Monthly Observances and Celebrations

"EDI office logo, monthly observances and celebrations, gold calendar in background"

The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office invites you to utilize this Monthly Observances and Celebrations calendar as a resource to expand awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the variety of cultural and religious occasions observed by members of the FSU community. To maximize inclusivity, it is important to take these days of remembrance, observance, and celebration into consideration when planning events.

Please note that in many cultures and religions, observances fall on different dates each year, as not all cultures and countries follow the Gregorian calendar. Many use a Lunar calendar or other time measurement system. For some holidays observed on the Lunar calendar, the observance begins at sunset of the preceding day.

This calendar is not comprehensive of all religious and cultural observances, and is continuously amended to reflect the most accurate and current information. If you would like to recommend a holiday or observance to be added to this calendar, please email us at diversity@fsu.edu.

 

January

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Poverty in America Month

This month was established to bring greater awareness to the issue of poverty and financial insecurity in the United States. Currently, more than 37 million people in the country live below the poverty line. 

1/6

Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day)

Also known as Epiphany, this holiday is traditionally celebrated in Spain, Latin America, and amongst Hispanic communities in the U.S. Three Kings Day marks the arrival of the three wise men who brought gifts to Jesus on the 12th day following Christmas.

1/17 (2022)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for nonviolent social change until his assassination in 1968.

1/27

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Since 2005, the UN and its member states have held commemoration ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.

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February

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Black History Month

Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora.

Monthlong

Ethnic Equality Month

This month provides an opportunity to recognize the similarities between individuals of various ethnic backgrounds while appreciating and respecting the differences. 

2/1

National Freedom Day

This day celebrates the signing of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865.

2/1 - 2/15 (2022)

Lunar / Chinese New Year

This festival celebrates the beginning of a new year in China and other Asian countries and cultures whose calendars follow the cycle of the moon.

2/20

World Day of Social Justice

World Day of Social Justice was established by the UN General Assembly as a recognition of the necessity of and connection between social development, social justice, peace, and security among nations. These cannot be attained without respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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March

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Gender Equality Month

This month is designated to bring awareness to the disparities, inequalities, underrepresentation, and violence faced by women and girls around the globe, and to shine a light on their strengths and achievements.

Monthlong

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Established to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people who are differently abled.

Monthlong

Women's History Month

Started in 1987, Women's History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society.

3/8

International Women's Day

First observed in 1911 in Germany, it has now become a major global celebration honoring women's economic, political and social achievements.

3/18 (2022)

Holi Festival

Also known as the Festival of Colors, Holi is largely celebrated across India and marks the shift from winter to spring and the triumph of good over evil. 

3/21

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

This day is observed annually in the wake of the 1960 killing of 69 people at a demonstration against apartheid pass laws in South Africa. The United Nations proclaimed the day in 1966 and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

3/25

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

This United Nations international observation offers the opportunity to honor  those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. First observed in 2008, the international day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

3/31

International Transgender Day of Visibility

This observance celebrates transgender people and their identities as well as recognizes those who helped fight for rights for transgender individuals.

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April

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Arab American Heritage Month

This month is a designated time to highlight and celebrate the history and cultures of the Arab American population and its contribution to American society. 

Monthlong

Autism Acceptance Month

Originating in 1972 as a weeklong observance to raise awareness of those living with autism, Autism Acceptance Month recognizes the prevalence of autism amongst children and adults in the United States and sheds a light on its signs, symptoms, and opportunities.

Monthlong (Beginning 2022)

Deaf History Month

Formerly celebrated from March 13 - April 15, this observance celebrates key events in deaf history, including the founding of Gallaudet University and the American School for the Deaf. 

Monthlong

Diversity Month

Started in 2004, this observance recognizes and honors the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will gain a deeper understanding of each other.

4/2

World Autism Awareness Day

This day was declared by the UN General Assembly to highlight the need to create more inclusive practices that help improve the quality of life of people living with autism.

4/2 - 5/1 (2022)

Ramadan

Considered one of the holiest months for Muslims, Ramadan honors the revelation of the Qu'ran. During this time many Muslims fast from food and drink during sunlit hours as as way to draw closer to God and build upon spiritual values and practices.

4/8 (2022)

Day of Silence

In observance of this day, students take a day-long vow of silence to protest the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.

4/15 - 4/22 (2022)

Passover

In Judaism, this eight-day festival commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The observance is celebrated with a Seder meal, storytelling, and other traditions.

4/17 (2022)

Easter

Most widely known as a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this observance has been noted as having ties to Christianity, Paganism, and Judaism, among other faiths.

4/22

Earth Day

Earth day marks the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This day raises awareness of issues that affect the earth and global society including carbon emissions, climate change, food security, and clean energy.

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May

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Asian Pacific Heritage Month

This observance commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843, and marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants. 

Monthlong

Jewish American Heritage Month

This observance recognizes the diverse contributions of Jewish people and culture to American society.

Monthlong

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health challenges and conditions.

Local Resources from NAMI Tallahassee

Monthlong

Older Americans Month

This observance was established in 1963 to support older Americans and to honor their legacies and contributions to American society.

5/5

Cinco de Mayo

This holiday commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). The day celebrates Mexican culture and heritage through special events including parades and musical performances.

