A Calendar to Celebrate Diversity


1     New Year's Day - celebrated in 123 nations
    Independence Day - Cameroon, Haiti, Western Samoa, Sudan

3     Birthday of Lucretia Mott - women's rights pioneer, anti - slavery leader, pacifist, Quaker preacher, 1793 - 1880

4     Birthday of Louis Braille - French inventor of the Braille system for people who are blind, 1809 - 1852

6     Theophany - Armenian Christmas
    Birthday of Maria Montessori - Roman educator whose innovative nursery school revolutionized ideas about early childhood education, 1870 - 1952
    Dia De Los Reyes - the first Sunday, or the 6th of January, children in some Latin American countries receive toys to commemorate the visit of the three kings to the Christ child.

7     Christmas - Ethiopian (Ganna), Greek, Russian, and other Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar celebrate Christ's birthday on this date

10     Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony - the Iroquois people of Canada and the United States participate in sacred rituals that signify midwinter renewal of the tribe. Also the Iroquois New Year
    George Washington Carver's Death - African American scientist who derived hundreds of products from soybeans, peanuts, and sweet potatoes, 1864 - 1943

11     Birthday of Harriet Converse - Native American, first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations, 1836 - 1903
    Independence Day - Chad

14     Pongal - harvest festival of southern India that honors the sun and rain that ripen the rice crops

15     Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. - minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner (1964), and advocate of civil rights, 1929 - 1968

16    Independence Day - Lithuania

23     Independence Day - Mexico

24     Birthday of Maria Tallchief - of Native American and Scottish- Irish heritage, prima ballerina, 1925-

26     Australia Day - people reenact the first landing at Sydney of prisoners brought from England to colonize Australia
    Republic Day - India's Independence Day, 1950

31     Birthday of Benjamin Hooks - African American, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) official, civil rights leader, 1925-
    Thirteenth Amendment Passed - abolishing slavery, 1865
    Birthday of Jackie Robinson - first African American to play in major league baseball, 1919 - 1972


   TET - Vietnamese New Year Festival, celebrated in either late January or February (Lunar Calendar - same as Chinese New Year)

   Chinese New Year - celebrated in either January or February (Lunar Calendar - same as Vietnamese New Year)

   Black History Month - contributions of African Americans are recognized

   Brotherhood/Sisterhood Week - initiated in 1934 by the National Council of Christians and Jews to emphasize the importance of a cooperative community starts third Sunday of the month

1    Birthday of Langston Hughes - African American, poet, author, and playwright, 1902-1967
   National Freedom Day - commemorates signing of the 13th Amendment prohibiting slavery

2    Groundhog Day - in Canada and the U.S., if the ground hog sees its shadow when it emerges, 6 weeks more of winter will follow

3    Setsubun - the Japanese bean - throwing festival drives out evil spirits and celebrates the beginning of spring

4    National Women in Sports Day
   Birthday of Betty Friedan - author, first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), 1921-

6    Birthday of Bob Marley - Jamaican musician who helped bring reggae into the musical mainstream with his group Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1948-1986

9    Birthday of Alice Walker - African American author whose book, The Color Purple, won a Pulitzer Prize, 1944-

10    Birthday of Leontyne Price - first African American international opera star, 1927-

11    Japanese Foundation Day - celebrates the birth of the Japanese nation in 660 B.C.
   Nelson Mandella - released from a South African prison after being detained 27 years as a political prisoner, 1990

12    Birthday of Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the U.S., 1809-1865
    Mother's Day - Norway

14    Valentine's Day - Canada, Europe, U.S.
    Birthday of Frederick Douglas - former slave who became a leader of the Abolitionist movement, strong proponent for women's rights, and consultant to President Lincoln, 1817-1895

15    Birthday of Susan B. Anthony - American of English heritage who fought for women's suffrage under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1820-1906

16     Basant Panchami - Hindu festival celebrates spring and also honors Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of learning and the arts

17    Birthday of Julia de Burgos - Puerto Rican poet and journalist, 1914-1953

18     Birthday of Toni Morison - African American novelist, 1931 - Independence Day - Gambia

21    Tincunaco Ceremony - in Argentina, mothers and godmothers perform a traditional ceremony that honors children
   Independence Day - Dominican Republic
   Anniversary of Wounded Knee - Native American


   Women's History Month - commemorates when women textile and garment workers in New York City demonstrated against low wages and 12-hour work days

   Women's History Week - starts on the first Sunday

   National Nutrition Month - to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy diet

   Purim - Jewish holiday, remembers the fight for religious freedom in either February or March

   Ramadan - Muslim, ninth month of Muslim calendar is devoted to fasting, occurs in March, April, or May

   Fastelavn - late February, early March, many children in Denmark dress in costumes and go from house to house to receive coins, candy, and buns as part of preparation for Lent

