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October

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.
LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement.
Down Syndrome Awareness Month which celebrates and raises awareness of the abilities and accomplishments of those living with Down Syndrome.
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.
Filipino-American History Month commemorates the first recorded presence of members of the Filipino community in the United States and brings awareness of the significant achievements of the Filipino community.
Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month is celebrated to honor the achievements and contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States.
Polish-American Heritage Month is celebrated to highlight the achievements and contributions of those with Polish heritage living in the United States.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month honors and remembers those who have lost a child during pregnancy or lost a child in infancy.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
October 1: The beginning of Black History Month in the UK, Ireland, and The Netherlands.
October 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Native American women and White men. Native American women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
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 6-14: Navaratri, the nine-day festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It worships God in the form of the universal mother commonly referred to as Durga, Devi or Shakti, and marks the start of fall.
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 (U.S.). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
October 11: Canadian Thanksgiving, a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.
October 11: National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.
October 15: Dasara, Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, in the eastern and northeastern states of India, marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma.
October 15: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, an annual day of remembrance for those who have experienced pregnancy loss and infant death including miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and the death of a newborn.
October 16: Milvian Bridge Day, a one-day festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It is the only day of the year people can BASE jump off a bridge into New River Gorge.
October 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place, and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.
October 19: Mawlid Al-Nabi, the observance of the birthday of Islam founder 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.
October 20: Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide.
October 20: 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 21: Promoted by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, observers wear the color purple as a visible sign of support for LGBTQ+ youth and against bullying. This day coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month which is also recognized in October.
October 29: Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Latinx women and White men. Latinx women are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
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 festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

September

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.

National Recovery Month – increases awareness of substance abuse disorders and celebrates recovery.

September 4-11: Paryushana Parva, a Jain festival lasting about eight to ten days that is observed through meditation and fasting. Its main focus is spiritual upliftment, pursuit of salvation and a deeper understanding of the religion.
September 6: Labor Day in the United States. Labor Day honors the contribution that laborers have made to the country and is observed on the first Monday of September.
September 6-8 (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world.
September 10: Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu holiday lasting around 10 days, where the elephant-headed Hindu God is praised and given offerings.
September 11: Patriot Day. Recognized annually as the day in which we remember the people killed in the September 11th attacks of the year 2001.
September 11: Beheading of St. John the Baptist, a holy day observed by various Christian churches that follow liturgical traditions. The day commemorates the martyrdom by the beheading of St. John the Baptist on the orders of Herod Antipas through the vengeful request of his stepdaughter, Salome, and her mother.
September 11: Ethiopian New Year. Rastafarians celebrate the New Year on this date and believe that Ethiopia is their spiritual home.
September 15-16 (sundown to sundown): Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, a day of atonement marked by fasting and ceremonial repentance.
September 16: Mexican Independence Day. A celebration of Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1810 after being colonized by Spain for over 300 years.
September 18: International Equal Pay Day, celebrated for the first time in September 2020, represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. It further builds on the United Nations’ commitment to human rights and against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls.
September 20-27: Sukkot, a seven-day Jewish festival giving thanks for the fall harvest.
September 21: International Day of Peace. A day established by the United Nations that is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace by observing a 24-hour period of non-violence and cease-fire.
September 22: Ostara Mabon, a celebration of the vernal equinox commemorated by Pagans and Wiccans.
September 27: Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross), a day that commemorates the cross used in the Crucifixion of Jesus in some Christian denominations.
September 27: Meskel, 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 27-29 (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.
September 28: Teacher’s Day in Taiwan. This day is used to honor teachers’ contributions to their students and to society in general. People often express their gratitude to their teachers by paying them a visit or sending them a card. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, the model master educator in ancient China.
September 28-29 (sundown to sundown): Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday, marks the end of the weekly readings of the Torah. The holy book 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 circle, a never-ending cycle.
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.

