Holiday Calendar & Heritage Months

Your resource for holidays and cultural events, updated regularly.

February 1-february 29

Black History Month

While the first original celebration of Negro History Week was in February 1926, Black History Month was expanded to the entire month of February in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. Negro History Week originally spanned the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two figures pivotal to abolitioning slavery in the US. The initiative to establish an entire month of honor was spearheaded by author, journalist and historian, Carter G. Woodson, known most notably as the “Father” of Black History due to his influential work. Today, there are 48.2 million African American people in the US; from 2020 to 2060, Black Americans will contribute to more than 20 percent of the total US population growth.

Heritage Months and Dates
Seramount has developed these resources to help your teams better understand the various Heritage Month celebrations and enhance your workplace diversity and inclusion efforts.

Holiday Calendar

The world is rich with diversity, which is reflected in the observances celebrated by its various cultures and populations.

Knowledge of the following diversity holidays and celebrations can enhance your workplace diversity and inclusion efforts.

2024 Calendar Download

This resource serves as a compilation of descriptions gathered from various webpages, and it is important to note that the information presented here is a synthesis of content obtained from multiple sources

January 2024

January 1:  New Year’s Day, the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar, celebrated in most Western countries 

January 1:  Feast Day of St. Basil, a holiday observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorating the death of Saint Basil the Great 

January 3:  Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, commemorates the naming of the child Jesus 

January 4:  World Braille Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication for blind and partially sighted people; celebrated on the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille 

January 5:  Twelfth Night, a festival celebrated by some branches of Christianity that marks the coming of the Epiphany 

January 6:  Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day), a holiday observed by Eastern and Western Christians that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus twelve days after his birth 

January 7:  Christmas, recognized on this day by Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Christmas thirteen days later than other Christian churches because they follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar  

January 13: Maghi/Lohri, an annual festival celebrated by Sikhs commemorating the memory of forty Sikh martyrs

January 14:  Makar Sankranti, a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India 

January 14: Orthodox New Year, celebrated every year on January 14th by Orthodox Christians all over the world. It marks the start of the new year according to the Julian calendar.

January 15:  Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorates the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for nonviolent social change until his assassination in 1968. 

January 17:  World Religion Day, observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding 

January 18–25:  The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, during which Christians pray for unity between all churches of the Christian faith 

January 20:  Timkat, a holiday observed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River on Epiphany 

January 20:  Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs who initiated the Sikhs as the Khalsa (the pure ones) and who is known as the Father of the Khalsa  

January 21: World Religion Day, observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.

January 25: Mahayana New Year, a holiday celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhist branch on the first full-moon day in January.

January 27:  The International Day of Commemoration to remember the victims of the Holocaust; the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945 and UN Holocaust Memorial Day 

February 2024

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora. 

February 1:  National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States in 1865 

February 1:  St. Brigid of Kildare, feast day for St. Brigid celebrated by some Christian denominations 

February 1–2:  Imbolic a Gaelic, Pagan, and Wiccan traditional festival that represents making way for spring and the rebirth of nature.

February 2:  Candlemas, a Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions: the presentation of the child Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and Virgin Mary’s purification 

February 3:  St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches 

February 3:  Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated annually as part of the Spring Festival 

February 3:  Four Chaplains Day commemorates the anniversary of the sinking of the US Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.

February 7-8:  Lailat al Miraj, a Muslim holiday that commemorates the prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the “Farthest Mosque” in Jerusalem, where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily. Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Lailat al Miraj starting at sundown on February 7

February 8-10: Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, is a time of renewal through sacred and secular practices.

February 10: Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, marks the beginning of the lunar calendar in many East Asian cultures. Celebrated with vibrant parades, traditional performances, and family gatherings, it symbolizes the renewal of life and the ushering in of good fortune.

February 13: Mardi Gras, the last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that accompany Lent. The term “Mardi Gras” is particularly associated with the carnival celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana.

