2016 Cultural Calendar

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Our Cultural Calendar includes national holidays as well as observances and celebrations which highlight the world's major religions. It also includes events that promote the diversity of our worldwide community, primarily those that emphasize issues concerning race, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, military status, poverty, peace efforts, mental health, major health concerns and disability.

Our cultural calendar represents dates from 2017-2020 and is ever-evolving. If you would like a cultural observance or religious holiday included, email the name, date and a brief description to Dr. Alejandra Dashe, adashe@nwhealth.edu.


January

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

January

Cervical Health Awareness Month

 

A time to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and a major cause of cervical cancer.

January

National Mentoring Month

 

Focuses attention on the critical need for individuals and organizations to provide positive role models and mentors to guide our nation's youth.

January

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

 

Commemorates the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. Events build awareness of the practice of modern slavery and human trafficking as well as recognize the efforts worldwide to combat these human rights abuses. 

January

Mental Wellness Month

 

A campaign to raise awareness of the importance of emotional, mental and cognitive health on an individual's overall health and well-being. Also, this is an opportunity to educate our communities about depression, suicide, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and a time to lend support to friends and family members living with mental illness. 

Jan. 1

Global Family Day

 

Celebrated as a day of peace and sharing, this observance resulted from the U.N. Millennium celebration themed "One Day of Peace" and is expressed in the desire to see the world united into one family.
Observed annually on Jan. 1

Jan. 1

New Year’s Day

 

The first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. Also, a major federal holiday.

Jan.  6

Epiphany

Christianity

In Western culture, the 12th day of Christmas commemorates the visit of the Magi (Three Kings) to the Baby Jesus. It is a celebration of the revelation to Gentiles that Jesus Christ is the human manifestation of God.
Observed annually on Jan. 6

Jan. 11

National Human Trafficking Day

 

Promotes awareness of the victims of human trafficking and the international efforts toward eliminating this atrocity.
Observed annually on Jan. 11

Jan. 16

National Religious Freedom Day

 

Commemorates the Virginia General Assembly's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. This led to the religion clause in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment which protects freedom of religion for all Americans.
Observed annually on Jan. 16

Jan. 15, 2017

Jan. 21, 2018

Jan. 20, 2019

Jan. 19, 2020

World Religion Day

Baha'i

A day devoted to encouraging interfaith understanding and to contemplating the oneness of the world's religions as different paths to the one universal Deity who has many names.
Observed annually on the 3rd Sunday in January

Jan. 18

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

 

Remembrance of the civil rights leader who advocated the use of nonviolent means to civil disobedience. One of the great activists, humanitarians and orators of the 20th century, Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. 
Observed annually on the 3rd Monday in January

Feb. 11, 2017

Jan. 31, 2018

Jan. 21, 2019

Feb. 10, 2020

Tu B'Shevat / Tu Bishvat

Judaism

Also, known as Rosh Hashanah La'Ilanot or "New Year of the Trees," the day is celebrated in contemporary times as a revival of nature and a time for ecological awareness. Many observe the day by planting trees.
Observed annually on Shevat 15-16 of the Hebrew calendar

Jan. 27

International Day of Commemoration in
Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

 

The U.N. proclaimed this day to remember the victims of the Holocaust (Shoah) as well as serve as a reminder to the international community that we must work together to prevent genocide. The day commemorates the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945. 
Observed annually on Jan. 27

Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 2, 2018

Jan. 21, 2019

Jan. 8, 2020

Mahanyana Buddhist New Year

Mahanyana Buddhism

The New Year observed by the Mahanyana tradition of Buddhism - the largest of the three main Buddhist branches. 
Observed annually on the 1st full moon in January

Jan. 28, 2017

Feb. 16, 2018

Feb. 5, 2019

Jan. 25, 2020

Chinese New Year / "Spring Festival"

 

A time to honor deities as well as ancestors, the New Year is a major Chinese holiday, celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year's Eve to the Yuan Xiao Festival / Lantern Festival. A Chinese Zodiac sign animal is associated with each year:

  • 2017: Year of the Rooster
  • 2018: Year of the Dog
  • 2019: Year of the Pig
  • 2020: Year of the Rat

Observed annually on the 23rd day of 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar

Feb 1, 2017

Jan. 22, 2018

Feb 10, 2019

Jan 29, 2020

Vasant Panchami

Hinduism

A festival to celebrate the return of Spring and worship Sarasvati Devi, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture.
Observed annually on the 5th day of the month of Magh 

Feb. 10, 2017

Jan. 31, 2018

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 9, 2020

Maghi Purnima / "The Bathing Festival"

Hinduism / Buddhism

Hinduism: Celebrated with festivals, pilgrimages, prayers and ancestral worship. On this day, thousands bath in the holy river Ganges and or other sacred rivers to free oneself from sin and pave the way towards salvation.

Buddhism: The day that Gautama Buddha announced his death.
Observed annually on the first full moon day of the month of Magh


February

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

February

American Heart Month

 

A campaign to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, the number 1 killer of adults in the U.S. A time to learn about risks for heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure and how to stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones.

February

Black History Month / African-American History Month

 

A celebration of the cultural, educational, political and artistic achievements of black Americans and recognition of the impact of African Americans in U.S. history. Also, this day is an observance of the African diaspora, the (intentional, forced, or by choice) historic movement of peoples from the African continent to the American continents. 
Observed annually on Feb. 1

Feb. 1

National Freedom Day

 

A commemoration of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed, on Feb. 1, 1865, a joint House & Senate resolution to abolish slavery which later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a community leader in Philadelphia and former slave, played a crucial role in creating the observance.
Observed annually on Feb. 1

Feb. 1-7

World Interfaith Harmony Week

 

The U.N. declared World Interfaith Harmony Week for all people of goodwill, faith and non-faith to recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences - and to strive toward peace and harmony to their communities.
Observed annually the week of Feb. 1-7

Feb. 2

Imbloc

Wiccan / Pagan

A festival celebrating the passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. The day also celebrates Brigid, the Celtic goddess of poetry, healing, smith craft and midwifery.

