Heritage Months and Significant Days

WSU Vancouver recognizes heritage months and significant days throughout the year to celebrate, reflect, learn, advocate and affirm the rich histories, lived experiences, contributions and resilience of fellow human beings, communities and groups to every aspect of the U.S. and world fabric in the face of historical and systemic exclusion.

Heritage months and significant days are essential to building a community of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging where all students, staff and faculty thrive. WSU Vancouver honors heritage months and significant days specifically and uplifts the significance of lived experiences and cultural heritages every day.

Heritage and Significant Days Calendar

Jan. 1: New Year’s Day, the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar, is celebrated in most Western countries.

Jan. 1: Kwanzaa ends, the seventh Kwanzaa principle, Imani (Faith), is observed—to believe with all our hearts in our people, our families, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our challenges and triumphs.

Jan. 4: World Braille Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication; celebrated on the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille.

Jan. 5: Twelfth Night, a festival celebrated by some branches of Christianity that marks the coming of the Epiphany.

Jan. 6: Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day), a holiday observed by Eastern and Western Christians that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus twelve days after his birth.

Jan. 6: Armenian Orthodox Christmas, recognized on this day by Armenian Orthodox Christians, who celebrate the birth of Jesus on Epiphany.

Jan. 7: Christmas, recognized on this day by Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches because they follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar.

Jan. 13: Lohri-Maghi, an annual festival celebrated by Sikhs commemorating the memory of forty Sikh martyr.

Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorates the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for nonviolent social change until his assassination in 1968.

Jan. 15: Makar Sankranti, a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India.

Jan. 20: Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs who initiated the Sikhs as the Khalsa (the pure ones) and who is known as the Father of the Khalsa.

Jan. 21: World Religion Day, observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.

Jan. 26: Republic Day of India, celebrates the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950, marking the transition from the British Monarchy as nominal head of the Indian Dominion to a fully sovereign republic in the Commonwealth of Nations with the President of India as the nominal head of the Indian Union.

Jan. 27 (sundown to sundown): International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to “mourn the loss of lives, celebrate those who saved them, honor those who survived, and contemplate the obligations of the living.”—President Barack Obama

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada.

Feb. 1: National Freedom Day, celebrates the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished enslavement in the U.S. in 1865.

Feb. 1 – 2: Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring.

Feb. 3: Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated annually as part of the Spring Festival.

Feb. 3: Four Chaplains Day, commemorates the sinking of the U.S. Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.

Feb. 7: Black History Week originated by Carter G. Woodson, is observed for the first time on this date in 1926. Black History Month is established by 1976 and formally recognized by the Ford administration and every American president since.

Feb. 10: Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon, one of the most sacred holidays in China. Lunar New Year is particularly celebrated in East and Southeast Asian countries. It is also a feature of the Hindu-Buddhist calendars of South and Southeast Asia, the Islamic calendar and the Jewish calendar. Although occurring on the same new moon day, celebrations are unique to cultures, each with its own interpretations, zodiacs and traditions.

Feb. 11: Nelson Mandela is released from a South African prison in 1990 after being detained for 27 years as a political prisoner.

Feb. 14: Frederick Douglass Day, celebrated annually on February 14 to honor one of the most important abolitionists, writers, orators and leaders on the day he was reportedly born. Carter G. Woodson established Black History Month in February because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Feb. 14: Morehouse College is organized in Augusta, GA in 1867. It later moves to Atlanta, GA.

Feb. 14: St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. This holiday is typically associated with romantic love and celebrated by people expressing their love with gifts.

Feb. 15: Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day), commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana; February 8 is an alternative date of observance.

Feb. 19: Presidents Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States that honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln birthday, as well as those of every US president.

Feb. 21: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Black American nationalist, is assassinated.

Feb. 24: Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after Lunar New Year; participants enjoy watching paper lanterns illuminate the sky on the night of the event.

Feb. 14 – March 28: Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith. The first day of Great Lent is also known as Clean Monday.