   Mardi Gras - late February, early March, carnivals, parades, and merriment mark the beginning of Lent in the U.S., France, Italy, and Brazil

   Kiddies' Carnival - late February, early March, Trinidad and Tobago, exclusively for children as their own pre - Lent festival

1    Sam Il Chul - commemorates Korean independence from Japan (?)

4     Birthday of Jeannette Rankin - first woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives, pacifist, was the only Representative to vote against joining both World War I and World War II, 1880-1973

5    Black American Day - observes the day that Crispus Attucks died in the American Revolution, the first African American to do so

8    International Women's Day - national holiday in China and the U.S.S.R. honoring working women

10    Harriet Tubman's Death - born a slave, this African American woman established the Underground Railroad to free slaves from the South, 1821-1913

16    Black Press Day - anniversary of the founding of the first Black newspaper in the U.S. in 1827

17    St. Patrick's Day - commemorates the patron saint of Ireland who, in 432 A.D., introduced Christianity into Ireland

20    First Day of Spring - Northern Hemisphere
   First Day of Autumn - Southern Hemisphere

21    No Ruz - New Year's Day for Iran
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Birthday of Benito Juarez - Mexican patriot
Children's Poetry Day - U.S.

27    Holi - Hindu celebration of the coming spring harvest,children and adults throw water and colored powders at each other

31    Birthday of Caesar Chavez - American of Mexican heritage, a labor organizer and spokesperson for Mexican - American farm workers, 1927-


   Disabled Awareness Month

   Special Olympics

   Earth Day - special day for environmental concern

   Boon Hok Nam - Laotian New Year, usually around April 13 or 14, lasts 5 days

   Arbor Day - last Friday of the month

   Week of the Young Child - U.S.

   Passover - Jewish holiday, commemorates the escape from Egyptian bondage, 8 days in April or May, sometimes starts in March

   Easter - Christian holiday, commemorates death of Christ, during March or April

1    April Fool's Day - since 1564, a day for pranks
   Cherry Blossom Festival - celebrates the blossoming of Japanese cherry trees in Washington, D.C.
   Independence Day - Switzerland

2    International Children's Book Day - fosters understanding among the young by increasing their knowledge of other cultures through literature

5    Chin Ming Festival (Ancestors Day) - a Chinese ceremonial day commemorating the deceased, a national holiday in Taiwan
   Birthday of Booker T. Washington - founded the Tuskegee Institute, the first school of higher learning for blacks, 1856 - 1915

7    World Health Day - United Nations formed the World Health Organization, its goal is to have health care available to all by the year 2000
   Flower Festival - celebrated in Japan to commemorate Buddha's birthday

11    Civil Rights Act of 1968 anniversary

16    Sandrant - Cambodian New Year
    Jim Thorpe Day - Native American athlete who was entered into football's Hall of Fame

27    Independence Day - Austria

29    Tencho Setsu - birthday of deceased Emperor Hirohito and a national holiday in Japan


   Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week - commemorates the arrival of Japanese immigrants in U.S.

   Native American Day - second Saturday in May, not celebrated by all Native Americans

   Mother's Day - second Sunday, U.S.

   Independence Day - Israel

   International Jumping Frog Jubilee - the town of Angels' Camp, California, sponsors frog jumping contests in the spirit of Mark Twain's story, "The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County," third weekend in May

1    Labor Day - Malta
   May Day - celebrates end of winter and beginning of spring and summer, of Romanian origin, day of the May Pole

5    Tengo-No-Sekku (Children's Day) - originally celebrated in Japan as Boy's Day, children fly kites in the shape of a carp, which symbolizes courage, strength
   Cinco de Mayo - anniversary of the 1892 battle of Puebla, in which Mexican forces defeated French invaders

13     Birthday of Stevie Wonder - black musician and composer who is blind, 1950-

17    Brown vs. Board of EducationQanniversary of Supreme Court decision banning racial segregation in schools

21    Victoria Day - Canada

26    Independence Day - Guyana

27    Children's Day - Nigeria
   Mother's Day - France, Sweden

29    Birthday of John F. Kennedy - 35th U.S. President, started the Peace Corps, 1917-1963

30    Memorial Day - U.S., honors those who died in defense of their country


   Children's Day - U.S., second Sunday

   Father's Day - U.S., third Sunday

1    Birthday of Abby Smith - refused to pay taxes while women were denied the vote, 1797-1878
   International Children's Day - China, Poland, U.S.S.R.

