Observances

PDF Version of Observances Calendar

This calendar was developed by the Office of Inclusive Excellence at the Community College of Aurora.

Please note that this calendar of dates, times, holidays, observances, and events may not be 100% accurate as some do not operate under the Gregorian calendar or event dates/times/locations may change from the organizer. It is best to research and confirm, yourself, in addition to reading this document.

Each observance, or event title that is underlined is a link to an informative website.

Participants of the religions/cultures noted may observe some of the holidays, none of the holidays, or all of the holidays. They may participate in the holiday in the ways listed or not.

This calendar is not all encompassing and hoping to grow in inclusion. For additions to this holiday, observances, and local cultural events calendar (or suggestions for modification), please submit them to this form: https://bit.ly/2DAdL2C

Special thanks to Missouri State for inspiration.
 

Culture/Religion and Calendar Color-Coded Key:
Asian
Bahá'í Faith
Buddhism
Christianity
Ethiopian
Hinduism
Islam
Jainism
Judaism
Paganism and Wicca
Sikhism
Local Cultural Event
Observance
 

January 2021: National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people. This month celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is a key time for us all as individuals to educate ourselves about human trafficking and learn to spot signs of trafficking.

  • Sat, Dec 26-Jan 1: Kwanzaa is an African American pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture; created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies in 1966.

    • Participants may spend time with family and the community, feast, partake in music, dance, and poetry, and reflect.

  • Fri, Jan 1: New Year’s Day is the first day of the New Year, following both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar, and is often marked by fireworks, parades, and reflection. Solemnity of Mary honors Mary as the Mother of God and is a Holy Day of Obligation.

  • Sat, Jan 2: World Introvert Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to better understand and appreciate introverts.

  • Mon, Jan 4: World Braille Day celebrates the invention of braille on its inventor’s birthday: Louis Braille in 1809. This day reminds folks on the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Wed, Jan 6: Día de los Reyes, Three Kings Day, or Epiphany is the Twelfth Night of Christmas and marks the day that the Three Kings visited Jesus, having followed a star to reach him.

    • Participants may spend time with family, friends, and the community feasting, celebrating, and gift giving.

  • Thu, Jan 7: Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on this day because the majority of the Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian calendar.

    • Participants may spend time with family, friends, and the community feasting, attend Church, gift giving, and praying.

  • Wed, Jan 13: Korean American Day was founded in 2005 by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to honor and highlight citizens of Korean descent and the immeasurable contributions they have provided to the U.S.

  • Thu, Jan 14: Maghi is the occasion commemorating the sacrifice of forty Sikhs, who fought in pursuit of Guru Gobindh Singh Ji. Makar Sankranti, known as the phase of transition, is dedicated to the sun god, Surya, and celebrated by Hindus as the start of the agricultural new year. Old New Year or Orthodox New Year marks the changing of the year according to the old Julian calendar and is celebrated by more than have of all Russians.

    • Participants of Maghi may recite texts, engage in religious rituals, and connect with family and the community.

    • Participants of Makar Sankranti may engage in community festivals, feast, sing songs, give gifts, bathe in a river, fly kites, and dance.

  • Sat, Jan 16: National Religious Freedom Day celebrates the 1786 declaration of religious liberty as a natural right which inspired religious liberty protections in the First Amendment.

  • Sun, Jan 17: World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 and is marked by hosting discussions, conferences, and other events which foster understanding and communication between the followers of all religions.

  • Mon, Jan 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honors the legacy of Dr. King (surrounding his birthday on January 15th and eventually declared the third Monday in January), focuses on the issue of civil rights, highlights the use of nonviolence to promote change, and calls people into public service.

  • Wed, Jan 20: Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment. (Some folks celebrate this day on December 8th depending on which calendar they follow.) Inauguration Day welcomes a new commander-in-chief with keynote addresses, ceremonies, and celebrations.

    • Participants may reflect, meditate, decorate with multi-colored lights, and spend time with the community.

