The world is growing to embrace the concept of diversity and inclusion, every year is arranged with a bountiful of holidays celebrating various aspects of diversity– from the community, culture to faiths.
We’ve compiled the complete collection of diversity and inclusion in 2021 to help you plan initiatives in your organization.
Knowledge of inclusion and diversity holidays can promote your workplace diversity, break down barriers, and foster an inclusive work environment. To support your workplace in organising D&I activities, note the following holidays that provide a diverse selection of cultural, religious, and secular celebrations as well as awareness-raising days.
Need some inspiration to create culture and diversity events for remote teams? We’ve got you covered with these virtual event ideas.
Table of Contents
January is a Cervical Cancer Awareness Month that is intended to increase public awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screening and promote the importance of cervical health and cervical cancer prevention.
January 1st: New Year’s Day marks the start of the year in the Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. It’s a public holiday in many countries.
January 4th: World Braille Day, awareness-raising day for the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights towards blind and partially sighted people which is celebrated since 2019.
January 5th: The birthday of Guru Gobind Singh is a religious observance for the Sikhism followers that is celebrated for three days.
January 6th: Epiphany Day also known as “Three Kings Day” or “Twelfth Day” is primarily observed by Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican Christians. It commemorates the manifestation of God to the world through Jesus Christ and marks the end of the Christmas season.
January 14th – April 27: Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest religious and cultural festival in Hinduism that is celebrated four times over the course of 12 years. Millions of devotees and pilgrims gather on the banks of the Ganges River to take part in ritual bathing on various dates through April 27. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy water cleanses devotees of their sins.
January 17th: World Religion Day is initiated by the Baha’i faith that seeks to bring the world’s religion together and to promote the oneness of God, the unity of humanity, and the essential harmony of religion.
January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986.
January 27th: Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and genocides survivors during World War II. A day to remember how important it is not to spread messages of hate or to exclude people because of their race, beliefs or the color of their skins.
January 28th: Mahayana New Year starts on the first full moon day in January. It’s a time for the Mahayana Buddhist to reflect on the past and cleanse oneself from the prior year’s sins to make a fresh start.
February is Black History Month. It’s a month-long opportunity in the US and Canada to understand Black histories, going beyond stories of racism and slavery to spotlight Black achievement.
February 1st: National Freedom Day is observed by the United States that celebrates freedom from slavery. A day to recognize that America is a symbol of liberty.
February 1st: World Hijab Day celebrates and recognizes millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty.
February 3rd: Setsubun – Sai (seasonal division) is an ancient Shinto celebration that marks the start of the Japanese New Year and the first day of Spring.
February 4th: World Cancer Day is an international awareness day led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise worldwide attention and inspire action for a cancer-free future.
February 11th: Asian-American Women’s Equal Pay Day. An awareness-raising day about the pay gap between Asian-American women and White men.
February 12: Lunar New Year is the most important and most festive holiday of the year for Chinese ethnic communities around the world. A time of family reunion and celebration.
February 12: Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, is the most important festival celebrated by Tibetans all over the world. It marks a time of new beginning through sacred and secular practices.
February 14: St, Valentine’s Day is a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. Until about the 14th century, it was celebrated as a day of romance when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts.
February 15: Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day) is observed primarily by the Mahayana Buddhist to commemorate the death of the historical Buddha and his entry into final or complete Nirvana.
February 16: Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival that celebrates the coming of spring. On this day Hindus worship Sarasvati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art, and culture.
February 17: Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer, fasting, and repentance. It begins the season of Lent, a time when many Christians prepare for Easter.
February 20: World Day of Social Justice is an international day acknowledging the need to promote social justice through actions to work on issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections.
February 26: Lantern Festival is celebrated mostly in Asian countries that honors deceased ancestors on the 15th day of the first month (Yuan) of the lunar calendar. It aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness.
