Click on the monthly tabs below to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion celebrations and recognitions.
January 1: Emancipation Proclamation enacted
The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. It was issued January 1, 1863, and it declared that all slaves in the Confederate states "shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." The Emancipation Proclamation was a major turning point in the Civil War and a significant milestone in the history of the United States. It marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the United States and was a key step toward the eventual abolition of slavery throughout the country. The Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free all slaves in the United States. It applied only to slaves in the Confederate states, which were in rebellion against the Union. However, it had a profound impact on the course of the Civil War and on the eventual outcome of the conflict. It also inspired many African Americans to join the Union Army and fight for their freedom.
Today, the Emancipation Proclamation is remembered as a significant moment in American history and is celebrated as a symbol of freedom and equality. It is a reminder of the struggle for civil rights and the enduring value of human dignity.
January 4: Louis Braille’s Birthday
Louis Braille was a French educator and inventor who is best known for developing the braille system of reading and writing for blind people. He was born January 4, 1809, in Coupvray, France. He became blind at the age of three after accidentally injuring his eye with a sharp tool. Despite his disability, he excelled in his studies and showed an early aptitude for music. He was accepted into the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris at the age of ten, and it was there that he developed the braille system.
The Braille system is a system of raised dots that can be read by touch. It allows blind people to read and write by feeling the shapes of the dots with their fingers. Braille is still used today and is an important tool for enabling blind people to communicate and access information. Louis Braille's birthday is not a public holiday, but it is an important day for the blind community and for those who work to promote the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. It is a day to celebrate the life and achievements of Louis Braille and to recognize the contributions that he made to education and accessibility.
January 6: Feast of the Epiphany
The Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Epiphany or Three Kings' Day, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the visit of the wise men, or magi, to the baby Jesus. According to the Bible, the magi were guided by a star to the birthplace of Jesus, where they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated January 6th, twelve days after Christmas. The Feast of the Epiphany is a joyous celebration that marks the end of the Christmas season. It is a time for Christians to reflect on the significance of the magi's visit and the revelation of Jesus as the son of God. In many cultures, the Feast of the Epiphany is also a time for gift-giving and feasting, and it is often marked with parades, festivals, and other special events.
January 13: Korean American Day
Korean American Day is a day of celebration for Korean Americans, who are people of Korean descent who live in the United States. The day is observed on January 13th, which marks the date in 1903 when the first group of Korean immigrants arrived in Hawaii. Korean Americans have a long and rich history in the United States, and Korean American Day is a time to celebrate their contributions to American society. It is a day to honor the traditions and cultural heritage of Korean Americans and to recognize the many ways in which they have enriched American life. Korean American Day is not a national holiday, but it is recognized by some states and localities. It is often celebrated with community events, cultural festivals, and other activities that showcase the diversity and resilience of Korean American culture.
January 14: Makar Sankranti or Maghi
Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in many parts of India and Nepal. It is a solar festival that marks the beginning of the sun's northward journey, or the start of the spring season. The festival is typically celebrated January 14th or 15th, although the exact date can vary. Makar Sankranti is a celebration of the sun and its warmth and light. It is a time of renewal and hope, and it is believed to bring good fortune to those who observe it. The festival is also associated with the harvest season, and it is a time for farmers to give thanks for their crops. During Makar Sankranti, people perform traditional rituals and offer prayers to the sun god. They also exchange gifts and sweets with friends and family, and participate in activities such as kite flying, bullfighting, and traditional sports. The festival is an important cultural event that is celebrated by millions of people in India and Nepal.
January 16: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States that is observed on the third Monday in January. It is a day to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement. Dr. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, January 15, 1929. He was a leader in the non-violent civil rights movement and is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Dr. King is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. He is famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, which he delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1963. In this speech, he spoke of his dream of a world where people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination. He was assassinated in 1968, but his legacy lives on through his writings, his leadership of the civil rights movement, and the many people he inspired.
January 22:Lunar New Year
The lunar new year, also known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, is a major holiday in many East Asian countries, including China, Korea, and Vietnam. It is based on the lunar calendar, which means that the date of the holiday changes from year to year. The lunar new year typically falls between January 21st and February 20th. The lunar new year is a time of celebration and renewal, and it is typically marked with feasting, gift-giving, and the performance of traditional rituals. It is a time for families to come together and to honor their ancestors, and it is also an opportunity to start the new year with good fortune and blessings. In many countries, the lunar new year is a public holiday, and people have time off work and school to celebrate with their families. The celebrations can last for several days or even weeks, depending on the country and the local customs. The lunar new year is an important cultural tradition that is celebrated by millions of people around the world.
January 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day of commemoration for the victims of the Holocaust, which was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups by the Nazi regime during World War II. The day is observed on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, events are held around the world to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust and to educate people about this dark chapter in history. The day is also an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment to preventing future genocides and to promoting human rights and dignity for all. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day of mourning and reflection, but it is also a day of hope and renewal. It is a time to reaffirm the values of tolerance, respect, and understanding, and to work together to build a more just and compassionate world.
All January: National Poverty in America Awareness Month
National Poverty in America Awareness Month is a time for people to come together to raise awareness about poverty and its effects on individuals, families, and communities in the United States. This monthlong observance is an opportunity to educate people about the realities of poverty and what they can do to help those in need. It is also a time to advocate for policies and programs that can address poverty and its root causes, and to support organizations that are working to alleviate poverty and provide assistance to those in need.
All January: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is an annual awareness month that takes place in the United States. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and to encourage individuals, communities, and organizations to take action to prevent and combat this crime. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery in which people are recruited, transported, and exploited for the purposes of labor or commercial sexual exploitation. It is a serious and widespread problem that affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, events and activities are held across the country to educate people about human trafficking and how to recognize and report it. The month is also an opportunity to support survivors of trafficking and to advocate for policies and programs that can help prevent and combat this crime.
All February: Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States and Canada in February, to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. The month-long celebration originated in 1926 as "Negro History Week" by historian Carter G. Woodson, and was expanded to a month-long observance in 1976. The goal of Black History Month is to educate the public about the rich history and cultural heritage of African Americans, and to recognize their vital role in shaping the world as we know it today.
There are several events and activities that take place in Orange County, California during Black History Month:
- Annual Black History Parade and Cultural Faire
- African American Heritage Tour of historic sites
- Art exhibitions featuring African American artists
- Performances of African American music and dance
- Film screenings and discussions on African American history and culture
- Community events and workshops on African American history and heritage.
Check with local community centers, museums, and cultural organizations for specific events and their dates.
February 11: Tammy Baldwin’s Birthday (first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress)
Tammy Baldwin is an American politician who was born on February 11, 1962. She is a member of the Democratic Party and currently serves as the junior United States senator from Wisconsin. Baldwin was the first openly gay person to be elected to the U.S. Congress, and she became the first openly gay person to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Prior to serving in the Senate, Baldwin was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district. Throughout her career, Baldwin has been a strong advocate for progressive policies on issues such as healthcare, civil rights, and the environment.
February 14: Frederick Douglass’ Birthday
Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman who was born into slavery on February 14, 1818. He escaped slavery in 1838 and became a leading voice in the anti-slavery movement, using his own experiences as a slave to raise awareness about the injustices of the institution. He delivered powerful speeches and wrote several influential works, including his autobiography "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." Douglass was also a political activist and served in various government positions, including as an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. In honor of his contributions to American history, Douglass' birthday is celebrated as Frederick Douglass Day in many states and cities in the US.
February 15: Nirvana Day
Nirvana Day, also known as Parinirvana Day, is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the death of the Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana, or ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The holiday is observed by many different schools of Buddhism, including Theravada and Mahayana, and it is typically celebrated in February or March. During Nirvana Day celebrations, Buddhists gather for religious services, offer prayers and make offerings to the Buddha, and engage in acts of generosity and compassion. The holiday is considered an opportunity to reflect on the Buddha's teachings and to deepen one's own spiritual practice.
February 15: Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday
Susan B. Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who fought for women's suffrage and equal rights in the 19th century. She was born in 1820 and died in 1906. She co-founded the National Women's Suffrage Association and was also a member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1872, she was arrested for voting in the presidential election, which was illegal for women at the time. Her activism and trial helped bring national attention to the women's suffrage movement.
February 21 and February 22: Fat Tuesday & Ash Wednesday
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a festive holiday celebrated by many people, especially in Catholic countries and communities, on the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season. It is associated with feasting, partying, and indulging in rich foods before the start of the Lenten fast. Mardi Gras is most famous for its colorful parades, lively music, and unique traditions in cities such as New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The exact customs and traditions surrounding Mardi Gras vary by location and culture, but it is generally considered a time for celebration and revelry before the somber period of Lent.
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holiday that marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and reflection leading up to Easter. On Ash Wednesday, participants attend Mass and have ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross as a symbol of repentance and mortality. The ashes come from the burning of last year's Palm Sunday palm fronds, which symbolize Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The ashes serve as a reminder of the need to turn away from sin and be reconciled with God. Ash Wednesday is a significant day of observance in many Christian denominations, including Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Methodism.
All March: Irish American Heritage Month
Irish American Heritage Month is a month-long observance in the United States, celebrated annually in March. It is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Irish Americans to the country's history, culture, and society.
All March: National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
This month is a time to raise awareness and promote understanding of the challenges faced by people with developmental disabilities.
All March: Women’s History Month/ International Women’s Day (March 8)
This day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for gender equality.
All March: Deaf History Month
Deaf History Month is observed in the United States from March 13 to April 15 every year. This month-long observance celebrates the contributions, achievements, and history of the deaf and hard of hearing community. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about deaf culture, sign language, and the challenges faced by the deaf community.
Deaf History Month begins on March 13, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the first American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817. This school was a landmark institution in the United States for the education of deaf children, and it helped to establish a rich tradition of deaf education and culture.
The month-long observance also includes April 15, which is the birthday of Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who was a pioneer in the education of the deaf. He co-founded the American School for the Deaf and helped to establish the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States.
March 6: Purim
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a plot to destroy them. The holiday is observed on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which usually falls in late February or March.