  • Sun, Jan 24: International Day of Education is proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as a celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

  • Wed, Jan 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, honors the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and encourages development of educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

  • Wed, Jan 27-28: Tu B’Shevat, sundown to sundown, is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees and marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep to begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

    • Participants may eat fruit, plant trees, serve in the community, and pray.

February 2021: Black History & Heritage Month began as week of celebration in February and grew as the response and participation in it grew. This month honors, remembers, and celebrates the great accomplishments and influence of Black individuals in every area of endeavor throughout American and international history.

  • Mon, Feb 1: National Freedom Day celebrates the signing of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865. Mon, Feb 1-2: Imbolc, sundown to sundown, celebrates fire, light, and the return of life. Imbolc means “in the belly of the Mother,” signifying spring and growth.

    • Participants may light candles, gather stones, spend time in nature, decorate, feast, and celebrate around a bon fire.

    • Participants may feast, celebrate with fireworks, pray, spend time with family, dance, and visit temples.

  • Sun, Feb 14: St. Valentine’s Day’s origin story is murky, but today celebrates love and connection to partners, friends, family, and community. St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people.

    • Participants of St. Valentine’s Day may pray, feast, give gifts, and spend time with loved ones.

  • Mon, Feb 15: President’s Day honors George Washington’s February 22nd birthday. In 1971, the observance was moved to the third Monday in February.

  • Tue, Feb 16: Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” celebrates feasting before the traditional forty days of fasting that accompany the season of Lent in the Christian faith. Also strongly connected to New Orleans, it is a celebration of parades, parties, libations, food, and Creole culture.

  • Wed, Feb 17: Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us and the grief of sin.

    • Participants in Ash Wednesday may take time off work, attend Mass, wear ashes, pray, and fast.

  • Wed, Feb 17-Apr 3: Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begin on Ash Wednesday and end on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. This represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    • Participants may fast, abstain from certain foods/activities, pray, reflect, repent, serve in the community, and prepare for the coming of Easter.

  • Thu, Feb 25-26: Purim, beginning on Thursday night and continued through Friday, commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to “destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recoded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

    • Participants may fast on the day before Purim, read from the Megillah, use noise makers, give gifts, serve in the community, feast, spend time in the synagogue, and dress in costumes.

  • Fri, Feb 26: Lantern Festival celebrates the end of the New Year season and signifies family reunion and society.

    • Participants may make, light, and hang lanterns, connect with the community, feast, and spend time with family.

March 2021: Women’s History Month, beginning in 1981, amplifies women’s voices to honor the past, inform the present, inspire the future, and deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to America and world. National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a campaign that raises awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. Irish-American Heritage Month recognizes the contribution that Irish immigrants and their descendants have played in the formation of the United States. National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month promotes awareness and understanding of the scope of multiples sclerosis and assists those with MS in making educated decisions about their healthcare. Deaf History Month, celebrated March 13th through April 15th, honors several significant advancements for deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and celebrates deaf history and awareness of American deaf culture.

  • Wed, Feb 17-Apr 3: Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begin on Ash Wednesday and end on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. This represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    • Participants may fast, abstain from certain foods/activities, pray, reflect, repent, serve in the community, and prepare for the coming of Easter.

  • Mon, Mar 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 gender parity.

  • Thu, Mar 11: Maha Shivaratri, or The Night of Shiva, celebrates Lord Shiva, his marriage to Goddess Parvati, and the Tandava dance.

    • Participants may fast, meditate, chant, pray, leave offerings, and bathe.

  • Sun, Mar 14: Daylight Saving Time starts at 2am (go forward one hour).

  • Wed, Mar 17: St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious celebration in the 17th century to commemorate the life of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. In the early 18th century, Irish immigrants brought the tradition over to the American colonies, and it was there that Saint Patrick started to become the symbol of Irish heritage and culture that he is today.

    • Participants may attend Mass, attend a parade, spend time with family and friends, and feast.

  • Sat, Mar 20: Spring Equinox or Ostara celebrates the balance between extremes that is found amid the seasons and is the official beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the moment of exact balance between the light and the dark.