2    American Indian Citizenship Day - commemorates day in 1924 when Congress conferred citizenship on American Indians

7    Children's Day - Norway

10    Race Unity Day - focuses attention on the principles of unity in diversity

12    Philippine Independence Day - commemorates the Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898

14    Flag Day - U.S., the Continental Congress adopted first official American flag on this day in 1777

17    Children's Day - Indonesia
   Independence Day - Iceland

21    Summer Begins - Northern Hemisphere
   Winter Begins - Southern Hemisphere

23    Birthday of Wilma Rudolph - African American runner who won three gold medals in the 1960, Olympics, 1940 -

27    Birthday of Emma Goldman - lecturer, advocate of free speech and women's rights, 1869-1940


   National Ice Cream Day - third Sunday

   Dominion Day - commemorates establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867

    Day of the Child - Argentina

2    Birthday of Thurgood Marshall - first African American man to become a Supreme Court Justice, 1908 -

4    Independence Day - U.S., commemorates signing of Declaration of Independence in 1776

5    Independence Day - Venezuela

7    Tanabata (Star Festival) - Japanese celebration of the stars

8    Festa dos Tabuleiros - Portuguese festival giving thanks for food and health

9    Independence Day - Argentina

14    Bastille Day - commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution of 1789

15    Youth Festival - Singapore

17    Constitution Day - adoption of the Republic of Korea's (South Korea) constitution in 1963

20    Independence Day - Columbia

21    Independence Day - Belgium

24    Birthday of Simon Bolivar - South America, "The Great Liberator" dreamed of independence for Spanish colonies; led what is now Columbia, Venezuela,Equador, Bolivia, and Peru to eventual independence,1783-1830

26    Independence Day - Republic of Liberia

28     Independence Day - Peru


   Nisei Week - last week in August, celebrates accomplishments of Japanese - Americans

   Independence Day - Jamaica, first Monday in August

1    Confederation Day - anniversary of the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291
   Birthday of Maria Mitchell - the first American woman astronomer, discovered comet, 1818 - 1889

2    Birthday of James Baldwin - black author and playwright, wrote Go Tell It on the Mountain, 1924 - 1987

5    Birthday of Mary Beard - feminist historian and labor organizer, led 1909 seamstress strike, 1876-1958

6    Hiroshima Day - memorial observance for victims of the atomic bombings in 1945
   Independence Day - Bolivia

10    Independence Day - Equador

11    Birthday of Lucy Stone - one of the founders of the first phase of the Women's Movement, supported civil rights for women and blacks; kept her own name after marriage, 1818 - 1893

14    Independence Day - Pakistan

15    Independence Day - India
   Independence Day - South Korea
   Independence Day - Republic of Congo, Brazzaville
   Harvest Moon Festival - Chinese Thanksgiving, celebration of the harvest of summer crops

16    Independence Day - Cyprus
17    Birthday of Marcus Garvey Jamaican of African heritage, a leader of the African American movement in the U.S., 1887-1940
   Independence Day - Indonesia declared independence from the Dutch on this day in 1945

26    Women's Equality Day - commemorates the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, 1901


   Rosh Hashana - Jewish New Year

   Yom Kippur - Jewish Day of Atonement, the most solemn day of the year, devoted to fasting and prayer

   Sukkot - Jewish Thanksgiving, celebrates the harvest

   National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

   Labor Day - U.S., first Monday

   Native American Awareness Week - fourth week, not celebrated by all Native Americans

   American Indian Day - fourth Friday

   Grandparent's Day - in the U.S., first Sunday after Labor Day

   Monarch Butterfly Migration - every fall the monarch butterflies of Canada and the northern U.S. travel thousands of miles south for the winter

2    Vietnam Independence Day - establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945

8    Father's Day - Australia

10    Moon Festival - Chinese holiday to show gratitude for a good harvest
   Chusok - Korean harvest festival

12    Birthday of Jesse Owens - African American athlete,won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, 1913 - 1980

14    Birthday of Margaret Sanger - sex education and family planning pioneer, 1879-1966

15    Independence Day - Costa Rica
   Independence Day - El Salvador
   Independence Day - Guatemala
   Independence Day - Honduras
   Independence Day - Nicaragua
   Respect for the Aged Day - Japan

16    Independence Day - Mexico
   Muharram (New Year) - Islam
   World Gratitude Day - an international Thanksgiving

17    Citizenship Day - honors new citizens of the U.S.

18    Independence Day - Chile

19    Yam Festival - Ghana, the harvest of yams is celebrated with dancing and drumming to usher in the New Year

21    Philippine Thanksgiving Day

22    Autumn Begins - Northern Hemisphere
   Spring Begins Southern Hemisphere
   Native American Day

24    Birthday of E. Franklin Frasier - African American scholar and writer, author of The Negro Family, 1894-1962

28    Birthday of Frances Willard - peace activist, worked for the rights of labor and women, headed the Women's Christian
   Temperance Union, 1839 - 1898