According to the story, as told in the biblical Book of Esther, the Persian King Ahasuerus chose Esther, a Jewish woman, to be his queen. Esther's uncle Mordechai uncovered a plot by the king's advisor, Haman, to exterminate all of the Jews in the kingdom. With Esther's help, Mordechai was able to foil Haman's plan and save the Jewish people.
On Purim, Jews celebrate their salvation by reading the Book of Esther, exchanging gifts of food and drink with friends and family, and engaging in festive meals and other traditions.
March 7: Mid-Sha’ban
Mid-Sha'ban, also known as Shab-e-Barat or Night of Forgiveness, is a Muslim holiday. It’s a night of prayer and contemplation, during which Muslims believe that Allah (God) blesses and forgives those who seek forgiveness and mercy. Many Muslims observe the night by performing special prayers and reading the Quran, as well as visiting mosques and cemeteries to pay their respects to their ancestors.
In some Muslim communities, Mid-Sha'ban is celebrated with feasts, sweets, and other traditional foods. People may also exchange gifts and share their blessings with others.
Mid-Sha'ban is an important night for Muslims, and is a time for spiritual renewal and reflection. It is a reminder to seek forgiveness and to strive for a better future, and to cherish the blessings and opportunities that life offers.
March 8: Holi
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is a major Hindu festival that is celebrated in India and other parts of the world.
Holi is a celebration of spring, fertility, and the victory of good over evil. The festival is marked by the throwing of colored powders and water on friends and family, and is a time for singing, dancing, and feasting. The colors used during Holi are meant to symbolize the joy and energy of spring, and are believed to represent the diverse hues of life.
In addition to the throwing of colors, Holi is also celebrated with traditional music, dancing, and food. Holi is a time for people to come together, forget past differences, and celebrate the arrival of spring with joy and enthusiasm.
March 8: International women’s Day
International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8th and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also a day to highlight the ongoing fight for gender equality and to raise awareness of the challenges that women still face around the world.
The theme for 2023 is Embrace Equity.
March 10: Harriet Tubman’s Birthday
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery in Maryland, Tubman escaped to freedom in the North in 1849 and later became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape to freedom in the North.
Tubman made at least 13 missions to rescue around 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the Underground Railroad. She also served as a nurse, cook, and laundress during the Civil War, and in 1863 she became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, leading the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.
After the Civil War, Tubman continued to be an activist for women's suffrage and civil rights, and she was known for her powerful speeches and her commitment to helping those in need.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on March 17th. It is named after St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday is a public holiday in Ireland, and it is also celebrated in many other countries around the world, particularly in areas with large Irish populations.
St. Patrick's Day has a long history dating back to the early 17th century, and it has evolved into a day of celebration of Irish culture and heritage. The holiday is marked by parades, wearing of green attire, and the consumption of traditional Irish foods and drinks such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and Irish whiskey.
St. Patrick's Day is an important day for Irish people around the world, and it is celebrated as a way to honor their heritage and culture. It is also a popular holiday for non-Irish people to join in the festivities and celebrate with their Irish friends and neighbors.
March 20: Nowruz
Nowruz, also spelled as Noruz or Nowrooz, is a traditional holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world, particularly in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and other countries with Persian or Central Asian cultural influences. Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the new year in the Persian calendar.
The holiday has been celebrated for over 3,000 years and is rooted in ancient Zoroastrian traditions. Nowruz is a time for renewal and rejuvenation, and is celebrated with a variety of customs and traditions, including spring cleaning, the exchange of gifts, and the preparation of traditional foods.
Nowruz provides an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the arrival of spring, and to reflect on the themes of renewal, growth, and the power of new beginnings. It is a time to honor cultural traditions and to celebrate the diversity of people and communities around the world.
March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21st. The day is dedicated to promoting racial harmony and raising awareness about the negative impact of racism and discrimination on individuals and societies.
The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre, which occurred on March 21, 1960 in South Africa. During the massacre, police fired on a peaceful demonstration against apartheid, killing 69 people and injuring many more.
The day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the harmful effects of racism and discrimination, and to promote efforts to eliminate these practices in all areas of society. Activities may include educational events, public forums, cultural programs, and other initiatives that encourage dialogue and promote respect for diversity.
March 21: World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day is observed annually on March 21st. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about Down syndrome, a genetic condition that affects approximately 1 in 700 babies born in the United States.
The goal of World Down Syndrome Day is to promote acceptance, understanding, and inclusion for people with Down syndrome, and to celebrate their unique strengths and contributions to society. The day is also an opportunity to advocate for the rights of people with Down syndrome and to support their families and caregivers.
March 22-26: National LGBTQ + Health Awareness Week
This week raises awareness about the unique health needs and disparities faced by LGTBQ+ individuals and communities, and promotes access to quality healthcare for all.
March 22-April 20: Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. It is believed to be the month during which the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours, from dawn to sunset. The fast is intended to help Muslims focus on their spiritual life and develop self-discipline, patience, and compassion for those who are less fortunate.
In addition to fasting, Muslims also engage in extra prayers and spiritual activities during Ramadan. Many Muslims also donate to charity and engage in acts of kindness and goodwill towards others.
March 29: Vietnam War Veterans Day
The day is set aside to honor the men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1955 to 1975.
The Vietnam War was a major conflict that involved the U.S. and its allies fighting against the communist government of North Vietnam. The war was marked by intense fighting, including guerrilla warfare and air strikes, and resulted in the deaths of over 58,000 American soldiers.
Vietnam War Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to thank Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice, and to recognize the challenges that they faced upon returning home from the war.
Observances of the holiday may include flag-raising ceremonies, wreath-laying at memorials and cemeteries, and other tributes to Vietnam veterans.
March 30: Rama Navami
Rama Navami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. The festival falls on the ninth day of the Hindu month of Chaitra (usually in March or April) and is observed with great devotion and enthusiasm by Hindus worldwide.
Lord Rama is believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who appeared on earth to rid the world of evil and establish righteousness. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in the city of Ayodhya. His birth is celebrated on Rama Navami with special puja (worship), fasting, and other religious observances.
On this day, devotees offer prayers to Lord Rama, recite his holy mantras and sing devotional songs in his praise
March 31: Cesar Chavez Day
Cesar Chavez Day is observed on March 31st every year in honor of Cesar Chavez, an American labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. Cesar Chavez Day is a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas, and is also recognized as a commemorative holiday in several other states in the United States.
Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of farm workers, who often faced exploitation and discrimination. He advocated for better working conditions, fair wages, and union rights for farm workers, and his efforts helped to improve the lives of many workers in the agricultural industry.
Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated by organizing community service projects, educational programs, and other events that promote social justice and honor Chavez's legacy. The day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of workers' rights, civil rights, and the ongoing struggle for equality and justice.
March 31: Transgender Day of Visibility
This day celebrates and raises awareness of the transgender community's contributions and challenges.
Arab American Heritage Month
Arab American Heritage Month recognizes the achievements of Arab Americans, who have been making valuable contributions to every aspect of American society. It is a time to reflect on the history of Arab Americans, the issues they face in our society, and their culture and heritage.
Affordable and Fair Housing Month
Affordable and Fair Housing month celebrates the anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the landmark civil rights law signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968, that made discrimination in housing transactions unlawful. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, and familial status. Affordable and Fair Housing Month supports efforts towards affordable housing, fair housing programs and practices that provide safe, decent housing, and vital resources to the community.
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day observed on April 2nd each year. The day aims to increase public awareness and understanding of autism, promote acceptance and inclusion of people with autism, and advocate for the rights of individuals with autism.
On this day, people around the world wear blue to show support for people with autism and their families, and events and activities are held to raise awareness and promote understanding of autism.
April 2: Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian holiday that falls on the Sunday before Easter. It is also known as Passion Sunday and is considered the start of Holy Week, which leads up to Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, which is described in the Bible's New Testament.
The palm branches symbolize the people's recognition of Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah who had come to save them. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is celebrated with a procession of worshippers carrying palm branches, and the Gospel reading tells the story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.
April 4: Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir Jayanti is an annual festival celebrated by the Jain community in India and around the world. It is a significant day for Jains as it commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the 24th and the last Tirthankara (enlightened soul) of Jainism. The festival is usually celebrated in March or April according to the Gregorian calendar.
Lord Mahavir was born in the 6th century BCE in the ancient kingdom of Vaishali, in what is now Bihar, India. He is known for his teachings on non-violence, compassion, and self-discipline, which form the core principles of Jainism. His teachings have had a profound impact on Indian society and culture.
On Mahavir Jayanti, Jains visit temples to offer prayers and perform rituals. They also take part in processions, where an idol of Lord Mahavir is carried on a decorated chariot, accompanied by devotees singing devotional songs. The festival is also marked by lectures and sermons on the life and teachings of Lord Mahavir, and by community meals where food is served to everyone, regardless of caste or religion.
Jains also observe a day-long fast on Mahavir Jayanti as a way of paying tribute to Lord Mahavir and seeking his blessings. Many Jains also engage in charitable acts, such as donating food, clothes, or money to the poor and needy.
April 5-13: Passover
Passover, also known as Pesach in Hebrew, is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The holiday usually falls in March or April and lasts for seven or eight days.
The Passover story is told in the biblical book of Exodus. According to the story, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and God sent Moses to lead them out of slavery and to the promised land. Before leaving Egypt, God inflicted ten plagues on the Egyptians, including the death of all firstborn sons, but passed over the Israelite homes marked with the blood of a lamb.
During Passover, Jewish families gather for the Seder, a festive meal that retells the story of the Israelites' liberation from Egypt. The Seder includes the reading of the Haggadah, a book that recounts the Passover story, and the consumption of symbolic foods, including matzah (unleavened bread), maror (bitter herbs), and charoset (a sweet mixture of fruit and nuts).
Throughout Passover, Jews refrain from eating leavened bread and other foods that are forbidden during the holiday.
April 6: Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples, as described in the New Testament of the Bible. It falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, and is part of the Holy Week leading up to Easter.