    • Participants may decorate altars, spend time in nature, meditate, and feast.

  • Sat, Mar 20-21: Naw-Rúz or Bahá’í New Year, evening to evening, also celebrating spring, serves as a symbolic reminder of the oneness of all the messengers of God, and the spiritual springtime they each brought to humanity.

    • Participants in Bahá’í New Year may not work in order to spend time with family and the community, give gifts, sing, eat, dance, and socialize.

  • Sun, Mar 21-22: Nowruz, Persian New Year, or Iranian New Year is considered the biggest holiday of the year for many Iranians and Persians and celebrates the start of spring and the first day of the first month of the Iranian calendar.

  • Sat, Mar 27: Earth Hour speaks up for nature and inspires urgent action for the environment by, around the globe, thousands of landmarks switching of their lights in solidarity for our planet. It will occur 8:30pm – 9:30pm local time.

  • Sat, Mar 27-Apr 4: Passover, an eight-day festival going sunset to sunset, commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

    • Participants may not work March 27th, 28th, April 3rd, or 4th as it is not permitted. Participants abstain from eating any foods containing leavening components (such as bread, cake, and donuts), spend time with family and friends, and pray.

  • Sun, Mar 28: Palm Sunday reflects upon the final week of Jesus’ life and marks the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.

    • Participants may attend worship, feast, and give palm leaves.

  • Sun, Mar 28-29: Holi, sometimes called the “festival of love,” uses color to show love and respect to close ones and community and celebrates the coming of spring.

    • Participants may light bonfires, provide offerings, sing and dance, throw colored powder, play games, and feast.

  • Wed, Mar 31: Cesar Chavez Day celebrates and honors Chavez on his birthday, a champion of farm worker and worker rights, economic justice, civil rights, environmental justice, peace, nonviolence, and empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised. International Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face.

April 2021: Autism Awareness Month promotes autism awareness, autism acceptance and inclusion, and draws attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. Arab American Heritage Month celebrates the achievements of Arab Americans, the community’s rich heritage, and numerous contributions to society. Deaf History Month, celebrated March 13th through April 15th, honors several significant advancements for deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and celebrates deaf history and awareness of American deaf culture.

  • Wed, Feb 17-Apr 3: Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begin on Ash Wednesday and end on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. This represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

    • Participants may fast, abstain from certain foods/activities, pray, reflect, repent, serve in the community, and prepare for the coming of Easter.

  • Sat, Mar 27-Apr 4: Passover, an eight-day festival going sunset to sunset, commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

    • Participants may not work March 27th, 28th, April 3rd, or 4th as it is not permitted. Participants abstain from eating any foods containing leavening components (such as bread, cake, and donuts), spend time with family and friends, and pray.

  • Fri, Apr 2: World Autism Awareness Day speaks out against discrimination, celebrates the diversity of our global community, and strengthens the commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Good Friday is a day when people remember Jesus’ death on the cross.

    • Participants in Good Friday may attend service and read from the Bible.

  • Sun, Apr 4: Qingming or Tomb-Sweeping Day commemorates and pays respect to a person’s ancestors. Easter celebrates Jesus Christ’s victory of death through His resurrection and the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy of the coming Messiah.

    • Participants of Qingming or Tomb-Sweeping Day may spend time with family, visit and clean gravesites, fly kites, pray, and spend time in nature.

    • Participants of Easter may attend service, worship, give gifts, and feast with friends, family, and the community.

  • Tue, Apr 6: National Tartan Day honors people past and present with roots in Scotland and signifies the date the Declaration of Arbroath was signed.

  • Wed, Apr 7: Rwanda Genocide Commemoration marks the start of the 1994 genocide which saw over 800,000 Tutsis, moderate Hutu and others who opposed the genocide, systematically killed in less than three months. It is an opportunity to honor those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering and resilience of those who survived.

  • Thu, Apr 8-9: Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day, evening to evening, commemorates the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period.

    • Participants may light candles for Holocaust victims, listen to stories from survivors and family, pray, and reflect.