February 13: Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Although named for its former religious significance, it is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration, which traditionally preceded the observance of the Lenten fast. It is observed by various Christian denominations.

February 14: Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent on the Christian calendar. Its name is derived from the symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.

February 14:  St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. This holiday is typically associated with romantic love and celebrated by people expressing their love with gifts. 

February 14: Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring. On this day, Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art, and culture.

February 15:  Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day), the commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana; February 8 is an alternative date of observance

February 19:  Presidents Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States that honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln birthday, as well as those of every US president

February 20: World Day of Social Justice, promotes global awareness and action for social justice, urging individuals and organizations to address issues of inequality, discrimination, and poverty through education, advocacy, and collaborative efforts.

February 24: Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Devotees take a holy bath on this day and carry out charity work.

February 24:  Magha Puja Day (also known as Maka Bucha), a Buddhist holiday that marks an event early in the Buddha’s teaching life when a group of 1,250 enlightened saints ordained by the Buddha gathered to pay their respect to him. It is celebrated on various dates in different countries.

February 24:  Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year; participants enjoy watching paper lanterns illuminate the sky on the night of the event 

February 24-25:  Lailat al Bara’a, also known as Lailat Al Baraah, Barat, or popularly as Shab-e-Bara or Night of Forgiveness. It is an Islamic holiday during which practitioners of the faith seek forgiveness for sins. Muslims spend the night in special prayers. It is regarded as one of the most sacred nights on the Islamic calendar. 

February 26–29:  Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há, celebrated by people of the Bahá’í faith. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar. Intercalary days are observed with gift-giving, special acts of charity, and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Year. 

March 2024

March is Women’s History Month. Established in 1987, Women’s History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society. 

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, established to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

March is National Irish American Heritage Month. It celebrates the Irish American heritage and culture and pays tribute to the contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States.

March 1: Zero Discrimination Day, is meant to highlight the need for people to be informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change

March 1 (sunset) to March 19 (sunset):  Nineteen-Day Fast, a time in the Bahá’í faith to reinvigorate the soul and bring one closer to God. This fast takes place immediately before the beginning of the Bahá’í New Year.

March 8:  International Women’s Day. First observed in 1911 in Germany, it has now become a major global celebration honoring women’s economic, political, and social achievements

March 8: Maha Shivaratri, a Hindu festival celebrated each year to honor Lord Shiva. It is celebrated just before the arrival of spring. It is also known as the Great Night of Shiva or Shivaratri and is one of the largest and most significant among the sacred festival nights of India

March 10:  Meatfare Sunday (The Sunday of the Last Judgment), traditionally the last day of eating meat before Easter for Orthodox Christians

March 11-April 10: (sundown to sundown) Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer, and devotion to Islam

March 14: Equal Pay Day, is a symbolic day that marks how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. It is observed annually in the United States on March 14th.

March 15: International Day to Combat Islamophobia, is observed to bring awareness to the growing global problem of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is a form of religious bigotry and discrimination that targets Muslims and their beliefs.

March 17: Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday, the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians

March 17:  St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday started in Ireland to recognize St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the country in the early days of the faith 

March 18–24 Neurodiversity Celebration Week recognizes and celebrates neurological differences.

March 18: Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith is also known as Clean Monday

March 19:  St. Joseph’s Day, in Western Christianity the principal feast of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary  

March 20:  Ostara, a celebration of the spring equinox commemorated by Pagans and Wiccans. It is observed as a time to mark the coming of spring and the fertility of the land

March 20–21:  Naw-Rúz, the Bahá’í New Year, is a holiday celebrated on the vernal equinox. It is one of the nine Bahá’í holy days on which work is suspended

March 20–21:  Nowruz/Norooz, Persian New Year, a day of joy, celebration, and renewal. It is held annually on the spring equinox

March 21:  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually in the wake of the 1960 killing of 69 people at a demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in South Africa. The United Nations proclaimed the day in 1966 and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination

March 7-8:  Purim, a Jewish celebration that marks the time when the Jewish community living in Persia was saved from genocide. On Purim, Jewish people dress up in costumes, offer charity, and share food with friends. 