Feb. 24 – 25 (sundown to sundown): Lailat al Bara’a, also known as Lailat Al Baraah, Barat, or popularly as Shab-e-Bara or Night of Forgiveness. It is an Islamic holiday during which practitioners of the faith seek forgiveness for sins. Muslims spend the night in special prayers. It is regarded as one of the most sacred nights on the Islamic calendar.

Feb. 26 – 29: Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há, celebrated by people of the Bahá’í faith. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar. Intercalary days are observed with gift-giving, special acts of charity, and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Year.

March is Women’s History Month.

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

March is National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month.

March 1: National Women of Color Day, established in 1986 on the first day of Women’s History Month to recognize and build a strong network for women of Black, Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Island heritages.

March 2: In 1955, Claudette Colvin refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL nine months before Rosa Parks’ arrest for the same action sparks the Montgomery bus boycott.

March 8: International Women’s Day, first observed in 1911 in Germany, it has now become a major global celebration honoring women’s economic, political and social achievements.

March 10 – April 8 (sundown to sundown): Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer and devotion to Islam.

March 10: Meatfare Sunday (The Sunday of the Last Judgment), traditionally the last day of eating meat before Easter for Orthodox Christians.

March 15: Equal Pay Day, this date observes the gender pay gap for all employees, including full-time, part-time and seasonal. This date, including additional equal pay days, reflect the fact that many women must work far longer into the year to catch up to the pay of their White male counterparts.

March 16: Mississippi ratifies 13th Amendment in 1995, which abolishes enslavement, 130 years after the other U.S. states had approved it.

March 17: Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday, the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians.

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday started in Ireland to recognize St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the country in the early days of the faith.

March 19: Ostara, a celebration of the spring equinox commemorated by Pagans and Wiccans. It is observed as a time to mark the coming of spring and the fertility of the land.

March 19: Nowruz/Norooz, Persian New Year, a day of joy, celebration and renewal. It is held annually on the spring equinox.

March 19 – 20: Naw-Rúz, the Bahá’í New Year is a holiday celebrated on the vernal equinox. It is one of the nine Bahá’í holy days on which work is suspended.

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually to commemorate lives of those who died fighting for democracy and equal human rights for all in South Africa during apartheid, an institutionally racist system built upon racial discrimination. The Sharpeville Massacre is the specific reference day for this public holiday.

March 24: Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week.

March 24: Lord’s Evening Meal, Jehovah’s Witnesses commemorate an event believed to have occurred on the first night of Passover in approximately 33 CE, the Last Supper, known as the Lord’s Evening Meal.

March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Enslavement and the Transatlantic Trade, a United Nations international observation that offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. First observed in 2008, the international day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

March 25 (sundown to sundown): Holi, the festival of colors, is the annual Hindu and Sikh spring religious festival observed in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, along with other countries with large Hindu and Sikh populations. It is often celebrated on the full moon (the Phalguna Purnima) before the beginning of the Vernal Equinox as based on the Hindu calendar.

March 25 – 27: Hola Mohalla, a Sikh festival that takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chet, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi.

March 29: Good Friday, a day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is recognized on the Friday before Easter.

March 31: Easter, a holiday celebrated by Christians to recognize Jesus’ return from death after the Crucifixion.

March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people.

April is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at WSU.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month.

April is National Arab American Heritage Month.

April is National Deaf History Month.

April is National Volunteer Month.

April 2: World Autism Awareness Day, created to raise awareness of the developmental disorder around the globe.

April 4: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

April 6: Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of the year for Muslims, is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the Night of Power and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad.

April 9: Hindu New Year.

April 9 – 10 (sundown to sundown): Eid al-Fitr, the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marking the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutuba (sermon) and give Zakat al-Fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr.

April 12: The Day of Silence, during which students take a daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.

April 22 – 30: Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday and festival in commemoration of the emancipation of the Israelites from enslavement in ancient Egypt.

April 22: Earth Day promotes world peace and sustainability of the planet. Events are held globally to show support of environmental protection of the Earth.