Feb. 4

World Cancer Day

 

A day to encourage the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer worldwide. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) with the primary goal of significantly reducing illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.
Observed annually on Feb. 4

Feb. 6

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

 

The U.N. declared this as a day to raise awareness of female genital mutilation and a call for worldwide condemnation and abolishment of this extreme form of discrimination against women and children. The practice violates a human being's rights to health, security and physical integrity; the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and the right to life when the procedure results in death.
Observed annually on Feb. 6

Feb. 11, 2017

Jan. 31, 2018

Jan. 21, 2019

Feb. 10, 2020

Tu B'Shevat / Tu Bishvat

Judaism

Also, known as Rosh Hashanah La'Ilanot or "New Year of the Trees," the day is celebrated in contemporary times as a revival of nature and a time for ecological awareness. Many observe the day by planting trees.
Observed annually on Shevat 15-16 of the Hebrew calendar

Feb. 8 (or Feb. 15)

Parinirvana / "Nirvana Day"

Buddhism

Commemorates the anniversary of Buddha's death. His death is celebrated with a festival because followers believe that by dying, Buddha left a world of suffering and entered nirvana, a state in which he would no longer be reincarnated.
Observed annually on Feb. 8 (or 15)

Jan. 28, 2017

Feb. 16, 2018

Feb. 5, 2019

Jan. 25, 2020

Chinese New Year / "Spring Festival"

 

A time to honor deities as well as ancestors, the New Year is a major Chinese holiday, celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year's Eve to the Yuan Xiao Festival / Lantern Festival. A Chinese Zodiac sign animal is associated with each year:

  • 2017: Year of the Rooster
  • 2018: Year of the Dog
  • 2019: Year of the Pig
  • 2020: Year of the Rat

Observed annually on the 23rd day of 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar

Feb. 11, 2017

March 2, 2018

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 8, 2020

Yuan Xiao Festival / Lantern Festival

 

The last day of celebrating the New Year. It is a day to reunite with families and celebrate the new moon.

Observed annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month

Feb. 9

Shrove Tuesday/
Mardi Gras

Christianity

A day of self-examination, considering what wrongs a Christian believer may need to repent, and a reflection of the need for further spiritual growth.
Observed annually on the day before Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

Feb. 14, 2018

March 6, 2019

Feb. 26, 2020

Ash Wednesday

Christianity

The first day of Lent. Blessed ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christian observers or marked on their foreheads as a cross to signify "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."
Observed annually 46 days before Easter

March 1, 2017

Feb. 14, 2018

March 6, 2019

Feb 26, 2020

Lent

Christianity

A time of drawing nearer to God through prayer, daily devotions, penance, repentance of sins, atonement and self-denial. During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.
Observed annually on Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday

Feb 1, 2017

Jan. 22, 2018

Feb 10, 2019

Jan 29, 2020

Vasant Panchami

Hinduism

A festival to celebrate the return of Spring and worship Sarasvati Devi, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture.
Observed annually on the 5th day of the month of Magh 

Feb. 20

World Day of Social Justice

 

The U.N. proclaimed this as a day to promote international efforts to address issues of social justice, including poverty, economic disparity, unemployment and exclusion. The world community must recognize that social development and economic growth should be based on the fundamental values of social justice, equality and equity.
Observed annually on Feb. 20

Feb. 21

International Mother Language Day

 

The U.N. declared this day "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world". It is a day to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity. The date commemorates Feb. 21, 1952 when university students demonstrating for recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of then-Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, capital of present-day Bangladesh.
Observed annually on Feb. 21

Feb. 10, 2017

Jan. 31, 2018

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 9, 2020

Maghi Purnima / "The Bathing Festival"

Hinduism / Buddhism

Hinduism: Celebrated with festivals, pilgrimages, prayers and ancestral worship. On this day, thousands bath in the holy river Ganges and or other sacred rivers to free oneself from sin and pave the way towards salvation.

Buddhism: The day that Gautama Buddha announced his death.
Observed annually on the first full moon day of the month of Magh

Feb. 26-
March 1

Ayyám-i-há / "The Days of Há"

Baha'i

A spiritual preparation for the upcoming Fast in March and a time for celebration, hospitality, charity and gift-giving. The last day is the "Feast of Loftiness."
Observed annually Feb. 26-March 1


March

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

March

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

 

Colorectal cancer, the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S., affects people in all racial and ethnic groups. If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

March       

Irish-American Heritage Month

 

Honors the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. Coincides with Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish national holiday, held on March 17.

 March

National Brain Injury Awareness Month

 

A platform for educating the public about the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. People who sustain brain injuries must have access to expert trauma and health care, specialized rehabilitation, lifelong disease management, and individualized supports to live independent and satisfying lives.

March

National Nutrition Month

 

A campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus attention on the importance of making healthy food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits to maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

March      

National Women’s ("Herstory") History Month

 

Highlights the contributions, achievements, leadership, strength and courage of women throughout U.S. history and acknowledges their pivotal role in the development of contemporary society. During this month, initiatives to promote equality among the sexes in education are encouraged at the state level. Coincides with International Women’s Day held on March 8.

March 1, 2017

Feb. 14, 2018

March 6, 2019

Feb. 26, 2020

Ash Wednesday

Christianity

The first day of Lent. Blessed ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christian observers or marked on their foreheads as a cross to signify "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."
Observed annually 46 days before Easter

March 1, 2017

Feb. 14, 2018

March 6, 2019

Feb 26, 2020

Lent

Christianity

A time of drawing nearer to God through prayer, daily devotions, penance, repentance of sins, atonement and self-denial. During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.
Observed annually on Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday

March 1 (sunset)

The Feast of Loftiness

Baha'i

A feast honoring the one Deity as "Ala' (Loftiness) which is celebrated the night before the Fast.
Observed annually on March 1

March 1

Zero Discrimination Day

 

The U.N. designated this day to celebrate diversity, compassion, tolerance and peace - and eradicate racism and discrimination.
Observed annually on March 1

Feb. 11, 2017

March 2, 2018

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 8, 2020

Yuan Xiao Festival / Lantern Festival

 

The last day of celebrating the New Year. It is a day to reunite with families and celebrate the new moon.

Observed annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month

March 2-20

 The Fast

 Baha'i

A time of purification in which followers fast daily from sunrise to sunset.
Observed annually March 2-20

March 12, 2017

March 31, 2018

March 21, 2019

March 9, 2020

Magha Puja Day / Sangha Day

 

A commemoration of a key event in the development of religion, when 1,250 monks gathered to hear Buddha speak. He ordained the monks and subsequently, they spread the principles of Buddhism.
Observed on the first full moon day of the 3rd lunar month (February or March)

March 8

International Women’s Day

 

A day to celebrate the courage and determination of women who have played an extraordinary role in the cultural and political history of their countries and communities.
Observed annually on March 8

March 11

World Day of Muslim Culture, Peace, Dialogue and Film

Islam

An event created by Jared Mohammed, a San Francisco writer-producer, to share, discuss and appreciate Muslim culture, and an opportunity to learn about faiths through mutual respect and understanding.
Observed annually on March 11

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day

Christianity / Secular

A cultural celebration and religious commemoration of the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), a priest who sought to convert paganist Irish to Christianity.
Observed annually on March 17

March 20

French Language Day / International Francophonie Day

 

The U.N. recognizes the French language as one of its six official languages. The date was chosen because it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie.
Observed annually on March 20

March 20

Ostara / Vernal Equinox

Wiccan

Celebrated as a time for renewal and rebirth.
Observed annually on the vernal equinox

April 2, 2017

March 25, 2018

April 14, 2019

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday

Christianity

The beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms or pussy willows to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest and Crucifixion on Good Friday.
Observed annually on the Sunday before Easter

