Photo via greatlakesbrewing.com.

Before Halloween wraps up the last week of October, there are several spooky-themed holidays to get everyone in the mood leading up to the big event!

Monday: National Pumpkin Day

Have you carved your jack-o-lantern yet? Today would be the perfect day to gather your orchard pumpkins and gourds and transform them into ghoulish lanterns or painted pieces of art. If you’re not up to dissecting the Halloween fruit, try celebrating this holiday by incorporating pumpkin into your meals by baking a warm pumpkin pie or frosting pumpkin-shaped cookies, or even channel your inner Charlie Brown by visiting a local pumpkin patch for some end-of-season fun. 

Tuesday: National Black Cat Day

As a holiday created in 2011 by Cats Protection, a U.K. charity, National Black Cat Day aims to raise awareness for the lower adoption rates of black cats. Historically considered bad luck, black cats take about one week longer to be adopted from shelters as determined by the U.K. organization, however, no superstition should keep these cats from casting a spell on your heart. To celebrate this holiday, consider donating to your local animal shelter or do some arts and crafts featuring black cats before Halloween comes to an end. 

Wednesday: National First Responders Day

As a day to celebrate those who put themselves first in line to respond to dangerous events, National First Responders Day was recognized by Congress in 2017. First responders include firefighters, paramedics and police officers who work to change the lives of the people they serve. To celebrate this holiday, visit your local town’s website and discover what safe practices each department recommends. Read up on fire safety and say hello to Smokey the Bear or say a simple thank you to those saving lives at death-defying speeds. 

Thursday: World Stroke Day

Established in 2004 at the World Stroke Conference in Vancouver, Canada, this world holiday was created to spread awareness both about the symptoms and frequency of strokes in people of any age. According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), 1 in 4 people will have a stroke within their lifetime, meaning knowing the signs and symptoms to recognize if someone is having a stroke is critical to implementing life-saving care to those around us. By using the F.A.S.T. method as recognized by ASA, you can recognize common stroke symptoms as face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech and time to call 911. To find more information about stroke prevention and resources for healthy living, please visit stroke.org. 

Friday: National Candy Corn Day

Created by George Renninger and popularized by the Goelitz Candy Company (now known as Jelly Belly), candy corn is an iconic Halloween treat. If you haven’t already stuck two pieces in your mouth and pretended to be a vampire, to celebrate this holiday and get ready for Halloween the following night buy a bag or two and bake them into cookies or add them to popcorn and indulge in a scary movie. 

To keep up-to-date with our regularly featured holidays, follow us @themainecampus on Instagram and view our weekly stories for a pinch of fun, or backtrack to ones you may have missed under our “Holidays” story highlight. For more information on national holidays and take part in everyday celebrations, please visit nationaltoday.com to stay up-to-date on ways to celebrate.