January 1-31
Poverty in America Awareness Month

In spite of the seemingly limitless prosperity that many Americans enjoy, millions of others are going hungry, foregoing medical care, doing without winter coats and gloves, struggling to break free from poverty. With 37 million residents, Poverty, USA, is the largest state in America. Today, 13 million children -- 1 in 6 -- live in poverty. Yet a recent Gallup poll found that only 5% of Americans believe poverty and homelessness are important problems for the country. To bring attention to this forgotten state, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has designated January as Poverty in America Awareness Month. During this special month of observance, CCHD will devote its efforts to heightening the nation's understanding of the breadth and depth of the problems of poverty.
Find out more about Poverty in America Awareness Month.


January 1-31
National Mentoring Month

Sponsored by the Harvard Mentoring Project, this observance encourages volunteer mentors to help young people from under-privileged backgrounds reach their full potential.
Find out more about National Mentoring Month.


Second Monday in January
Coming of Age Day - Japan

Seijin Shiki, also referred to as the Coming-of-Age day or the Adult Ceremony, is held on the second Monday of January of every year. This holiday honors people who have reached or will, the age of twenty within the current year. Throughout most of Japan, twenty is the age where people are subjected to adult laws, gain the right to vote, and to drink, thus making the age of twenty is the age of adulthood in Japan.
Learn more about Coming of Age Day.


Third Monday in January
Martin Luther King, Jr Day - Day of Service - United States

Always celebrated on the third Monday in January, this federal holiday honors Reverend King's life and commitment to equality and unity. The Day of Service encourages citizens to follow King's words: "everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." Volunteers of all ages work on projects in their communities to honor King's dedication to community service.
Read more at the Martin Luther King, Jr. website.


January 1
New Years's Day

New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year's Day is a postal holiday in the United States


January 1
Opening of Ellis Island

In 1892, the first Ellis Island Immigration Station was officially opened in New York Harbor. By 1923, more than 25 million passengers and crew had entered the United States through the "Gateway to America." The Immigration Act of 1924 restricted immigration, marking the end of mass immigration to the United States. Visit the Ellis Island website to search passenger arrival records and learn more about the immigrant experience.


January 1
Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed this edict proclaiming that all slaves living within rebelling Confederate states "are, and henceforth shall be free."
Find out more at the National Archives.


January 1-3
Japanese New Year Celebration

Shogatsu is the celebration of the New Year - the most important holiday in Japan. Entrances are decorated with a Shimekezari. A Shimekazari is a twisted straw rope with fern leaves, an orange, and other items considered good omens. People send New Year's postcards to friends and relatives (to arrive on New Year's Day), decorate their entrances, wear ceremonial attire, visit shrines, and eat mochi (rice cakes). Family members gather in their hometown and spend the time together. People celebrate the New Year with sweet sake called Toso, a soup called Zoni, and Osechi-ryori during the holiday.
Find out more at the Japan Guide website


January 5
George Washington Carver Recognition Day

In commemoration of George Washington Carver’s life and work, Congress declared January 5 as George Washington Carver Recognition Day.
Find out more at George Washington Carver biography

January 7
Coptic Christmas Day(Orthodox)

Following the Julian calendar, Greek and Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on or around January 7.


January 15
World Religion Day

This day was established to foster interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the commonalities underlying all religions.
Read more at the World Religion Day website.


January 23-27
Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year)

To prepare for this major holiday, people clean their homes, buy new shoes and clothing (especially in red), and get new haircuts. The biggest event is the New Year dinner, an elaborate meal that celebrates family ties. The Lunar New Year is celebrated by Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, among others, all over the world with music, dance, costumes, and firecrackers. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.
Learn more at the Chinese New Year page.


January 26
Australia Day

Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day) is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland.
Read more about Australia Day.


January 26
Republic Day - India

In India, RepublicDay commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950.
Learn more about Republic Day.