The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin word "mandatum," meaning "commandment." This refers to Jesus' commandment to his disciples to love one another, which he gave during the Last Supper.
During the Last Supper, Jesus gathered with his disciples to share a meal of bread and wine. He washed their feet as a symbol of humility and service, and instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion, in which bread and wine represent his body and blood. This event is also known as the institution of the Eucharist.
Many Christian churches hold special services on Maundy Thursday, which may include foot washing ceremonies, the celebration of Holy Communion, and the stripping of the altar to symbolize the stripping of Jesus' garments before his crucifixion.
April 7: Good Friday
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday and is part of the Holy Week leading up to Easter.
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, arrested, and put on trial before the Roman authorities. He was sentenced to death by crucifixion, which was a common method of execution at the time.
On Good Friday, Christians remember Jesus' suffering and sacrifice on the cross. Many churches hold solemn services, including the reading of the passion narrative, the singing of hymns, and the veneration of the cross.
April 9: Easter
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar and is observed by billions of people worldwide. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, usually between March 22 and April 25.
The Easter story is told in the New Testament of the Bible. According to the story, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and buried in a tomb. On the third day after his death, which is now celebrated as Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating his victory over sin and death.
On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate with church services, feasting, and the giving of Easter eggs and other gifts.
In addition to its religious significance, Easter is a time of renewal and new beginnings, as the arrival of spring brings new growth and life to the natural world. Many cultures and traditions celebrate Easter with a variety of customs and rituals, including egg hunts, parades, and other festivities.
April 13-15: Songkran
Songkran is a traditional festival in Thailand that marks the beginning of the Thai New Year. It is celebrated from April 13 to April 15 each year, and is also known as the "Water Festival" due to the popular tradition of throwing water on each other.
The origin of Songkran dates back to ancient times when people would pour water on the hands of the elderly and ask for blessings. Over time, this ritual evolved into a full-fledged water fight as people started pouring water on each other as a sign of good luck and purification.
During Songkran, people clean their homes and visit temples to offer food and flowers to Buddhist monks. They also participate in parades and cultural events, and many wear traditional Thai clothing.
April 14: Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is an important festival celebrated in the northern Indian state of Punjab and some other parts of India, as well as in other countries such as Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It is celebrated every year on April 13 or 14, and marks the Sikh New Year and the harvest season.
For Sikhs, Vaisakhi is a significant day as it marks the day when the Khalsa was created by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, in 1699. On this day, Guru Gobind Singh gathered his followers and administered Amrit, a sweetened water, to them, to form the Khalsa - a community of baptized Sikhs who pledged to follow the teachings of the Guru.
The day is marked by several celebrations and rituals, including a procession known as Nagar Kirtan, where Sikhs gather to sing devotional hymns, play music and carry the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, on a float. This is followed by a community lunch known as Langar, which is served to all, regardless of caste, creed or religion, as a symbol of equality and communal harmony.
In Punjab, people also participate in traditional dance forms like Bhangra and Giddha, which are performed to the beat of dhol (drum) and other musical instruments. People also exchange greetings and sweets with each other and visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) to seek blessings.
April 14: Ambedkar Jayanti
Ambedkar Jayanti is an annual public holiday in India that is celebrated on April 14th to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, who is also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was a social reformer, jurist, and the architect of the Indian Constitution.
Ambedkar was born on April 14th, 1891, in a small town in the state of Maharashtra, and he played a crucial role in the Indian freedom struggle and the upliftment of the Dalit community, who were historically oppressed and discriminated against in the Indian caste system.
On Ambedkar Jayanti, people across India, particularly those from the Dalit community, honor Dr. Ambedkar's legacy and contributions to Indian society. The day is marked by various events, including processions, speeches, and cultural programs that highlight his teachings and ideas on social justice, equality, and human rights.
Many people also visit the Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial in Mumbai or other memorials and statues across the country to pay their respects and offer floral tributes. The day is also an occasion for people to reflect on the progress made in India towards social equality and to renew their commitment to working towards a more just and equal society for all.
April 14: Choul Chnam Thmey
Choul Chnam Thmey, also known as Khmer New Year, is the most important traditional festival in Cambodia. It is celebrated for three days, usually from April 13 to April 15, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of a new year according to the Khmer lunar calendar.
The festival begins with Maha Songkran, which is the first day of the Khmer New Year. People clean their homes and prepare offerings of fruits, flowers, and other items to place on family altars. They also visit their local pagodas to offer food to the monks and pray for good luck and blessings for the coming year.
The second day of the festival is called Vanabot, which is a day of giving. People exchange gifts and make offerings to the less fortunate in their communities, such as the elderly and the poor.
The third and final day is called Leung Sakk, which is a time to seek blessings from ancestors and the gods. People build small mountains made of sand and decorate them with flags and flowers. They also release birds and fish into the wild as a symbol of freeing themselves from bad luck.
Throughout the festival, people play traditional games, such as the Bas Angkunh "seed throwing" game, and participate in parades and other cultural events. The festival is a time for family gatherings and joyful celebration, and is an important part of Cambodian culture and tradition.
April 15: Mesadi/Vaisakhadi
Mesadi or Vaisakhadi is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of West Bengal, particularly by the Bengali Hindu community. It marks the beginning of the Bengali New Year and falls on the first day of the month of Baisakh, which usually falls on April 14 or 15 in the Gregorian calendar.
On Mesadi, people dress up in new clothes, decorate their homes and prepare special delicacies. The day starts with prayers and offerings to the deities in temples and homes. People also visit each other's homes to exchange greetings and sweets.
One of the important traditions associated with Mesadi is the 'Charak Puja'. This is a ritualistic worship of the Hindu god Shiva, where devotees pierce their skin with hooks and ropes and are hoisted up on a pole, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. It is believed to be a form of penance and an act of seeking blessings from the deity.
April 14-16: Pi Mai
Pi Mai, also known as Lao New Year, is the most important festival in Laos. It is celebrated for three days in mid-April, usually from April 14 to April 16, marking the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season.
The festival begins with the Maha Songkran, which is the first day of the Lao New Year. People clean their homes and visit temples to offer food and prayers to the monks. They also sprinkle water on Buddha statues and pour water on the hands of their elders as a sign of respect and to receive blessings.
The second day of the festival is called Wan Nao, which is a day of rest and relaxation. People typically spend time with their families, play traditional games, and prepare for the festivities of the following day.
The third and final day is called Wan Thaloeng Sok, which is a day of merit-making and charity. People make offerings to monks and release birds and fish into the wild as a symbol of freeing themselves from bad luck. They also pour water on each other as a sign of cleansing and renewal, similar to the Songkran festival in Thailand.
Throughout the festival, people also participate in parades and cultural events, and wear traditional Lao clothing. The festival is a time for family gatherings, joyful celebration, and a renewal of cultural traditions and values.
April 16: Orthodox Easter
Orthodox Easter is a religious holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, as told in the Christian Bible. It is also known as Pascha, and is the most important festival in the Orthodox Christian calendar.
The date of Orthodox Easter is calculated based on the Julian calendar, which is different from the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world. As a result, Orthodox Easter typically falls on a different date than Easter in the Western world, and can be celebrated anywhere from early April to early May.
The celebration of Orthodox Easter begins with the Great Lent, a period of fasting and spiritual reflection that lasts for 40 days. During Holy Week, which is the week leading up to Easter, Christians attend church services and participate in processions and other religious ceremonies.
April 18: Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is one of the most important nights in the Islamic faith. It is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.
Laylat al-Qadr occurs during the last ten days of the Islamic month of Ramadan, and the exact date is unknown, though it is most commonly observed on the 27th night. Muslims spend the night in prayer, recitation of the Quran, and supplication, seeking forgiveness and blessings from Allah.
According to Islamic belief, the reward of worship during Laylat al-Qadr is equivalent to worship performed over a thousand months, which is why this night is highly revered and considered a time of great spiritual significance. Many Muslims also choose to give to charity and perform good deeds during this night.
Muslims around the world mark Laylat al-Qadr with various customs and practices, including attending special night prayers at mosques, reciting the Quran, and fasting. It is a time of deep reflection and devotion, and serves as a reminder of the importance of spiritual contemplation and prayer in the Islamic faith.
April 21: Jamat UI-Vida
Jamat UI-Vida is a special day for the Muslim community in India that is observed on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. It is also known as Jumu'atul-Wida or Alvida Jumma.
Jamat UI-Vida is considered to be one of the most significant days of Ramadan, as it marks the end of the holy month of fasting and the beginning of the preparations for the Eid-ul-Fitr festival. On this day, Muslims offer special prayers and seek forgiveness for their sins.
The name "Jamat UI-Vida" means "Friday of Farewell", and it is believed that Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon on this day, before his passing. This makes the day a time of reflection and remembrance for the Muslim community.
April 21-23: Gathering of Nations
The Gathering of Nations is an annual Native American powwow held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. It is considered one of the largest powwows in North America, and is attended by thousands of Native American and Indigenous people from around the world.
It is a celebration of Indigenous culture, heritage, and traditions, and serves as a platform for Native American communities to come together, share their stories, and showcase their talents.
The powwow typically takes place over three days, and includes various competitions, such as dance and drumming contests, as well as cultural exhibitions and educational seminars. In addition to the main powwow events, there are also various food and craft vendors, as well as a Miss Indian World pageant.
The Gathering of Nations has become a significant event for Native American communities, and serves as an opportunity to promote cultural preservation, awareness, and unity.
April 22: Ramzan Id/Eid-ul-Fitar
Ramzan Id, also known as Eid-ul-Fitar, is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, prayer, and reflection.
Ramzan Id is a time for Muslims to come together with family and friends to celebrate and share in the joy of the holiday. The day begins with a special prayer service, usually held in mosques or open-air spaces, where people gather to offer prayers and thanksgiving to Allah.
After the prayer service, people exchange greetings and gifts, and children may receive small gifts or money. Families and friends may also gather for feasts and parties, sharing traditional foods such as sweets, biryani, kebabs, and other special dishes.
One of the central messages of Ramzan Id is the importance of generosity and charity. Many Muslims use this occasion to give to those in need, and it is common to give donations to charity organizations or to provide food or other gifts to those who are less fortunate.
