Every month brings with it a series of observances. These are special occasions that may take place on a specific day or span up to a week or even more. Some of the November holidays are the classics you know of, like Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, and so on. Others you might never have heard of that range from intriguing to downright odd. Read on to learn about seven interesting and unique holiday observances celebrated in November.
1. The Month-Long Events
The majority of this article will focus on unique holiday observances that take place on a particular day in November. However, there are some week and month-long celebrations that are important to note. Their purpose is usually to bring attention and awareness to something. Examples include themes like Adoption Awareness, Native American Heritage, and Novel Writing. You’ll find that organizations, such as adoption centers, museums, and libraries, may have special relevant events for the duration of November.
There are also other classics, such as Peanut Butter Lovers Month or International Drum Month. And who could forget that it’s National Model Railroad Month? Enthusiasts everywhere, break out your spoons, goatskins, and conductor caps because November is your time to shine. Note that these events will be ongoing even during smaller, more concentrated events later on. So you don’t worry if you love writing peanut butter novels — you can have your cake and eat it too.
2. National Author’s Day and Dios De Los Muertos — November 1st, 2nd
National Novel Writing Month kicks off with a bang by congruously celebrating National Author’s Day on the first. Inspirational books can change the course of people’s lives, and it’s likely that there’s at least one that’s impacted yours. Authoring can be a solitary career, so this is a great day to celebrate an author who may have captured your imagination. Alternatively, why not finally try your hand at the latent book brooding inside you? You might feel inspired to finally put pen to paper knowing thousands of others are giving it their best shot too.
Dios De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead in English, is a beautiful, vibrant holiday held in memory of ancestors who have passed on. It is a holiday deeply rooted in Mexican heritage, though it is observed worldwide, especially in places where heritage has spread. While a day celebrating death may sound morose at first, the spirit of the holiday is celebratory, not sullen. It’s a great day to remember those who have passed, honor them, paint some colorful sugar skulls, and dance.
3. Guy Fawkes Day and Pumpkin Destruction Day — November 5th
“Remember, remember the fifth of November of gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgotten.” The movie “V for Vendetta” is inspired by historical events that took place in Great Britain on the fifth of November, 1605. On that day, Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested guarding explosives intended to assassinate King James I. The failed attempt was celebrated with bonfires and fireworks and still is to this day to many a rebel’s chagrin.
Pumpkin Destruction Day is exactly what it sounds like, and, yes, it is exactly as fun as you think. By this point, most people’s carved creations have become half-melted mockeries of what they once were. So what else is there to do with them before they become full-fledged grub? Smash them, of course.
4. U.S. General Election Day and Cook Something Bold Day — November 8th
The U.S. General Election takes place on the first Tuesday of the month. In 2022 it falls on November 8th, though it varies depending on the year, taking place every other even year. Many federal, state, and local government officers are up for election or re-election, making it one of the most important days on the U.S. calendar. Every four years, it also coincides with the Presidential Election. Go Vote!
Cook Something Bold Day, on the other hand, presents you with an annual opportunity to stretch your comfort zone in the kitchen. This is not a day for hamburgers, spaghetti, or cereal. This is the day to finally try your hand at the recipe you’ve had bookmarked for too long. Or go really wild and just throw together whatever’s in the back of the fridge and cross your fingers.
5. Veterans Day and World Origami Day — November 11th
Veterans Day is a nationally recognized federal holiday in the United States. Other countries also observe Veterans Day under the names Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, depending on the place. Veterans Day has been observed around the world since the formal completion of World War I in 1918. On the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month, armistice with Germany effectively ended major hostilities. Its purpose is to remember and honor those who have put their lives on the line to defend their country.
Origami is an elegant but extremely challenging art form that takes small paper squares and transforms them into complex figures. One of the greatest limitations that lend origami its unique characteristics is the lack of any auxiliary craft supplies. That means no scissors or glue — just a piece of paper, your hands, and your imagination. If you’ve been interested in trying your hand at this Ancient Japanese art, November 11th is the perfect day to give it a shot. Just make sure you’re careful not to get a paper cut.
6. Thanksgiving — November 24th
What would a list of holiday observances in November be without mentioning Thanksgiving? One with a significant and sad lack of stuffing and mashed potatoes, that’s what. You know it, you love it, you hate it — it’s Thanksgiving, the special day when families gather all across the U.S. On Thanksgiving, families are uniquely tasked with enjoying scrumptious food while simultaneously resisting all-out political warfare. As a side note, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, which happens to be the 24th this year.
In all seriousness, Thanksgiving is actually a great time to do as the name suggests and give thanks. Whether you’re American or not, this time heralds the coming of winter and the dying of the light. As the end of the year approaches, it’s the perfect time to start reflecting on everything that’s happened thus far. Think about all the people, places, and opportunities that you’re grateful for and how much harder things would be without them.
7. The Shopping Days — November 25th, 26th, and 28th
Alright, time to forget all that sappy, self-reflecting, thanks-giving, do-something-good-with-your-life nonsense. Yeah, the food was good, but now it’s time to celebrate modern America’s true values. It’s time to buy some stuff! After all, Christmas has been on most peoples’ minds since before Halloween, and now it’s right around the corner!
The big three shopping days in late November are Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. These fall on the Friday, Saturday, and Monday after Thanksgiving, respectively — this year, those dates are the 25th, 26th, and 28th. Most companies will have huge sales in anticipation of the upcoming gift-giving holiday season. Some sales can legitimately offer incredible value, but they also sell out fast if you’re not quick on the trigger. Thankfully, many companies also sell online these days, so you don’t have to be too concerned about getting trampled.
Holidays may happen throughout the year, but November is chock full of them. From simply destroying pumpkins to voting for the fate of the United States to eating delicious food, there’s no shortage of activities. It can be a great chance for a final hurrah for the year and try something new. No matter what you do, there are plenty of observances from all around the world to mark on your calendar.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko; Pexels; Thank you!