February 1-29
Black History Month

Begun in 1926 by Black scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month was originally celebrated as a weeklong event. In 1976, Congress expanded the observance to the entire month of February. Visit these sites for Black History resources:


Third Monday in February
Presidents' Day

On the third Monday in February Americans remember the achievements of two of the nation's greatest presidents. Students across the country learn about the achievements and contributions of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays both were in February.
Learn more about this Federal holiday at the Presidents' Day page.


February 3
Heroes' Day - Mozambique

Mozambique’s Heroes’ Day official name is Dia dos Heróis Moçambicanos. Heroes’ Day is a public holiday celebrated with parades and with speeches from various political groups aiming to support an equal or Marxist way of life for all Mozambique citizens.
Click here to read more about Heroes' Day.

February 4
Independence Day - Sri Lanka

Independence Day is celebrated on February 4th, in accordance with Lipass/Joshua Louis Law to commemorate its internal political independence from British rule on that day in 1948. The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades and performances. Usually, the main celebration takes place in Colombo, where the President raises the national flag and delivers a nationally televised speech. Many national struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka. And on the independence day all of these are remembered and celebrated. But the freedom struggle made against the British is especially recalled.
Read more about Independence Day - Sri Lanka.


February 8
Nirvana Day - Buddhism

Nirvana Day is an annual Buddhist festival that remembers the death of the Buddha when he reached Nirvana at the age of 80. It is also known as Parinirvana Day. It is celebrated by some Buddhists on February 15th.
Learn more about Nirvana Day.


February 12
Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He is remembered for leading the Union through the Civil War and freeing Confederate slaves with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and for delivering the Gettysburg Address.
Learn more about Abraham Lincoln at The White House website.


February 14
Trifon Zarezan (Wine-grower's Day / Day of the grower) - Bulgaria

Trifon's Day (or Day of the grower) is a Bulgarian national holiday in honor of St. Tryphon. Celebrated by wine growers, falconers, gardeners and tavern-keepers on February 14 (in Gregorian calendar ) or February 1 (in Novoyulianskiya calendar ), when the Bulgarian Orthodox Church officially noted Trifon.
Read about Trifon Zarezan.

February 14
St. Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, is observed on February 14 each year. Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them. The original "St. Valentine" was a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saint named Valentinus. Modern romantic connotations were added several centuries later by poets. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. This celebration was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.


February 20
Frederick Douglass Day

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratoryand incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
Click here to learn more about Frederick Douglass.


February 21
Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday") or Shrove Tuesday, is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
Read about the history of Mardi Gras.


February 22
George Washington's Birthday

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States.
Read more about George Washington at The White House website.


February 23
W.E.B. Du Bois Birthday

American civil rights activist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born this day in 1868. He was the first African-American to hold a Doctorate.
Learn more about the life of W.E.B. Du Bois here.


February 26
Day 1 of

Ayyám-i-Há refers to a period of four or five intercalary days in the Bahá'í calendar, where Bahá'ís celebrate the Festival of Ayyám-i-Há. The four or five days occur in between the 18th and 19th months of the calendar from February 26 to March 1 and allow for the Bahá'í calendar to be synchronized with the solar year with regular years of 365 days, and leap years of 366 days.
Learn more about the Bahá'í faith here.



March 1-31
Women's History Month

In the United States, March is Women's History Month and the celebration of the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
Visit the Women's History Month website.


March 20, 21 or 22
Nowruz - Persian New Year

Nowrūz (Persian), meaning "The New Day," is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the "Persian New Year."
Learn more about Nowruz.


March 8
International Women's Day

International Women's Day honors working women everywhere, celebrating their economic, political and social achievements. This day is also the anniversary of the 1857 garment and textile workers' strike in New York, one of the first organized actions by women anywhere. See the Women's Information Network for ways to participate in the celebration.


March 16
Publication of the First Black Newspaper in America

In 1827, Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm debuted Freedom's Journal, the first African-American-owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. All 103 issues have been digitized and are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society website.