April 22: Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd that focuses on environmental protection and sustainability. It began in 1970 as a way to raise awareness about the impact of human activities on the environment, and has since become a global movement with millions of people around the world participating in various activities and events.
On Earth Day, individuals and organizations participate in activities such as planting trees, cleaning up litter, organizing educational events, and advocating for policies that promote environmental sustainability. The day is an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which human activity affects the planet, and to take action to protect and preserve the environment.
The theme of Earth Day changes from year to year, but the overall goal remains the same - to raise awareness about environmental issues and to encourage people to take action to protect the planet.
April 23: LGBTQ+ National Day of Silence
The LGBTQ+ National Day of Silence is an annual event held in the United States and other countries to bring attention to the harassment, discrimination, and bullying that many LGBTQ+ people face in their daily lives. The event is organized by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), a national organization that works to create safe and inclusive schools for all students.
On the Day of Silence, participants take a vow of silence to symbolize the silencing of LGBTQ+ voices and the impact of bullying and harassment.
The event is a way for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to show solidarity and support for one another, and to promote understanding and acceptance of all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is an important reminder that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, and that we all have a role to play in creating a more inclusive and accepting society.
April 24: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is observed on April 24th each year to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.
On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested and deported hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, which is now Istanbul, Turkey. This event is considered the start of the genocide. Over the next several years, Armenian people were forced from their homes and communities, subjected to brutal violence and mass killings, and forced to march to concentration camps where many perished from starvation, dehydration, and disease.
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is a time for people around the world to remember the victims of this tragedy, to honor the survivors, and to call for recognition of the atrocities committed. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide, to educate people about the ongoing impact of this tragedy, and to advocate for justice and accountability.
April 26: Denim Day
Denim Day is an annual campaign that takes place on the last Wednesday of April each year to raise awareness about sexual assault and to show support for survivors. The campaign began in 1999 after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans and the court believed that she must have helped her attacker remove them, implying consent.
As a response to this ruling, the Women's Rights Foundation in Los Angeles organized a protest in which participants wore jeans to show support for the victim and to protest the harmful and victim-blaming attitudes that contribute to sexual violence. The protest became an annual event, and today Denim Day is observed in countries around the world.
On Denim Day, participants are encouraged to wear jeans to work, school, or other public places as a symbol of solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. The campaign is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of sexual violence, to educate people about the harmful myths and stereotypes that contribute to victim-blaming, and to promote a culture of consent and respect.
All May: ALS Awareness Month
May is ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis month. ALS is a rare neurological disease affecting nerve cells that control voluntary moment. Individuals with ALS experience a degeneration of their motor neurons, which causes the muscles to stop receiving the signals needed to function. After time, the brain loses its ability to control voluntary movements, and those living with the disease become unable to walk, move, or breathe.
During ALS Awareness Month, organizations and individuals across the country come together to raise awareness about ALS and to support those who are living with the disease.
All May: Older Americans Month
Older Americans Month is recognized every May. The 2023 theme is Aging Unbound, which offers an opportunity to explore diverse aging experiences and discuss how communities can combat stereotypes.
During Older Americans Month, organizations and individuals across the country come together to organize events, workshops, and activities that celebrate and support older adults. This includes everything from health fairs and fitness classes to social gatherings and volunteer opportunities.
All May: Mental Health Month
Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.
Mental Health Month was first observed in 1949 by Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness. The goal of the observance is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to encourage people to seek help when they need it.
This year’s campaign is focused on how surroundings impact mental health, and individuals are called upon to look around and look within. Topics involve safe and stable housing, healthy home environments, neighborhoods and towns, and the outdoors and nature.
All May: Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island).
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
All May: Jewish American Heritage Month
Jews first arrived on American soil in 1654 in New Amsterdam. In search of better opportunities and lifestyles, they made the U.S. their new home base, finding in it a space where they could openly practice their faith and lead their lives freely. In April 2006, the whole month of May was dedicated to recognizing and honoring Jewish contributions and achievements.
May 1: International Labor Day
International Labor Day, also known as May Day, is observed on May 1st every year. It is a global holiday that celebrates the achievements and contributions of workers around the world.
The origins of International Labor Day can be traced back to the late 19th century when workers in the United States and Europe organized rallies and protests to demand better working conditions and fair wages. The holiday became an international observance in 1891, and today it is celebrated in many countries around the world.
International Labor Day is a time to recognize the importance of workers and to advocate for their rights and well-being. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in improving working conditions and to identify areas where further improvements are needed.
May 5: Buddha Purnima/Vesak
Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is a Buddhist holiday that celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The holiday is observed on the full moon day in the month of Vaisakha, which falls in April or May in the Gregorian calendar.
Buddha Purnima is an important holiday for Buddhists around the world, who come together to celebrate the life and teachings of the Buddha. Many people visit temples and monasteries to offer prayers and make offerings, and there are often processions and other public events that celebrate the holiday.
One of the most important customs of Buddha Purnima is the practice of giving to others, which is known as dana in Buddhism. Many people use the holiday as an opportunity to donate to charity or to perform acts of kindness and generosity.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a yearly celebration held on May 5, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. Celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863.
May 10: Dia de Las Madres
"Día de las Madres" is the Spanish term for Mother's Day, which is observed in many countries around the world, including the United States and many Latin American countries. It is a day to honor and celebrate mothers and mother figures for their love, sacrifice, and hard work.
In many Latin American countries, "Día de las Madres" is observed on May 10th, which is the anniversary of the death of the Mexican poet and journalist, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. However, in the United States and other countries, Mother's Day is typically observed on the second Sunday in May.
Celebrations of "Día de las Madres" vary from country to country, but common traditions include giving gifts or flowers, preparing special meals or treats, and spending time with family. Many churches also hold special services or masses to honor mothers and mother figures.
May 12: International Nurses Day
International Nurses Day is observed annually on May 12th to celebrate and honor the contributions of nurses around the world. The day was established in 1974 by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to mark the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The theme for 2023 is Our Nurses. Our Future. Our Nurses. Our Future. That theme sets out what is wanted for the future of nursing: to address the global health challenges and improve global health for all. Nurses need to learn from the lessons of the pandemic and translate these into actions for the future that ensure nurses are protected, respected, and valued.
May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) is observed annually on May 17th to raise awareness about the discrimination and violence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people around the world.
The day was first observed in 2004 and has since become an important global event, with organizations and individuals around the world coming together to promote LGBTQ+ rights and equality. The theme of IDAHOT for 2023 is “Together always: united in diversity.”
May 19: Malcolm X's Birthday
Malcolm X was an influential American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was born on May 19, 1925. He was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement in the United States, advocating for the rights of Black Americans and the end of racial discrimination.
May 20: National Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day is a special holiday for people all over the world to come together and thank the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. First conceived by President Harry S. Truman, the holiday was established in 1949. The creation of a single-day celebration for all five branches of the United States military made sense due to its recent unification under the Department of Defense. Today, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of every May, this year falling on May 20.
May 22: Harvey Milk Day
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician to be elected to public office in California, serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1977 to 1978. His life and political career embody the rise of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. While in office, Milk advocated for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Milk was assassinated in 1978 by Dan White, a former colleague on the Board of Supervisors. On October 11, 2009, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger established Harvey Milk Day to be held as a significant observance on May 22, Milk’s birthday.
May 25-27: Shavuot
Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah, the Jewish holy scriptures, to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The holiday is observed on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, which falls in late May or early June in the Gregorian calendar.
Shavuot is also known as the Festival of Weeks because it marks the end of the seven-week period of counting the Omer, which begins on the second day of Passover. It is a time of joy and celebration and is traditionally associated with the giving of the harvest and the first fruits.
One of the most important traditions of Shavuot is the reading of the Book of Ruth, which tells the story of a Moabite woman who converts to Judaism and becomes the great-grandmother of King David. The Book of Ruth is read because it highlights the themes of conversion, acceptance, and loyalty, which are central to the holiday.
Other customs and traditions of Shavuot include decorating homes and synagogues with flowers and greenery, eating dairy foods such as cheesecake and blintzes, and staying up all night to study Torah.
May 26: Buddha’s Birthday
Buddha's Birthday, also known as Hanamatsuri, is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The holiday is celebrated in many parts of the world, including in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Nepal, and is typically observed on different dates depending on the lunar calendar used in each country.
In many Buddhist communities, Buddha's Birthday is celebrated by visiting temples and offering prayers and offerings to the Buddha. There may also be processions, parades, and other public events that celebrate the holiday.
One of the most important traditions associated with Buddha's Birthday is the display of flowers and other decorations, which symbolize the beauty and purity of the Buddha's teachings.
May 29: Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day has its roots in the aftermath of the American Civil War, when communities began holding ceremonies to honor the soldiers who had died in battle. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day, and it was marked by the decoration of the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags.
Over time, Memorial Day became a national holiday and expanded to include all U.S. military personnel who have died in the line of duty. It is now observed with ceremonies, parades, and other public events throughout the country, as well as with the placing of flags on the graves of military personnel.
All June: Pride Month
June is Pride Month — a time when the LGBTQIA+ community comes together to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. These riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by the LGBTQ+ community against police raids and discrimination. They marked a significant turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and are often considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBTQIA+ people have had in the world.
Pride Month serves as a reminder of the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights and the ongoing struggle for equality. It is a time to celebrate diversity, promote understanding, and support the LGBTQ+ community in their journey towards acceptance and equal rights.
All June: Caribbean American Heritage Month
Caribbean American Heritage Month is an annual observance held in the United States during the month of June. It is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Caribbean Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
The Caribbean American community in the United States is diverse and consists of people with roots in various countries and territories in the Caribbean, including but not limited to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, and many others.
The observance of Caribbean American Heritage Month aims to promote awareness and appreciation of the Caribbean American community's rich heritage, history, and contributions. It provides an opportunity to highlight the influence of Caribbean Americans in various fields, such as art, literature, music, sports, politics, business, and science.
