A good start for incorporating more diverse and inclusive programming and practices into your organization is with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) calendar.
Celebrating diverse holidays at work is important for creating a fair, inclusive workplace where every team member feels a sense of belonging. Honoring these holidays celebrates the different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives your team members bring to the table.
A recent survey found that 82% of employees feel more valued when their companies celebrate DEI holidays. Additionally, companies that actively support DEI and acknowledge these holidays have seen a 23% increase in employee retention.
Now that Juneteenth is recognized as a national holiday, many organizations are looking for more ways to support social justice issues and honor their diverse teams.
Celebrating DEI holidays is more than just a nice gesture. It’s a way to make our work environments better for everyone. It not only broadens cultural intelligence, it spotlights your workplace culture and supports employee well-being. It also keeps DEI top of mind throughout the year!
To help you bring opportunities to learn about DEI into your company’s engagement calendar, we put together this inclusive calendar of holidays, observances, and celebrations.
Note: the list isn't exhaustive – there are so many amazing global holidays and events you can choose to honor! This list is a great starting point for HR leaders who want to level up their DEI programming in a way that will be fun and engaging for their teams.
Downloadable DEI Holiday Calendar
Scroll below to see the full list of DEI holidays and events.
As an alternative, you can also download our PDF version by filling out the form below. You’ll receive a printable twelve-month calendar for 2024 with all of the holidays.
Google DEI Holiday Calendar
If you prefer Google, you can add our DEI Holiday Calendar right to your Google calendar. Aside from this year's holidays, we've also set dates on the calendar to repeat annually so you always have them top of mind.
Tap the "+" symbol in the lower right-hand corner of the calendar below to add it to your own Google calendar.
List of DEI Holidays, Events, and Observances
Scroll down for the full list! You can also find more tips on incorporating these days into your DEI programming below.
- Poverty in America Awareness Month
- Third Sunday in January: World Religion Day
- Lunar New Year
- January 4: World Braille Day
- January 7: Christmas (Eastern Orthodox)
- January 15, 2023 (third Sunday in January): World Religion Day
- Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- January 18: Bodhi Day
- January 25: Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)
- January 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Add more celebration your engagement strategy with our Work Anniversary guide!
Celebrating employees through recognition or work anniversaries is one of the most powerful ways to keep engagement up and encourage your employees to perform at their best – even in the face of huge changes and struggles.
Studies show that being recognized for a job well done motivates employees to go the extra mile and creates a positive impact across the organization.
Shoutouts for years of service or reward initiatives tied to tasks is a simple way to award standout performance. Platforms like Cooleaf can help keep employee engagement high and burnout levels low.
“Cooleaf gave our people the opportunity to appreciate others they’ve worked with on a daily basis but never saw in person,” Kiley Skadburg, Chief Marketing Officer at the Iowa Clinic told Cooleaf co-founder John Duisberg during an episode of The Great Retention podcast.
“They can now say ‘Thank you for helping me get that patient in’ or ‘Thank you for going above and beyond and staying late’ and that was the amazing part about it. From a cultural perspective, it created space for people to connect and see the interactions happening on the feed.”