March 24: Orthodox Sunday, celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent. It is the celebration of the victory of the iconodules over the iconoclasts by the decision of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Therefore, the service commemorates the restoration of icons for use in services as well as a Christian’s private devotional life

March 24:  Lord’s Evening Meal, celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses in commemoration of an event believed to have occurred on the first night of Passover in approximately 33 CE, i.e., the Last Supper

March 24:  Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It takes place on the last Sunday of Lent, at the beginning of the Holy Week

March 25:  Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, a Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus 

March 25  Hola Mohalla, a Sikh festival that takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chet, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi 

March 25:  International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observation that offers the opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. First observed in 2008, the international celebration also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice

March 25:  Holi, the annual Hindu and Sikh spring religious festival observed in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, along with other countries with large Hindu and Sikh populations. People celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlada accomplished when demoness Holika carried him into the fire. It is often celebrated on the full moon (the Phalguna Purnima) before the beginning of the vernal equinox as based on the Hindu calendar

March 26: Khordad Sal (birth of prophet Zoroaster), birth anniversary (or birth date) of Zoroaster, a spiritual leader and ethical philosopher who taught a spiritual philosophy of self realization and realization of the divine. Zoroastrians celebrate this day with prayer and feasting.

March 28:  Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Christian holiday commemorating the Last Supper, at which Jesus and the Apostles were together for the last time before the crucifixion. It is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter

March 29:  Good Friday, a Christian holiday to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is recognized on the Friday before Easter.

March 31:  Easter, a holiday celebrated by Christians to recognize Jesus’ return from death after the crucifixion

March 31:  International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people  

April 2024

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, a celebration that was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will gain a deeper understanding of each other. 

April is Autism Acceptance Month, established to raise awareness about and acceptance of the developmental disability that impacts an individual’s experience of the world around them

April is National Arab American Heritage Month. It celebrates the Arab American heritage and culture and pays tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans.

April is Deaf History Month. This observance celebrates key events in deaf history, including the founding of Gallaudet University and the American School for the Deaf

April 1: Easter Monday, is the day after Easter Sunday, a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ

April 2:  World Autism Awareness Day, created to raise awareness around the globe

April 5:  Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of the year for Muslims, is traditionally celebrated on the twenty-seventh day of Ramadan. It is known as the Night of Power and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad  

April 9: Chaitra Navaratri, a nine-day festival which starts on the first day of Hindu Luni-Solar calendar

April 9–10 (sundown to sundown):  Eid al-Fitr, the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marking the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutuba (sermon), and give Zakat al-Fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr

April 12:  The Day of Silence, during which students take a daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment

April 13:  Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi), the celebration of the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated) and the birth of the Khalsa

April 17: Ram Navami, a Hindu day of worship and celebration of the seventh avatar of Vishnu (Lord Rama). Devotees typically wear red and place extravagant flowers on the shrine of the god

April 21:  Mahavir Jayanti, a holiday celebrated by the Jains commemorating the birth of Lord Mahavira. It is one of the most important religious festivals for Jains

April 21:  The Festival of Ridvan, a holiday celebrated by those of the Bahá’í faith, commemorating the twelve days when Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder, resided in a garden called Ridvan (paradise) and publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age

April 22:  Earth Day promotes world peace and sustainability of the planet. Events are held globally in support of environmental protection of the Earth

April 22–April 30:  Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday in commemoration of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt  

April 23:  St. George’s Day, the feast day of St. George celebrated by various Christian churches

April 27:  Lazarus Saturday, a day celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy to commemorate the raising from the dead of Lazarus of Bethany

April 28-29:  Ninth Day of Ridvan, a festival of joy and unity in the Bahá’í faith to commemorate the reunification of Bahá’u’lláh’s family and by extension the unity of the entire human family the Bahá’í faith calls for. It permeates the symbolic meaning of the Ninth Day of Ridvan. 