August

August 3: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Black women and White men. Black women are paid 62 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
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: Muharram, the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year.
August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrates the richness of indigenous cultures and recognizes the challenges indigenous peoples face today, ranging from poverty and disease to dispossession, discrimination, and denial of basic human rights.
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 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Ashura, an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians.
August 21: Senior Citizen Day, recognizes the many contributions older adults make in communities across the United States.
August 22: Obon (Ullambana), a Buddhist festival and Japanese custom for honoring the spirits of ancestors.
August 22: 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 22: Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese holiday where street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits.
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 19th Amendment to the U.S. 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 president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
August 29-30: 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.

July

July 1: Canada Day, or Fête du Canada, is 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 United States federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America.
July 8-9 (sundown to sundown): 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 11: World Population Day, an observance established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. The annual event is designed to raise awareness of global population issues.
July 14: International Non-Binary People’s Day, aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world while celebrating their contributions.
July 14: Bastille Day, a French federal holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that held political prisoners who had displeased the French nobility. The Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, was regarded as a turning point of the French Revolution. Celebrations are held throughout France.
July 15: St. Vladimir of the Great Day, feast day for St. Vladimir celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
July 17-18: Tisha B'Av, a fast in commemoration of the destruction of two holy and sacred temples of Judaism destroyed by the Babylonians (in 586 B.C.E) and Romans (in 70 C.E.). At the Tisha B’Av, after select passages from the Torah are read and understood, netilat yadayim, or the washing of the hands, is performed.
July 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith.
July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices: “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 19-20 (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.
July 23: The birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia whom the Rastafarians consider to be their savior.
July 24: Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings.
July 24: Pioneer Day, observed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter-day Saint pioneers 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 30: International Day of Friendship, proclaimed in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

June

Immigrant Heritage Month

LGBTQ+ Pride Month: - A month to promote and celebrate the dignity, equality, visibility, and empowerment of the LGBTQIA+ community. June 28th is the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in which police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, which sparked protests around the country for equal treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Black Music Month: A month of celebrating Black artists’ contributions to music and honoring the stories within Black music.
Immigrant Heritage Month: Established in 2014 to give people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. It celebrates immigrants across the United States and their contributions to their local communities and economy.
June 12 LOVING DAY: An observation of the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which ended bans on interracial marriage.
June 13 RACE UNITY DAY: Started by the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly in the United States to raise awareness to the importance of racial harmony and understanding.
June 14 FLAG DAY: The anniversary of the adoption of the United States flag by Congress in 1777.
June 19 JUNETEENTH: Commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. It is widely celebrated throughout the United States to honor African-American freedom and achievement.
June 20 WORLD REFUGEE DAY: An international observance dedicated to raising awareness of the situations of refugees throughout the world.
June 20 FATHERS DAY: A day to honor and celebrate fathers and paternal bonds.
June 26 ANNIVERSARY OF LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN THE UNITED STATES: On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.