March 17
St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast--on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
Read more about St. Patrick's Day here.

March 23
Pakistan Day

Pakistan, from Urdu meaning ‘the Land of the Pure’, celebrates Pakistan Day (locally known as Yom-e-Pakistan) to commemorate the celebration of Pakistan Resolution which took place on March 23, 1940 in Lahore. Pakistan Day marks the demand for the creation of a Muslim state in India.
Visit to learn more about Pakistan Day.



April 1-30
Autism Awareness Month

Learn basic information about autism at the Autism Speaks website.


April 1
April Fool's Day

April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. In France and Italy, children and adults traditionally tack paper fish on each other's back as a trick and shout "April fish!" in their local language ("poisson d'avril!" and "pesce d'aprile!" in French and Italian respectively). The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 as New Year's Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references.
Click here to learn about the history and origin of April Fool's Day.


April 2
World Autism Awareness Day

Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with fundraising and awareness-raising events.
See the World Austism Awareness Day website.


April 6-14
Passover (Pesach)

Passover of Pesach is an eight-day long celebration during which Jewish families traditionally commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The dates for 2012 are from sunset on April 6 through nightfall of April 14. The highlight of the Passover celebration is the ceremony of Seder performed on the first two evenings of Passover.
Learn more about Passover.


April 8

In the Christian faith, Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus's resurrection. Lent, Ash Wednesday and Holy Week mark a period of spiritual preparation for Easter.
Read about Easter at


April 9
Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) - Philippines

Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor, marks the greatness of Filipino fighters during World War II. It is marked on or around April 9 in the Philippines each year
Learn more about Araw ng Kagitingan.


April 12
Anniversary of First Man in Space

Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on this date in 1961, when he made a one-hour, 48-minute voyage, orbiting Earth in a spacecraft launched by the Soviet Union.
Click here to learn more about Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.


April 15-22
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Days of Remembrance)

The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.
Learn more about Holocaust Remembrance Day.


April 22
Earth Day

Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.  At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.  Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962.  The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health. Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.
Visit the Earth Day website.


April 25
ANZAC Day - Australia and New Zealand

ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918). As a result, one day in the year has involved the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all our men and women who have fought and died in all wars.
Learn more about the history and origin of ANZAC Day.



May 1-31
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’S history and are instrumental in its future success.
Visit the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website.


May 1-31
Jewish American Heritage Month

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month, recognizing the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture.
Read more about Jewish American Heritage Month.


Second Sunday in May
Mother's Day

Mother's Day honors mothers and motherhood.
Visit Mother's Day Central.


May 5
Cinco de Mayo

The anniversary of the unlikely 1862 Mexican victory over the French army at the Battle of La Puebla is more widely celebrated in the United States than in Mexico, where it is considered a regional holiday.
Learn more about Cinco de Mayo.


May 17
Anniversary of School Desegragation Ruling

On this date in 1954, racial segregation in public schools was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment clause guaranteeing equal protection under the law.


May 22
International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. To learn more, visit the Convention on Biological Diversity website.  


May 28
Memorial Day

This holiday commemorates American men and women who have died in military service.



June 1
Madaraka Day - Kenya

This holiday commemorates the day that Kenya attained internal self-rule in 1963, preceding full independence from the United Kingdom on December 12, 1963. Madaraka is the first national holiday of Kenya, and Kenyan's gather together for celebration, food, song and dance. Some people plant trees in honor of the day, and everyone remembers the heroes who fought and died for the country's independence.


June 5
World Environment Day

World Environment Day was started in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly. Its purpose is to stimulate worldwide awareness about environmental issues and their impact on humans. This year’S theme is “Green Economy: Does it include you?” See the United National Environment Programme website


June 6
D-Day - Normandy

Operation OVERLORD (D-Day), the invasion of Normandy, is considered the decisive battle of the war in Western Europe. Before this battle the German Army still firmly occupied France and the Low Countries, the Nazi government still had access to the raw materials and industrial capacity of Western Europe, and local resistance to Nazi rule was disorganized and not very effective. After the successful invasion of France and the expansion of the initial beachheads, the Allied armies moved over to the offensive. OVERLORD proved a psychological and physical blow to German military fortunes from which they would never recover. 
Read more about the invasion of Normandy here. 


