October. During October, we launch a yearly range of events in collaboration with the Students' Union. It is important to remember and celebrate Black individuals and communities all-year round.
Check out and get involved with our Black History Month 365 events.
Key dates in October 2022
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birth anniversary of India’s Independence movement hero Mahatma Gandhi. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in a resolution adopted on 15 June 2007, established the commemoration as an occasion to spread the message of non-violence through education and public awareness. The resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.
"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man," Gandhi had said.
Yom Kippur (Judaism) – Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is considered the most important holiday in the Jewish faith. Falling in the month of Tishrei (September or October in the Gregorian calendar), it marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, a period of introspection and repentance that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. According to tradition, it is on Yom Kippur that God decides each person’s fate, so Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and a special religious service.
The best greeting to give to someone observing Yom Kippur in English is “have an easy fast.” For those who are not fasting, but are observing the Yom Kippur, you can wish them a “Good Yuntif,” or “Yom Tov,” which are Yiddish and Hebrew, respectively, for “Have a good holy day.”
Dussehra – Dasara (Hindu) – in north India, the Dussehra festival is celebrated as the day when Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana in Lanka. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that Ravana kidnapped Lord Rama's wife Sita. That is why the Dussehra festival is celebrated as a victory of good over evil.
People of Andhra Pradesh deck themselves up in traditional attires during the occasion and visit Goddess Durga temples. There is a Durga temple at Warangal where Dasara celebrations can be witnessed. Hindu households in Andhra Pradesh bring home idols of Goddess Durga and perform rituals for nine days during Dasara.
World Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement of people with Cerebral Palsy and their families, and the organisations that support them, in more than 75 countries. Our vision is to ensure that children and adults with Cerebral Palsy (CP) have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society. It is only together that we can make that happen.
Mawlid al-Nabi (Islam) – Mawlid al-Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated primarily on 12th of Rabi' al-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. It is observed by the majority of Muslims throughout the world.
The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds.
In the UK, the most visible tradition associated with Milad un Nabi are the processions held in some cities, usually featuring speeches by religious leaders about the life of Muhammad. It is common to recite special prayers, salutations, poems or songs on this day to honour Muhammad.
Birthday of Guru Ram Das (Sikh) – every autumn we have the blessing of celebrating Guru Ram Das Ji's birthday. Known as the Lord of Miracles, Guru Ram Das embodied humility, service and deep devotion. We look to Guru Ram Das for guidance, healing and protection. For many years, the Sikh community has practiced a special sadhana (spiritual practice) in celebration of Guru Ram Das's birthday.
Sukkot begins (Judaism) – Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur. Sukkot celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection God provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. We celebrate Sukkot by dwelling in a foliage-covered booth (known as a sukkah) and by taking the “Four Kinds” (arba minim), four special species of vegetation.
World Homeless Day – World Homeless Day is observed every year on 10 October. The purpose of this day is to bring to focus the issues of homelessness and inadequate housing. Activists raise awareness on the need to provide opportunities for communities to get involved in responding to homelessness.
World Mental Health Day – World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10 October every year. The day is marked for global mental health education and awareness. The day is also celebrated to advocate against social stigma associated with mental health issues.
International Day of the Girl Child – on 19 December 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalised communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.
National Coming Out Day is an annual celebration which takes place on 11 October every year. It was first celebrated on the one-year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – a date chosen to honour the bravery of LGBTQ+ individuals who decide to come out and live openly. Although it started off as an American awareness day, the meaning of National Coming Out Day is still highly relevant to LGBTQ+ communities across the world today.
Coming out is a unique experience for each LGBTQ+ person. It’s not a one-time event; many LGBTQ+ individuals who come out to their closest friends and family may later come out at work or school, to their extended family, or to casual acquaintances.
Talking about coming out and sharing our stories can help to strengthen our community and support one another with this experience. While coming out can be daunting and scary, it can also be the first time that LGBTQ+ individuals are able to be truly open with the people closest to them.
National Coming Out Day isn’t a day to force LGBTQ+ people to come out, or to shame people who haven’t done so. It’s a day to celebrate the beauty of being true to yourself, for having the courage to share an important part of your life with others, and for celebrating those who may come out to you.
World Sight Day – nearly everyone on the planet will experience an eye-health issue in their lifetime and more than a billion people worldwide do not have access to eye-care services.
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on vision impairment, including blindness.
Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew: “Eighth Day of the Solemn Assembly”) is a Jewish religious festival on the eighth day of Sukkoth (Feast of Booths), considered by some to be an independent celebration immediately following Sukkoth.
The prayer for rain (tefilat geshem) is recited beginning on Shemini Atzeret since the day marks the start of the rainy season in Israel. We pray for rain at the beginning of the rainy season in Israel and for dew before summertime, which is traditionally long, dry and hot.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – the observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris (where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948), to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on 17 October to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.
Simchat Torah (Judaism) – Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah) marks the end of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings and the beginning of the new cycle. It is a joyous holiday that celebrates the Jewish love of Torah and study.
Simchat Torah is celebrated by taking all the Torah scrolls out of the ark in synagogue and spending the evening dancing, singing and rejoicing. The scrolls are carried around the sanctuary in seven circles called hakafot. Though only seven circles are required, the dancing and celebrating usually goes on much longer. It is also customary to drink alcohol on the holiday as part of the celebratory experience. Many people also take the Torah scrolls out to the street and dance publicly as a way of showing their pride as Jews.
On the morning of the holiday, the last parashah (portion) of the book of Deuteronomy is read in synagogue, followed by the first parashah (paragraph) of the book of Genesis (the end and the beginning of the Torah, respectively).
International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Diwali – Deepavali (Hindu, Sikh, Jain) – Deepavali signifies the time when Lord Krishna defeated the demon king Ravana. Diwali is a shortened version of the word Deepavali, which is a Sanskrit word. Diwali is celebrated for five days, while Deepavali is celebrated for four days.
South India celebrates Diwali as the day that Lord Krishna (depicted above) defeated the demon Narakasura. In northern India, they celebrate the story of King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.
Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh) – Bandi Chhor Divas is a Sikh celebration that commemorates the day the sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind ji released 52 kings from Gwalior Fort, who had been imprisoned by Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Emperor Jahangir had held 52 kings at the Gwalior Fort for several months.
For Sikh people, Diwali coincides with another celebration called Bandi Chhor Divas. This celebrates the release from prison and return to Amritsar of the sixth guru or spiritual leader, Guru Hargobind, in 1619.
Asexual Awareness Week (Ace Week) – Ace Week (founded as Asexual Awareness Week in 2010) is an annual event that puts asexuality in the spotlight. Part celebration of the progress we’ve made as a community, and part campaign for greater understanding and acceptance of asexual-spectrum identities, Ace Week is a time to focus on all things ace.
The ace community has made significant headway over the years. Asexual representation in mainstream media continues to improve, major LGBTQ+ organisations now acknowledge and include us, and ace community groups have sprouted up and flourished in cities around the world. Ace Week gives us an opportunity to recognise these achievements and the efforts that made them possible.
Asexual Awareness Week is an international campaign that seeks to educate about asexual, aromantic, demisexual and grey-asexual experiences and to create materials that are accessible to our community and our allies around the world.
Every year, Intersex Awareness Day strives to inform and educate people about intersex people, their human rights issues and the discriminations they face in daily life, including the decision for many to “normalise” their own sex in their own time and if they want to.
Intersex people are those born with sex characteristics that don’t meet medical and social norms for female or male bodies. It is thought that up to 1.7% of babies are intersex. Some are born with obvious intersex traits, while in others, it is not apparent until they reach puberty. Some may never exhibit variations in their chromosomes.
Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha'i) – Baha'u'llah, which means the “Glory of God,” is the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. This is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended; the Bahá'í Faith is based on justice, unity and peace. The Birth of Baháʼu'lláh is one of nine holy days in the Bahá'í calendar.
Baháʼu'lláh taught that the knowledge of God is limited to those attributes and qualities which are perceptible to us, and thus direct knowledge of God is not possible. Furthermore, Baháʼu'lláh states that knowledge of the attributes of God is revealed to humanity through his messengers.
30 October – British Summer Time ends
All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) (Christian) / Samhain (Halloween) (Wicca/Pagan)– All Hallows' Eve falls on 31st October each year, and is the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The name derives from the Old English 'hallowed' meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Hallowe'en.
One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots. Some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianised as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day.
Bank Holiday – Republic of Ireland (ROI)
This is not an exhaustive list; please complete our inclusion calendar form if you'd like us to add your event or if there is anything missing from our dates.
This calendar is managed by the Centre for Equity and Inclusion and the Inclusive Calendar Stakeholders (ICS). The ICS group meets every month to discuss the month of events ahead, enhancement of the process and the calendar.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org