March 21

Naw-Rúz / Baha'i New Year’s Day

Baha'i / Middle East, Central Asia

The first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian solar year and one of nine holy days for followers of the Bahá'í Faith. It is also a celebration of the traditional Iranian new year holiday and is celebrated throughout the countries of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Observed annually on March 21

March 21

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

 

The U.N. declared this day to commemorate the 69 individuals killed during the Sharpeville Massacre on March 21, 1960 when protesters numbering 5,000-7,000 were demonstrating peacefully against the Apartheid pass laws in South Africa. The day calls on the international community to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
Observed annually on March 21

March 21-27

Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination

 

A celebration of the importance for individuals, communities and nations to strive towards racial equality and tolerance. According to the UN, “knowledge and information on the diversity of human races, ethnicity and customs contribute to overcoming racism and is a conduit for a better understanding, tolerance and acceptance.”
Observed annually the week of March 21-27

March 12, 2017

March 28, 2018

March 21, 2019

March 10, 2020

Purim

Judaism

A commemoration of the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire where a plot had been formed by Hamman, advisor to King Ahasuerus, to annihilate them. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. Esther spoke to the King on behalf of her people at great risk to her own life.
Observed annually on Adar 14 of the Hebrew calendar

March 21

Nowruz / Persian New Year

Zororastrian

Nowruz means “new day.” Persian New Year is celebration of the beginning of spring for all Persians. The holiday commemorates a 3,500-year Zoroastrian tradition.

Observed annually on the vernal equinox

March 24

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning
Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

 

The U.N. proclaimed this day to recognize Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, after denouncing human rights violations. The day is to pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.
Observed annually on March 24

April 10-18, 2017

April 19-27, 2018

April 8-16, 2019

March 27-April4, 2020

Passover

Judaism

A commemoration of the story of the Exodus in which God liberated the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt, which led to the establishment of a free Hebrew nation under the leadership of Moses. Passover is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, commencing with the Passover Seder on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasting for either seven days (in Israel) or eight days (in the diaspora).
Observed annually on Nisan 15-22 of the Hebrew calendar

April 13, 2017

March 29, 2018

April 18, 2019

April 9, 2020

Maundy Thursday

Christianity

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper in which Jesus introduced the sacrament of the Eucharist to his disciples - consecrating (or making holy) bread and wine.
Observed annually on the Thursday before Easter

April 14, 2017

March 30, 2018

April 19, 2019

April 10, 2020

Good Friday

Christianity

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ - the act that brought salvation to all Christian believers. 
Observed annually on the Friday before Easter

April 15, 2017

March 31, 2019

April 20, 2019

April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday

Christianity

Many Christians observe Holy Saturday the day when Jesus lay in his tomb. This day ends the season of Lent.
Observed annually on the Saturday before Easter

April 16, 2017

April 1, 2018

April 21, 2019

April 12, 2020

Easter

Christianity

A celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion. By rising from the dead, Jesus proved His divine nature and power to break the bonds of sin which assures forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe.
Observed annually on the first Sunday after the 1st full moon after March 21

March 31

International Transgender Day of Visibility

 

A day to show support for the transgender community and celebrate the accomplishments of transgender individuals around the world.
Observed annually on March 31


April

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

April

Alcohol Awareness Month

 

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence urges everyone to spread the word about strategies to prevent substance abuse and to take action by encouraging an honest dialogue within our own families and communities.

April

Celebrate Diversity Month

 

A time to acknowledge and appreciate our differences and similarities so that we all gain a richer understanding of other cultures and each other.

April     

Month of the Military Child

 

A recognition of the courage, resilience and sacrifice of more than 1.7 million children in military families nationwide. Military children face many challenges – prolonged absence of a military parent, frequent relocations, getting used to new schools and making new friends. This month presents an opportunity to raise awareness and build support to help these children face these unique challenges.

April 

National Donate Life Month

 

Dedicated to encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Also, this is a time to recognize individuals who have saved lives as a result of organ donation. 

April

National Minority Health Month

 

People of color and many more marginalized populations experience higher rates of disease, have fewer treatment options and face reduced access to care. Communities, policy-makers and healthcare providers are called upon to address these disparities so that all people can live healthier lives.

April      

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) designated April as a month to raise awareness of and focus on prevention of sexual violence towards women, men and children.

April 2, 2017

March 25, 2018

April 14, 2019

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday

Christianity

The beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms or pussy willows to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest and Crucifixion on Good Friday.
Observed annually on the Sunday before Easter

April 11, 2017

April 30, 2018

April 19, 2019

April 7, 2020

 

Theravadin Buddhism

The New Year observed by the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism - the most conservative of the three main Buddhist branches.
Observed annually on the first full moon in April

April 4-10

National Public Health Awareness Week

 

Endorsed by the American Public Health Association (APHA), this weeklong event highlights daily themes aimed at public health achievements and ways to improving the general health of the U.S. population. Educational events also address the disparities in health by race and ethnic group in the U.S.
Observed annually the first full week of April

April 7

World Health Day

 

A celebration of the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. It is an opportunity for individuals and communities to engage in activities that lead to better health and disease prevention.
Observed annually on April 7

April 9

National Former POW Recognition Day

Christianity

A day of remembrance for honoring our service members, veterans and all American prisoners of war.
Observed annually on April 9

April 13, 2017

March 29, 2018

April 18, 2019

April 9, 2020

Maundy Thursday

Christianity

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper in which Jesus introduced the sacrament of the Eucharist to his disciples - consecrating (or making holy) bread and wine.
Observed annually on the Thursday before Easter

April 14, 2017

March 30, 2018

April 19, 2019

April 10, 2020

Good Friday

Christianity

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ - the act that brought salvation to all Christian believers. 
Observed annually on the Friday before Easter

April 15, 2017

March 31, 2019

April 20, 2019

April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday

Christianity

Many Christians observe Holy Saturday the day when Jesus lay in his tomb. This day ends the season of Lent.
Observed annually on the Saturday before Easter

April 16, 2017

April 1, 2018

April 21, 2019

April 12, 2020

Easter

Christianity

A celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion. By rising from the dead, Jesus proved His divine nature and power to break the bonds of sin which assures forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe.
Observed annually on the first Sunday after the 1st full moon after March 21

April 15

The Day of Silence

 

A day of action in which students across the U.S. take on a form of silence to bring attention to name-calling, bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students in our schools. Founded by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN).

