Skip to main content

Calendar of Holidays & Observances

DEI Event Calendar: January 2022

For many, the new year means setting resolutions and celebrating new opportunities. Below are just a few holidays, observances and commemorations to help you celebrate equity, varying diversity dimensions and inclusion in January. Share your celebration with us on social media: #IamODEI. We welcome additions to this list – please email us at

New Year's Day -- Jan. 1
New Year’s Day is observed on the first day of January – the first day of the year, according to the modern Gregorian calendar – and is celebrated in most Western countries.

Emancipation Proclamation -- Jan. 1
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Lincoln declared that all enslaved persons in the Confederate States of America in rebellion and not in Union hands were freed. It was not until June 19, 1865 (now celebrated as Juneteenth) that slavery was ended across the Confederacy as troops arrived in Galveston, Texas.

World Braille Day -- Jan. 4      
World Braille Day is celebrated on the birthday of Louis Braille, a French educator and the inventor of braille. Louis Braille created a system of reading and writing for those who are visually impaired. Today, that system, simply as “braille,” is the world’s most popular tactile reading and writing system. World Braille Day raises awareness of the importance of braille and the rights of blind and partially sighted persons.

El Día de los Reyes/Three Kings Day (Christian) -- Jan. 6       
All Souls’ Day is traditionally observed by attending mass, offering prayers and sacrifices, and lighting candles to help ease the suffering of those who have died without having been saved and whose souls are believed to be in purgatory. In a looser interpretation, many people who are not strict adherents to church doctrine still may set this day aside to contemplate their family’s or social circle’s departed, in solemn remembrance and honor.

Christmas (Eastern Orthodox) -- Jan. 7     
Christmas is recognized by Eastern Orthodox Christians 13 days later than other Christian faiths as Eastern Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar.

Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji -- Jan. 9    
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was 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.

Lori-Maghi -- Jan. 13         
A celebration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a holy scripture for the Sikhs, which was compiled by their first Guru, Nanak Sahib Ji, and completed by Guru Gobind Singh, who bestowed upon it the title of everlasting guru.  

Makar Sankranti -- Jan. 14      
This Bahá’í holiday celebrates the birth of the prophet Báb (Sayyed `Alí Muḥammad Shírází), who is considered to be a Manifestation of God and who foretold the coming of Baháʼu'lláh.  Along with the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh, it is one of the “Twin Holy Festivals” or “Twin Birthdays” of the Bahá'í Faith.  On these special days, Bahá’í s gather to pray, read from the Bahá’í writings, sing and dance and celebrate feasts of unity, joy and commemoration.

Tu Bishvat - Jan. 16-17      
Celebrated from sundown to sundown, Tu B’shevat or Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot, is a Jewish holiday recognizing “The New Year of the Trees.”  It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In Israel, the flowering of the almond tree usually coincides with this holiday, which is celebrated by planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Jan. 17
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. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest American leaders of the civil rights movement. He was a Baptist minister and activist who helped to advocate for African Americans. Celebrate this day by educating yourself on Black history or supporting Black-owned businesses.

World Religion Day -- Jan. 17       
World Religion Day is observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding. 

Mahayana New Year -- Jan. 18        
Mahayana New Year is a holiday celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhist branch on the first full-moon day in January..

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity -- Jan. 18-25      
During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Christians pray for unity between all churches of the Christian faith.

Timkat -- Jan. 19      
Timkat is a holiday observed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.

Republic Day of India -- Jan. 26      
Republic Day of India recognizes the date when the Constitution of India came into law in 1950, replacing the Government of India Act of 1935.  This day also coincides with India’s 1930 Declaration of Independence.

International Day of Commemoration -- Jan. 27     
The International Day of Commemoration was created by the United Nations to remember the approximately 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Jan. 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945. Consider developing your knowledge and awareness of genocide by heading to your local library to pick out a book about the Holocaust.