5/17

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

This global observance celebrates diversity in sexual orientation and gender identities and expressions.

5/1 - 5/3 (2022)

Eid al-Fitr

In Islam, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan, which is the holy month of fasting. During this celebration, Muslims show gratitude to God as they end the fasting period.

5/21

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

This holiday is sanctioned by the United Nations as an international holiday for the promotion of intercultural conversation about diversity and sustainable development of inclusive practices for achieving peace.

5/30 (2022)

Memorial Day

This observance is a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed their lives in service of the United States of America.

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June

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month was established to recognize the impact that LGBT individuals have had on the world. LGBT groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings.

6/12

Loving Day

This day marks the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage in the United States. 

6/19

Juneteenth

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas and Louisiana finally heard they were free, two months after the end of the Civil War. June 19, therefore, became the day of emancipation for thousands of African-Americans. 

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July

Day(s) Focus
7/9 - 7/12 (2022)

Eid al-Adha

This Islamic celebration follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, during which many Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca. This 2-4 day observance commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's devotion to Allah (God).

7/26

National Disability Independence Day

This observance celebrates the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disability Act. 

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August

Day(s) Focus
8/9

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

This day was established in 1994 by the UN General Assembly. This observance provides an opportunity for communities around the world to acknowledge the contributions of indigenous peoples to the improvement of world issues and to help protect the rights of indigenous populations.

8/19

World Humanitarian Day

This day was designated by the UN in remembrance of the 22 lives lost in the 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq. It is a day for people across cultures to come together to advocate for the well-being and dignity of those affected by crises worldwide as well as the safety of aid workers.

8/23

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

This observance honors those who suffered and died in the transatlantic slave trade and is the anniversary of the 1791 uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. 

8/26

Women's Equality Day

This observance commemorates the August 26, 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women's Equality Day in 1971. 

More Info on black women and the fight for voting rights

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September

Day(s) Focus
9/6

Labor Day

This observance was initiated by labor activists in the nineteenth century and celebrates the accomplishments and contribution of workers across the U.S. to the country's strength and prosperity.

9/25 - 9/27 (2022)

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year" in Hebrew. The day honors the creation of the world and initiates 10 days of introspection practiced in Judaism.

9/15 - 10/15

Hispanic Heritage Month

This month is celebrated in recognition of the diverse cultures of Hispanic Americans and their contributions to American society.

9/26 - 10/4 (2022)

Sharad Navratri

This Hindu festival is celebrated for 9 days in honor of the divine feminine. The celebration is widely observed in India, and different communities take part in the celebration through fasting, dancing, religious reflection, and other actions.

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October

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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

10/4 - 10/5 (2022)

Yom Kippur

Also known as the "Day of Atonement", Yom Kippur marks the end of the 10 days of introspection that follow Rosh Hashanah. This day is considered the holiest day of the year in Judaism.

10/10 (2022)

Indigenous People's Day (Columbus Day)

Indigenous People's Day has been established as an alternative to the historically celebrated Columbus Day, giving recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.

10/11 

National Coming Out Day

This day recognizes the 1987 March on Washington for gay and lesbian equality and honors the act of "coming out" as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

10/22 - 10/26 (2022)

Diwali 

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is a major festival that symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, or good over evil, with the third day being the most important day. Diwali is celebrated in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Origins of Diwali

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November

Day(s) Focus
Monthlong

Native American Heritage Month

This month is designated to recognize and inform about experiences and cultures of the first Americans in the United States, their sacrifice in the establishment of this country, and their significant contributions to its growth.

11/1 - 11/2

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

This observance is traditionally celebrated in Mexico and Mexican communities to honor and welcome the return of souls of deceased family members and loved ones with food, offerings, and more.

11/11

Veterans Day

This observance provides an opportunity to honor and thank veterans for their bravery and sacrifice as former service members of the United States Armed Forces.

11/24 (2022)

National Day of Mourning (Thanksgiving)

While largely celebrated in the United States as a day of feasting and giving thanks, since 1970, many Americans observe Thanksgiving as the Day of Mourning, grieving the extreme sacrifice endured by Native Americans in Plymouth, Massachusetts upon the arrival of English colonists in 1620.

11/28 - 12/6

Chanukah (Hanukkah)

In Judaism, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with an 8-day "festival of lights". Celebratory events include nightly menorah lighting and special prayers, among others.

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December

Day(s) Focus
12/1

World AIDS Day

This day was established in 1988 as an opportunity for people around the world to come together in the fight against HIV, support those living with HIV, and commemorate the lives lost due to an AIDS-related illness.

12/10

UN Human Rights Day

On this date in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most translated document in the world, which proclaims the inalienable rights that all human beings are entitled to - regardless of identity status.

12/25

Christmas

This holiday originated in Christianity to commemorate the birth of Jesus and since has evolved into a celebration observed in both religious and secular contexts.

12/26 - 1/1

Kwanzaa

Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, this African American and pan-African holiday is a seven-day cultural festival celebrating family, community, and culture. The celebration brings together communitarian values and practices of Continental African and African American culture, and is centered around seven core principles.

Article on the meaning of Kwanzaa

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