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    COMMEMORATIVE OBSERVATIONS CALENDAR

     

     Culture

     

     

     

    2023

    January

    • January 1 – Emancipation Proclamation: President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery free on this day in 1863
    • January 4 – Louis Braille’s birthday: he was a French educator who created a reading and writing system known as “braille” for the visually impaired
    • January 6 – Feast of the Epiphany: this Christian feast day celebrates the star leading the three wise men to baby Jesus closing the Christmas season
    • January 15 – Makar Sankranti: Hindu festival dedicated to the god of the sun, Surya
    • January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day:  celebrates one of the best-known civil rights activists, MLK Jr.
    • January 22 – Lunar New Year: this festival marks the start of the new year in the lunar calendar used in East Asia, Southeast Asia and elsewhere
    • January 27 – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust: a United Nations holiday that remembers the approximately 6 million Jews murdered during World War II
    • January 29 – Birthday of Oprah Winfrey: the birthday of the “Queen of Media,” a well-known talk show host and philanthropist. She is also North America’s first black billionaire.

     

    February

    Black History Month:  Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by Americans of African descent and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. History.  Every Year, the Association for The Study of African American Life and History creates a theme to frame that year's Black History Month.  The theme for 2023 is Black Resistance.  Click here for information & events on Black History Month.

    • February 11 – Tammy Baldwin’s Birthday: the birthday of the first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress
    • February 14 – Frederick Douglass’ birthday (observed): this day celebrates the birth of an abolitionist and social reformer
    • February 15 – Nirvana Day: an annual festival that remembers the death of the Buddha after reaching nirvana; also called Parinirvana
    • February 15 – Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday: a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, she advocated for abolition, temperance, labor rights, and equal pay for equal work
    • February 22 – Ash Wednesday: a day of prayer and fasting that begins the Christian season of Lent

     

    March

    Women’s History Month: honors the role of women in American history

    • March 8 – International Women’s Day: Aaday highlighting the political, social, cultural, and economic achievements of women
    • March 8 – Holi: Hindu holiday that celebrates the winter harvest and onset of spring
    • March 10 – Harriet Tubman’s birthday (observed): American abolitionist who is well-known for her key role in the Underground Railroad
    • March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day: the feast day of a Catholic saint who inspires cultural and religious celebrations around the world
    • March 21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
    • March 22 to April 21 – Ramadan: the start of Islam’s sacred month — during this time, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk

     

    April

    Celebrate Diversity Month: highlights unique backgrounds, cultures, and traditions

    • April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day: raises awareness for those with autism that are seeking to improve their lives and the acceptance of them in society
    • April 5 to April 13 – Passover: a major Jewish festival that celebrates the freeing of Israeli slaves
    • April 9 – Easter: the most important Christian holiday which celebrates Jesus’ resurrection
    • April 22 – Earth Day: a holiday that applauds the planet we live on and all it does for us; Earth Day is observed by more than 192 nations.
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    May

    Mental Health Awareness Month raises awareness for those living with mental and behavioral issues. This month also seeks to support families or communities who are impacted by mental illness.

    • Older Americans Month: celebrates how older Americans contribute to the United States
    • Jewish American Heritage Month: honors American Jews and their contributions to the United States throughout history
    • Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month: commemorates people with Asian and Pacific Island ancestry and their contribution to the United States
    • May 5 – Cinco de Mayo: Mexican-American holiday that celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army
    • May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: this event seeks to raise awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
    • May 19 – Malcolm X’s Birthday: well-known Muslim minister and civil rights activist, who was assassinated in 1965
    • May 26 – Buddha’s Birthday: celebrates the Buddha, who founded one of the world’s most practiced faiths

     

    June

    LGBT Pride Month: Pride Month recognizes LGBT people and the effect they’ve had on the world. June was selected to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. Explore more with our our LGBTQ inclusion training at the workplace

    Caribbean American Heritage Month: This month recognizes those of Caribbean descent and the impact their accomplishments have had throughout American history

    • June 2 – Indian Citizenship Act of 1924: This act granted Native Americans born in the U.S. citizenship. However, they were not given the right to vote until 1957
    • June 12 – Loving Day: This day is the anniversary of the court decision that legalizes interracial marriage
    • Puerto Rican Day Parade: This parade is a demonstration of cultural pride that seeks to raise awareness of issues in the Puerto Rican community
    • June 19 – Juneteenth: This day commemorates when the last African Americans learned of the Emancipation Proclamation (over two years after it was originally issued)
    • June 26 to July 1 – The Hajj: This day begins the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims must take once in their lives
    • June 27 – Helen Keller’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Helen Kellen, an individual who was both blind and deaf. She was a leading humanitarian in the 20th century as well as one of the co-founders of the ACLU

     

    July

    • July 2 – Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday: The day Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall was born
    • July 6 – 14th Dalai Lama’s Birthday: The day that Tibet’s leader in exile and Nobel Peace Prize recipient was born
    • July 6 – Frida Kahlo’s Birthday: A well-known Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, in the 20th century was born on this day
    • July 18 – Nelson Mandela’s Birthday: Nelson Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president and was a strong civil rights leader
    • July 25 – Pioneer Day: This Utah state holiday marks the arrival of LDS church founder Brigham Young to the Salt Lake area
    • July 26 – Americans with Disabilities Act: This law protects people with disabilities from being discriminated against
    • 30 July – Al-Hijri: this day marks the start of the Muslim New Year — beginning the prior evening
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    August 

    • August 4 – Barack Obama’s Birthday: This day marks the birth of the United States’ first Black president
    • August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: This day was created by the UN to celebrate the culture of indigenous people on a global scale
    • August 15: Feast of the Assumption: This Roman Catholic feast day marks the entry of the mother Mary into Heaven (body and soul)
    • August 18: Lord Krishna’s Birthday: This day is the birthday of one of the most popular deities in the Hindu faith. Lord Krishna is also known as Janmashtami, and his birthday is celebrated with a festival
    • August 24: Marlee Matlin’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Marlee Matlin — the sole hearing-impaired actor to win best actor/actress
    • August 26: Women’s Equality Day: This day marks the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the year 1920
    • August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi: This Hindu festival celebrates Lord Ganesha’s birth

     

    September 

    September 15 to October 15 – National Hispanic Heritage Month: This month honors Hispanic and Latino Americans for their contributions to U.S. culture.

    National Recovery Month: This awareness month seeks to educate Americans on treatment and health services for individuals with substance use disorder.

    • September 20 – HeForShe: This movement was started by the UN with the goal of promoting gender equality
    • September 22 – Autumnal Equinox: This date marks a variety of religious observances across the globe
    • September 15 to September 17 – Rosh Hashanah: This holiday is the Jewish New Year when Jews reflect on their faith

     

    October

    Global Diversity Awareness Month: An awareness month with the goal of promoting respect toward various cultures.

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month: This awareness month aims to advocate for individuals with disabilities and their inclusion in the workforce.

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women; this month seeks to boost awareness of the disease.

    National Polish American Heritage Month: A month selected to honor those with Polish heritage.

    • October 10 – World Mental Health Day: A day that advocates for mental health awareness and education; on this day, you can support the efforts by reflecting on your own biases regarding mental health and advocating against social stigma related to it.
    • October 10 – Indigenous People’s Day: This day honors the indigenous people of North America; the holiday was formerly called Columbus Day
    • October 14 – ­Defender of Ukraine Day: This day celebrates those who have fought for the freedom of Ukraine
    • October 17 – Spirit Day: This day is aimed specifically at LGBTQ youth and what their community can do to support them. You can participate in this day by wearing purple and speaking out against bullying
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    November 

    National American Heritage Month: This month celebrates the contributions — cultures, traditions, histories — of Native people to the United States

    • November 1 – All Saints’ Day, All Souls Day, Día de Los Muertos: These days are dedicated to all those who have passed away in the Christian faith as well as the Mexican and Aztec communities
    • November 16 – International Day for Tolerance: The UN holiday was founded to encourage respect among various people regardless of culture, language, religion, or ethnicity
    • November 12 – Diwali: An important celebration in the Hindu faith in which a variety of deities are praised
    • November 16 – Dutch American Heritage Day: This day applauds the long friendship between the Netherlands and the United States
    • November 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance: This day is held as a remembrance for all those murdered because of transphobia

     

    December 

    • December 1 – World AIDS Day: This day highlights the importance of HIV/AIDs awareness and raises money for its cure.
    • December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities: This United Nations holiday raises awareness for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
    • December 10 – International Humans Rights Day: A holiday adopted by the UN in 1948 following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    • December 16 to December 24 – Las Posadas: A religious festival celebrated in Mexico and parts of the U.S. during the Christmas season.
    • December 7 to December 15 – Hanukkah: A Jewish holiday celebrating Jew rising up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
    • December 22 – Winter Solstice/Yule: A festival celebrated by Pagan and Wiccan faiths.
    • December 25 – Christmas: A Christian holiday marking the birth of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
    • December 26 – Kwanzaa: An 8-day holiday often celebrated by Black Americans that was inspired by African harvest celebrations.