Holidays and Religious Observances. 2018 Diversity Holidays The world is rich with diversity, which is reflected in the observances celebrated by its various cultures and populations. June 19: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Your office holiday bash isn’t on the calendar because of a single religious or … April 19-May 1: The Festival of Ridvan, a holiday celebrated by those of the Bahá’í faith, 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. 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. (Please note: All dates are for 2020. November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans. March 2, the day Great Lent begins this year, is also known as Clean Monday. 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. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky. 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. Here’s our year-long Diversity Calendar for 2020, compiled from our interactive online diversity calendar. July 30-31: 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. June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on the world. December 26: Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa. Consider the dates when developing class syllabi, and planning meetings and examinations. November 14: Diwali, the Hindu, Jain and Sikh five-day festival of lights celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness. August 28-29: Ashura, an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians. Its name is derived from the symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence. People celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and water at each other. Celebrate (and Respect) Diversity and Inclusion During the Holiday Season. April 23: St. George’s Day, the feast day of St. George celebrated by various Christian churches. April 6: Mahavir Jayanti, a holiday celebrated by the Jains commemorating the birth of Lord Mahavir. While some feature the typical sticks and carrots, others sport items like snow locs, eagle feathers, flags from various nations and dupattas, helping represent the diversity of the country. All holidays falling on Sunday must be observed on Monday, under state law. December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage. 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 12: National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. It is observed by various Christian denominations. April 28-29 (sundown to sundown): Yom Ha’Atzmaut, national Independence Day in Israel. ** 28-30 (sundown to sundown):** Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that has double significance. October 17-25: Navaratri, the nine-day festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. Therefore, the service is to commemorate the restoration of icons for use in services and private devotional life of Christians. April 9: 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. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion calendar of events and holidays includes state-wide legal holidays, most well-known events and religious celebrations. Shi’a Muslims celebrate it five days later than Sunni Muslims. She secretly brought food to persecuted Christians in Rome while wearing a wreath of candles on her head so both her hands would be free. It permeates the symbolic meaning of the Ninth Day of Ridvan. June 16: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, observed by members of the Sikh faith. Profiles in Diversity Journal ® is dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. (Please note: All dates are for 2020.) It is recognized on the Friday before Easter. April 10: Good Friday, a day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week. March 2-April 18: Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith. 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”. March 1: St. David’s Day, the feast day of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. This means asking your staff if they have any special requirements, as well as what their comfort levels are. April 8: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Holiday Parties. April 2: Ram Navami, a Hindu day of worship and celebration of the seventh avatar of Vishnu (Lord Rama). The Third Circuit Court Diversity and Inclusion Team's Mission: ... Atzeret and Simchat Torah appear to be the eighth (and ninth day, in the Diaspora) of Sukkos. Started in 1987, Women’s History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society. April 19: Orthodox Easter (also called Pascha), a later Easter date than observed by many Western churches. January 29: Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring. May 31: Pentecost, the celebration of the giving of the Ten Commandments by God at Mount Sinai. Femina Ajayi-Hackworth. November 1: All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints. Knowledge of the following diversity holidays and celebrations can enhance your workplace diversity and inclusion efforts. LGBT groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings. October 4: Blessing of the Animals, in congruence with St. Francis Day. December 26: St. Stephen’s Day, a day to commemorate St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, or protomartyr. 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. It is one of the nine Bahá’í holy days on which work is suspended. February 14: St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. March 9-10: 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. Note: below you’ll find a small sampling of this year’s diversity events. Rastafarians celebrate the New Year on this date and believe that Ethiopia is their spiritual home. July 15: St. Vladimir of the Great Day, feast day for St. Vladimir celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. December 26: Zartosht No-Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), a day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. November 26: Thanksgiving in the United States. 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. Workplace D&I idea #2: Create a diversity video. March 28: Khordad Sal (Birth of prophet Zoroaster), birth anniversary (or birthdate) of Zoroaster, a spiritual leader and ethical philosopher who taught a spiritual philosophy of self-realization and realization of the divine. September 19-September 20 (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world. 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 sunset of Wednesday, April 3. 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. July 4: Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings. February 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. August 14: Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus, beginning of the 14-day period of preparation for Orthodox Christians leading up to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. 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 9-11 (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. As you consider your holiday celebration plans for the workplace, there are other crucial steps you should take to ensure you’re fostering diversity and inclusion. 