February 27: Maghi Purnima is an important day in the Hindu calendar that falls on ‘Purnima’ which means full moon day. It is believed that taking a holy dip on Magha Purnima helps the human body to adjust with the changing seasons, providing strength and power to the body.
February 28: World Rare Diseases Day is celebrated to bring awareness to rare diseases. This awareness-raising day aims to improve knowledge amongst the general public of rare diseases while encouraging researchers and decision-makers to address the needs of those living with rare diseases.
March is Women’s History Month. Celebrating all women for their vital role and valuable contribution to history and society.
March 1: Zero Discrimination Day celebrates the right of everyone to live a full and productive life and live with dignity. The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the UN.
March 8: International Women’s Day is an international day celebrating the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
March 11: Maha Shivaratri is an annual Hindu festival to honor Lord Shiva, celebrated just before the arrival of spring. It is one of the largest and most significant among the sacred festival nights of India.
March 11: Isra Miraj is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. This event marks the night that Allah (God) took Mohammad (also known as Mohamed or Muhammed) on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.
March 14: Day of Silence, also known as Nyepi, is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia, and marks the beginning of the year according to the Balinese calendar. Contrary to the usual New Year celebration, Nyepi is reserved for a day of silence, fasting, and meditation for the Balinese. The island of Bali turns off all lights and sounds, stops all traffic and all worldly activities.
March 17: Saint Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture to commemorate St. Patrick as one of the most famous patron saints of Ireland. The holiday that marks St. Patrick’s death has been observed as a religious holiday in Ireland for over 1500 years.
March 19: Saint Joseph’s Day is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ.
March 20: International Day of Happiness is an international event arranged by the United Nations to remind us that being happy is a human right and worth celebrating.
March 21: Passion Sunday or also known as Palm Sunday. It marks the beginning of Holy Week and commemorates two very significant events in the life of Christ.
March 22: World Water Day aims to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
March 29: Holi is a popular Hindu holiday celebrated most commonly in India that is also known as the Festival of Colors. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the changing of the seasons from winter to spring.
March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.
April is diversity month. A time to celebrate unique cultures, backgrounds, and traditions of others to gain a greater appreciation for the diversity that surrounds us.
April 1: Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion.
April 2: Good Friday Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day encourages awareness about the existence of autism and celebrates the rights of individuals with autism
April 4: Easter also known as Pascha celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion.
April 7: World Health Day is a global health awareness day under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).
April 7-8: Yom HaShoah is Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, a day which is marked across the country every year as a national holiday and day of remembrance.
April 12: Ramadan Fasting is the beginning of Ramadan month where Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset
April 14: Vaisakhi observed by Hindus and Sikhs and also known as the beginning of Hindu solar New year.
April 22: Earth Day is an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection.
April 23: The Day of Silence is an annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
April 23: Saint’s George Day or England National Day commemorates St George as England’s patron saint.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. A month-long opportunity to highlight the importance of mental wellness, raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses. The goal here is to break down the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.
May 2: Orthodox Easter is a celebration that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus which took place three days after His crucifixion and death.
May 3 – 9: Deaf Awareness Week aims to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of hearing loss and deafness across the UK.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo means “Fifth of May,” commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War
May 9: Mother’s Day celebrates the beautiful and unparalleled bond of love shared between kids and mothers.
May 9: Laylat al Qadr which means the Night of Power, commemorates one of the most significant events in the history of Islam.
May 12 – 13 : Eid ul Fitr or the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
May 13: Ascension Day is a Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.
May 15: International Day of Families aims to promote the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy, equity as well as social protection for all families.
May 16 – 22: Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for organizations and the workplace to promote wellbeing, reduce stigma and talk openly about mental health.
May 17: International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia aims to celebrate sexual and gender diversity, and campaign against the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people
May 26: Vesak celebrates the Buddha’s birthday and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death
May 30: Trinity Sunday is observed primarily by Christians through remembering and honoring the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
June is LGBT Pride Month 🏳️🌈 . The world’s LGBT communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves through parades, picnics, parties, festivals, and much more. Pride events also welcome allies outside of the LGBT community to show support, observe, listen, and be educated.