April 20

Chinese Language Day

 

The U.N. recognizes the Chinese language as one of its six official languages. The day promotes multilingualism and pays tribute to the mythical figure, Cang Jie, who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters more than 5,000 years ago.
Observed annually on April 20

April 10-18, 2017

April 19-27, 2018

April 8-16, 2019

March 27-April4, 2020

Passover

Judaism

A commemoration of the story of the Exodus in which God liberated the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt, which led to the establishment of a free Hebrew nation under the leadership of Moses. Passover is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, commencing with the Passover Seder on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasting for either seven days (in Israel) or eight days (in the diaspora).
Observed annually on Nisan 15-22 of the Hebrew calendar

April 23

English Language Day

 

The U.N. recognizes the English language as one of its six official languages. The date was chosen because it is William Shakespeare's birthday.
Observed annually on April 23

April 24, 2017

April 12, 2018

May 2, 2019

April 21, 2020

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

Judaism / Israeli

A commemoration of the heroism of the Jewish resistance during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in German-occupied Poland during WWII. Also, a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.
Observed annually on Nisan 27 of the Hebrew calendar

May 2, 2017

April 19, 2018

May 9, 2019

April 29, 2020

Yom HaAtzmaut / Israeli Independence Day

Judaism / Israeli

The national day of Israel commemorates the May 14, 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence which established the State of Israel by Jewish leadership led by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Typically observed annually on Iyar 5 of the Hebrew calendar

May 27-June 25, 2017

May 16-June 14, 2018

May 6-June 4, 2019

April 24-May 23, 2020

Ramadan

Islam

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month in which the Qur'an (Koran) was revealed by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a time for followers to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, practice self-sacrifice and engage in prayer. Every day of the month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.
Observed annually during the Islamic month of Ramadan

May

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

May        

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

 

A celebration of the heritage, traditions and achievements of Asians and Pacific Islanders living in the U.S., which includes the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. May represents the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Most the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

May      

Jewish American Heritage Month

 

A recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture and achievements in the arts, medicine, business, law, science, government, military service, sports and entertainment.

May

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Help raise awareness of the dangers of UV radiation from the sun and tanning booths - encourage limiting exposure and using sunscreen.

May          

National Mental Health Awareness Month

 

A month dedicated to raising awareness of the significant challenges that people with mental illness face every day. An opportunity to broaden our understanding of mental illness and improve support and care for individuals with mental health problems.  

May         

National Military Appreciation Month

 

Congress designated National Military Appreciation Month to ensure that our nation demonstrates appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our veterans and active duty military. It serves as a reminder of the critical role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country.

May

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

 

Regular physical activity benefits people of all ages and body types. Spread the word about the health benefits of getting active and encourage your friends and family to find fun ways to get moving.

May        

Older Americans Month

 

A time to honor older Americans and celebrate their significant contributions to our communities and our nation.

May 1

Beltane / Gaelic May Day

Wiccan / Pagan / Gaelic

One of the most important Wiccan festivals, the day celebrates the coming of Spring. Beltane is also the name of the Gaelic May Day celebrated in Ireland.
Observed annually on either April 30 or May 1

May 1

International Worker’s Day / May Day

 

A celebration of the international labor movement throughout the world and a commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, killing several demonstrators.
Observed annually on May 1

May 1

Immigrant Rights Day

 

A day for governments, organizations and individuals to educate the public on the harsh lives of migrant workers and their children and to shed light on the struggles of refugees around the world.

May 1

Loyalty Day

 

A day set aside to celebrate our freedom, honor the patriots who risked their lives to bring freedom to our nation and reflect on the importance of safeguarding our freedom. 
Observed annually on May 1

April 24, 2017

April 12, 2018

May 2, 2019

April 21, 2020

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

Judaism / Israeli

A commemoration of the heroism of the Jewish resistance during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in German-occupied Poland during WWII. Also, a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.
Observed annually on Nisan 27 of the Hebrew calendar

May 5

Cinco de Mayo

 

A commemoration of the unlikely victory of the Mexican army over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. (In the U.S. Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico's Independence Day - which is actually celebrated on Sept. 16 and is the most important national holiday in Mexico.)

May 6

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

 

A day to acknowledge the profound importance of spouse commitment, support and sacrifice to the readiness and well-being of our U.S. military members.
Observed annually on the 2nd Friday in May

May 7

National Day of Prayer

 

An opportunity for churches, groups and individuals in the U.S. to turn to their God or spiritual power in prayer and meditation.

May 14

Mother's Day

 

A day to honor and celebrate mothers and maternal bonds, and to recognize the influence of mothers in our society.
Observed annually on the 2nd Sunday in May

May 2, 2017

April 19, 2018

May 9, 2019

April 29, 2020

Yom HaAtzmaut / Israeli Independence Day

Judaism / Israeli

The national day of Israel commemorates the May 14, 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence which established the State of Israel by Jewish leadership led by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Typically observed annually on Iyar 5 of the Hebrew calendar

May 15

International Day of Families

 

The U.N. declared this day to acknowledge the importance of the family unit in the development and stability of society and to promote awareness of the social and economic issues affecting families.
Observed annually on May 15

May 10, 2017

May 29, 2018

May 19, 2019

May 6, 2020

Vesak / Visakha Puja (Buddha Day)

Buddhism

Vesak, the most important Buddhist festival of the year, celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.
Observed annually on the 1st full moon in May or June

May 15

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

 

A day to reflect on the lives of the nearly 40 million people worldwide who have died of AIDS since the epidemic began more than 30 years ago - and a time to provide support to the 33 million people living with HIV today. Also, this day is a call to action to break down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and give hope to a new generation. Observed annually on the 3rd Sunday in May

May 17

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

 

A day to raise awareness of violence, discrimination and repression of LGBT communities worldwide and an opportunity to act to promote dialogue. The day commemorates the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
Observed annually on May 17

May 17

World AIDS Vaccine Day

 

A day dedicated to raising awareness of the urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. Also, this day is a time to thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, supporters and scientists who are working together to find a safe, effective AIDS vaccine.
Observed annually on March 17

May 21

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

 

The U.N. designated this day to deepen our understanding of the value of cultural diversity and to raise awareness about the importance of inclusion and intercultural dialogue. Individuals and community groups are called upon to use this day as an opportunity to combat polarization and stereotypes, improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures, and to learn to live together better.
Observed annually on May 21

May 21

Armed Forces Day

 

A time to honor the courage and appreciate the sacrifices of Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard
Observed annually on the 3rd Saturday in May

May 30

Memorial Day

 

A federal holiday to honor and remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died.
Observed annually on the last Monday in May

May 14, 2017

May 3, 2018

May 23, 2019

May 12, 2020

Lag B'Omer

Judaism

This day marks the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and commemorates the day he revealed the deepest secrets of kabbalah in the form of the Zohar (Book of Splendor).

