2021 Culturally Significant Dates

Culturally Significant Dates 2021 — box graphic on blue tones ombre background

Pull out your calendars – here is the Fakequity 2021 list of Culturally Significant Dates.

Even though we’re in COVID19 socially distant times, with none/few in person events, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be mindful of culturally significant dates. It is still important to note them so we can: 1) work with partners to recognize and honor important parts of people’s identities through these special dates, 2) if you are scheduling virtual or other events be sensitive to scheduling on these days, and 3) renew our commitments to learning.

Through putting together this year’s list I added a few new dates that I found through research. Sadly I had to remove a few since I couldn’t find the 2021 dates for some of them. Perhaps you’ll choose a few of these dates and learn more about the day and why it is significant to our relations who practice or celebrate on those days.

This is not an all encompassing listing of dates. Please check with your local community to ask what dates they would like you to be mindful of as you do your work. I’ve also chosen to leave off Christian holidays that show up on many Western calendars (e.g. Valentine’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.). While those are important dates to some people, they are easily found dates on US/Canada calendars. The purpose of my list is to highlight dates that are important to many but less highlighted on American calendars.

This list was put together with the help of friends and colleagues – thank you to everyone who contributed to the list over the past few years. There may be errors on the list since I relied on basic internet research. I do not practice many of the religions or understand the depths and nuances of the events listed, which can lead to errors. I made a best effort to get it correct, including in some cases cross referencing websites. If you have corrections please email fakequity@gmail.com.

2021 Culturally Significant Dates

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 1/18/21
  • Inauguration Day – 1/20/21
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day — 1/27/21 [added 1/27/21]
  • Lunar New Year (Chinese) – Year of the Ox/ Tet (Vietnamese) / Seollal (Korean) – 2/12/21
  • Mardi Gras – 2/16/21
  • Hinamatsuri – Girl’s Day (Japanese) – 3/3/21 – (annual date 3 March)
  • Maha Shivaratri (Hindu) – 3/11/21
  • Passover (Jewish) – 3/27-4/3/21 ends nightfall
  • Holi – 3/28/21 sundown, ends 3/29/21 sundown
  • Eretria Easter – 4/4/21
  • Baisakhi (Sikh New Years) – 4/13/21
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Easter – 5/2/21
  • Orthodox Easter – 5/2/21
  • Children’s / Boy’s Day (Japanese) – 5/5/21 –annual date 5 May
  • Ramadan – 4/13 (sundown) – 5/11/21 (tentative dates, dependent on the sighting of the moon)
  • Vesak / Vesākha / Vaiśākha / Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima / Buddha Day (Buddhist) – 5/26/21
  • Eid ul-Fitr – 5/13/21
  • Kamehameha Day (Hawaii) – 6/11/21 (annual date 6/11)
  • Juneteenth – 6/19/21
  • Summer Solstice (northern hemisphere) – 6/20/21
  • Hajj (Islam) – 7/17/21 (starts evening) – 7/22/21
  • Eid al-Adha – 7/19/21 (starts evening) – 7/20/21 [added 1/24/21]
  • Liberation Day (Guam) – 7/21/21
  • Enkutatash – Ethiopian New Year – 9/11/21
  • Mid-Autumn Festival – 9/21/21
  • Rosh Hashanah – 9/6-8/21 (starts sundown)
  • Yom Kippur – 9/15-9/16/21 (starts sundown)
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – 9/13 – annually recognized
  • Lotu Tamaiti – White Sunday (Samoa) – 10/11/21 (Second Sunday of October)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day – 10/11/21
  • All Saints Day – 11/1/21 (annual date 1 Nov)
  • Día de los Muertos – 11/1/21 (annual date 1 Nov)
  • All Souls Day – 11/2/21 (always 2 Nov)
  • Diwali / Deepavali / Dipavali / Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh) – 11/4/21
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance – 11/20/21 – (annual date 20 Nov)
  • Bodhi Day (Buddhist) – 12/8/21 (annual date 8 Dec)
  • Human Rights Day – 12/10/21 (annual date 10 Dec)
  • Las Posadas and Noche Buena (Christian Latin American) – 12/16-24/21 (annual dates 16-24 Dec)
  • Simbang Gabi (Filipino) – 12/16 – 12/24/21
  • Winter Equinox (northern hemisphere) 12/21/21
  • Hanukkah / Chanukah – 11/28-12/6/21 (starts and ends at nightfall)
  • St. Nicholas Feast Day (Orthodox) — 12/19/21
  • Kwanzaa – 12/26-1/1 (annual dates 12/26-1/1)
  • Orthodox / Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas / Eritrean Orthodox Christmas (Note: Not all Orthodox celebrate Christmas on this day, many celebrate Christmas on 12/25, the 1/7/22 date follows the ‘old calendar’) – 1/7/22

New Years Dates

Western calendars have us starting the new year in January, but for many the new year can start at different points during a year.  Thinking about these new years dates is a good way for us to stretch our thinking from a linear Jan-Dec framework to a different view of time.

Note: A number of the public celebrations associated with these dates are postponed or cancelled due to COVID19. Please consult your local organizations to learn more about how the community will honor the date.

  • Orthodox New Year – 1/14/21 (including even though it passed)
  • Losar / Tibetan New Year – 2/12/21
  • Lunar New Year (Chinese) / Tet (Vietnamese) / Seollal (Korean) – 2/12/21
  • Tsagaan Sar/ White Moon (Mongolian) – 2/12/21
  • Persian Nowruz / Iranian New Year – 3/21-22/21 (According to Google, begins at 4.15 pm on 3/21 ends at 4.14 pm on 3/22) (Follows the March/vernal equinox, first day of spring)
  • Naw-Rúz / first day of the Baháʼí calendar – 3/19-20/21
  • Nyepi Bali Hindu New Year – 3/14/21
  • Ugaadhi / Telegu and Kannada New Year – 4/13/21
  • Baisakhi / Vaisakhi (Sikh) – 4/13/21
  • Thingyan (water festival) / Burmese New Year Festival – 4/13-16/21
  • Aluth Avurudda (Sinhalese New Year, Sri Lanka) – 4/13-14/21
  • Songkran (Thailand) – 4/13-15/21
  • Khmer New Year – 4/13-16/21
  • Bun Pi Mai (Lao) – 4/13-16/21
  • Bengali New Year, Pohela Boishakh – 4/14/21
  • Matariki, Maori New Year (New Zealand) – 7/2/21
  • Al-Hijra / Muharram (Islamic / Muslim) – 8/9-10/21
  • Enkutatash / Ethiopian New Year – 9/11/21
  • Rosh Hashanah – 9/6-8/21 (starts sundown 9/6)
  • Diwali / Deepavali / Dipavali / Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh) – 11/4/21
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti (Sikh) – 11/19/21

Monthly Recognitions

  • January – none
  • February – African American History Month
  • March – Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
  • April – Arab American Heritage Month
  • May – Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month
  • June – LGBT Pride Month
  • July – Disability Pride Month [added 2/3/21]
  • August – none
  • September – Hispanic Heritage Month (15 Sept – 15 Oct)
  • October – Disability Employment Awareness Month, Filipino American History Month, LGBT History Month
  • November – Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
  • December – none

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