April 24: Armenian Remembrance Day, recognizes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

May is Older Americans Month.

May 1: Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, signifying the beginning of summer.

May 2: National Day of Prayer, a day of observance in the United States when people are asked to “turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

May 5: Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861 – 1867). This day celebrates Mexican culture and heritage, including parades and mariachi music performances.

May 5 - 6: Yom HaShoah, Israel’s day of remembrance for the approximately 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

May 15: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and it is a gazetted holiday in India.

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a global celebration and advocacy of sexual-orientation and gender diversities.

May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony.

May 25: George Floyd Day of Enlightenment, a day of remembrance for communities, the nation and the world to turn pain into purpose, hate into hope and tragedy into triumph in honor of the life and memory of George Floyd.

May 25 – 26 (sundown to sundown): Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday marking the Day of Hillula of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

May 27: Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by American forces.

May 30: Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday celebrating the presence of the body and blood of Christ, in the Eucharist.

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

June is Immigrant Heritage Month.

June 13: Thurgood Marshall is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

June 14: Flag Day in the United States, observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.

June 15 – 16 (sundown to sundown): Waqf al Arafa, the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage within the Islamic faith.

June 16 – 17 (sundown to sundown): Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event.

June 19: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas and Louisiana finally received word of their emancipation, two years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day or First Nations Day, a day that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada.

June 21: Litha, the summer solstice celebrated by the Wiccans and Pagans. It is the longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”

June 30 (or last Sunday in June): LGBTQ+ Pride Day in the United States, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969.

July 1: Canada Day, or Fête du Canada, is a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, which established the three former British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as a united nation called Canada.

July 4: Fourth of July, a United States federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America. Enslaved Black peoples did not receive independence in the U.S., fully, until June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth).

July 11: World Population Day, an observance established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. The annual event is designed to raise awareness of global population issues.

July 14: International Non-Binary People’s Day, aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world while celebrating their contributions.

July 14: Bastille Day, a French federal holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that held political prisoners who had displeased the French nobility. The Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, was regarded as a turning point of the French Revolution. Celebrations are held throughout France.

July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices: “It is in your hands now.” It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better.

July 21: Asalha Puja, or Dharma Day, is a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings.

July 23: The birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia.

July 26: Disability Independence Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

July 30: International Day of Friendship, 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.

Aug. 17: Marcus Garvey Day, honors Jamaican-born political activist, orator, publisher, journalist and entrepreneur. Garvey is credited with organizing the Black Nationalist movement in the U.S.

Aug. 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Enslavement Trade and its Abolition. This day also recognizes the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of enslavement in the Caribbean.

Aug. 26: Women’s Equality Day, commemorates the Aug. 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Sept. 4: Labor Day in the United States. Labor Day honors the contribution that laborers have made to the country and is observed on the first Monday of September.

Sept. 9: Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1915.

Sept. 11: Remembrance of Sept. 11 attacks, also known as 9/11, when nearly 3,000 people were killed in the U.S. as a result of coordinated terrorist attacks that involved the use of four commercial airplanes. Two planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa.

Sept. 12: Ethiopian New Year, a public holiday in Ethiopia celebrated on Sept. 11 unless it’s a leap year in the Ethiopian calendar, in which case it is celebrated on Sept. 12.

Sept. 15 – 17 (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world.

Sept. 21: National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Black women and White men. Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to White men. This day denotes how far into the year Black women must work to be paid what White men were paid the previous year.

Sept. 21 – 29: Mabon, a celebration of the autumnal equinox commemorated by Pagans and Wiccans.

Sept. 23: Bisexuality Day, recognized since 1999, this day is intended to celebrate bisexual communities and bring attention to ongoing challenges and “isms” faced by bisexual people daily.

Sept. 23: Native American Day, a federal holiday observed annually on the fourth Friday of September in California and Nevada; and on the second Monday of October in South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Sept. 24 – 25: Yom Kippur. The holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast, confession and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

Sept. 26 – 27 (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.