June 12
Independence Day - Phillipines

One of the most significant dates in the Philippine's history is Independence Day because it marks the nation's independence from the Spanish rule on June 12, 1898. Filipinos celebrate it annually on June 12. 


June 14
Flag Day

This day is dedicated to the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. For more information, visit the Library of Congress website

June 16
Anniversary of the First Woman in Space

In June 1963, Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first woman to fly in space when she orbited Earth 48 times in the spacecraft Vostok 6. A crater on the Moon is named in her honor.


June 17
Father's Day

A day honoring fathers, Father's Day is celebrated in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada on the 3rd Sunday in June, since being made a national holiday in 1966. Celebrated around the world, but on different days throughout the year.


June 18
Anniversary of the First American Woman in Space

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on the shuttle Challenger (STS-7). Read more about Sally Ride


June 19

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement in Texas in 1865 of the abolition of slavery - two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.



July 1
Canada Day

Canada Day is celebrated on July 1st across the country. July 1st marks the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada - that's the technical explanation, but Canada Day also means fireworks and the year's biggest national party. The Canada Day holiday is akin to the U.S. July 4th celebration.


July 4
Independence Day / Fourth of July

Independence Day was first celebrated on July 8, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read to the public. Congress declared the day a federal legal holiday in 1941. The holiday is celebrated with parades, fireworks, picnics, sporting events, and music, including the "Star-Spangled Banner" and several marches of John Philip Sousa.


July 14
Bastille Day - France

Every July 14th, Paris celebrates Bastille Day (referred to as La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale in French), which marks the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and the first major event of the French Revolution of 1789.
See how New Orleans celebrates Bastille Day.


July 21 - August 19

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. This is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice. 


July 26
Anniversary of the Signing of Amercians with Disabilities Act

 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990 "to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability." It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009. 



Last Monday in August
National Heroes Day - Phillipines

National Heroes' Day (Araw ng mga bayani) is a public holiday in the Philippines that is dedicated to the memory of the nation's heroes throughout its history. Observed on the last Monday of August, the holiday marks the Cry of Pugad Lawin by the Katipunan, led by its Supreme Andrés Bonifacio, which marks the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.


August 9
National Day / Independence Day - Singapore

The National Day in Singapore is observed every year on the 9th of August since the time Singapore gained her independence from Malaysia in the year 1965. It was on this day that Singapore withdrew itself from the Federation of Malaysia and became a republic a month later. The National Day is celebrated by all people to venerate Singapore's independence.


August 10
Independence Day - Ecuador

The day of Independence in Ecuador is celebrated on August 10, to commemorate the day when the group of local patriots from la Junta Soberana de Quito ( formed the day before )started the Creole revolt against the president Ruiz de Castilla and established 'Junta de Gobierno' with Juan Pio Montufar as the president.That day of year 1809 referred as 'Primer grito de independencia' marks the beginning of Ecuadorian movement for independence.

August 13-15
Bon Festival - Feast of Lanterns

The Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed spirits of one's ancestors has evolved into a family reunion holiday, during which people return to ancestral family places to visit and clean their ancestors' graves. Celebrated for over 500 years, the event lasts for three days. (In some regions of Japan, the Bon Festival is celebrated in mid-July.)


August 14
Independence Day - Pakistan

Pakistan's independence day (Urdu: یوم آزادی or Youm-e-Azadi) is a national holiday held on August 14th to celebrate Pakistan's independence from the Subcontinent and British Raj.


August 15
Feast of the Assumption

For Catholics, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the departure of Mary, the mother of Jesus, from this life, and the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin.


