October 2019 - Intercultural calendar

The list provides an overview of the most important holidays of the largest religious and ethnic groups in Vienna as well as public holidays and international commemoration days of the United Nations and other organisations.

Public holidays

26 October: National Holiday
The National Holiday commemorates the declaration of Austria to adhere to permanent neutrality in 1955. In the broader sense Austrians also celebrate the regained sovereignty following the departure of the Allied troops.

International Days of the United Nations and other organisations

11 October: "International Day of the Girl Child"
The United Nations marks this day as the "International Day of the Girl Child" to raise public awareness on girls' human rights, gender equality, and various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the world.


21 October: the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
On this day the Bahá'is celebrate the birth of the founder of their faith who was born in 1817 in Tehran/Iran as son of a wealthy government minister. Bahá'is usually observe the holy day with community gatherings where prayers are shared and the birth of Bahá’u’lláh is celebrated.
29 October: the Birth of the Báb
On this day the Bahá'is commemorate the birth of the herald of the Bahá’i faith, who was born in 1819 in Shiraz/Iran. Bahá'is celebrate the birth of the Báb with social gatherings that begin with prayers and devotional readings.


6 October: Thanksgiving (Catholic, Protestant)
Thanksgiving is celebrated with a church service on the first Sunday in October. The altar is decorated with fruit and vegetables from fields and gardens which are later given to the needy.
31 October: Reformation Day (Protestant)
Reformation Day is a festival celebrated in remembrance of the Reformation. On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther posted a belief statement to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences on the door of Wittenberg Church which resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches.


4 October: Durga Puja, Beginning of Navratri
Beginning of a ten-day festival in honour of Goddess Durga
8 October: Dussehra
Dussehra is the day marking the end of the ten-day festival which commemorates the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga and Lord Rama prevail over the demons. Durga is the wife of God Shiva and exists in different manifestations. Two of her most powerful manifestations are Durga (Goddess of Valor) and Kali (Goddess of Destruction).


8 October: Yom Kippur
The "Day of Atonement" is observed with strict fasting. It is a day for people to ask God for forgiveness of their sins and forgive others. Biblical origins are found in Leviticus where a live goat ("scapegoat") over whose head Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel was sent into the wilderness, bearing their sins.
13 October: Sukkot
The "Feast of Tabernacles" or "Feast of Booths" derives its name from the tradition to build a booth roofed with thatch (sukkah) to recall the shelters of the Jews during their wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.
20 October: Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret is a biblical Jewish holiday that follows the Jewish festival of Sukkot and marks the beginning of the rainy season following the harvest in Israel. The name "Shemini Atzeret" refers to the eighth day, or the extra day, that brings the seven-day Sukkot period to its state of perfection.
21 October: Simchat Thora
Jewish day to celebrate the reading of the Law, the Thora.
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