  • Mon, Apr 12-May 12: Ramadan, beginning at sunset on April 12th, is the holiest month of the year for Muslims and is a time to practice self-control, gratitude, and compassion.

    • Participants may fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours, read from the Qur’an, pray, and spend time with the community.

  • Sun, Apr 18: International Day for Monuments and Sites promotes cultural heritage, and an opportunity to raise awareness about its diversity, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what the needs and benefits of its conservation are.

  • Mon, Apr 19: Patriot’s Day commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19th, 1775, which started the Revolutionary War.

  • Mon, Apr 19-20: First Day of Ridvan (meaning “paradise”), sundown to sundown, commemorates the beginnings of the Bahá’í Faith in 1863.

    • Participants of the First Day of Ridvan may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

  • Thu, Apr 22: Earth Day is a day of political action and civic participation towards environmental protection.

  • Fri, Apr 23: Day of Silence is a student-led national event where folks take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQIA+ people at school.

  • Tue, Apr 27-28: Ninth Day of Ridvan, sundown to sundown, commemorates the flooding Tigris receding enough so that the Baha’u’llah’s family could cross the river and join him on the island, symbolizing reunification and strength of the bond of family and humanity.

    • Participants may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in nature playing games, hiking, and enjoying picnics.

  • Fri, Apr 30-May 1: Twelfth Day of Ridvan, sundown to sundown, celebrates the transformation and of Baha’u’llah’s banishment from tragedy to triumph, demonstrating the power of the Manifestation of God to create good from evil, bring forth light from darkness, and win victory from seeming defeat. Beltane represents life, the peak of Spring, the beginning of Summer, and the fertility of the coming year. It is celebrated sunset to sunset.

    • Participants of the Twelfth Day of Ridvan may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

    • Participants of Beltane may spend time courting, in nature, lighting bonfires, and feasting.

May 2021: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebrates the contributions, achievements, and heritage of Asian and Pacific Islander people in the United States. Older Americans Month acknowledges the contributions of past and current older persons in our country. Jewish American Heritage Month recognizes the more than 360-year history of Jews in American, their achievements, and contributions to the United States. Haitian Heritage Month celebrates Haitian historical and cultural traditions and honors the unique history, language, and community of Haiti and Haitian-Americans. Mental Health Month raises awareness about the importance of mental health and seeks to stop the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

  • Fri, Apr 30-May 1: Twelfth Day of Ridvan, sundown to sundown, celebrates the transformation and of Baha’u’llah’s banishment from tragedy to triumph, demonstrating the power of the Manifestation of God to create good from evil, bring forth light from darkness, and win victory from seeming defeat. Beltane represents life, the peak of Spring, the beginning of Summer, and the fertility of the coming year. It is celebrated sunset to sunset.

    • Participants of the Twelfth Day of Ridvan may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

    • Participants of Beltane may spend time courting, in nature, lighting bonfires, and feasting.

  • Mon, Apr 12-May 12: Ramadan, beginning at sunset on April 12th, is the holiest month of the year for Muslims and is a time to practice self-control, gratitude, and compassion.

    • Participants may fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours, read from the Qur’an, pray, and spend time with the community.

  • Wed, May 5: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the first battle of Puebla with victory over the French army (led by Ignacio Zaragoza) and celebrates Mexican culture, freedom, and the beauty of Latinx culture.

  • Sat, May 8: World Ovarian Cancer Day is the one day of the year we all raise our voices in solidarity across the world in the fight against the disease.

  • Thu, May 12-13: Eid al-Fitr, sundown to sundown, marks the end of Ramadan and celebrates the breaking of the fast.

    • Participants may gift gifts, pray, serve in the community, celebrate in festivities, and feast with family and friends.

  • Sun, May 16-18: Shavuot, evening to evening, commemorates the day when the Jewish people received the Torah from G-d on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago.

    • Participants may refrain from work and spend time with family to light candles, read from the Torah, attend synagogue, worship, eat special meals, and decorate.

