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17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in October

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No need to wait until the 31st to start celebrating. October is full of party hat-worthy holidays. 

1. OCTOBER 2: NATIONAL CUSTODIAL WORKERS DAY

Because really, we should be celebrating them every day.  

2. OCTOBER 4: TEN-FOUR DAY

The fourth day of the 10th month of the year is the day the world celebrates radio operators, to which we say, “Ten-Four.”

3. OCTOBER 8: NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY

On this day in 1952, pierogies were first delivered to a grocery store in Shenandoah, Pa., and we’ve been devouring them ever since.

4. OCTOBER 10: NATIONAL HANDBAG DAY

We carry them around, but in many ways, it’s the handbags that carry us.

5. OCTOBER 12: INTERNATIONAL MOMENT OF FRUSTRATION SCREAM DAY

To celebrate this organized catharsis, go outdoors at 12:00 Greenwich Mean Time (8:00 a.m. EST) and scream for 30 seconds.

6. OCTOBER 13: NATIONAL FACE YOUR FEARS DAY

The spookiest month of the year is as good a time as any.

7. OCTOBER 14: NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY

Because not everyone has a child or pet to show off.

8. OCTOBER 15: NATIONAL GROUCH DAY

For those who love one, and those who are one.

9. OCTOBER 16: DICTIONARY DAY

It’s Noah Webster’s birthday, so take a break from your lackadaisical use of the English language, k?

10. OCTOBER 19: EVALUATE YOUR LIFE DAY

It’s time.

11. OCTOBER 22: SMART IS COOL DAY

This is one that mental_floss HQ can really get behind.

12. OCTOBER 23: NATIONAL MOLE DAY

Neither a tribute to the animal, nor a skin feature, nor an undercover spy, Mole Day honors Avogadro's Number, which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry.

13. OCTOBER 26: NATIONAL MULE DAY

Now that you’ve celebrated “moles,” give a tip of the hat to mules—literal ones this time. On October 26, 1785, a pair of Spanish mules arrived in the U.S. as a gift from King Charles III. They’re said to have been the first mules bred in this country, by George Washington himself.

14. OCTOBER 27: CRANKY COWORKERS DAY

Not that you have any of those ...

15. OCTOBER 29: NATIONAL CAT DAY

Staff writer Shaunacy Ferro's cat Ferguson.

We know you don’t need a date in the calendar for this, but it makes your Instagrams all that much more justified.

16. OCTOBER 30: NATIONAL CANDY CORN DAY

Feel free to debate the merits of a holiday for this highly controversial, tricolored confection.

17. OCTOBER 31: NATIONAL MAGIC DAY

Halloween, shmalloween. This holiday is fittingly held on the anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini.

All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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music
Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day
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The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

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Big Questions
What Is the Meaning Behind "420"?
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Whether or not you’re a marijuana enthusiast, you’re probably aware that today is an unofficial holiday for those who are. April 20—4/20—is a day when pot smokers around the world come together to, well, smoke pot. Others use the day to push for legalization, holding marches and rallies.

But why the code 420? There are a lot of theories as to why that particular number was chosen, but most of them are wrong. You may have heard that 420 is police code for possession, or maybe it’s the penal code for marijuana use. Both are false. There is a California Senate Bill 420 that refers to the use of medical marijuana, but the bill was named for the code, not the other way around.

As far as anyone can tell, the phrase started with a bunch of high school students. Back in 1971, a group of kids at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, got in the habit of meeting at 4:20 to smoke after school. When they’d see each other in the hallways during the day, their shorthand was “420 Louis,” meaning, “Let’s meet at the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 to smoke.”

Somehow, the phrase caught on—and when the Grateful Dead eventually picked it up, "420" spread through the greater community like wildfire. What began as a silly code passed between classes is now a worldwide event for smokers and legalization activists everywhere—not a bad accomplishment for a bunch of high school stoners.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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