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. April 27-28: 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. August 17: Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. September 28: Teacher’s Day in Taiwan. When you’re thinking about Equality and Diversity, you have to realise it’s more than just religion. November 27: Native American Heritage Day, held annually the Friday after Thanksgiving, encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities. 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. What makes us different? April 5: Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. August 19: Hijri New Year, the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year. September 7: Labor Day in the United States. February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. It is the only day of the year people can BASE jump off a bridge into New River Gorge. Can You Foster Inclusion with Floating Holidays? 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. For example, having a Winter Wonderland themed event would be appropriate, while one specific to Hanukkah may not be. January 7: Christmas, recognized on this day by Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches because they follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar. Being aware of ethnic holidays is key for respectful scheduling and creating inclusion, 365 days a year. awareness and inclusion is a daily practice. April 23-May 23 (sundown to sundown): Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer and devotion to Islam. Events are held globally to show support of environmental protection of the Earth. Below are descriptions of the celebrations included in this calendar. April is Celebrate Diversity Month, started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. June 19: New Church Day, according to Christian belief, on this day the Lord called together the 12 disciples who had 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 Christian Church. 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. Though named for its former religious significance, it is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration, which traditionally preceded the observance of the Lenten fast. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life. This fast takes place immediately before the beginning of the Bahá'í New Year. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, the model master educator in ancient China. January 6: Christmas, recognized on this day by Armenian Orthodox Christians, who celebrate the birth of Jesus on Epiphany. January 20: Timkat, a holiday observed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River on Epiphany. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America. 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. 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. 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. November 22: Feast of Christ the King, a Catholic holiday established in thanking God for the gift of time and a rededication to the Christian faith. All rights reserved. The last Sunday in June is Gay Pride Day. June 15: Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans. October is 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. Its main focus is spiritual upliftment, pursuit of salvation and a deeper understanding of the religion. Anticipate Diversity. Last Sunday in June: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day in the United States. It is celebrated on various dates in different countries. Intercalary days are observed with gift giving, special acts of charity, and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Year. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art, and culture. July 11: St. Benedict Day, the feast day of St. Benedict celebrated by some Christian denominations. In Israel, the flowering of the almond tree usually coincides with this holiday, which is observed by planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts. March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which was established to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. January 15: Makar Sankranti, a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. December 10-18: Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is celebrated around the world for eight days and nights. April 8-16: Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday and festival in commemoration of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is known as the Night of Power and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad. 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 11: Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans. It is celebrated just before the arrival of spring. January 1: New Year’s Day, the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar, celebrated within most Western countries. 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. 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. January 5: Twelfth Night, a festival celebrated by some branches of Christianity that marks the coming of the Epiphany. December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is held annually on the spring equinox. Having flexibility in your paid time off or holiday pay policy helps foster inclusion in the workplace. March 19: St. Joseph’s Day, in Western Christianity the principal feast of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar. Do The Diversity Briefings. September 11: Beheading of St. John the Baptist, a holy day observed by various Christian churches that follow liturgical traditions. November 2: All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. First observed in 2008, the international day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. Celebrations are held throughout France. It is the longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”. March 8: International Women’s Day. Copyright © 2021 Diversity Best Practices. 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 Soth Africa. September 11: Ethiopian New Year. 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. We hope you’ve enjoyed our year-long diversity calendar. 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. December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons, designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed. February 1: St. Brigid of Kildare, feast day for St. Brigid celebrated by some Christian denominations. 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. Sumayyah Emeh-Edu, a diversity & inclusion strategist at Techtonica, suggests that employers find out what's important to employees when starting this type of effort. July 24: Pioneer Day, observed by the Mormons to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter Day Saints pioneer in Salt Lake Valley. 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