May 2024

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. Asian American Heritage Month is a dedicated celebration in the United States that takes place annually in May. This month honors the rich and diverse contributions of Asian Americans in US history and culture.

May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.  

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month), which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.  

May 1: May Day, also called Workers’ Day or International Workers’ Day, is the day that commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers and the labor movement

May 1:  Beltane, an ancient Celtic, Pagan, and Wiccan holiday commemorated about halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The day is often used to celebrate love and romance

May 2:  National Day of Prayer, a day of observance in the United States when people are asked to “turn to God in prayer and meditation” 

May 3:  Feasts of Saints Philip and James, a Roman rite feast day held on the anniversary of the dedication of the Church to Saints Phillip and James in Rome

May 5:  Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861–1867). This day celebrates Mexican culture and heritage with a variety of festivities, including parades and mariachi music performances

May 5:  Orthodox Easter (also called Pascha), a later Easter date than what is observed by many Western churches 

May 9:  Ascension of Jesus or Ascension Day, celebrated as the ascension of Christ from Earth in the presence of God within most of the Christian faith 

May 10: Military Spouse Appreciation Day, is an annual occasion observed on the Friday before Mother’s Day in May to recognize and honor the support and sacrifices of military spouses in the US

May 15: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and is a gazetted holiday in India

May 17:  International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a global celebration of sexual orientation and gender diversities 

May 19: Malcom X Day, a holiday celebrated either on May 19th, his birthday, or on the third Friday in May, to commemorate the Civil Rights leader

May 19 Pentecost, a Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th day after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles

May 21:  World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony

May 22–23 (sundown to sundown):  Declaration of the Báb, the day of declaration of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith  

May 25–26 (sundown to sundown):  Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday marking the day of hillula of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

May 26:  Trinity Sunday, observed in the Western Christian faith as a feast in honor of the Holy Trinity

May 27:  Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by US forces

May 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, commemo

rates the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith

May 30:  Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday celebrating the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist  

June 2024

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on the world. LGBTQ+ groups note this  time with Pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings. The last Sunday in June is LGBTQ+ Pride Day.  

June is Immigrant Heritage Month, is a celebration in the United States that occurs annually in June. This month is dedicated to honoring and recognizing the contributions of immigrants to the US.

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, established in June 2006. It honors and celebrates the rich and diverse culture of the Caribbean American population.

June 2:  Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the US Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans

June 7:  Feast of the Most Sacred Heart, a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church  

June 10:  Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, observed by members of the Sikh faith. Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh guru and the first Sikh martyr

June 11-13 (sundown to sundown):  Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that has double significance. It marks the wheat harvest in Israel and commemorates the anniversary of the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai.  

June 14:  Flag Day in the United States, observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the US flag 

June 15-16 (sundown to sundown):  Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith

June 16:  New Church Day, commemorating the day in the Christian faith the Lord called together the twelve disciples who followed him on Earth, instructed them in the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and sent them out to teach that “the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages.” This was the beginning of the New Church

June 16-17 (sundown to sundown):  Eid-al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event

June 19:  Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, was established as a federal holiday in 2022. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas and Louisiana finally heard they were free, two and a half years after the end of the Civil War. June 19, therefore, became the day of emancipation for thousands of African Americans

June 21:  National Indigenous Peoples Day or First Nations Day, a day that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada 

June 21:  Litha, also known as midsummer, the summer solstice celebrated by Wiccans and Pagans. It is the first day of summer and longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”

June 29:  Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, a liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome for the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul in Eastern Orthodox Christianity 

Last Sunday in June:  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Day in the United States. It commemorates the Stonewall Riots that occurred on June 28, 1969. 

