In early 2021, the City of Irvine passed a resolution reaffirming Irvine's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our City and subsequently formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The committee's first campaign, We Are Irvine, aims to embrace and celebrate diversity and foster an environment that is inclusive of all cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, perspectives, and ways of thinking.
This webpage is an arm of the We Are Irvine campaign and will be updated regularly to reflect the current and upcoming celebrations and observances of our community members and residents.
|Cultural & Religious Holidays||Cultural & Religious Recognitions|
|Equity & Inclusion Recognitions||DEI Events|
|Irvine Multicultural Association|
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.
Tammy Baldwin's Birthday, February 11
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.
Frederick Douglass' Birthday, February 14
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.
Susan B. Anthony's Birthday, February 15
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.
Nirvana Day, February 15
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.
Ash Wednesday, February 22
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.
Fat Tuesday, February 21
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.
Chinese New Year at Lakeview Senior Center, February 1
Join Irvine Senior Services for the Chinese New Year Celebration on Wednesday, February 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Lakeview Senior Center. Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with cultural performances and a delicious luncheon.
Tickets can be purchased online at yourirvine.org or in person at the Lakeview and Rancho senior centers and Trabuco Center. For more information, call 949-724-6900.
The Chinese New Year Celebration is presented by the Irvine Evergreen Chinese Senior Association. All proceeds are donated to Irvine Senior Services to support senior-based programs and services.
Lantern Festival hosted by South Coast Chinese Cultural Association, February 18
Join South Coast Chinese Cultural Center and Pacific Symphony for their annual free Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit! The event is Saturday, February 18, at Segerstrom Concert Hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is required and can be accessed here.
The Chinese Lantern Festival is a traditional festival celebrated at the end of the Chinese New Year period. It falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month and typically occurs in February or March. The festival has been celebrated for over 2,000 years and is steeped in cultural and historical significance. During the festival, people light lanterns and hang them outside their homes, in temples, and in public spaces. The lanterns come in many shapes and sizes and are often decorated with auspicious symbols and riddles. The festival is a time for families to come together, enjoy delicious food, and participate in cultural activities such as dragon and lion dances. The Chinese Lantern Festival symbolizes the end of the New Year festivities and marks a time for looking ahead to the future with hope and positivity.
The Irvine Multicultural Association (IMA) is a program designed for Irvine's senior residents and offers educational resources and social functions for the community. IMA's mission is to promote harmony and understanding for a better, enlightened, and healthier community. The association was formed by the same group that introduced Irvine's Global Village Festival to the community over 20 years ago.
IMA's planning committee seeks to highlight a particular culture each month through programs like their International Film Series, the English Mentoring Program, and other outlets. For more information on these programs and events, see the DEI events section above, or visit their webpage.
The IMA planning committee is looking for additional members to join the committee. Ideal representatives share the mission of the association. Please see the flier below for more information.
Learn more about past celebrations and observances of our diverse community members and residents by clicking here.