All June: Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
June is dedicated as Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month by Alzheimer's Association Orange County Chapter. Worldwide, more than 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Throughout the month, the Alzheimer’s Association asks people around the world to wear Purple and use their brains to fight Alzheimer's disease.
June 2: Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was a law passed by the United States Congress on June 2, 1924. It granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. Prior to the passage of this act, Native Americans were not automatically considered U.S. citizens, despite being born within the country's borders.
The Indian Citizenship Act was introduced by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York and aimed to address the issue of Native Americans' citizenship rights. The act states:
"That all noncitizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, That the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property."
The act effectively extended citizenship to approximately 125,000 Native Americans who were previously excluded from the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship. It was an important step towards recognizing the equal status of Native Americans within the United States.
June 6: D-Day
On June 6, 1944, 156,000 American, British, and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest military assaults in history and required extensive planning. The invasion resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany control. By late August 1944, all of northern France was liberated, and shortly after, the Allies defeated the German army. The D-Day landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
June 12: Loving Day
Loving Day is celebrated on June 12th each year and commemorates the landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage in the United States. The case involved Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were married in 1958 in Washington, D.C., but faced legal challenges when they returned to their home state of Virginia, where interracial marriage was illegal at the time.
The Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia declared that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional, as they violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The ruling effectively legalized interracial marriage throughout the United States.
Loving Day celebrates the Lovings' courage and the landmark decision that paved the way for marriage equality and the recognition of love and relationships regardless of race. It serves as a reminder of the importance of love, equality, and the ongoing struggle for civil rights and social justice.
June 14: Flag Day
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated June 14. This day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United states in 1977. The United States approved the design for its first national flag, which was designed as thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, and thirteen white stars in a blue field.
—Did you know there is a box at Northwood Community Park where you can bring American flags that are torn and tattered? It was established in 2015 by Gianluca Allesina of Irvine Boy Scout Troop 616 for his Eagle Scout Service Project. Flags dropped off at the retirement box will be properly disposed of. You can find the box next to the entrance to the Community Center on the side of the building facing the playground.
June 19: Juneteenth
Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, and is the oldest known annual observance commemorating the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth became a celebration of freedom and achievement, gathering family and communities with food, entertainment, spiritual and religious ceremonies, and cultural storytelling. Today, Juneteenth takes on a symbol of pride in African American experiences and ancestral roots that is recognized annually across the country.
June 20: Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival, is a significant Hindu festival that takes place annually in the city of Puri, Odisha, India. It is one of the most famous and widely celebrated festivals in the country, drawing millions of devotees from all over India and abroad.
Rath Yatra is associated with Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, and his siblings, Lord Balabhadra (Balarama) and Goddess Subhadra. The festival involves the ceremonial procession of the deities on grand chariots, symbolizing their annual visit to their aunt's home.
The main attraction of the festival is the chariot procession, where the deities are placed on three massive chariots and pulled by thousands of devotees through the streets of Puri. The chariots are intricately designed and constructed with wood and ropes. Lord Jagannath's chariot, called Nandighosa, is the largest and tallest among the three chariots.
The procession is accompanied by enthusiastic devotees singing devotional songs, beating drums, and dancing in joyous celebration.
Rath Yatra holds deep religious and cultural significance. It is believed to cleanse the sins of the devotees and bring prosperity and well-being. The festival is marked by devotion, unity, and a sense of community as people from all walks of life participate in the grand procession.
June 20: World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day is an international day organized every year on June 20 by the United Nations. It is designed to celebrate and honor refugees from around the world. The day was first established in June 2001, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs, and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees not only survive, but also thrive.
June 21: National Aboriginal Day
National Aboriginal Day is a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. The day also celebrates the distinct cultures and unique traditions of these native communities. Festivities celebrating the day are held all throughout Canada every year on June 21.
June 26 to July 1: The Hajj
Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a religious duty that every able-bodied and financially capable Muslim is expected to perform at least once in their lifetime. Hajj takes place during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah and culminates with the celebration of Eid al-Adha.
The pilgrimage to Mecca is considered a deeply significant event for Muslims, as it commemorates the actions of the Prophet Muhammad and the trials of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in Judeo-Christian traditions) and his family. It is believed that Mecca is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the location where the Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam, is situated.
June 27: Helen Keller Day
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and her hearing after a bout of illness at the age of 19 months. Helen Keller day is recognized on June 27 to commemorate her birthday and honor her successes overcoming blindness and deafness while paving the way for others to do the same.
June 28: Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah (God).
Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts for four days.
Eid al-Adha is a significant occasion in the Islamic calendar, representing devotion, faith, and sacrifice. It encourages Muslims to reflect on the values of selflessness, obedience, and compassion. The celebration of Eid al-Adha serves as a reminder of the importance of devotion to Allah and caring for others in the community.
July 1: Canada Day
Canada Day formerly known as Dominion Day, is the national day of Canada. A federal holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act, 1867 where the three separate colonies of the United Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.
Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world attended by Canadians living abroad.
July 2: Thurgood Marshall's Birthday
Thurgood Marshall's birthday is on July 2nd. He was born on July 2, 1908. Thurgood Marshall was an influential American lawyer and civil rights advocate who made significant contributions to the advancement of civil rights in the United States.
Marshall's most notable achievement was his pivotal role in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954. As the lead attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Marshall successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This groundbreaking decision declared that separate educational facilities for different races were inherently unequal, marking a major turning point in the fight against racial segregation and laying the foundation for subsequent civil rights advancements.
July 4: Independence Day
Independence Day, or the Fourth of July is celebrated in the United States of America and is a federal holiday that commemorates the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress declared that the thirteen original colonies were no longer subject to the British Monarchy, and were now united, free, and independent states. Independence Day is celebrated across the U.S. with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, and ceremonies to signify our celebration of freedom.
July 6: Dalai Lama's Birthday
The Dalai Lama is a title given to the spiritual leaders of Tibetan Buddhism. It is believed to be the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The current and 14th Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who was born on July 6, 1935, in northeastern Tibet.
The Dalai Lama is renowned for his teachings on compassion, peace, and nonviolence and is considered a prominent advocate for human rights and religious harmony worldwide.
July 10: Chronic Disease Day
Chronic Disease Day is held on July 10 because chronic diseases account for seven out of the 10 leading causes of death in America and more than 90 percent of our annual healthcare spending. The day is an opportunity to reevaluate what individuals and organizations can do to lower the number of preventable illnesses and better support those with unpreventable conditions.
July 14: Bastille Day
Bastille Day, also known as French National Day, is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison, where citizens were detained by the authorities for trial, often by direct order of the king, with no appeal. Bastille had come to symbolize the harsh rule of the monarchy. The taking of the Bastille signified the beginning of the French Revolution and is celebrated today with parades, fireworks, parties, and other celebrations.
July 18: Hijri New Year
The Islamic New Year, also called the Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar calendar. The Islamic calendar is lunar-based and only 354 days long. Islamic New Year falls on July 29 of the Gregorian calendar this year. The word Hijri is derived from Hijra meaning migration. The starting point of the Islamic calendar is the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD.
July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact. The day was originally set by the United Nations on his birthday, July 18. Mendela remains a symbol of power by resisting oppression, choosing dignity over humiliation, speaking up during injustice, and forgiving rather than hating. In honor of his 67 years of public service, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the United Nations ask that individuals spend 67 minutes of their time helping others.
July 25: Hire a Veteran Day
On July 25th, National Hire a Veteran Day reminds employers to consider veterans to fill their open positions. As highly trained, qualified individuals, they are ideal for numerous trades and are in search of civilian employment when they leave the service.
July 26: National Disability Independence Day & Disability Pride Month
This day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and aims to ensure their equal rights and opportunities.
National Disability Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) July 26, 1990. The ADA provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities.
The City of Irvine is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.
July 27: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
On National Korean War Armistice Day we recognize and pay tribute to the Korean War veterans.
The Korean War began June 25, 1950, with the North Korean army's invasion of South Korea. On July 27, 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed ending the war, now officially recognized as Armistice Day. At 10 a.m. that day, in Panmunjom, 18 official copies of the tri-language Korean Armistice Agreement were signed. The signing of the agreement marked the end of the longest negotiated armistice in history with 158 meetings spread over two years and 17 days.
August 7: Purple Heart Day:
Purple Heart Day is a day for Americans to remember and honor the men and women who bravely represented their county and were wounded or killed while serving. These people are decorated with a Purple Heart, given by the President. This day is a chance to reflect on the bravery of those who have fought for the U.S. and to ensure their courage is never forgotten.
August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples:
The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed August 9 each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. Learn more about the day here.
August 15: National Liberation Day of Korea/Victory Over Japan Day:
This day commemorates the liberation of Korea from Japanese rule in 1945. While Korea has been an independent nation for centuries, it had been invaded multiple times, the last being the period of Japanese rule. The day the United States and Allied powers helped liberate Korea from 35 years of Japanese rule became known as Victory Over Japan Day. It took three years after Korea became independent in 1945 for the nation to establish the Republic of Korea. Many countries celebrate Victory Over Japan Day on August 15; however, America celebrates this day in September when the Japanese formally signed a declaration of surrender.
August 15: Indian Independence Day:
Indian Independence Day is celebrated on August 15 each year and commemorates the day when India gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947. The struggle for independence was a long and arduous one, marked by various movements, protests, and efforts led by freedom fighters and prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, and many others.
On August 15, 1947, India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the Indian national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi, signaling the end of British colonial rule and the beginning of a new chapter in Indian history as an independent nation.
Independence Day is a national holiday in India, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervor across the country. The day's festivities typically include flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades, cultural events, and various programs that showcase India's rich cultural diversity and achievements. People also wear the tricolor (saffron, white, and green) of the Indian flag and participate in various activities to express their love and pride for their country.
August 15: Feast of the Assumption:
The Feast of the Assumption, also known as the Assumption of Mary or the Dormition of the Theotokos, is a Christian feast day that commemorates the belief that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken up into Heaven (body and soul) at the end of her earthly life.
The feast is celebrated by various Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and some Anglican and Lutheran churches. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on this day.
August 16: Parsi New Year:
Parsi New Year is celebrated August 16 annually in India. This is a regional holiday in India, which marks the beginning of a new year according to the ‘Shahenshahi’ calendar.
Families all over the region get together and visit their holy fire temples to offer prayers. Traditional Parsi cuisines such as farcha, jardaloo chicken, and berry pulav are prepared. Many Parsi’s start afresh on this day; they clean their houses, wash their clothes, make donations, and exchange presents.
August 21: Senior Citizens Day:
On August 21, National Senior Citizens Day recognizes the achievements of the more mature representatives of our nation. The day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication, accomplishments, and services they give throughout their lives. To recognize Senior Citizens Day, spend time with the senior citizens you know. Let them know they are appreciated and loved. It may also be a good day to volunteer at a retirement home or share your smile with those who may not otherwise get a visitor today.
August 24: Marlee Matlin's Birthday:
Marlee Matlin is the only hearing-impaired actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor or Best Actress. This is a big win for people with disabilities and demonstrates the power of representation.
Here are some ways you can be inclusive of deaf culture:
- Speak directly to people instead of their interpreter.
- Look directly into the camera when speaking.
- Make sure that only one person speaks at a time.
- Take meeting minutes and have them distributed.
August 26: Women's Equality Day:
Women’s Equality Day is celebrated to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
August 29: Onam:
Onam is a significant annual harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most important cultural festival for Malayalis, the native people of Kerala, and is observed with great enthusiasm and joy.
The festival is believed to honor the legendary King Mahabali, who was a benevolent and beloved ruler of Kerala. According to mythology, King Mahabali's reign was considered a golden age of prosperity and harmony. Onam is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali back to Kerala for a brief visit during the harvest season.
During Onam, people engage in various cultural activities, including folk dances, music performances, and colorful processions known as "Pulikali" and "Kummattikali." Women create beautiful floral rangoli designs called "Pookkalam" in front of their homes to welcome King Mahabali. Additionally, "Vallam Kali," the traditional snake boat race, is a popular event during the festival.
August 30: Raksha Bandhan:
Raksha Bandhan, commonly known as Rakhi, is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India and some other parts of South Asia. It is a day to honor the bond of love and protection between brothers and sisters. "Raksha" means protection, and "Bandhan" means bond, so the festival symbolizes the promise of protection made by brothers to their sisters.
Rakhi is typically observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan, which usually falls in August. On this day, sisters tie a decorative thread called "Rakhi" around their brothers' wrists as a symbol of their love, affection, and prayers for their well-being. In return, brothers give gifts or money to their sisters as a token of their love and vow to protect them from any harm.
August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi:
Our August multicultural calendar includes Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of this god. Lord Ganesha is the god of new beginnings and a fresh start, and the festival normally lasts 10 days long. If you need a fresh beginning this August, consider learning more about this practice and celebrating the festival.
All September: National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month is an observance held in the United States every September to raise awareness about substance use and mental health disorders, celebrate individuals in recovery, and promote the understanding that recovery is possible. It is an initiative that aims to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues and to encourage individuals to seek help and support.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a major supporter of National Recovery Month and provides resources, information, and tools to help communities, organizations, and individuals participate in and promote the observance.
September 4: International Taekwondo Day
Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts in which participants wear a uniform known as a dobok, attack or defend with punching and kicking techniques. This combat sport was conceived in the 1940s by Korean martial artists skilled in karate, Chinese martial arts, and indigenous Korean martial arts traditions such as Taekkyon, Subak, and Gwonbeop. The observance coincided with the date when Taekwondo was included in the Olympic games in 2000. At its March 28 meeting, the Irvine City Council voted to proclaim September 4, 2023, as Taekwondo Day in Irvine.
September 4: Labor Day
Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States that honors and celebrates the contributions of workers and the labor movement. It also marks the unofficial end of summer and is often associated with parades, picnics, barbecues, and various recreational activities.
On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making Labor Day a national holiday to be observed on the first Monday of September every year.
September 6: Krishna Janmashtami
Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered the eighth avatar (incarnation) of the god Vishnu. The festival falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu lunar calendar.
The celebrations for Krishna Janmashtami can vary widely, but they often include fasting, devotional singing and dancing, recitations of Krishna's stories, and elaborate decorations of temples and homes. Many devotees also keep vigil through the night and break their fast at the moment of Krishna's birth, which is believed to have occurred in the early hours of the day.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the enactment of the "Dahi Handi" ritual, where teams of young people form human pyramids to reach and break a pot of curd (dahi), symbolizing Lord Krishna's love for dairy products and his mischievous nature as a child.
September 11: Patriot Day
Patriot Day is an annual observance in the United States that commemorates the September 11th attacks of 2001. On this day, people remember and honor the nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the passengers of Flight 93.
Patriot Day is observed on September 11th each year, and it serves as a day of reflection, remembrance, and unity. It's a time for individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole to pay tribute to the victims, as well as the first responders and ordinary citizens who demonstrated courage and selflessness in the face of tragedy.
September 15: Rosh Hashana Begins
Rosh Hashanah is a significant Jewish holiday that marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The name "Rosh Hashanah" translates to "Head of the Year" in Hebrew. It is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal, and it falls on the first and second days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which usually corresponds to September or October.
During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish communities around the world come together for special prayers, synagogue services, and festive meals. Some of the customs and traditions associated with the holiday include:
-Blowing the Shofar: The shofar, a traditional ram's horn, is blown in synagogues as a symbol of awakening, repentance, and a call to reflection.
-Tashlich: On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, some Jewish communities participate in a Tashlich ceremony, where they symbolically cast away their sins by tossing pieces of bread into a flowing body of water.
-Prayers and Reflection: The holiday is characterized by special prayers and liturgical readings that focus on themes of repentance, introspection, and asking for forgiveness.
-Festive Meals: Rosh Hashanah meals often feature symbolic foods, such as apples dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year, and round challah bread to represent the cycle of life.
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance, also known as the High Holy Days or the Days of Awe, which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During these ten days, Jews seek forgiveness for their sins and reflect on their actions over the past year, aiming to start the new year with a clean slate and a renewed commitment to living a meaningful and righteous life.
September 15-October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual observance in the United States that celebrates and recognizes the contributions, culture, history, and achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans. The month-long celebration typically takes place from September 15th to October 15th.
The significance of these dates is tied to the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, which all gained independence on September 15th.
During National Hispanic Heritage Month, various events, activities, and educational initiatives are organized across the country to honor the diverse heritage and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans. These activities can include art exhibitions, cultural performances, lectures, workshops, and more. Schools, universities, community organizations, and government agencies often participate in raising awareness and celebrating the rich cultural tapestry of Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States.
September 16: Mexican Independence Day
Mexican Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) is a major national holiday in Mexico that celebrates the country's independence from Spanish colonial rule. It is observed on September 16th each year and is one of the most important holidays in Mexico.
The history behind Mexican Independence Day dates back to the early 19th century. On the night of September 15th, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, rang the church bell in the town of Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo) and delivered a passionate speech known as the "Grito de Dolores," calling for rebellion against Spanish rule. This event marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
The holiday is characterized by celebrations, parades, festivals, and patriotic displays across Mexico.
September 17: City Event-Fiesta Latina en Irvine
Join the City of Irvine, in partnership with UCI and UCI Health, in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month during the second annual Fiesta Latina en Irvine as we honor Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation, society, and community.
At the Great Park September 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., learn about the cultures and contributions of Latin American indigenous communities and those with Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Central and South American roots through music, food, language, literature, and art. This free event is open to all ages. Learn more here.
September 19: Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity who is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, and the god of beginnings. The festival lasts for a varying number of days, but it usually culminates on the tenth day with the immersion of Ganesha idols in water bodies.
The festival is observed with great enthusiasm and devotion in many parts of India, especially in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It typically falls in the month of Bhadrapada (August or September) of the Hindu lunar calendar.
During Ganesh Chaturthi, clay or plaster of Paris idols of Lord Ganesha are intricately crafted and installed in homes and public places. Devotees offer prayers, perform rituals, and adorn the deity with flowers, garlands, and sweets. Special prayers and pujas are conducted, and there's a sense of festivity in the air.
September 21: HeForShe
HeForShe is a global solidarity movement initiated by UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment. The campaign was launched on September 20, 2014, by actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, during her speech at the United Nations Headquarters.
HeForShe aims to engage men and boys as advocates for gender equality and women's rights. The core principle behind HeForShe is that gender equality is not just a women's issue; it is a human rights issue that affects everyone, regardless of their gender. The movement encourages men and boys to stand in solidarity with women and actively work towards ending gender-based discrimination and violence.
By engaging men and boys in discussions and actions related to gender equality, HeForShe seeks to challenge harmful stereotypes, address unequal power dynamics, and promote positive masculinity. The campaign encourages men to take personal and collective actions to create a more inclusive and equitable world.
September 21: International Day of Peace
The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations observance held annually on September 21st. It is dedicated to promoting peace and highlighting the importance of peaceful coexistence and conflict resolution around the world.
The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 as a day to "commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." The day is an opportunity for nations, communities, and individuals to engage in activities that promote peace, raise awareness about the devastating impact of conflict, and encourage efforts to prevent violence and war.
September 22: National Native American Day
Native American Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday of September every year, falling on September 22 this year, as a way of honoring those who have been a part of the American tradition even before the nation of the U.S.A. came into being.
Native American Day was officially declared a state holiday in 1998. In 1990, South Dakota proclaimed it as a year of reconciliation between Native Americans and Caucasian populations. This was done by changing Columbus Day to Native American Day. The day is celebrated in America by people learning about the different kinds of tribes and cultures of the Native Americans. They also read about the genocides of the indigenous peoples and how they persisted despite the adversities.
The observance of Native American Day focuses on the history, heritage, and culture of tribes across the country. Today is all about celebrating the irreplaceable heritage, contributions, and knowledge of the Native American populations. It is also a day to remember the enduring legacy of their fortitude, energy, and strength. Native American Day is about appreciating the long history of culture and traditions that Native Americans have preserved through the centuries.