July 2024

July is Disability Pride Month. It is a time to celebrate the diversity of the disability community and to recognize the accomplishments of people with disabilities. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges that people with disabilities face and to advocate for equal rights and opportunities.

July 1: Canada Day, or Fête du Canada, a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, which established the three former British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick as a united nation called Canada 

July 4:  Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July), a US federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original thirteen American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America

July 7-8:  Hijri New Year, the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year   

July 9: The Martyrdom of the Bab, a day when Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the Báb’s execution in Tabriz, Iran, in 1850 

July 11:  St. Benedict Day, the feast day of St. Benedict celebrated by some Christian denominations 

July 14:  International Nonbinary People’s Day, aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by nonbinary people around the world while celebrating their contributions 

July 15:  St. Vladimir of the Great Day, feast day for St. Vladimir celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches 

July 16–17 (sundown to sundown):  Ashura, an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians

July 18:  Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices in which he stated, “It is in your hands now.” It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better

July 21:  Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings  

July 23:  The birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia whom the Rastafarians consider to be their savior 

July 24:  Pioneer Day, observed by Mormons to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter-day Saints pioneer in Salt Lake Valley 

July 25:  St. James the Greater Day, feast day for St. James the Greater celebrated by some Christian denominations 

July 26:  Disability Independence Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act 

July 27: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day that Black women need to work until they made what Non Hispanic white men made in the previous year. The point of this day is to acknowledge the pay disparity between men and women as well as how disproportionately Black women are impacted, making, on average, 64 cents for all workers (including part time) on the dollar as compared to non-Hispanic, white men

July 30:  International Day of Friendship, proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities  

August 2024

August 1:  Lammas, a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest within some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere  

August 1:  Lughnasadh, a Gaelic, Pagan, and Wiccan festival celebrating sacrifice and giving back. The holiday marks the beginning of harvest season and is the first of three harvest rituals

August 6:  Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast of the Transfiguration), celebrated by various Christian denominations, the feast day is dedicated to the transfiguration of Jesus

August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is to recognize and celebrate the rich cultural heritage and contributions of indigenous peoples worldwide. It also serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges and injustices faced by indigenous communities around the globe.

August 12-13: Tisha B’Av, a fast in commemoration of the destruction of two holy and sacred temples of Judaism destroyed by the Babylonians (in 586 BCE) and Romans (in 70 CE). At the end of Tisha B’Av, select passages from the Torah are read, and netilat yadayim, or the washing of the hands, is performed

August 13–15:  Obon (Ullambana), a Buddhist festival and Japanese custom that honors the spirits of ancestors

August 15:  Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus, beginning of the fourteen-day period of preparation for Orthodox Christians leading up to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary   

August 15:  Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, as well as parts of Anglicanism, the day commemorates the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life

August 15:  Dormition of the Theotokos, a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches that commemorates the “falling asleep,” or death, of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”) and her bodily resurrection before ascending into heaven 

August 17:  Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America

August 18:  Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese holiday in which street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits  

August 19:  Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and sister. “Raksha” means “protection” in Hindi and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life

August 23:  International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean 

August 26:  Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every US president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day

August 26-27:  Krishna Janmashtami, a Hindu celebration of Lord Vishnu’s most powerful human incarnations, Krishna, the god of love and compassion. Celebrations include praying and fasting

August 29:  Beheading of St. John the Baptist, a holy day observed by various Christian churches that follow liturgical traditions. The day commemorates the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, who was beheaded on the orders of Herod Antipas through the vengeful request of his stepdaughter, Salome, and her mother

August 31:  Paryushana Parvarambha, a Jain festival lasting eight to ten days that is observed through meditation and fasting. It focuses on spiritual upliftment, pursuit of salvation, and a deeper understanding of the religion. 

September 2024

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship. 

Intergenerational Month is celebrated annually in September to promote intergenerational understanding and connection among people of all ages. It is a time to recognize the importance of bridging the generational gap and fostering meaningful relationships between young and old.