  • Mon, May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia draws attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics, while commemorating the 1990 day the World Health Organization decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

  • Tue, May 18: Haitian Flag Day celebrates Haitian freedom, pride, unity, and individual liberty.

    • Participants may carry the Haitian blue and red flag around with them, and connect with family and the community in celebration.

  • Sat, May 22-23: Declaration of the Báb, sundown to sundown, commemorates the anniversary of the Báb’s announcement of His mission in 1844.

    • Participants may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

  • Tue, May 25: African Liberation Day is a day of work and study to politically educate folks to the reality that imperialism is in its last stage, Neo-colonialism. This day is a voice for socialism- African people must organize with a revolutionary ideology to smash neo-colonialism and build a unified socialist Africa.

  • Wed, May 26: Vesak Day or Buddha Day marks the birth of Guatama Buddha, the father of Buddhism, who is responsible for the religion’s core teachings.

    • Participants may gift gifts, serve in the community, meditate, provide offerings, light lanterns, clean, and worship.

  • Thu, May 27-28: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, sundown to sundown, observes the anniversary of the death in exile of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, on May 29th, 1892.

    • Participants may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

  • Mon, May 31: Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.

June 2021: LGBTQIA+ Pride Month honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan (the tipping point for the Gay liberation Movement in the United States), memorializes folks who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS, and recognizes the impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

  • Sat, Jun 12: Russia Day memorializes the adoption of the 1990 Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russia.

  • Sat, Jun 12-14: Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the sacrifice of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet in China’s Warring States Period (475-221 BC), for his country.

    • Participants may eat Zongzi, participate in Dragon Boat Racing, clean, and spend time with family, friends, and the community.

  • Sat, Jun 19: Juneteenth celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States by commemorating when, in 1896, Union soldiers informed Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free (two and a half years AFTER President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation).

  • Sun, Jun 20: Summer Solstice or Litha celebrates the longest day and shortest night of the year, marking the pinnacle of the Sun’s power to fuel the growing season.

    • Participants may decorate altars, pray, light candles, and spend time in nature with friends, family, and the community.

July 2021:

  • Sun, July 4: Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

  • Fri, Jul 9-10: Martyrdom of the Báb marks the anniversary of the execution of the Báb and his sacrifice promoting unity, peace, love, and selflessness.

    • Participants may refrain from work and spend time with family, friends, and the community in prayer and rejoice.

  • Sat, Jul 17-18: Tisha B’Av, also observed sundown to sundown, is a day of communal mourning for the large number of disasters said to have befallen the Jews on this day, including the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

    • Participants of Tisha B’Av may take time to mourn, fast, and pray.

  • Tue, Jul 20: Remembering Aurora remembers the twelve lives taken in 2012 and honors the 70 others injured.

  • Tue, Jul 20-21: Eid al-Adha or Festival/Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated sundown to sundown, and commemorates the prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his son in order to demonstrate his dedication to God.

    • Participants of Eid al-Adha may take time to feast, spend time with family and neighbors, pray, and exchange gifts.

  • Mon, Jul 26: Disability Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

August 2021:

  • Tue, Aug 10-11: Al-Hijra or the Islamic New Year, is celebrated from sundown to sundown.

    • Participants may take time mourn, pray, and spend time with family and friends.

  • Mon, Aug 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition recognizes the 1791 slave uprising in the French colony of Saint-Domingue that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean and began the Haitian Revolution.

  • Thu, Aug 26: Women’s Equality Day commemorates the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

  • Sun, Aug 29-30: Krishna Janmashtami is the joyful celebration of the Lord Krishna’s birth and his appearance.

    • Participants may take time to dance, sing, fast, exchange gifts, and attend theatres performances and places of worship with family and friends.

September 2021: Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 – October 15 to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, this celebration grew to be a month-long in 1988. September 15th is a significant date for many as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

  • Fri, Sep 3-10: Paryushana means “to stay in one place,” which signifies a time of reflection and repentance for the Jain devotee.

    • Participants may take time off from work during this period, eat a much simpler diet (vegetarian, not eating fruits/vegetables that kill the plant [like potatoes]), and fast.