May

Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month: Commemorating the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and marking the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.
Jewish American Heritage Month: Recognizing the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.
Mental Health Awareness Month: Aims to raise awareness educate the public about mental illnesses, and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.
Older Americans Month: Established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.
May 1 BELTANE: An ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, signifying the beginning of summer.
May 1 INTERNATIONAL WORKER’S DAY: Also known as May Day, it celebrates the social and economic achievements of workers worldwide. The day commemorates the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, in which police and protesters clashed following a workers’ strike for an eight-hour work day.
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).
May 8 LAILA AL-QADR: Commemorates the night that the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is known as the “Night of Power.” Often set on the 27th day of Ramadan, Sunnis may observe it on the 21st, 23rd, 25th or 29th and Shīʿite (Shiite) observe it on the 19th, 21st or 23rd day of Ramadan.
May 9 MOTHER’S DAY: Children of all ages show appreciation for their mothers and mother figures.
May 13 ASCENSION DAY: Also known as Holy Thursday, celebrated 40 days after Easter/Pascha, it commemorates the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
May 13 EID AL-FITR: The “Feast of the Breaking of the Fast” marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting from dawn until dusk.
May 16-18 SHAVUOT: A Jewish holiday that has double significance. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in Israel and commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai.
May 17 INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, AND BIPHOBIA: Aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.
May 21 WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Recognizes cultural diversity as a source of innovation, exchange and creativity, as well as the obligation to create a more peaceful and equitable society based on mutual respect.
May 23 DECLARATION OF THE BÁB: Commemoration of May 23, 1844, when the Báb, the prophet-herald of the Bahá’í Faith, announced in Shíráz, Persia, that he was the herald of a new messenger of God.
May 23 PENTECOST: Also known as Whitsunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter/Pascha commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and women followers of Jesus. Marks the birth of the Christian Church.
May 26 VISAKHA PUJA: Also known as Vesak or Buddha Day, it marks the birth, spiritual awakening and death (nirvana) of the historical Buddha. (This date may vary based on region or sect.)
May 28 ASCENSION OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH: Observance of the anniversary of the death in exile of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
May 30 ALL SAINTS’ DAY: In Orthodox churches observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost, it commemorates all known and unknown Christian saints.
May 31 MEMORIAL DAY: A federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

April

April is Diversity Month

April 1 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.
April 2 Good Friday A day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is recognized on the Friday before Easter.
April 2 World Autism Awareness Day - Created to raise awareness of the developmental disorder around the globe.
April 4 Easter - A holiday celebrated by Christians to recognize Jesus’ return from death after the Crucifixion.
April 7-8 Yom HaShoah - Israel’s day of remembrance for the approximately 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
April 12 – May 11 (sundown to sundown) Ramadan - Observed by the Muslim community worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad.
April 13 Equal Pay Day - Raising awareness about the raw wage gap; the figure that shows that women, on average, earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. The date moves earlier each year as the wage gap closes. Equal Pay Day began in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity as a public awareness event to illustrate the gender pay gap.
April 14 Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi) The festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated). On this day, Sikhs gather and celebrate Vaisakhi at their local Gurdwaras (Sikh house of worship) by remembering this day as the birth of the Khalsa.
April 16-17 (sundown to sundown) Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.
April 20 – May 1 Festival of the Ridván - Annual festival celebrated by the Baháʼí faith community commemorating the 12 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 21 Ram Navami - Celebrates the birthday of Rama, King of ancient India, hero of the epic Ramayana, and seventh incarnation of Vishnu.
April 22 Earth Day - A day to promote world peace, sustainability, and responsibility of the planet. Events are held globally to show support of environmental protection of the Earth.
April 22-24 Gathering of Nations - More than 500 Native American tribes meet to celebrate their traditions and cultures
April 23 Day of Silence - Students take a day-long vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning students and their allies through bias and harassment.
April 24 Armenian Martyrs’ Day - Recognizes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey.
April 30 Lag B’Omer - This holiday marks the 33rd day of the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. This 7-week period called “the Omer” is traditionally a quiet period of the Jewish Calendar however the 33rd day is highlighted with celebrations of all kinds.