September 2:  Labor Day in the United States honors the contribution that workers have made to the country and is observed on the first Monday of September

September 7:  Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu holiday lasting approximately ten days, in which the elephant-headed Hindu god is praised and given offerings   

Second Week in September: National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, a weeklong celebration of the vital role HBCUs play in molding Black leaders, encouraging high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCU’s, providing scholarship dollars for matriculation, and sustaining a pipeline for employment from undergraduate to corporate America

September 11:  Ethiopian New Year. Rastafarians celebrate the New Year on this date and believe that Ethiopia is their spiritual home

September 14:  Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross), in some Christian denominations, a day that commemorates the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus

September 15-16:  Mawlid Al-Nabi, the observance of the birthday of Islam founder, the prophet Muhammad, celebrated during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar. Shi’a Muslims celebrate it five days later than Sunni Muslims.   

September 15-17 (sundown to sundown):  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world 

September 18:  International Equal Pay Day, celebrated for the first time in September 2020, represents the long-standing efforts toward the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. It further builds on the United Nations’ commitment to human rights and its efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls

September 21: Mabon, the second harvest ritual celebrated in Gaelic, Pagan, and Wiccan traditions. Mabon is the first day of fall and celebration of the vernal equinox. The holiday is about gathering wisdom and honoring elders

September 23: International Day of Sign Languages was proclaimed by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of sign languages in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.

September 27:  Native American Day, a federal holiday observed annually on the fourth Friday in September in the state of California and Nevada and on the second Monday in October in South Dakota and Oklahoma, United States

September 27:  Meskel, a religious holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox and Eritrean Orthodox Churches that commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by the Roman Empress Helena in the fourth century  

September 29:  Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is a minor Christian festival dedicated to Archangel Michael that is observed in some Western liturgical calendars  

October 2024

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed. 

October is LGBTQ+ History Month, a US observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history and the history of the gay rights movement.  

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, a month to celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.  

October is Polish American Heritage Month, celebrated to commemorate the first Polish settlers, and celebrate the history and culture of the Polish community in America.

October is Filipino American History Month, which honors the history, culture, and accomplishments of Filipino Americans, highlighting their significant contributions to American society and recognizing their unique heritage and identity.

September 2-4 (sundown to sundown):  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world

October 3-12: Sharad Navratri, the nine-day Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. Festival participants worship God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as Durga, Devi, or Shakti, and the event marks the start of fall.

October 4:  St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, celebrated by many Catholic denominations 

October 4:  Blessing of the Animals, in congruence with St. Francis Day. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, as St. Francis was known for his special connection to animals

October 5: Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day that Latine women need to work until they made what Non-Hispanic white men made in the previous year. The point of this day is to acknowledge the pay disparity between men and women as well as how disproportionately Latine women are impacted, making, on average, 52 cents on the dollar as compared to non-Hispanic, white men

October 10:  World Mental Health Day.First celebrated in 1993, this day is meant to increase public awareness about the importance of mental health, mental health services, and mental health workers worldwide

October 11:  National Coming Out Day (United States). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality. 

October 11-12 (sundown to sundown):  Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, a day of atonement marked by fasting and ceremonial repentance

October 14:  Canadian Thanksgiving, a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year

October 14:  National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.  

October 16–23:  Sukkot, a seven-day Jewish festival giving thanks for the fall harvest

October 16:  International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Each year it is held on the third Wednesday of October.   

October 20:  Birth of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide  

October 23-24 (sundown to sundown):  Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday also known as The Eighth (Day) of Assembly, takes place the day after the Sukkot festival, where gratitude for the fall harvest is deeply internalized

October 24-25 (sundown to sundown):  Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday, marks the end of the weekly readings of the Torah. The Torah is read from chapter one of Genesis to Deuteronomy 34 and then back to chapter one again, in acknowledgement of the words of the Torah being a never-ending cycle

October 31:  All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed

October 31:  Reformation Day, a Protestant Christian religious holiday celebrated alongside All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation 

October 31–November 1 (sundown to sundown):  Samhain, a Gaelic, Pagan, and Wiccan festival marking the end of the harvest season and a celebration of the dead and ancestors 

November 2024

November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.  