Observed annually on Iyar 8 of the Hebrew calendar

May 27-June 25, 2017

May 16-June 14, 2018

May 6-June 4, 2019

April 24-May 23, 2020

Ramadan

Islam

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month in which the Qur'an (Koran) was revealed by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a time for followers to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, practice self-sacrifice and engage in prayer. Every day of the month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.
Observed annually during the Islamic month of Ramadan

June 21, 2017

June 10, 2018

May 31, 2019

May 19, 2020

Lailat al-Qadr / "Night of Revelation" or "Night of Destiny"

Islam

The night in which Allah (God) revealed the Qur'an (Koran) to the Prophet Muhammad. This day is one of the most blessed events of the Islamic year.
Observed annually on one of the last 10 days of the Islamic month of Ramadan 

June 25, 2017

June 15, 2018

June 5, 2019

May 24, 2020

Eid-al-Fitr / "Festival of Breaking the Fast"

Islam

The most important festival in Muslim culture, it marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah for His help with their month-long act of self-control.
Observed annually beginning on Shawwāl 1 of the Islamic calendar

May 30-June 1, 2017

May 19-21, 2018

June 8-10, 2019

May 28-30, 2020

Shavuot

Judaism

Shavuot means “weeks” in Hebrew. Honors the day that, on Mount Sinai, the Torah was given to and accepted by the Jewish people. No meat is eaten during this celebration and is an opportunity return to study Torah.

Observed annually seven weeks after the second night of Passover, on the 6th through the 8th of the month of Sivan of the Hebrew calendar.


June

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

June             

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

 

A time to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on culture, politics, civil rights and history locally, nationally, and internationally. The month also commemorates the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, a reaction to police raids on gay bars, which served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S.

June

Men's Health Month

 

A time for individuals, communities and healthcare providers to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.

June 1      

Global Day of Parents

 

The U.N. declared this day as an appreciation of the vital role that parents and parental figures play in providing protection to their children and contributing positively to their development.
Observed annually on June 1

June 6

Russian Language Day

 

The U.N. recognizes the Russian language as one of its six official languages. The date was chosen because it is Aleksandr Pushkin's birthday, a Russian poet considered the father of modern Russian literature.
Observed annually on June 6

May 27-June 25, 2017

May 16-June 14, 2018

May 6-June 4, 2019

April 24-May 23, 2020

Ramadan

Islam

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month in which the Qur'an (Koran) was revealed by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a time for followers to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, practice self-sacrifice and engage in prayer. Every day of the month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.
Observed annually during the Islamic month of Ramadan

May 30-June 1, 2017

May 19-21, 2018

June 8-10, 2019

May 28-30, 2020

Shavuot

Judaism

Shavuot means “weeks” in Hebrew. Honors the day that, on Mount Sinai, the Torah was given to and accepted by the Jewish people. No meat is eaten during this celebration and is an opportunity return to study Torah.

Observed annually seven weeks after the second night of Passover, on the 6th through the 8th of the month of Sivan of the Hebrew calendar.

June 12       

World Day Against Child Labor

 

A day to raise awareness and promote activism to prevent child labor which deprives children of their childhood; interferes with their ability to attend regular school; and is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful.
Observed annually on June 12

June 15

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

 

A day to raise awareness about the millions of older persons who are abused, neglected and exploited every year.
Observed annually on June 15

June 18

Father’s Day

 

A day to honor and celebrate fathers and paternal bonds, and to recognize the influence of fathers in our society.
Observed annually on the 3rd Sunday in June

June 20

World Refugee Day

 

The U.N. designated this day to draw attention to the millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. A refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered (or are in fear of) persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion; or because they are a member of a persecuted social group; or because they are fleeing a war or natural disaster.
Observed annually on June 20

June 21

Litha / Summer Solstice

Wiccan / Pagan

Litha, or Midsummer, celebrates the peaking of the Sun God in his annual cycle.
Observed annually on the summer solstice

June 25, 2017

June 15, 2018

June 5, 2019

May 24, 2020

Eid-al-Fitr / "Festival of Breaking the Fast"

Islam

The most important festival in Muslim culture, it marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah for His help with their month-long act of self-control.
Observed annually beginning on Shawwāl 1 of the Islamic calendar

July

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

July

National Make a Difference to Children Month

 

To raise awareness of how our actions can make a positive difference to a child. Make a commitment to support a children's charitable organization, visit a child in the hospital, tutor a child struggling academically, or start a local anti-bullying campaign.

July 1

Canada Day

 

The national day of Canada which celebrates the anniversary of enactment on July 1 of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.
Observed annually on July 1

June 21, 2017

June 10, 2018

May 31, 2019

May 19, 2020

Lailat al-Qadr / "Night of Revelation" or "Night of Destiny"

Islam

The night in which Allah (God) revealed the Qur'an (Koran) to the Prophet Muhammad. This day is one of the most blessed events of the Islamic year.
Observed annually on one of the last 10 days of the Islamic month of Ramadan 

July 4

Independence Day / Fourth of July

 

The commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the 2nd Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which declared independence for the original 13 colonies from Great Britain. It is the national day of the United States.
Observed annually on July 4

July 12

Malala Day

 

A day to raise awareness of the right to an education for girls around the world. In 2012 while riding on her school bus in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai was the target of an attempted assassination for speaking up for the rights of woman and girls living under the Taliban rule. Her wish "is that we all raise our voices for those under oppression, to show our own power and courage is stronger than their campaign of fear.”
Observed annually on or near July 12, Malala's birthday

July 17

World Day for International Justice / International Criminal Justice Day

 

A day to raise awareness of the system of international justice that has emerged and strengthened since the Nuremburg and Tokyo Trials after World War II to hold those accountable for crimes against humanity. Held on the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.
Observed annually on July 17

July 18

Nelson Mandela International Day

 

The U.N. declared this day to recognize former South African President Nelson Mandela's contribution to global peace and freedom. The day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and its message is "Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes."
Observed annually on July 18, Mandela's birthday

July 9, 2017

Sept. 27, 2018

July 16, 2019

July 5, 2020

Asalha Puja Day ("Dharma Day")

Buddhism

A celebration of Buddha’s first sermon, given after his enlightenment, which contains the essence of all his subsequent teachings on suffering, craving, nirvana and the Noble Eightfold Path. It is one of Buddhism’s most sacred holidays.
Observed annually on the full moon of the eighth lunar month (usually July)

July 28

World Hepatitis Day

 

Viral hepatitis is the 8th leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This day is a call to action for better prevention and education programs, greater access to treatment, and government action to help reduce the 1.5 million deaths each year.
Observed annually on July 28

July 30

International Day of Friendship

 

The U.N. proclaimed this day to celebrate the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can build bridges and inspire peace efforts. The day's activities emphasize empowering young people as future leaders, respecting different cultures and promoting international understanding.
Observed annually on July 30

Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2017

Aug. 19-24, 2018

Aug. 9-14, 2019

July 28-Aug. 2, 2020

Hajj

Islam

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the greatest religious observance in Islam. Nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims make their way from Mecca to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat. It was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.
Observed annually on Dhu al-Hijjah 8-12 of the Islamic calendar

Aug. 31, 2017

Aug. 22, 2018

Aug 12, 2019

July 31, 2020

Eid-al-Adha / "The Festival of Sacifice"

Islam

The holiday honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael as an act of submission to God's command, before God intervened with a sacrificial lamb instead. It is the 2nd most important festival in Muslim culture and celebrations are often held over a 3-day period.
Observed on the 3rd day of Hajj

 

August

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

August  

Family Fun Month

 

Families may be younger, older, blended, with children or without - and everything in between. No matter how you define family, take time out of your busy schedules to have some fun - visit a local park, go camping, share a family game, read books - any activity designed to spend time with your family.

Aug. 1

Lughnasadh

Wiccan / Pagan

Marks the first harvest of the year. Named after Lugh, an Irish deity. This celebration is also named Lammas Eve, Lady Day Eve or Feast of Bread.

Observed annually on Aug. 1

Aug. 9

International Day of the World’s Indigenous
People

 

The U.N. declared this as a day to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This day also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues.
Observed annually on Aug. 9

Aug. 12

International Youth Day

 

The U.N. designated this day to recognize the efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society and to highlight issues of youth education, empowerment, as well as employment, poverty and migration. Communities are encouraged to find ways to engage their youth in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions.
Observed annually on Aug. 12

Aug. 19

World Humanitarian Day

 

Through the tireless efforts of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation and his family, the U.N. proclaimed this day to remember those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work. A U.N. diplomat and humanitarian, Sérgio Vieira de Mello died along with his 21 colleagues in the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq on Aug. 19, 2003. 
Observed annually on Aug. 19

Sept 22, 2017

Sept. 12, 2018

Sept. 1. 2019

Aug. 20, 2020

Muharram / Al-Hijrah

Islam

The Islamic New Year marks the migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, which began in 622 AD.
Observed annually during the Islamic month of Muharram

Aug. 31, 2017

Aug. 20, 2018

Aug. 10, 2019

Aug. 29, 2020

Day of Arafah

Islam

The Day of Arafah is the most important day in the Hajj ritual. At dawn on this day, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca begins.
Observed on the 2nd day of the Hajj pilgrimage

Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2017

Aug. 19-24, 2018

Aug. 9-14, 2019

July 28-Aug. 2, 2020

Hajj

Islam

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the greatest religious observance in Islam. Nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims make their way from Mecca to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat. It was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.
Observed annually on Dhu al-Hijjah 8-12 of the Islamic calendar

Aug. 31, 2017

Aug. 22, 2018

Aug 12, 2019

July 31, 2020

Eid-al-Adha / "The Festival of Sacifice"

Islam

The holiday honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael as an act of submission to God's command, before God intervened with a sacrificial lamb instead. It is the 2nd most important festival in Muslim culture and celebrations are often held over a 3-day period.
Observed on the 3rd day of Hajj

Oct. 1, 2017

Sept. 20, 2018

Sept 10, 2019

Aug. 30, 2020

Ashura

Islam

A day of mourning for the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammed's grandson, Husayn ibn Aliwho refused to take an oath of allegiance to the tyrant Yazid I.
Observed annually on Muharram 10 of the Islamic calendar

Aug. 23

International Day for the Remembrance of the
Slave Trade and its Abolition

 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated this day to urge countries to protect their citizens against racism and forced labor. The date commemorates the uprising on Saint Domingue (now Haiti) on Aug. 23, 1791, which led to the eventual abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
Observed annually on Aug. 23

Aug. 26

Women’s Equality Day

 

A commemoration of the certification on August 26, 1920 of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted American women the right to vote on August 26, 1920. This day is a reminder that although much progress has been made to gain equal rights for women around the world, many still live without the rights to which all people are entitled.
Observed annually on Aug. 26

 September

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

September

Fruits and Veggies - More Matters Month

 

People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Eating healthy can also help prevent obesity and high blood pressure.

September

National Guide Dog Month

 

A celebration of the work of guide dogs in assisting persons with disabilities with the goal of raising awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the U.S.

September

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

 

Congress dedicated this month to improving the quality of life and care for those living with spinal cord injuries and working toward a cure through continued research.

September

National Suicide Awareness Month

 

Dedicated to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, to improve education about suicide and to de-stigmatize suicide for its victims and their families. One million lives are lost each year through suicide which exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Sept. 15-
Oct. 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month

 

A celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

September

Pain Awareness Month

 

A time for organizations and healthcare institutions to raise awareness of issues related to pain and pain management.

First Monday of September

Labor Day

 

A commemoration of the American labor movement and dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.
Observed annually on the 1st Monday in September

Sept. 8-14

National Suicide Prevention Week

 

A week-long campaign to inform and engage health professionals and the public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide.
Observed annually during the week of World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10)

Sept. 10

World Suicide Prevention Day

 

A day which brings together individuals and organizations around the world who share an interest in preventing suicide prevention and mobilizing efforts to save lives.
Observed annually on Sept. 10

Sept. 11

Patriot Day

 

An observance to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
Observed annually on Sept. 11

Sept. 12

Spanish Language Day

 

The U.N. recognizes the Spanish language as one of its six official languages. Oct. 12 is observed in many Spanish-speaking regions as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) or Día de la Hispanidad (National Day in Spain).
Observed annually on Sept. 12

Sept. 18

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

 

An annual event to honor U.S. prisoners of war, missing-in-action and their families.
Observed annually on the 3rd Friday in September

Oct. 1, 2017

Sept. 20, 2018

Sept 10, 2019

Aug. 30, 2020

Ashura

Islam

A day of mourning for the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammed's grandson, Husayn ibn Aliwho refused to take an oath of allegiance to the tyrant Yazid I.
Observed annually on Muharram 10 of the Islamic calendar

Sept. 20-22, 2017

Sept. 9-11, 2018

Sept 29-Oct 1, 2019

Sept 18-20, 2020

Rosh Hashanah / "Jewish New Year"

Judaism

A celebration of the creation of the world and a time for reflection and self-evaluation. One of the Jewish tradition's holiest days. Observance begins at sunset on Sept. 24. No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah.
Observed annually on Tishrei 1-2 of the Hebrew calendar

Sept 22, 2017

Sept. 12, 2018

Sept. 1. 2019

Aug. 20, 2020

Muharram / Al-Hijrah

Islam

The Islamic New Year marks the migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina which began in 622 AD.
Observed annually during the Islamic month of Muharram

Sept 29-30, 2017

Sept. 18-19, 2018

Oct. 8-9, 2019

Sept 27-29, 2020

Yom Kippur

Judaism

Regarded as the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and is an opportunity for the faithful to demonstrate repentance and make amends. Traditionally observed with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.
Observed annually on Tishrei 10 of the Hebrew calendar

Sept. 21

International Day of Peace / World Peace Day

 

The United Nations (U.N.) declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
Observed annually on Sept. 21

Sept. 22

Emancipation Day (U.S.)