💡 Event Idea: Explore Rio through the lens of an LGBTQ+ activist
June 3: Corpus Christi is a moveable feast, celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday
June 10: Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.
June 14: Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday that commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan). The festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunisolar calendar.
June 15: St. Vladimir Day is observed primarily by the Eastern Orthodox, the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic. A feast celebrating St. Vladimir.
June 16: Guru Arjan Dev Martyrdom, observed by members of the Sikh faith. Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh guru and the first Sikh martyr.
June 20: Father’s Day is a holiday of honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society.
June 21: Summer Solstice is an annual astronomical phenomenon that brings the longest day of the year and the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and marks midsummer: the ‘longest day’ and ‘shortest night’ of the year.
June 21: World’s Humanist Day is a coming together of organizations and individuals that value science and rationalism over divinity and the supernatural.
Last Sunday in June: LGBT Pride Day celebrates the progress made toward equality by LGBT individuals, advocates, and allies around the world.
July is Make a Difference to Children Month. A special time to recognize and raise awareness about children’s needs and future aspirations. It’s important to realize that not every child is fortunate enough to have a happy, healthy, and safe environment in which to live their lives as well as to end violence against children through knowledge, prevention, and togetherness.
July 1: Canada Day is a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act.
July 4: Independence Day, also known as the “Fourth of July” is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
July 11: World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.
July 14: International Non-Binary People’s Day aims to celebrate the wide range of people worldwide who identify as non-binary.
July 14: Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrating the actions of a mob of Frenchmen, tired of the rule of their king, who stormed a prison to get weapons and free prisoners. It marked the start of the French Revolution.
July 17: World day of International Justice was established to recognize and honor the increasing importance and use of international criminal justice and marks the anniversary of the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.
July 19 – 23 : Eid ul Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son. It involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts – for family, for relatives and friends, and for poor people.
July 21: Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually in Singapore to commemorate the 1964 Race Riots which took place on 21 July 1964. It also represents a day for schools to contemplate on and celebrate Singapore’s success as a racially harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage.
July 24: Dharma Day is when Buddhists celebrate the first time Siddhartha Gautama taught other people how to become Buddha
July 28: World Hepatitis Day aims to raise awareness of the problem of viral hepatitis, which impacts over 325 million people globally.
July 30: International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. A month-long opportunity to bring attention to the autoimmune disorder that affects over 125 million people worldwide, learn about the signs and symptoms, spread information about the disease and its treatment options as well as to support those who experience its manifestations.
August 1 – 7: World Breastfeeding Week aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies, as well as a wider push for maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction, and food security.
August 6: Transfiguration of the World Day is observed primarily by Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholic, dedicated to the transfiguration of Jesus.
August 9: Singapore National Day is a yearly celebration that marks Singapore’s independence from Malaysia.
August 10: Al-Hijra marks the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina and set up the first Islamic state.
August 12: International Youth Day focuses on the difficulties that some young people are experiencing throughout the world.
August 15: Assumption of Mary is where Roman Catholics celebrate the belief of the Assumption, which teaches that at the end of her life, Mary, the mother of Christ, was taken body and soul (i.e. both physically and spiritually) into heaven to live with her son (Jesus Christ) forever.
August 22: Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors
August 22: Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana (July/August), this festival celebrates the love of a brother for his sister.
August 22: Hungry Ghost Festival is one of several traditional festivals in China to worship ancestors. They perform special ceremonies to avoid the wrath of the ghosts such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense, and preparing food three times that day.
August 26: Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women.
August 30: Krishna Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month. It’s an international campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.
September 4-11: Paryushana Parva is the king of all festivals for the whole Jain community. It means daily fasting, inner reflection, and confession.