August 17
Independence Day - Indonesia

Indonesia was proclaimed an independent nation on 17th August, 1945. This declaration of independence came after Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch since the 17th century and by Japan in the years during the Second World War. Indonesia declared itself independent after Japan's defeat in the war. However, even after this declaration of independence Netherlands refused to give up its colony and it was after much deliberations and discussions and UN interference in the matter that enabled final settlement.


August 19
Eid al-Fitr

This Muslim feast day celebrates the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The 3-day festival is known as "Eid" or "Eid al-Fitr," which literally means "the feast of the breaking the fast."


August 19
August Revolution, Vietnam

The August Revolution (Vietnamese: Cách mạng tháng Tám), also called the August General Uprising (Vietnamese: Tổng Khởi Nghĩa) by the Indochinese Communist Party, was a rebellion in Vietnam. On August 19, 1945, the Việt Minh under Hồ Chí Minh began rebellion against French colonial rule in Vietnam. Whether this series of events should be called a "revolution" is in question; what is clear is, from August 19 onwards, demonstrations and uprisings against French rule broke out in cities and towns throughout Vietnam. Given Japan had surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II, the Japanese forces in Indochina stepped aside and allowed nationalist groups to take over public buildings in most of the major cities. While the Japanese allowed the nationalist groups free run of the country, they kept former French officials imprisoned.


August 21
Hawaii Admitted to Union

On this day in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America. It is also the last state to be admitted to the union. Hawaii has the largest percentage of Asian Americans of any U.S. state.


August 26
Women's Equality Day

Introduced by Rep. Bella Abzug (former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, lawyer, writer, news commentator, and feminist) and established in 1971, this day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1920 gave women in the United States full voting rights. Visit the National Women's History Museum for education resources.



September 15 - October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance authorized by Public Law 100-402. The observation was initiated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week but was expanded in 1988 to include the entire 31-day period. See more about Hispanic Heritage Month.


September 3
Labor Day

Labor Day honors the American worker and acknowledges the value and dignity of work and its role in American life. Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York, and continued to be celebrated until June 28, 1894, when Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. Learn more at Labor Day Resources.


First Sunday in September
Father's Day - New Zealand and Australia

In Australia and New Zealand, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September and is not a public holiday.


Last Sunday in September
King Shaka Commemoration - KwaZulu-Natal

This celebration commemorates the life of Shaka kaSenzangakhona, also known as Shaka Zulu. King Shaka was the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom. He is widely credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people, specifically the Mtetwa Paramountcy and the Ndwandwe into the Zulu Kingdom, the beginnings of a nation that held sway over the large portion of southern Africa between the Phongolo and Mzimkhulu Rivers, and his statesmanship and vigour marked him as one of the greatest Zulu kings.
Learn more about the great King Shaka Zulu.


Third Monday in September
Respect - for - the - Aged Day - Japan

Respect-for-the-Aged Day is a Japanese holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens. A national holiday since 1966, this was previously held on September 15. Beginning in 2003, Respect for the Aged Day is held on the third Monday of September due to the Happy Monday System.


September 5
Teachers' Day - India

India has been celebrating Teacher's Day on 5th September, since 1962. The day commemorates the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan, a philosopher and a teacher par excellence, and his contribution towards Indian education system. Dr Radhakhrishnan believed that "teachers should be the best minds in the country". On this day, we gratefully remember the great educationist, apart from honoring all the teachers that have made our life much more knowledgeable and fulfilled, as serving as our beacons of light.


September 16
Mexican Independence Day

September 16 is Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patriotic holiday. Each year, the president of Mexico rings the bells of the National Palace in Mexico City, celebrating the start in 1810 of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. 


September 16-18
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

The Jewish New Year, also known as the Days of Renewed Responsibility, begins at sunset on day one and ends at nightfall the next day. The event is marked by solemn religious observances. 


September 17
Citizenship Day (or Constitution Day)

On this day in 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. By presidential proclamation, the entire week is given to observing this important anniversary. Visit the National Constitution Center and the Constitution Day website for more information.