 

A commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery delivered on September 22, 1862. The official Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863.
Observed annually on Sept. 22

Sept.  22-23

Mabon / Autumnal Equinox

Wiccan / Pagan

A celebration of the fall harvest and the preparations for the coming of winter.
Observed annually on the autumnal equinox

Sept.  23

International Celebrate Bisexuality Day

 

A day for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in their lives.


October

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

 

     

October

Filipino American History Month / Filipino American Heritage Month

 

A celebration of more than 400 years of Filipino history in what is now the United States. October 18, 1587 is the day that the first Filipinos or "Luzon Indios" arrived on a Spanish galleon near Morro Bay, California - 33 years before Pilgrims from England arrived at Plymouth Rock.

October

Italian American Culture and Heritage Month

 

A recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America.

October

LGBT History Month

 

An observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

October

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

A campaign to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

October

National Bullying Prevention Month

 

Founded by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, this campaign unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Everyone is encouraged to take an active role in preventing bullying in your community. 

October

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

 

Raising awareness about disability employment issues is the goal of this campaign. Events celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

October

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

A campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence and encourage communities to together to end violence. "Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence," (From National Network to End Domestic Violence).

October 

National Work and Family Month

 

A campaign to encourage employers to think strategically about family-friendly policies and work-life benefits such as workplace flexibility, health and wellness, dependent care, community involvement, organizational culture, financial security, and paid and unpaid time off to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce.

October

Polish American Heritage Month

 

An annual observance of the many accomplishments of generations of Polish Americans who have attained great success in the arts, sciences, scholarship, and every other field of endeavor.

October

Spina Bifida Awareness Month

 

A time to educate the public about Spina Bifida while celebrating the lives of the more than 166,000 Americans affected. Spina Bifida is the most commonly occurring complex birth defect in the U.S.

Sept. 20-22, 2017

Sept. 9-11, 2018

Sept 29-Oct 1, 2019

Sept 18-20, 2020

Rosh Hashanah / "Jewish New Year"

Judaism

A celebration of the creation of the world and a time for reflection and self-evaluation. One of the Jewish tradition's holiest days. Observance begins at sunset on Sept. 24. No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah.
Observed annually on Tishrei 1-2 of the Hebrew calendar

Oct. 1

International Day of Older Persons

 

The U.N. designated this as a day to celebrate the contributions that older people make to society and to raise awareness about the societal, financial and health issues affecting the elderly.
Observed annually on Oct. 1

Oct. 2

International Day of Non-Violence

 

The U.N. proclaimed this as a day to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness," (From the United Nations). Commemorates the Oct. 2, 1869 birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
Observed annually on Oct. 2

Oct. 6

German-American Day

 

A celebration of German American heritage and traditions. On Oct. 6, 1683, thirteen German families landed in Philadelphia and subsequently founded Germantown, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies. One in four Americans claim to have German ancestors.
Observed annually on Oct. 6

2nd Monday in October

Indigenous People's Day

 

A day to commemorate the history of American Indian/Native Alaskan peoples and to promote Native American and aboriginal heritages, cultures and traditions.
Observed annually on the 2nd Monday in October

Oct. 10

World Mental Health Day

 

A day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy, and to bring attention to the impact of mental illness on millions of peoples' lives worldwide.
Observed annually on Oct. 10

2nd Monday in October

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)

 

A Canadian holiday which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The history of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage.
Observed annually on the 2nd Monday in October

Oct. 1, 2017

Sept. 20, 2018

Sept 10, 2019

Aug. 30, 2020

Ashura

Islam

A day of mourning for the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammed's grandson, Husayn ibn Aliwho refused to take an oath of allegiance to the tyrant Yazid I.
Observed annually on Muharram 10 of the Islamic calendar

Oct. 11

National Coming Out Day

 

An observance to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement. Commemorates Oct. 11, 1987 when half of a million-people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Observed annually on Oct. 11

Sept 29-30, 2017

Sept. 18-19, 2018

Oct. 8-9, 2019

Sept 27-29, 2020

Yom Kippur

Judaism

Regarded as the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and is an opportunity for the faithful to demonstrate repentance and make amends. Traditionally observed with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.
Observed annually on Tishrei 10 of the Hebrew calendar

Oct. 12

World Arthritis Day

 

A day aimed at increasing awareness of the many forms of arthritis and to call on individuals and policymakers to act to reduce the burden of arthritis around the world.
Observed annually on Oct. 12

Oct. 17

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

The U.N. declared this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.
Observed annually on Oct. 17

Oct 4-13, 2017

Sept. 23-Oct 2, 2018

Oct 13-23, 2019

Oct 2-11, 2020

Sukkot

Jewish

A festival to commemorate the fall harvest. A sukkah or hut (booth as translated from Hebrew) is constructed to celebrate with eating and socializing.

Observed annually on the 5th day of the month of Tishrei of the Hebrew calendar

Oct. 19-20

Birth of the Báb

Baha'i

The Báb is often referred to as the "Herald of the Baha'i Faith," because it was his mission to prepare the way for Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith.

Oct. 24

United Nations Day

 

A commemoration of the U.N. Charter signed on Oct. 24, 1945 and a day that "shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for" its work. 
Observed annually on Oct. 24

Oct 19, 2017

Nov. 7, 2018

Oct. 27, 2019

Nov. 14, 2020

Diwali / Deepvali

Buddhism /
Hinduism

A festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Celebrations can last up to 5 days.

Observed annually on Kartika 15 of the Hindu calendar

Dec. 1, 2017

Nov. 21, 2018

Nov. 10, 2019

Oct. 29, 2020

Milad un-Nabi / Mawlid or "The Prophet's Birthday"

Islam

A commemoration of Muhammad's birthday in approximately the year 570 (Gregorian calendar). Muhammad is widely regarded by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind. Observance begins at sunset on Jan. 2.
Observed annually on Rabi' al awwal 12 or 17 of the Islamic calendar

Oct. 31

Halloween / All Saints' Eve or All Hallow's Eve

Christianity

The eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day (Nov. 1). It initiates Hallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed believers.
Observed annually on Oct. 31

Oct. 31

Samhain

Wiccan / Pagan

Marks the end of summer and honors the ancestors who came before us. It is an ideal day to contact the spirit world because it's the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. 
Observed annually on Oct. 31


November

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

November

American Diabetes Month

 

One in 12 Americans has diabetes, one of the leading causes of disability and death in the U.S. More than 79 million adults in the U.S. are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. You can lower your risk if you make healthy changes - eating healthy, increasing physical activity and losing weight.

November

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

 

Lung cancer is the number one cause of death from cancer for both men and women in the U.S. It leads to more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined. Support prevention and early detection - and encourage your friends and family to stop smoking.

November

Movember - Prostate Cancer Awareness

 

As an official global charity, Movember raises funds to support world-class men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

November

National Military Family Appreciation Month

 

The Department of Defense and the nation honors the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation's service members. As Pres. Obama declared "Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support."