September 5: International Day of Charity serves to increase and enhance social responsibility across the entire world, increasing our support for charitable causes and bringing everyone together in solidarity
September 6-8: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.
September 6-12: Migraine Awareness Week is a moment in the year when everyone affected by migraine and everyone working to help those affected work together to raise the profile of migraine.
September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day is a time to remember those affected by suicide, to raise awareness, and to focus efforts on directing treatment to those who need it most.
September 14: Holy Cross Day is a day which honors and commemorates the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for our salvation.
September 15: International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.
September 15- 16: Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year when the Jewish belief that they are closest to God and to the essence of their souls.
September 21: International Day of Peace celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.
September 21: Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore or also known as Lantern and Mooncake Festival celebrates the end of the autumn harvest with family gatherings, lanterns, and mooncake. It was traditionally a time to give thanks to the Gods and also a time of year when the moon is at its brightest, which is why lunar legends have always been attached to the celebration.
September 28: Teacher’s Day in Taiwan is a special day for the appreciation of teachers to honor teachers’ contributions to their own students and to society in general.
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, a month to celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.
October 1: International Day of Older Persons celebrates and honors the contributions that older individuals make to society.
October 2: International Day of Non Violence is a global observance that promotes non-violence through education and public awareness. It also marks the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
October 4: World Dyslexia Awareness Day looks to break misconceptions and bring awareness to this learning disability.
October 6 -14: Navaratri is a Hindu celebration which literally means ‘nine nights,’ dedicates three days each to worshipping the Divine in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati.
October 9: The birthday of Guru Ram Das is celebrated by the Sikh by doing a special sadhana of chanting Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur in the Amrit Vela.
October 10: World Mental Health Day aims to help raise mental health awareness and each of us can make a contribution to ensure that people living with mental illness can live better lives with dignity.
October 12: Indigenous People Day celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures.
October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty and a chance for them to make their concerns heard.
October 18: Eid Milad un-Nabi commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s (or Mohammad’s) birthday
October 19: Mawlid Al-Nabi is a special day in Islamic calendar to remember the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
October 20: International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.
October 22: International Stuttering Day is intended to raise public awareness of stuttering, which affects one percent of the world’s population.
October 29: World Stroke Day aims to reduce the incidence of stroke across the world.
October 31: Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico that involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died.
October 31: Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes, and eating treats.
November is Islamophobia Awareness Month in the UK, which is all about making people aware of discrimination against Muslim people and the Islamic faith.
November 1: All Saints Day commemorates all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, who have attained heaven.
November 2: All Souls Day commemorates all the faithful departed, those baptized Christians who are believed to be in purgatory because they died with the guilt of lesser sins on their souls.
November 4: Diwali is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists.
November 19: International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities
November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, initiated in 1998 to commemorate those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
November 20: Universal Children’s Day intended to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights
November 21: Feast of Christ the King marks the last feast of the Church’s liturgical year.
November 25: Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year.
November 26: Native American Heritage Day is a time designated to honor and recognize the contributions Indigenous people have made to the United States.
November 28-December 6: Hanukkah, also known as Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
November 28- December 24: Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Christ.
November 30: St. Andrew’s Day, the feast day for St. Andrew within various Christian denominations.
December is Universal Month for Human Rights. Initiated by the United Nations in 1948, it’s a special time to recognize justice, equality, and dignity of all humans across the globe.
December is also the perfect time to reflect on the year and celebrate with your team.
December 1: World Aids Day is 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.
December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
December 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.
December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
December 18: International Migrants Day aims to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties of international migration
December 20: International Human Solidarity Day aims to celebrate unity in diversity. remind people of the importance of solidarity in working towards eradicating poverty.
December 24: Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus.
December 25: Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus as well as a cultural and commercial event.
December 31: New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year, celebrated at evening parties.
Ready to incorporate holidays that celebrate diversity and inclusion? Download our free 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Calendar.