Sept. 29 – Oct. 6: Sukkot, a seven-day Jewish festival giving thanks for the fall harvest.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

October is LGBTQ+ History Month.

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.

Oct. 7: Author Toni Morrison is the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.

Oct. 5: Latina/x Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Latinx women and White men. Latinx women are paid 49 cents for every dollar paid to White men. This day denotes how far into the year Latinx women must work to be paid what White men were paid the previous year.

Oct. 8: International Lesbian Day, celebrates lesbian culture, community and visibility. Recognized on Oct. 8 because it’s exactly six months after International Women’s Day on March 8.

Oct. 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day, recognizes Indigenous peoples as first inhabitants of the Americas, including lands colonized as the United States of America.

Oct. 9: Canadian Thanksgiving, a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.

Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day. First celebrated in 1993, this day is meant to increase public awareness about the importance of mental health, mental health services and mental health workers worldwide.

Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day (U.S.). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.

Oct. 18: International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing and educating about pronouns commonplace.

Oct. 19: Spirit Day, encourages supporters to wear purple in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities and youth, who are disproportionately targeted by anti-LGBTQ+ harassment and violence. The name “Spirit Day” comes from the purple stripe of the pride flag which represents “spirit.”

Oct. 20: Sikh Holy Day, a day of celebrating spiritual guide Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Oct. 23: Dasara, Dussehra or Vijayadashami, in the eastern and northeastern states of India, marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma.

Oct. 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.

Oct. 31: Reformation Day, a Protestant Christian religious holiday celebrated alongside All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation.

Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.

November is National Native American Heritage Month.

November is National Family Caregivers Month, proclaimed in 2012 by Former President Barack Obama. It honors the more than 40 million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home.

Nov. 1: All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints. (In eastern Christianity, the day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.)

Nov. 2: All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. In the Mexican tradition, the holiday is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (Oct. 31 – Nov. 2), which is a time of remembrance for dead ancestors and a celebration of the continuity of life.

Nov. 2: President Ronald Reagan signs a law designating the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Nov. 11: Veterans Day is a U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. It coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Nov. 12: Diwali, a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. The festival lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika.

Nov. 19: International Men’s Day, global holiday celebrated annually in November to recognize and celebrate cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of men.

Nov. 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize trans and gender variant people who have targeted by deadly forms of violence and to raise advocacy for transgender communities.

Nov. 23: Thanksgiving in the United States.

Nov. 24: Native American Heritage Day, held annually the Friday after Thanksgiving, encourages people of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native American people and communities through authentic ceremonies and activities. The day was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008.

Nov. 30: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Native American women and White men. Native American women are paid 50 cents for every dollar paid to White men. This day denotes how far into the year Native American women must work to be paid what White men were paid the previous year.

Dec. 1: World AIDS Day, commemorating those who have died of AIDS related complications, and to acknowledge the need for a continued commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Dec. 1: In 1955, Rosa Parks resists the segregated transportation ordinance in Montgomery AL, igniting a 382-day bus boycott and launching the civil rights movement in the U.S.

Dec. 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, developed to raise awareness and opportunity for persons with disabilities.

Dec. 7 – Dec. 15: Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE.

Dec. 8: Pansexual Pride Day, recognized annually on this date to celebrate pansexuality.

Dec. 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.

Dec. 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dec. 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.

Dec. 21: Yule Winter Solstice, celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans. The shortest day of the year represents a celebration focusing on rebirth, renewal and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.

Dec. 25: Christmas Day, the day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth.

Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Kwanzaa, an annual celebration of African American culture and seven principles, culminating in a communal feast, usually on the sixth day. Created by Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966.

Dec. 31: In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, also known as Old Year's Day or Saint Sylvester's Day in many countries, the evening or the entire day of the last day of the year, is on Dec. 31. The last day of the year is commonly referred to as “New Year’s Eve.” In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated in the west with dancing, eating, drinking and watching or lighting fireworks are common. Some Christians attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year's Day, Jan. 1.