September 19
Independence Day - Saint Kitts and Nevis

The smallest nation in the Americas, St Kitts and Nevis celebrates its Independence Day on 19 September, the anniversary of the day on which, in 1983, the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom.


September 21
International Day of Peace

Established by United Nations resolution in 1982, this event is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations, and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at U.N. headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents, as a reminder of the human cost of war. For information, visit the International Day of Peace website.


September 25
School Desegregation Comes to Little Rock

On this day in 1957, nine teenagers became the first African-Americans to attend all-White Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ensuing events riveted the nation and focused a spotlight on racism. President Eisenhower intervened and sent federal troops to protect the students and ensure compliance with the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. For more information, go to Central High School National Historic Site. See PBS Newshour Transcript on 40th anniversary (in 1997).


September 26
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

The most solemn day of the Jewish year, and one of the most important, the Day of Atonement is typically spent at synagogue in fasting, reflection, and prayer.  Celebration will begin on the sunset of September 25.



October 1-31
LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month brings awareness to the problems and the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people. Here are some LGBT resources:

October 1-31
Italian American Heritage Month

Every year the U.S. president signs an executive order designating the month of October as National Italian American Heritage Month in recognition of the achievements and contributions made to American culture by persons of Italian heritage. See Milestones of the Italian American Experience.


Second Monday of October
Thanksgiving - Canada

Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. It is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.


October 1
National Day - China

The National Day of the People's Republic of China is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People's Republic of China to celebrate their national day.


October 1
Cyprus and Nigeria

Celebrates Cyprus and Nigeria's independence from the United Kingdom in 1960.


October 1-7
Sukkot (Jewish Feast of Tabernacles)

Beginning at sunset on the first day, this seven-day festival celebrates the harvest and commemorates the Jews’ passage through the wilderness.


October 2
Gandhi's Birthday & International Day of nonviolence

Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi is one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the twentieth century. Through nonviolent resistance, Gandhi helped free India from British rule. The Indian people called Gandhi “Mahatma,” meaning Great Soul. Learn more about the fascinating life of Mahatma Gandhi.


October 2
Thurgood Marshall Sworn Into Supreme Court

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to sit on the highest court in the land. Opposing discrimination and the death penalty, he championed free speech and civil liberties. Read about the life of Thurgood Marshall.


October 3
Frank Robinson Signed as Major League Manager

In 1974, Robinson became the first African American to manage a major league baseball team when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians.


October 3
German Unity Day

German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is annually held on October 3 to mark the anniversary of the nation's unification. It remembers when the Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of Germany united to create one single, federal Germany on October 3, 1990. Learn more here.


October 5
Proclamation of Portuguese Republic - Portugal

On October 5,1910 a revolution ended 771 years of monarchy in Portugal when King Manuel II was deposed and the First Republic was established.


October 6
German American Day

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed this day German American Day, commemorating the 1683 arrival in America of 13 German families on board a sailing vessel.


October 8
Independence Day - Croatia

Celebrates independence from SFR Yugoslavia in 1991. Independence was declared, after the May 19 referendum, by the Parliament on June 25 - the date is celebrated as Statehood Day; but a three-month moratorium was imposed as a result of the Brijuni Agreement, and on October 8 the ties with SFR Yugoslavia were formally severed.


October 8
Columbus Day

Celebrated annually on the second Monday in October, this federal holiday honors all explorers and commemorates Columbus' sighting of the New World in 1492. It is also a time to remember a group of people who discovered America before Columbus: the nomadic ancestors of modern Native Americans.


October 15
Multicultural Diversity Day

Celebrated on the third Monday in October, this day was adopted as a national event by NEA's 1993 Representative Assembly. See Multicultural Diversity Day for more information. 


October 24
United Nations Day

In the spring of 1945, representatives of fifty nations gathered in San Francisco to put the final touches to a document of far-reaching consequences - the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Charter went into effect on October 24, 1945. Two years later the UN General Assembly adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution declaring October 24th United Nations Day.