  • Mon, Sep 6: Labor Day, this first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

  • Mon, Sep 6-8: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 6th and continues through nightfall on the 8th. This celebrates the Jewish New Year, the birthday of the universe, and the day Adam and Eve were created.

    • Participants may not work during Rosh Hashanah as it is not permitted. Participants may light candles in the evenings, partake in festive meals, pray, and desist from creative work.

  • Thu, Sep 9-10: Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh, god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. Many view and pay homage to clay models of Lord Ganesha in their homes and community centers

    • Participants may take time to dance, sing, pray, meditate, and spend time with family and friends.

  • Sat, Sep 11: Remembrance of September 11th, 2001 for the 3,000 lives taken and thousands more injured and affected by the tragedy. Enkutatash, or the Ethiopian New Year, signifies the new year of the Coptic Orthodox Church calendar, also called Ge’ez calendar. It begins a month of transition from the old to the new year.

    • Participants of Enkutatash may celebrate with prayers, bonfires, flowers, songs, dances, gifts, and traditional food.

  • Wed, Sep 15-16: Yom Kippur, meaning “Day of Atonement,” refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer, and repentance. It occurs the evening of September 15th and ends the evening of September 16th.

    • Participants may not work during Yom Kippur as it is not permitted. Participants may repent, pray, perform service, reflect, and fast.

  • Thu, Sep 16: El Día de Independencia, or Mexico Independence Day, celebrates independence from Spain by remembering El Gritro de Dolores.

    • Participants of El Día de Independencia may take time visit a parade, fly the Mexican flag, dress in celebratory and cultural clothing, spend time with friends/family/neighbors, and partake in delicious food and drink.

  • Sun, Sep 19-25: International Week of the Deaf is celebrated by the global Deaf Community to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf was held in 1958.

  • Mon, Sep 20-27: Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt.

    • Participants may dwell in sukkahs (booths/huts), connect with ancestors, and engage with four species of plant: palm, myrtle, willow, and citron.

  • Tue, Sep 21: Chung-ch’iu or Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, which celebrates the moon in the autumn, at its fullest and brightest.

    • Participants of Chung-ch’iu or Mid-Autumn Moon Festival may take time to spend with family and other close members, dance, eat mooncakes, and light paper lanterns.

  • Wed, Sep 22: Autumnal Equinox, or Mabon, is when the day is as long as the night and people prepare for the coming winter days by storing their harvest; it is also a signifier of balance.

    • Participants may construct and worship an altar, reflect, and spend time with family, friends, and nature.

  • Thu, Sep 23: Bi Visibility Day began as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day in 1999 and seeks to celebrate and honor the bisexual folx in our communities and histories.

  • Mon, Sep 27-28: Shemini Atzeret starts the evening of September 27th and concludes after nightfall on the 28th. It commemorates the start of the Mediterranean rainy season and remembers the souls of the departed.

    • Participants may not work during Shemini Atzeret as it is not permitted. Participants may pray and reflect at home and in the community.

  • Tue, Sep 28-29: Simchat Torah starts the evening of September 28th and concludes after nightfall on the 29th. It celebrates the Torah through marching and dancing.

    • Participants of Simchat Torah may join in songs, dances, and readings that celebrate the Torah.

October 2021: National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. LGBTQIA+ History Month celebrates the achievements of queer icons and provides role models, builds community, and highlights the queer community’s extraordinary national and international contributions. Filipino American History Month commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United State when “Luzones Indios” landed in Morro Bay, California in 1587. Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month informs the public about the contributions made by Italians and Italian-Americans to our civilization, especially in the arts, humanities, and sciences, and to celebrate the impact the culture and language have had and continue to have. National Arts & Humanities Month recognizes the importance of culture in America and honors the anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. Polish American Heritage Month celebrates its 38th year recognizing Polish history, culture, and pride. Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 – October 15 to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, this celebration grew to be a month-long in 1988. September 15th is a significant date for many as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

  • Sun, Oct 3: Day of German Unity is a German holiday commemorating the reunification, which occurred in 1990, where the former GDR (East Germany) joined the Federal Republic of Germany

  • Thu, Oct 7-15: Sharad Navaratri, or “Nine Nights,” honors the Mother Goddess Shakti, manifested as Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarawati, and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

    • Participants may dress in specific colors of cloth, participate in celebratory dancing, light candles, and spend time with family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Mon, Oct 11: National Coming Out Day is a civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as not-straight and/or not-cisgender and coming out regarding one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBTQIA+ people. Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day) reveals the historical truths about the genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas, organizes against current injustices, and celebrates indigenous resistance.