November is National Family Caregivers Month, proclaimed in 2012 by former President Barack Obama. It honors the more than forty million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses, or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home.  

November 1:  Diwali, the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh five-day festival of lights that celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness. 

November 1:  All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints (In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.)  

November 2:  All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. In the Mexican tradition, the holiday is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (October 31–November 2), which is a time of remembrance for dead ancestors and a celebration of the continuity of life

November 2 (sundown to sundown):  Birth of Báb, a Bahá’í holiday celebrating the birth of the prophet Báb 

November 3 (sundown to sundown):  The birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í religion

November 11:  Veterans Day, a US federal holiday honoring military veterans. The date is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and commemorates the ending of World War I in 1918

November 13–19:  Transgender Awareness Week, the week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, in which people and organizations participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face 

November 15–December 24:  Nativity Fast, a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus   

November 19:  International Men’s Day emphasizes the important issues affecting males, including health issues that affect males, improving the relations between genders, highlighting the importance of male role models, and promoting gender equality. This holiday is celebrated in more than seventy countries

November 20:  Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community 

November 24:  Feast of Christ the King, a Catholic holiday established to thank God for the gift of time and a rededication to the Christian faith 

November 28: The Ascension of ‘Abdu’lBaha is a holy day in the Bahá’í Faith, commemorating the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

November 28:  Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.   

November 29:  Native American Heritage Day, held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving, encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities. The day was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008   

November 30:  St. Andrew’s Day, the feast day for St. Andrew within various Christian denominations 

November 30: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day that Native women need to work until they made what Non-Hispanic white men made in the previous year. The point of this day is to acknowledge the pay disparity between men and women as well as how disproportionately Native women are impacted, making, on average, 59 cents on the dollar as compared to non-Hispanic, white men

December 2024

December 1:  World AIDS Day commemorates those who have died of AIDS and acknowledges the need for continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

December 3:  International Day of Persons with Disabilities, designed to raise awareness in regard to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity 

December 8:  Bodhi Day, a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment; also known as Bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali    

December 9:  Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the solemn celebration by various Christian denominations of belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 10:  International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  

December 12:  Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531  

December 13:  St. Lucia’s Day a religious festival of light in Scandinavia and Italy commemorating the martyrdom of St. Lucia, a young Christian girl who was killed for her faith in 304 CE. She secretly took food to persecuted Christians in Rome while wearing a wreath of candles on her head so both her hands would be free  

December 16–24:  Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem  

December 21:  Yule Winter Solstice, celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans. The shortest day of the year represents a celebration focusing on rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.  

December 25:  Christmas Day, the day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth 

December 25-January 2:  Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is celebrated for eight days and nights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, approximately 2,200 years ago.  

December 3-24:  Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Christ   

December 25-January 2:  Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is celebrated for eight days and nights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, approximately 2,200 years ago.  

December 26:  Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa  

December 26:  St. Stephen’s Day, a day to commemorate St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, or protomartyr  

December 26:  Zartosht No-Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), a day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. It commemorates the anniversary of the death of the prophet Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra.  

December 26–January 1:  Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage  

December 27:  St. John’s Apostle and Evangelist Day, feast day for St. John, celebrated by Christian denominations 

December 28:  Feast of the Holy Innocents, a Christian feast in remembrance of the massacre of young children in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus 

December 29:  Feast of the Holy Family, a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honor of Jesus, his mother, and his foster father, St. Joseph, as a family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.   

December 31:  Watch Night, a day for Christians to review the year that has passed, make confessions, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving.