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: jwl2@psu.edu

Updated July 8, 2002
Document Number: 109057