  • Fri, Oct 15-16: Dussehra, meaning “the tenth day,” is celebrated as the culmination of Navratri.

    • Participants may dance, feast, and rejoice.

  • Mon, Oct 18-19: Mawlid al-Nabi commemorates the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, occurring sundown to sundown, and teaches communities about the Prophet Muhammad’s way of life.

    • Participants may read, reflect, pray, give gifts, and feast with family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Sun, Oct 31: Halloween has developed into a spooky holiday that envelopes trick-or-treating, costumes, parties, treats, and scares.

  • Sun, Oct 31-Nov 1: Samhain, Halloween’s original Celtic roots, is a festival of the Dead. Meaning “Summer’s End,” it is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year (and, for some Pagan and Wicca, a spiritual new year).

    • Participants in Samhain may spend time in nature, connect with ancestors, build and worship at altars, feast, and reflect around bonfires.

November 2021: National Native American Heritage Month pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native American people and communities. Panamanian Independence Month encompasses a month of celebrations, including Separation Day, Flag Day, Colon Day, Primer Grito de Independencia de la Villa de lost Santos, and Independence Day for Panama and Panamanians abroad.

  • Sun, Oct 31-Nov 1: Samhain, Halloween’s original Celtic roots, is a festival of the Dead. Meaning “Summer’s End,” it is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year (and, for some Pagan and Wicca, a spiritual new year).

    • Participants in Samhain may spend time in nature, connect with ancestors, build and worship at altars, feast, and reflect around bonfires.

  • Mon, Nov 1: All Saints’ Day is a solemn holy day that is dedicated to the saints of the Catholic Church who have attained heaven.

    • Participants of All Saints’ Day may attend Mass, leave offerings, partake in readings, and pray.

  • Mon, Nov 1-2: Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, reunites the living and the dead, and remembers the children, young people, and adults that have passed on.

    • Participants may create an ofrenda (altar), honor the memory of deceased loved ones, decorate, spend time with family and the community, and feast.

  • Tue, Nov 2: All Souls’ Day is a day to pray for all loved ones who have died, particularly those who are caught in purgatory, undergoing a process of purification before entering heaven. US General Election Day allows citizens of the United States of American to vote by popular ballot for candidates for public office at local, state, and national levels.

    • Participants of All Souls’ Day may attend a special Mass, visit graves of loved ones, light candles, leave flowers, and pray.

  • Thu, Nov 4-8: Diwali or Festival of Lights, a five day event, is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains for a variety of reasons, although the main theme is the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. The main celebrations are held on the third day (November 6th), although it occurs from November 4th through the 8th.

    • Participants may spend time with friends/family/neighbors cleaning, shopping, decorating, lighting lamps and candles, giving gifts, and eating sweets.

  • Sat, Nov 6-7: Birth of the Báb, occurring sundown to sundown, honors ‘the Gate,’ the title of Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, the prophet and founder of the Babi Faith.

    • Participants may not work during the Birth of the Bab as it is not permitted. Participants may pray, read, and reflect at home and in the community.

  • Sun, Nov 7: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2am (go back one hour).

  • Sun, Nov 7-8: Birth of Bahá'u'lláh, occurring sundown to sundown, honors Mirza Husayn Ali, the return of the prophet of old, and a return to spiritual springtime.

    • Participants may not work during the Birth of Bahá'u'lláha as it is not permitted. Participants may pray, read, and reflect at home and in the community.