October 26
Eid al-Adha

This holiday is the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, the most important feast of Islam. The three-day festival recalls Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah. It concludes the Hajj - the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. It occurs approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. This year, in North America, it starts on October 26.


October 27
Independence Day - St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Celebrates independence from the United Kingdom in 1979.


October 27
Independence Day - Turkmenistan

Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.


October 28
Independence Day - Greece

Declaration of independence from Ottoman Empire in 1821. Start of the Greek War of Independence.


October 28
Statue of Liberty Dedication

On this day in 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty, officially titled "Liberty Enlightening the World." This universal symbol of freedom and democracy was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.


October 29
National Organization for Women (NOW) Founded

Since its founding in 1966, NOW has maintained its goal: to take action to bring about equality for all women. Learn more at the NOW site


October 31

Also known as All Hallows’ Eve—the evening before All Saints Day or All Hallows Day—this event has roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (SOW-an). In Gaelic culture, it is a celebration of the end of the harvest season and a time to remember loved ones who have died. Today, in the United States and some Western countries, it is customary to wear costumes and take part in revelry.



November 1-30
American Indian Heritage Month

November was officially recognized as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush signed it into Public Law. See these sites for more information:


November 1
All Saints Day

All Saints Day, the day on which Catholics celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, is a surprisingly old feast. It arose out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their martyrdom. When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs, known and unknown, were properly honored.


November 2
All Souls Day

All Soul's Day (sometimes called the "Day of the Dead") is always November 2 (November 3rd if the 2nd falls on a Sunday). All Soul's Day is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away. This comes from the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead, which celebrated the Pagan belief that the souls of the dead would return for a meal with the family. Candles in the window would guide the souls back home, and another place was set at the table. Children would come through the village, asking for food to be offered symbolically to the dead, then donated to feed the hungry.


November 6
Dalip Singh Saund - First Asian American Elected to the U.S. Congress

After becoming a citizen in 1949, Saund became active in the Democratic Party in California. In 1956, he was the first Asian American to win a seat in the U.S. Congress. See more at Asian American Activism in History


November 10
National Heroes Day - Indonesia

This day commemorates a chain of events collectively known as the Battle of Surabaya — a confrontation and battle between pro-independence Indonesian soldiers, or Nederlandsch Indie Civil Administratie , and British and Dutch (VOC) troops during the fight for independence.


November 11
Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. It is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In 1938, the United States Congress made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - to be celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Congress amended this act in 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since then. See more at


November 11
Rememberance Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries.


November 13
Dedication of Vietnam Memorial

On this day in 1982, the national war memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans. The memorial wall was designed by Chinese American Maya Lin, who was 21 years old at the time.


November 13-17

Known as the "Indian Festival of Lights", this major Hindu holiday signifies the renewal of life, and the victory of good over evil. To celebrate, people light lamps and candles, set off fireworks, and wear new clothes.


November 14
Children's Day - India

Children's day, in hindi known as "Bal Diwas", in India falls on November 14th every year and for good reason. Children's day in India is celebrated on Pandit Nehru's birthday as a day of fun and frolic, a celebration of childhood, children and Nehruji's love for them.


November 14 - December 14

The month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic liturgical year. The Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram, and is counted from the year of the Hegira (anno Hegirae), the year in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina (A.D. July 16, 622).


November 20
Dia de la Revolution

The Day of the Revolution (in Spanish, "Día de la Revolución") is celebrated annually in Mexico on November 20, the anniversary of the 1910 start of the popular movement which led to the overthrow of dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori after 34 years of military rule but ushered in over a decade of civil war which ultimately led to the promulgation of the nation's constitution in 1917 and the 1920 ascension to the presidency of General Álvaro Obregón.


