October Holidays

Explore October 2023's unique holidays and creative ways to celebrate them at work!

Tom Dixon
Explore October 2023's unique holidays and creative ways to celebrate them at work!

National Manufacturing Day

Friday, Oct. 6, 2023

The History: Too often, students (and their parents, for that matter) associate manufacturing with the dirty, dangerous jobs of yesteryear. National Manufacturing Day (styled as MFG Day) aims to correct that misperception. 

An estimated 2,600 open house events held at manufacturing shops in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, will give their communities an opportunity to see how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics all play outsized roles in the modern manufacturing industry.

How To Celebrate: If your company is involved in manufacturing, sign up and open your doors to the public so they can see the incredible work you and your colleagues are doing. And consider celebrating your employees on the production floor with a gift card and a thoughtful note thanking them for their efforts.

Another great way to celebrate is to give your employees some time off to check out some of the events happening in their area.

National Boss Day

Monday, Oct. 16, 2023

The History: Though history doesn’t record whether she was simply angling for a raise, we do know Patricia Bays Haroski kicked off the inaugural National Boss’ Day in 1958.

According to legend, she registered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the day on Oct. 16 because it was her father’s birthday (who, as it so happened, was her boss at the time!)

Her stunt caught the attention of the Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner and, in 1962, he issued a proclamation to make the day official.

How To Celebrate: It’s hard to beat a gift card for a cup of coffee to your boss’ favorite cafè. Or, let them pick out the latest novel from their favorite author with a gift card to the local bookshop (though we’d advise against suggesting they check out the “management and leadership” section!)

Sweetest Day

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023

The History: A century ago, Cleveland candymaker Herbert Birch Kingston gathered his coworkers and spent the day giving candy to local orphans, people with disabilities, the sick, and the elderly.

His impetus? To show those who needed a little pick-me-up that there was someone who cared. 

He eventually connected with movie stars and celebrities who helped expand the reach of his impromptu holiday, though Sweetest Day is still primarily recognized in the Midwest.

As time passed, the holiday has widened from giving gifts and sweets to the underprivileged to a more general audience of friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

How To Celebrate: Like Valentine’s Day, the best gifts on Sweetest Day are chocolates, candies, and cards. So, give your employees a little something that indulges their sweet tooth.

National First Responders Day

Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023

The History: National First Responders Day has its origins in tragedy. After his brother, Sean, was shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013, Andrew Collier launched a campaign for a national day to celebrate and honor all first responders.

Congress made the day official in 2019.

How To Celebrate: This might be a good day to offer discounts to your customers who serve as first responders. You can also donate gift cards to local precincts on behalf of your employees.


Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023

The History: All Hallow’s Eve is rooted in Samhain (roughly: “summer’s end”) the Celtic new year. According to Celtic tradition, a “day” begins at dark, which is why the start of winter heralded the new year.

Celtic pagan’s celebrated by lighting communal bonfires and honoring family ancestors. They also wore costumes to either ward off evil spirits or elude them.

How To Celebrate: In addition to being another great occasion to shower employees in candy and chocolates, costume contests and pumpkin carving competitions are a popular corporate event. Offer a reward for the person who gets the most votes! Or, encourage employees to share their spookiest story. Whoever produces the most chills wins! 

If your team is in person, consider setting up a horror movie marathon in the conference room.

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