September 24-25: Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur also known as the Day of Atonement, is one of the most significant and solemn holidays in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, prayer, reflection, and repentance for Jewish people. It is a time when individuals seek forgiveness for their sins and strive to reconcile with God. Many Jews spend the entire day in synagogue, participating in special Yom Kippur services that include the recitation of prayers, the reading of passages from the Torah, and the sounding of the shofar (a ram's horn).
Fasting is a central aspect of Yom Kippur observance, and it lasts for approximately 25 hours, from sunset to sunset. During this time, individuals abstain from food, drink, and other physical comforts as a symbol of their commitment to self-reflection and spiritual cleansing.
Yom Kippur is preceded by the Ten Days of Repentance, which begin with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. During this period, Jews are encouraged to reflect on their actions, seek forgiveness from those they may have wronged, and make amends. Yom Kippur is considered the culmination of this period of introspection and reconciliation.
September 28: Chuseok
Chuseok is a major harvest festival and one of the most important holidays in South Korea. Chuseok is often referred to as the Korean Thanksgiving Day.
Chuseok is a time for families to come together, honor their ancestors, and celebrate the autumn harvest. The holiday has both cultural and spiritual significance, and it involves various customs and traditions.
Some of the key aspects of Chuseok include:
-Ancestral Rituals: Families pay respects to their ancestors by visiting their ancestral hometowns and performing rituals at ancestral graves. This includes cleaning and maintaining the graves, offering food, and expressing gratitude.
-Food and Traditions: Chuseok is known for its traditional foods, which often include songpyeon (rice cakes filled with various ingredients), freshly harvested fruits, and other seasonal dishes. Families gather to prepare and share these special foods.
-Folk Games and Activities: Traditional games and activities are often enjoyed during Chuseok. These can include activities like ssireum (Korean wrestling), archery, tug-of-war, and dancing.
-Hanbok: Many people wear traditional Korean clothing called hanbok during Chuseok as a way to celebrate and honor their cultural heritage.
-Gift-Giving: It's common for people to exchange gifts during Chuseok. These gifts can include food items, household goods, and other tokens of appreciation.
-Thanksgiving Ceremonies: Chuseok also includes ceremonies that express gratitude for the harvest and pray for the well-being of the family.
-Travel and Leisure: Chuseok is a time when many people travel to be with their families, leading to busy travel periods. In recent years, it has also become a time for some leisure activities and tourism.
September 29: City Event - Mid-Autumn Festival
The City of Irvine will host a Mid-Autumn Festival at the Great Park, Friday, September 29, from 5 to 9 p.m.
This family-friendly festival includes education, entertainment, crafts, food trucks, and artistic demonstrations. Local community partners will be in attendance to support the event and share organizational information and resources. This event is free, open to all ages, and no registration is required. Learn more here.
Global Diversity Awareness Month
Global Diversity Awareness Month pays tribute to the diverse minds and beliefs held by all cultures around the world. We live in a multicultural society and embracing the values of various cultures only strengthens our understanding and appreciation of the world. Open your mind to new views and ideas, appreciate cultural differences, and enjoy a fresh perspective you may have been missing by attending the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In recognition of the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce, the theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2023 is "Advancing Access and Equity." Observed annually in October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. This year the National Breast Cancer Foundation is striving to ensure every woman has access to the screenings she needs and the support she deserves.
National Polish American Heritage Month
October is National Polish American Heritage Month to commemorate the first Polish settlers — as well as the deaths of General Kazimierz Pułaski and Tadeusz Kościuszko (military leaders who fought in the American Revolution).
Polish Americans have made significant contributions to various fields, including politics, science, literature, arts, sports, and business. Prominent Polish Americans include historical figures like Casimir Pulaski, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Ignacy Paderewski, as well as contemporary individuals like filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, journalist Andrea Mitchell, and musician Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
During Polish American Heritage Month, events such as festivals, parades, cultural exhibitions, and educational programs may take place across the United States to highlight and celebrate the Polish American community's heritage. It's a time to showcase the unique customs, cuisine, music, dance, and art that have been brought to America by Polish immigrants and their descendants.
Filipino-American Heritage Month
Filipino Americans are the second-largest Asian American group in the nation and the third-largest ethnic group in California, after Latinas/os and African Americans. The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California. In 2009, U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month in the United States. Various states, counties, and cities in the U.S. have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month.
German-American Heritage Month
In October 1683 German families began settling in Pennsylvania. Since then, German Americans have contributed greatly to our society. This month serves as an opportunity to educate the public about the rich history and heritage of German Americans and their lasting impact on American life.
German immigrants have made valuable contributions in various fields, including science, technology, arts, and politics. The first proclamation of German-American Heritage Month was issued by Ronald Reagan in October 1987.
Italian-American Heritage Month
Italian American Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. This observance is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Italian Americans to American society. Italian immigrants have played a significant role in shaping various aspects of American culture, including food, music, art, literature, and more.
During Italian American Heritage Month, various events and activities are organized across the country to honor the Italian American legacy. These events may include cultural festivals, parades, art exhibitions, lectures, and culinary showcases. It's a time to reflect on the history of Italian immigration to the United States and the enduring impact of Italian culture on American life.
October 1: International Day of Older Persons
The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1st each year. It is a United Nations-designated day aimed at raising awareness about issues affecting older individuals and celebrating the contributions of older people to society. This day recognizes the importance of addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with an aging population worldwide.
The 2023 theme is: Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations. Seventy-five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a monumental document in the history of human rights. Written by representatives from around the world with different legal, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, it is the first document articulating the fundamental human rights that are meant to be universally protected.
October 9: Indigenous People's Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October, on October 10 this year, to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. Although the day was still considered Columbus Day up to 1937, many people began calling it Indigenous Peoples’ Day to celebrate the rich culture and the lives of the Native American people. The day is centered around reflecting on their tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt but strengthened their communities.
October 10: World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is marked every year on October 10 to raise awareness about mental health around the world and to mobilize efforts to support those experiencing mental health issues. Every year since 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has organized a global campaign for World Mental Health Day.
October 11: National Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day continues to raise awareness for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, and champion the idea that homophobia thrives in silence. On this day, many people who identify as LGBTQ+ will “come out” to friends or family about their sexuality. It’s also a chance to celebrate the liberation spirit — by waving flags associated with LGBTQ+ groups or donning pins or other items.
October 14: Defender of Ukraine Day
This holiday honors and pays tribute to all those who have fought and continue to fight for the state sovereignty of Ukraine. Originally named Defender of Ukraine Day, in July 2021 the Ukrainian parliament officially changed the name of the holiday to Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day (Den zakhysnykiv i zakhysnyts) to honor the female defenders of Ukraine. In Ukrainian grammar, zakhysnykiv (defender) is a masculine noun.
October 15: Navrati Begins
Navratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in India and by the Indian diaspora around the world. The term "Navratri" is derived from two Sanskrit words: "Nav" meaning nine, and "Ratri" meaning night. Navratri is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu goddess Durga, who represents feminine power and the triumph of good over evil. The festival signifies the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura after a nine-day battle. Each day of Navratri is associated with the worship of different forms of the goddess, and the festival is marked by various rituals, fasting, and cultural performances.
Here's an overview of how Navratri is celebrated:
-Garba and Dandiya Raas: One of the most popular aspects of Navratri celebrations is the traditional folk dance called Garba and Dandiya Raas. People gather in groups, usually in the evening, to dance in a circular formation while singing devotional songs. Garba involves graceful movements, while Dandiya Raas incorporates sticks that participants use in synchronized patterns.
-Fasting: Many devotees observe fasts during Navratri, refraining from consuming certain foods like grains and lentils. Instead, they opt for fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and special fasting recipes. The fasting period can vary among individuals, with some fasting for all nine days and others choosing specific days.
-Golu (Display of Dolls): In some parts of India, particularly in South India, people arrange a display of dolls and figurines known as Golu. These displays often depict mythological scenes and stories from Hindu epics.
-Temple Visits: Devotees visit temples dedicated to Goddess Durga, and many temples organize special pujas (prayer rituals) and celebrations during Navratri.
-Color Themes: Each day of Navratri is associated with a specific color, and participants often wear clothing in these colors. This practice adds vibrancy and symbolism to the celebrations.
-Singing and Devotional Music: Bhajans (devotional songs) dedicated to Goddess Durga are an integral part of Navratri celebrations. Singing and listening to these songs create a spiritually uplifting atmosphere.
-Culmination: The festival culminates on the ninth day, which is known as Navami. On this day, devotees perform a special puja, offer prayers, and sometimes break their fast. The tenth day, known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra, marks the victory of Durga over Mahishasura and the triumph of good over evil. It is also celebrated with enthusiasm and often involves the burning of effigies of the demon king Ravana.
October 17: Spirit Day
This day aims to create awareness of the bullying and harassment that the LGBTQ+ community faces. Millions of people worldwide identify as queer, and many more are yet to publicly declare their status. Such a large community of people shouldn’t be alienated or marginalized because of their sexual orientation. Spirit Day observers also wear the color purple to show their support for the L.G.B.T.Q youth and honor the community’s suicide victims. Supporters can celebrate by changing their profile pictures and using the hashtags #SpiritDay and #ChooseKindness in their social media posts.
Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a vibrant and colorful Mexican holiday that celebrates the memory of deceased loved ones. It is a unique blend of indigenous Mesoamerican beliefs and Catholicism, and it typically takes place on November 1st and 2nd, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1st) and All Souls' Day (November 2nd).
Here are some key aspects of Dia de los Muertos:
-Altars (Ofrendas): Families create altars in their homes or at the gravesites of their loved ones. These altars are adorned with photographs of the deceased, along with their favorite foods, drinks, and personal belongings. Marigold flowers, known as "cempasúchil," are commonly used to decorate the altars. The idea is to create a welcoming space for the spirits to return and enjoy the offerings.
-Calaveras: Sugar skulls, or "calaveras de azúcar," are a prominent symbol of Dia de los Muertos. These elaborately decorated skulls, often made from sugar or clay, are used as offerings on the altars or as decorations. They are sometimes personalized with the names of the deceased.
-Pan de Muerto: "Pan de Muerto," or bread of the dead, is a sweet, round loaf of bread decorated with bone-shaped pieces of dough. It is a traditional food item prepared for the holiday and is often placed on the ofrendas.
-Candles and Incense: Families light candles and incense on the altars to help guide the spirits of the deceased back to the living world and to provide illumination.
-Cemeteries: Many families visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. It's a time for reflection, storytelling, and prayer. Some cemeteries are transformed into colorful and festive spaces during Dia de los Muertos.
-Face Paint: People, especially children, often paint their faces to resemble skulls or calacas. This is done as a way to honor and connect with the spirits of the deceased.
-Marigold Petals: Marigold petals are scattered on paths and sidewalks leading to the ofrendas and cemeteries. It is believed that the vibrant orange and yellow petals help guide the spirits to their offerings.
-Art and Processions: In some regions of Mexico, there are parades and processions featuring people dressed as skeletons and colorful costumes. These events celebrate life and death and may include music, dance, and art installations.
Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life, death, and the enduring connection between the living and the deceased. It is a time for families to come together, remember their loved ones, and celebrate their legacy in a joyous and meaningful way. While the holiday is most closely associated with Mexico, it has also gained popularity and recognition in other parts of the world, and its traditions continue to evolve and adapt in various cultural contexts.
American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
Also known as Native American Heritage Month, this month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.
Movember is an annual event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide.
Diabetes Awareness Month
During this month, we acknowledge more than 37 million Americans living with diabetes who inspire us to develop better treatment options, make life-saving medicines more affordable, and find a cure for this disease.
National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a time to heighten awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and show support for the more than 6.2 million Americans living with it.
National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM)
Although 3.4 million people and their families are affected by epilepsy in the United States, much is still misunderstood about this brain disorder. People with epilepsy and seizures experience multiple daily challenges, such as mood changes, sleep, thinking and memory issues, and social and financial concerns. Judgment and lack of information about the condition can also create more obstacles for members of the epilepsy community. NEAM is an entire month dedicated to uplifting individuals living with epilepsy and educating the public on what it means to experience seizures.
Military Family Month
Throughout the month, military families are honored and recognized for their commitment and contributions in support of our military and nation.
All Saints’ Day: November 1
All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, the Solemnity of All Saints, and Hallowmas, is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honor of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown.
Military Family Appreciation Day: November 1
On April 17, 1984, former President Ronald Reagan established Military Spouse Appreciation Day with Proclamation 5184, recognizing the countless sacrifices and contributions made by military spouses since the days of the Continental Army and Navy.
National Stress Awareness Day: November 1
The first Wednesday in November is National Stress Awareness Day, an event created by the International Stress Management Association to help identify and reduce stress in your life.
World Freedom Day: November 9
World Freedom Day is a federal holiday observed November 9. On this day in 1989, a momentous event in history took place when the Berlin Wall was abolished. The wall separated families and communities for almost three decades. Today, it marks the rise of democracy and freedom, and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
Veterans Day: November 11
Veterans Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States on November 11th each year. It is a day dedicated to honoring and expressing gratitude to all military veterans, both living and deceased, who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day is an important occasion to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices, dedication, and bravery of these men and women who have defended their country.
The significance of November 11 dates back to the end of World War I. On November 11, 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany, effectively ending the conflict. This day is often referred to as Armistice Day. In 1938, it became an official federal holiday in the United States, primarily focused on honoring veterans of World War I.
After World War II and the Korean War, there was a desire to recognize and honor veterans of all wars and conflicts. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law that officially changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, making it a day to honor all U.S. military veterans.
Diwali: November 12
Diwali acknowledges the life battle between good and evil or darkness and light. The victory of good over evil is celebrated during Diwali or the Festival of Lights. This celebration runs for five days in India during the Hindu months of Ashwin and Kartika.
Some of the key aspects of Diwali celebrations include:
Lighting of Lamps: People light lamps, candles, and decorative lights inside and outside their homes to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The idea is to illuminate the path for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to bring wealth and prosperity.
Fireworks: Fireworks are a significant part of Diwali celebrations, and people often set off colorful fireworks to mark the occasion. However, in recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of fireworks, and some regions have implemented restrictions on their use.
Rangoli: People create intricate and colorful designs (rangoli) on the ground in front of their homes using colored powders, rice, or flower petals. These designs are considered a form of welcome and are believed to bring good luck.
Prayers and Worship: Diwali is a time for religious and spiritual activities. Many people visit temples, offer prayers, and seek blessings from the gods and goddesses. The goddess Lakshmi is particularly revered during this time.
Exchanging Gifts: The exchange of gifts and sweets is a common tradition during Diwali. Families and friends often give each other gifts as a symbol of love and affection.
Feasting: Special meals and sweets are prepared during Diwali, and families come together to enjoy a variety of delicious dishes. Sweets like laddoos, jalebis, and barfis are commonly made and shared.
Cleaning and Decoration: Before Diwali, homes are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with flowers, colorful decorations, and traditional motifs to welcome the goddess Lakshmi.
New Clothes: It is customary to buy and wear new clothes during Diwali to symbolize a fresh start and to look one's best for the occasion.
World Kindness Day: November 13
World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world, and is observed annually November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the U.A.E. World Kindness Day presents us with the opportunity to reflect upon one of the most important and unifying human principles. On a day devoted to the positive potential of both large and small acts of kindness, try to promote and diffuse this crucial quality that brings people of every kind together.
Transgender Awareness Week: November 13–19
Transgender Awareness Week, observed from November 13 to November 19, is a one-week celebration leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.
International Day for Tolerance: November 16
The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.
Dutch American Heritage Day: November 16
On November 16, the Netherlands and America celebrate Dutch-American Heritage Day to commemorate the longstanding relationship we share. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize the nascent United States as a sovereign state.
International Men’s Day: November 19
International Men's Day is a global holiday celebrated annually in November to recognize and celebrate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of men.
Universal Children’s Day: November 20
World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children's Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide, and to improve children's welfare.
Transgender Day of Remembrance: November 20
Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance November 20 that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Thanksgiving: November 23
Thanksgiving Day is a day for people in the U.S. to give thanks for what they have. Families and friends get together for a meal, which traditionally includes a roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie.
Native American Heritage Day: November 24
National Native American Heritage Day is observed November 26. American Indians are accorded special honor on this day, and their rich cultures, accomplishments, contributions, and heritage are celebrated.
Day of the Covenant (Baha’i): November 26
The Day of the Covenant is the day when Baháʼís celebrate the appointment of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant. It occurs yearly on the fourth day of Speech (Qawl), which coincides with either November 25 or 26 depending on when Naw Ruz falls on that year.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: November 25
The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Ascension of Abdul’l-Baha (Baha’i): November 28
Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah, who referred to him as “the Mystery of God” and “a shelter for all mankind.” However, Abdu’l-Baha preferred to be called “Abdu’l-Baha,” which means “the Servant of Baha” in reference to his servitude to Baha’u’llah. When Abdu’l-Baha died November 28, 1921, he was eulogized as one who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace,” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”
National Learn a Foreign Language Month
Learning another language comes with a wealth of benefits, including boosting brain function by improving memory, creativity, and attention span, and reducing cognitive decline. That’s why December is National Learn a Foreign Language Month. Many language classes are available through the City of Irvine, visit yourirvine.org(link is external) for more information.
World AIDS Day: December 1
World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities: December 3
The United Nations created the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992 to help people with disabilities participate without any barriers and promote fair treatment of all people, regardless of ability.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
Each year on December 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A further 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft. On Aug. 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Hanukkah: December 7-15
This is an 8-day, 8-night celebration in the Jewish faith honoring the triumph of their ancestors over the Syrian Greeks. To see the “Festival of Lights” observed, ask to join in a night of celebrations with a Jewish friend’s family.
Human Rights Day: December 10
Friday, December 10, is Human Rights Day. This year marks the 75th anniversary since the United Nation’s General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the rights of every individual everywhere, without distinction, based on nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.
Las Posadas: December 16
The religious festival of Las Posadas is primarily celebrated in Latin American countries, Mexico, and Spain. Some Hispanics in the United States also celebrate this festival. The festival is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph traveling to various homes in the community that are designated as “inns.” After the reenactment, there is a celebration.
World Arabic Language Day: December 18
The Arabic language is a pillar of the cultural diversity of humanity. It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, used daily by more than 400 million people. World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year on 18 December since 2012. The date coincides with the day in 1973 that the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the Organization.
Winter Solstice/Yule: December 21
The Winter Solstice is known as Yule to those practicing the Pagan and Wiccan faiths. The day marks the longest night of the year and the return of the sun.
Christmas: December 25
This is one of the most important Christian holidays that celebrates the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is also of cultural importance to those who do not actively practice the Christian faith.
Kwanzaa: December 26
Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of life that is inspired by the African harvest celebrations. The holiday was created by an American professor of African studies, activist, and author, Maulana Karenga. It has been celebrated since the 1960s.
The City of Irvine invites the community to celebrate the holiday season with three signature events opening Saturday, December 2, at the Great Park.
The City of Irvine Animal Care Center invites the community to attend the 17th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair Sunday, December 10, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The fair features hundreds of adoptable animals from pet rescue groups and animal shelters, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and others.
The City of Irvine and the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee invite the community to participate in the annual Holiday Toy Drive by donating new, unwrapped gifts suitable for infants or children ages 12 and younger.
The City of Irvine has been closely monitoring details related to the Tustin Hangar Fire. No health risks or impacts have been identified for Irvine at this time. The City deployed air quality and surface testing November 20-22 in nine parks.
Effective November 15, 2023, all production of asphalt at the All American Asphalt plant has ceased. The sale of All American Asphalt will close in early 2024, and the City of Irvine will take ownership of the plant and property.
Get involved with the City of Irvine's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) by attending upcoming workshops, taking an online survey, requesting a City presentation, following the City on social, and signing up for the Environmental Programs e-newsletter.
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