29    Birthday of Caroline Yale - co-creator of a system that taught speech to people who are deaf, 1848 - 1933

30    Independence Day - Botswana


   Universal Children's Day - first Sunday, as established by U.S. Congress

   Popcorn Month - Native Americans introduced popcorn to the colonists who ate it with milk and sugar

   Independence Day - Nigeria, marks the beginning of independence from Britain in 1960

2    Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi - India, 1869 - 1948
   Independence Day - Guinea
    Birthday of Ruth Owen Rhode - first U.S. woman foreign minister from 1933-1936, first woman Congressional leader from the South, 1885-1954

8    Birthday of Jesse Jackson - African American civil rights activist, has twice sought Democratic Party's nomination for president of U.S., 1941

9    Independence Day - Uganda

12    National Coming Out Day - gay, lesbian, and bisexual groups proclaim this day as one for those who declare their sexual orientation with pride and courage
   Dia de la Raza - South American commemoration of the discovery of America
   Columbus Day - birthday of Christopher Columbus, who made several voyages to the Americas
   Thanksgiving Day - Canadian Harvest Festival

13    Mother's Day - Argentina

16    World Food Day - to increase public awareness of the world food problems

17    Black Poet Day - recognizes the contribution of African American poets to American life and culture

24    United Nations Day

25    Independence Day - Republic of Zambia

26    Birthday of Mahalia Jackson - African American gospel singer, sang at the 1963 March on Washington, 1911 - 1972

27    Teddy Bear Day - celebrates birthday of their namesake, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt

28    Independence Day - Czechoslovakia

29    National Organization for Women - formed on this date in 1966

31     Halloween - an ancient celebration combining Druid autumn festivals and Christian customs, this Christian feast dates from the seventh century


   Thanksgiving - U.S., fourth Thursday

   National American Indian Heritage Month

   American Education Week - starts second Sunday

   National Children's Book Week

   Hmong New Year - usually begins in mid-November to December, the Hmong are an ethnic group from the highlands in Laos

7    Birthday of Marie Curie (born Maria Sklodowska) - Polish scientist who earned the Nobel Prize twice for chemistry and physics, first woman to win Nobel Prize, 1867-1934

11    Veteran's Day - U.S., honors all who served in the U.S. forces
   Birthday of Abigail Adams - First Lady who advised her husband John Adams to remember the "ladies" and include them in the U.S. Constitution, 1744-1818
   Independence Day - Rhodesia
   Father's Day - Norway

12    Birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton - a leader of the women's rights movement, advocated for women's suffrage, 1815-1902

13    Birthday of Louis Brandeis - first Jewish member of the U.S. Supreme Court, founder of Brandeis University, 1856 - 1941

14    Children's Day - India

15    Hitchi-Go-San - all children in Japan aged 3, 5, and 7 are taken to shrines to offer thanks for good health

17    Homemade Bread Day - all cultures use bread as a mainstay of their diet, many different kinds worldwide

18    Birthday of Sojourner Truth - freed slave, courageous opponent of slavery, 1797 - 1883

19    Equal Opportunity Day (U.S.)/Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address - delivered by President Lincoln in 1863

22    Independence Day - Lebanon

28    Independence Day - Albania

29    Independence Day - South Yemen

30    Independence Day - Barbados


   Chanukah - Jewish Festival of Lights commemorating the fight for freedom from Syria

   Proclamation of the Republic - Central African Republic

   Rosa Parks - sparked black civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama

   Independence Day - Portugal

5    National Council of Negro Women - founded in 1935 in the U.S.

6    Independence Day - Finland
   Independence Day - Tanzania

10    International Human Rights Day - anniversary of the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights in 1948

16    Philippine Christmas - begins with the commemoration of the journey to Bethlehem and concludes on January 6
   Las Posadas (lodging) - the Mexican-American community celebrates Las Posadas to commemorate the birth of Christ. To symbolize Joseph and Mary seeking shelter in Bethlehem, a couple carrying a doll walks from house to house singing songs and asking for shelter, the residents sing in reply, refusing. On the 24th, the couple is accepted into the house and given food and drink, symbolizing the finding of the stable where Christ was born on Christmas Day.

21    Winter Begins - Northern Hemisphere
   Summer Begins - Southern Hemisphere

21    Chinese Winter Festival - thanks are offered to parents and elders for their blessings

24    Independence Day - Libya

25    Christmas Day - 105 nations, commemorates birth of Christ

26    Kwanzaa - African American harvest festival, lasts through January 1, is celebrated by African Americans to honor African ancestors and traditions

27    Ta Chiu - Taoist festival of peace and renewal


James W. Locker
EEO Coordinator
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences
308 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-3452
E-mail Address:

Updated July 8, 2002
Document Number: 109057