March

March 1: St. David’s Day, the feast day of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. t St David was the founder of scores of religious communities and the only native-born patron saint of the countries of Britain and Ireland. Visitwales.com
March 7: Meatfare Sunday (The Sunday of the Last Judgment), traditionally the last day of eating meat before Easter for Orthodox Christians. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 8: International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific. Internationalwomensday.com
March 10: Harriet Tubman Day Born into slavery in Maryland, Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 to become the most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad. Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses. A leading abolitionist before the American Civil War, Tubman also helped the Union Army during the war, working as a spy among other roles. After the Civil War ended, Tubman dedicated her life to helping impoverished former slaves and the elderly. In honor of her life and by popular demand, in 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the center of a new $20 bill.
March 11: Maha Shivarati, 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. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 11: 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 on the sundown of March 10. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 13-April 15: Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month, by design, spans three key events impacting the deaf community that occurred in American history: March 13 - 1988 Deaf President Now movement succeeds. I. King Jordan becomes president of Gallaudet University. April 8 - Gallaudet University founded. President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864 establishing a college for the deaf. This event is known as Gallaudet Charter Day and is usually marked with a luncheon and awards program at Gallaudet University. April 15 - American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, the first public school for the deaf, opens in 1817. www.verywellhealth.com
March 14: Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday, the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 15: Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith. March 15, the day Great Lent begins this year, is also known as Clean Monday.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday started in Ireland to recognize St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who is credited with successfully spreading Christianity throughout Ireland—hence the Christian celebration of his life and name. Although the holiday originally started as a Christian feast day, today it is a day of revelry and a celebration of all things Irish. Don’t forget to wear green! Almanac.com
March 19: St. Joseph’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Joseph, is the feast day for St. Joseph – which falls on March 19th each year. Saint Joseph is believed by Christians to have been the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the step-father of Jesus Christ. In Poland and Canada, it is a Patronal Feast Day and is Father’s Day in some Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain. In Switzerland, it is a public holiday. holidayscalendar.com
March 19-20: Naw-Rúz- the Baha’i New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Naw-Rúz is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the “new day” and for Baha’is it marks the end of the annual 19-Day Fast and is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school. bahai.us
March 20: Vernal Equinox - The first day of spring will occur on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at 5:37 a.m. EDT for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which is marked by the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21, but astronomers and calendar manufacturers alike now say that the spring season starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America. In 2020, spring fell on March 19th, the earliest first day of spring in 124 years! Regardless of what the weather is doing outside, the equinox marks the official start of the spring season. Farmersalmanac.com
March 21-22: Novruz/Norooz, celebrates the Persian New Year, and the beginning of Spring. Novruz means 'New Day'. This is one of humanity's oldest holidays, and although it may be often called Persian New Year, it predates the Persian Empire and can be traced back 5,000 years to the Sumerian and the Babylonian civilizations. Novruz begins on either 20 March or 21 March, on the spring equinox, when the days and nights are equal lengths, with days then becoming longer signifying the arrival of warmer weather. Officeholidays.com
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. Un.org
March 21: 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 is to commemorate the restoration of icons for use in services and private devotional life of Christians. Diversitybestpractices.com
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 day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. Un.org
March 27-April 4: Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two night (in Israel just the first night) of the holiday — a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah and maror (bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the Haggadah — today, many different versions of this Passover guide are available in print and online, and you can also create your own. www.myjewishlearning.com
March 28: Palm Sunday begins the Holy week leading to Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem where people put palms down in front of his path. On Palm Sunday, palms are distributed in church and blessed during the mass. People take them home and place them around religious pictures, statues or other objects. They remain there for a year until the next Palm Sunday when they are replaced by newly blessed Palms. When discarding old palms, remember it is a blessed religious object and should be burned or buried. Some gardeners bury it in their home garden, believing it will bless the coming year's crop. a Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week. Holidayinsights.com
March 28-29 (sundown to sundown): 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 the 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. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 28-29: 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. Diversitybestpractices.com
March 29-31: Holla Mohalla is dedicated to the Sikh community especially the armed order called Nihang. It is an annual fair where Nihangs known for their brave acts going back to the days of Ranjit Singh, display their skills in martial arts in a unique yet traditional style. indiaonlinepages.com
March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrates the resilience and success of transgender and gender nonconforming people and raises awareness of transgender rights. TDoV was founded by activist Rachel Crandall in 2009. Crandall was inspired by the fact that there was no holiday in existence dedicated to honoring the achievements and contributions of transgender people. At the time, the only major transgender-centered commemoration was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourns the victims of hate crimes and violence. insightintodiversity.com

February

Black History Month

Black History MonthBlack History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.(history.com)

National Freedom Day February 1February 1: National Freedom Day celebrates the signing of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865. The purpose of this holiday is to promote good feelings, harmony, and equal opportunity among all citizens and to remember that the United States is a nation dedicated to the ideal of freedom.

Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, fought to have a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. When Wright got his freedom, he went on to become a successful businessman and community leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (americaslibrary.gov)

ImbolcFebruary 1: Imbolc – a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring (diversitybestpractices.com)

CandlemasFebruary 2: Candlemas – A Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and Virgin Mary’s purification. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Groundhog Day February 2Feb. 2 –Groundhog Day Each year on Groundhog Day, people flock to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to await the forecast of the local rodent celebrity. Originating with German settlers, who came to Pennsylvania in the 1700s and brought their seasonal superstitions with them, legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on February 2, the winter chill will continue. Oddly, if the weather is cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow, we can expect warmer temperatures and early spring. (nationaltoday.com)

St. Blaise Day February 3February 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. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Four Chaplains Day February 3February 3: Four Chaplains Day commemorates the anniversary of the sinking of the United States army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard. The Dorchester tragically sunk on Feb. 3, 1943, while crossing the North Atlantic, transporting troops to an American base in Greenland. A German U-boat fired a torpedo that struck the Dorchester, killing 672 of the 902 officers and enlisted men, merchant seamen and civilian workers aboard. Many of those survivors owe their lives to the courage and leadership exhibited by four chaplains of different faiths, who, in sacrificing their lives, created a unique legacy of brotherhood.

As soldiers rushed to lifeboats, Reverend George Fox (Methodist), Jewish Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reverend Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed) and Father John Washington (Roman Catholic) comforted the wounded and directed others to safety. One survivor watched the chaplains distribute life jackets, and when they ran out, they removed theirs and gave them to four young men. (legion.org)

Losar February 12-14February 12-14: Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, a time of renewal through sacred and secular practices. Losar festival, which has its origin in the 15th century, celebrates the Ladakhi or Tibetan New Year. It is said to last 15 days, but the first 3 days are the most important ones. (India.com)

St. Valentine’s Day February 14February 14: St. Valentine’s Day also called St. Valentine’s Day, holiday (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century. (Britannica.com)

Nirvana Day February 15February 15: Nirvana Day (Parinirvana Day) - 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. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Susan B. Anthony Day February 15February 15: Susan B. Anthony Day celebrates the birth of Susan B. Anthony. She is best known for promoting women's rights and starting up the women's suffrage in the United States. She was born in west Grove, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1820, and devoted most her life to anti-slavery and women's rights, including the right to vote. She was the first American woman to have her likeness on a coin in the U.S. (timeanddate.com)

Presidents' Day February 15February 15: Presidents' Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents' Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present. (history.com)

Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) Feb. 16Feb. 16: Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) the last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that accompany Lent. Though 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. The term “Mardi Gras” is particularly associated with the carnival celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Ash Wednesday Feb. 17Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent on the Christian calendar. Its name is derived from the symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence. It takes place immediately after the excesses of the two days of Carnival that take place in Northern Europe and parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. (diversitybestpractices.com)

February 25-Feb. 28: Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há - Bahá’í 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. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Purim February 25-26February 25-26: Purim, a Jewish celebration that marks the time when the Jewish community living in Persia was saved from genocide. On Purim, Jewish people offer charity and share food with friends. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Lantern Festival February 26February 26: Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year, named for watching Chinese lanterns illuminate the sky during the night of the event. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Maghi-Purnima February 27February 27: Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Millions of devotees take a holy bath on this day. Devotees also carry out charity work on this day. (diversitybestpractices.com)

Magha Puja Day February 27-March 28February 27-March 28: Magha Puja Day (also known as Makha 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. (diversitybestpractices.com)