- Black History Month
- February 1: National Freedom Day
- February 13: Mardi Gras (the day before Ash Wednesday)
- February 14: Ash Wednesday
- February 14: Valentine’s Day
- February 15: Parinirvana Day (Nirvana Day - Buddhist)
- February 20: World Day of Social Justice
- National Women’s History Month
- Ethnic Equality Month
- Gender Equality Month
- First Friday in March: Employee Appreciation Day
- March 1 (first Friday in March): Employee Appreciation Day
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- March 10: Ramadan begins
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
- March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- March 23: Purim (begins)
- March 24: Palm Sunday
- March 25: Holi
- March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- March 31: Easter
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- Autism Awareness Month
- National Volunteer Month
- National Arab American Heritage Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- Second Friday in April: National Day of Silence
- 3rd week of April: National Volunteer Week
- April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
- April 7: World Health Day
- April 8: Eid al-Fitr (begins)
- April 12 (second Friday in April): LGBTQ National Day of Silence
- April 14 (third week of April): National Volunteer Week begins
- April 22: Passover begins
- April 22: Earth Day
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Jewish American Heritage Month
- Mental Health Awareness Month
- Older Americans Month
- May 5: Cinco de Mayo
- May 16: Global Accessibility Awareness Day
- May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
- May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
- May 27: Memorial Day
- LGBTQIA+ Pride Month
- Immigrant Heritage Month
- Caribbean American Heritage Month
- June 12: Loving Day
- June 18: Eid al-Adha (falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the Islamic calendar and lasts for four days)
- June 19: Juneteenth
- June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day
- June 28: International LGBTQ+ Pride Day
- Social Wellness Month
- Disability Pride Month
- July 4: Independence Day
- July 8: Hijri New Year
- July 11: World Population Day
- July 14: Bastille Day
- July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
- July 26: National Disability Independence Day
- July 30: International Day of Friendship
- August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
- August 15: India Independence Day
- August 17: Marcus Garvey Day
- August 26: Women’s Equality Day
- Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)
- September 2 (First Monday in September): Labor Day
- September 16: Mexican Independence Day
- September 18: International Equal Pay Day
- September 27: Native American Day
- September 26: European Day of Languages
- September 27 (Fourth Friday in September): National Native American Day (California and Nevada)
Inspired to celebrate your team members? Download our free Employee Spotlight guide for more ways to celebrate your employees year-round!
- Global Diversity Awareness Month
- LGBTQ+ History Month
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Polish-American Heritage Month
- October 2: Rosh Hashanah (begins)
- October 10: World Mental Health Day
- October 11: National Coming Out Day
- October 11: Yom Kippur (begins)
- October 14 (Second Monday in October): Indigenous Peoples' Day
- October 14: Defender of Ukraine Day
- October 16: World Food Day
- October 26: National Make a Difference Day
- National Native American Heritage Month
- November 1: All Saints’ Day
- November 2: Equal Pay Day
- November 11: Veteran's Day
- November 16: International Day for Tolerance
- November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance
- November 29 (Fourth Friday in November): Native American Heritage Day
- December 1: World AIDS Day
- December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- December 10: International Human Rights Day
- December 16 - December 24: Las Posadas
- December 25: Christmas
- December 26 to January 1: Kwanzaa
- December 26-January 2: Hanukkah (always on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar)
Deciding Which Holidays to Observe
With so many diversity and inclusion events and religious observances, it can be a challenge to determine which ones to observe. Why not get your employees involved to build a meaningful calendar together?
You can do this by leveraging your ERGs, building a task force, or sending out a quick pulse survey.
Involving your employees in the decision-making process shows that you genuinely care about their perspectives and want to create an inclusive environment. This way, the holidays you choose to observe will truly reflect the values of diversity and inclusivity in your workplace!
Example Programming for DEI Holidays
So how do you bring DEI into your engagement programming? The calendar is a great jumping-off point. Cooleaf also offers DEI programming to help you foster a more inclusive culture that meets your organization’s goals. Scroll down for ideas to start!
May - Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the U.S., but the holiday’s origins are often misunderstood.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the first battle of Puebla, when the Mexican Army successfully defended the city against invading French forces in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken as Mexican Independence Day, which is in September.
To celebrate this holiday, we encouraged employees to learn more about the real history of Cinco de Mayo.
July - Nelson Mandela International Day
Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the legacy of the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary, who shined an immense light on the world.
Celebrated annually on his birthday July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day is a global call to action that celebrates the belief that every individual is capable of transforming the world. The United Nations also provides Mandela’s previous speeches to empower others.
For this holiday, we challenged employees to consider their beliefs about making an impact. In the example below, employees used the Cooleaf platform to connect with one another and share how they define commitment to social purpose.
Additionally, simply taking the time to share information and resources about diverse national events in your communication channel of choice (such as Slack or Microsoft Teams) can be a great way to start a conversation and bring DEI into daily work life!