  • Thu, Nov 11: Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace- dead or live- although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

  • Sat, Nov 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

  • Thu, Nov 25: Thanksgiving, today, is a time when families, friends, and neighbors feast, give thanks, and spend time with one another.

  • Thu, Nov 25-26: Day of the Covenant, occurring evening to evening, recognizes and celebrates the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the center of Bahá'u'lláha’s Covenant, that unbroken, unified line of guidance which safeguards the Baha’i Faith from division and disunity.

    • Participants of the Day of the Covenant may not work as it is not permitted. Participants may pray, read, and reflect at home and in the community.

  • Sat, Nov 27-28: Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, occurring evening to evening, commemorates the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in his house in Haifa in 1921.

    • Participants may not work during the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as it is not permitted. Participants may mourn, pray, read, and reflect at home and in the community.

  • Sun, Nov 28-Dec 6: Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication and lights, begins the evening of November 28th and ends the evening of December 6th. This holiday has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and suppression of Jewish religion and commemorates the victory of the Jewish people, led by the Maccabee family, over the Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

    • Participants may light candles in a Hannukkiah, sing songs, exchange gifts, feast, and play games.

December 2021:

  • Sun, Nov 28-Dec 6: Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication and lights, begins the evening of November 28th and ends the evening of December 6th. This holiday has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and suppression of Jewish religion and commemorates the victory of the Jewish people, led by the Maccabee family, over the Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

    • Participants may light candles in a Hannukkiah, sing songs, exchange gifts, feast, and play games.

  • Wed, Dec 1: World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

  • Thu, Dec 2: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date of the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others in 1949. This day focuses on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery.

  • Fri, Dec 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities commemorates a commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable, and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.

  • Mon, Dec 6: Finland Independence Day honors the events of the Second World War when Finland almost lost its independence and it is a very patriotic day.

  • Tue, Dec 7: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day honors and remembers the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the further 1,178 who were injured.

  • Tue, Dec 8: Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment. (Some folks celebrate this day on January 10th, 2022 depending on which calendar they follow.)

    • Participants may reflect, meditate, decorate with multi-colored lights, and spend time with the community.

  • Fri, Dec 10: International Human Rights Day commemorates the 1948 United Nations General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being- regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

  • Sun, Dec 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe Day honors the miraculous image/apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, unmade by human hands, patroness of the Americas, unborn children, and the New Evangelization.

    • Participants may celebrate with the local community through feasts, receptions, Mass, decorations, and worship.

  • Thu, Dec 16 – 24: Las Posadas, with roots stretching deeply into Latin culture, commemorates Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a warm place to stay the night and commemorates the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy.

    • Participants may parade to neighbors and places of worship, dress in costumes, light candles, sing songs, pray, partake in festive foods, attend Mass, and gather around a piñata in celebration.

  • Sat, Dec 18: World Arabic Language Day celebrates the impact the Arabic language has on modern society and coincides with the day in 1973 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organization. International Migrants Day focuses on the stories of social cohesion, which are as varied and unique as each of the 272 million migrants living new lives and building new communities in every corner of the globe.

  • Tue, Dec 21: Yule Winter Solstice is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. It is also longest night of the year and seen as the sun’s “rebirth.”

    • Participants may celebrate with bonfires, yule logs, feasts, and spending time with family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Fri, Dec 24: Christmas Eve, the night before Christmas Day, is celebrated because Jesus is traditionally thought to have been born at midnight.

    • Participants may attend Mass, fast, exchange gifts, pray, feast, decorate a tree, burn a yule log, and sing songs.

  • Sat, Dec 25: Christmas Day celebrates and remembers the birth of Jesus Christ; although not exactly known to be the real birthday, it has been celebrated on this day since 336 A.D., during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine.

    • Participants may attend church services, pray, sing, exchange gifts, feast, and spend time with family and friends.

  • Sun, Dec 26-Jan 1: Kwanzaa is an African American pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture; created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies in 1966.

    • Participants may spend time with family and the community, feast, partake in music, dance, and poetry, and reflect.

  • Fri, Dec 31: New Year’s Eve celebrates the change into the New Year at midnight.