November

National Native American Heritage Month / American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month

 

A time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native, Indigenous, and Aboriginal people living in the United States. It is also an opportunity to commemorate Native, Indigenous, and Aboriginal from around the world.

Nov. 1

Día de los Muertos / "Day of the Dead"

 

The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world.
Observed annually on Nov. 1

Nov. 1

All Saints' Day / All Hallow's / The Feast of All Saints

Christianity

To honor all the saints, known and unknown, who have attained the beatific vision of heaven.
Observed annually on Nov. 1

Nov. 2

All Soul's Day

Christianity

A day of prayer for the dead, typically for one's relatives. 
Observed annually on Nov. 2

Nov. 9

World Freedom Day (U.S.)

 

A commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Nov. 11

Armistice Day

 

Commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of WW I.
Coincides with Veterans Day on Nov. 11

Nov. 11

Veteran’s Day

 

An official United States holiday that honors the veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Observed annually on Nov. 11

Nov. 13

World Kindness Day

 

A day to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race, religion, politics, gender and geography.
Observed annually on Nov. 13

Nov. 13

World Vasectomy Day

 

To raise global awareness of vasectomy as a solution to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Oct 19, 2017

Nov. 7, 2018

Oct. 27, 2019

Nov. 14, 2020

Diwali / Deepvali

Buddhism /
Hinduism

A festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Celebrations can last up to 5 days.

Observed annually on Kartika 15 of the Hindu calendar

Nov. 16

International Day of Tolerance

 

The U.N. designated this day to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.
Observed annually on Nov. 16

Nov. 17

International Students' Day

 

Often observed as a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of international students. The day commemorates the Nazi German storming of Czech universities on Nov. 17, 1939 and the subsequent killing and sending of students to concentration camps. 
Observed annually on Nov. 17

Nov. 19

International Men’s Day

 

Celebrates the achievements and contributions of men and boys to their communities and families. The observance includes focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.
Observed annually on Nov. 19

Nov. 20

Transgender Day of Remembrance and Awareness

 

A day to memorialize those who have been killed because of transphobia, or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
Observed annually on Nov. 20

Nov. 20

Universal Children’s Day

 

The U.N. proclaimed this day to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the children of the world.
Observed annually on Nov. 20

Dec. 1, 2017

Nov. 21, 2018

Nov. 10, 2019

Oct. 29, 2020

Milad un-Nabi / Mawlid or "The Prophet's Birthday"

Islam

A commemoration of Muhammad's birthday in approximately the year 570 (Gregorian calendar). Muhammad is widely regarded by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind. Observance begins at sunset on Jan. 2.
Observed annually on Rabi' al awwal 12 or 17 of the Islamic calendar

Nov. 25

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

 

The U.N. designated this day as a declaration that violence against women is a human rights violation and calls for the eradication of violence against women without reservation, equivocation or delay.
Observed annually on Nov. 20

Nov. 23, 2017

Nov. 22, 2018

Nov. 28, 2019

Nov. 26, 2020

Thanksgiving (United States)

 

A federal holiday celebrated a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
Observed annually on the 4th Thursday in November


December

Date    

Holiday

Religion

Description

December

Learn a Foreign Language Month

 

A time to make a commitment to learn another language. Nearly 21 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home. The leading non-English language spoken in the U.S. is Spanish with more than 34 million speakers.

December

Universal Human Rights Month

 

In 1948, the United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This month commemorates our observance of those rights.

December

AIDS Awareness Month

 

A month to bring notice about HIV/AIDS. More in the World AIDS Day description.

Dec. 1

World AIDS Day

 

A day “to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. Public and private partners disseminate information about the status of the pandemic and to encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world, particularly in high prevalence countries,” (From the World Health Organization).
Observed annually on Dec. 1

Dec. 2

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

 

The U.N. designated this day to focus on “eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.” Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world (From the United Nations).
Observed annually on Dec. 2

Dec. 3

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

 

The U.N. proclaimed this day to highlight the struggle of the more than one billion persons with disabilities around the world who face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society.
Observed annually on Dec. 3

Dec. 8

Bodhi Day

Buddhism

A celebration of the day of Buddha's achievement of enlightenment under a bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.
Observed annually on Dec. 8

Dec. 10

Human Rights Day (and Week)

 

The U.N. declared this day (and week) to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere. The date celebrates the adoption of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" by the U.N. on December 10, 1948. 
Observed annually on Dec. 10

Dec. 1, 2017

Nov. 21, 2018

Nov. 10, 2019

Oct. 29, 2020

Milad un-Nabi / Mawlid or "The Prophet's Birthday"

Islam

A commemoration of Muhammad's birthday in approximately the year 570 (Gregorian calendar). Muhammad is widely regarded by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God to mankind. Observance begins at sunset on Jan. 2.
Observed annually on Rabi' al awwal 12 or 17 of the Islamic calendar

Dec. 18

Arabic Language Day

 

On Dec. 18, 1973, the U.N. approved Arabic as one of its six official languages.
Observed annually on Dec. 18

Dec.  20

International Human Solidarity Day

 

The U.N. designated this day to draw attention to solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the 21st century.
Observed annually on Dec. 20

Dec. 22

Yule / Winter Solstice

Wiccan / Pagan

Marks the death of the Sun-God and his rebirth from the Earth Goddess.
Observed annually on the winter solstice

Dec. 24

Christmas Eve / "Holy Night"

Christianity

In the Christian tradition, it is believed that Jesus Christ was born at night. Celebrated with a midnight mass in many Christian churches. 
Observed annually on Dec. 24

Dec. 12-20, 2017

Dec. 2-10, 2018

Dec. 22-30, 2019

Dec. 10-18, 2020

Hanukkah / "Festival of Lights"

Judaism

An eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. The holiday is observed by a series of daily rituals and the lighting of one candle of the menorah for each night.
Observed annually beginning on Kislev 25 of the Hebrew calendar

Dec.  25

Christmas Day

Christianity

Widely celebrated by Christians worldwide with special church services as the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. Also, Christmas is a major secular and federal holiday, Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate with the traditional Christmas tree, gift-giving, and music. 
Observed annually on Dec. 25

Dec. 26

Boxing Day (Canada)

 

A federal holiday in Canada, Boxing Day is traditionally a day for employers to distribute Christmas baskets or gifts to their employees. It is a popular shopping day.
Observed annually on Dec. 26

Dec. 26 - Jan. 1

Kwanzaa

 

Kwaanza is a seven-day celebration honoring African-American culture and African heritage, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Created by Maulana Karenga and first celebrated in 1966–67, the name derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," meaning "first fruits of the harvest."
Observed annually from Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve

 

The last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. Often celebrated with social gatherings and fireworks to usher in the new year.
Observed annually on Dec. 31

 

 

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