November 22
Thanksgiving Day

The first recorded observance of Thanksgiving in America was a religious occasion that did not include the feast now associated with the holiday. On December 4, 1619, a small group of English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River in Virginia. In accordance with their charter, the group observed this day by giving thanks to God. A typical Thanksgiving meal in the United States includes turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and rolls.


November 24
Lachit Davis - India

On 24 November each year Lachit Divas (lit. Lachit Day) is celebrated statewide in Assam to commemorate the heroism of Lachit Borphukan and the victory of the Assamese army at the Battle of Saraighat. The best passing out cadet of National Defence Academy is conferred the Lachit medal named after Lachit Borphukan.


November 30
St. Andrews Day - Scotland

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on 30th November 30th. 



December 1
Independence Day - Romania

Celebration of Romania's Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877.


December 2
National Day - United Arab Emirates

National Day is celebrated on December 2nd each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE's formal independence from the United Kingdom and the eventual unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country. The union became independent on December 2,1971.


December 5
Sinterklaas - The Netherlands

Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas; Saint Nicolas in French; Sankt Nikolaus in German) is a traditional Winter holiday figure celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve (December 5) or on the morning of December 6th in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France. Originally, the feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas — patron saint of children, sailors, and the city of Amsterdam, among others. Sint Nicholas being a bishop and this geographical spread make clear that the feast in this form has a Roman Catholic background.


December 5
Father's Day (King's Birthday) - Thailand

December 5th is Father's Day in Thailand. This is the day the present King of Thailand was born and, as the Thais think of him as the 'Father of the Nation', it's appropriate to celebrate all fathers on this day.


December 6
Independence Day - Finland

Celebration of independence from Russia in 1917.


December 6
Constitution Day - Spain

Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved . This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.


December 7
Pearl Harbor Day

Although December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Day, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States. The nation does however, continue to pay homage remembering the thousands injured and killed when attacked by the Japanese in 1941. Schools and other establishments across the country respectfully lower the American flag to half-staff.


December 8
Dia de la Madre en Panama (Mother's Day) - Panama

In Panama, Mother's Day is celebrated on Dec. 8th. The date is suggested by a wife of Panama's president in the 1930s. It is made to be a national holiday.


December 10
Human Rights Day

The anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly's adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a document establishing a common standard for human achievement for all peoples and nations, rooted in the values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect, and shared responsibility. Learn more about Human Rights Day. See also the United Nations Human Rights website.


December 8-16

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorates the Maccabees military victory over the Greek Syrians and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The festival is observed by the lighting of a special candelabrum, the Menorah, with one additional light lit on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. 


December 12
Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) - Mexico

On December 12th, El Dia De La Virgen Guadalupe is celebrated through out Mexico and all of Latin America. The celebration and devotion of Hispanics to La Virgen Guadalupe, especially amongst the Mexican community, has spread to where the veneration and devotion to the Virgin Mary is a staple amongst all Catholics around the world, most notably in the Americas.


December 12
Independence Day (Jamhuri Day) - Kenya

Celebration of independence from the United Kingdom in 1963.


December 23
The Emperor's Birthday - Japan

The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday in the Japanese calendar. It is currently celebrated on December 23rd. The date is determined by the reigning Emperor's birthdate.  Emperor Akihito was born on this date in 1933.


December 25

Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In Christianity, Christmas marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days. Traditions include the sending of cards, decorating with poinsettias and a Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, and giving gifts.


December 26 - January 1

Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday based on the agricultural celebration of Africa called “the first fruits” celebrations, which celebrate the times of harvest, gathering, reverence, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals, and celebration of the good. Kwanzaa is celebrated annually December 26-January 1. Learn more about Kwanzaa.


December 30
Rizal Day - Philippines

Rizal Day is a Philippine national holiday commemorating the life and works of José Rizal, one of the Philippines' national heroes. It is celebrated every December 30th, the day of Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan, now known as Rizal Park, in 1896.


December 31
New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is December 31, the final day of the Gregorian year and the day before New Year's Day. In modern Western practice, New Year's Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings marking the passing of one year into the next, at midnight.

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