Calendar of Holidays & Observances

DEI Event Calendar: January 

“This January, celebrate the many diverse holidays and observances and pay tribute to the diverse minds and beliefs held by all cultures around the world. We live in a multicultural society and embracing the values of various cultures only strengthens our understanding and appreciation of the world. Open your mind to new views and ideas, appreciate cultural differences, and enjoy a fresh perspective you may have been missing. It helps you become a true citizen of the world”. Share your celebration with us on social media: #IamDEI.  We welcome additions to this list – please email us at dei@untsystem.edu

National Mentoring Month
Every January, our Nation celebrates the dedicated mentors whose wisdom, guidance, and positive examples set our children on a sound path and help prepare them to succeed.  

Poverty in America Awareness Month 
Hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, disabilities, restricted access to participation in the democratic process. These are just some of the many manifestations of poverty. More than 40 million Americans live in poverty, but we can eradicate poverty. As Nelson Mandela said, "Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the action of human beings."

January 1  New Year’s Day

Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. This day, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays. 

January 3  Asarah B’Tevet
The 10th of Tevet (known as Asarah B'Tevet) is observed as a day of fasting, mourning and repentance. We refrain from food and drink from daybreak to nightfall, and add Selichot (penitential prayers) and other special supplements to our prayers. The fast ends at nightfall, or as soon as you see three medium-sized stars in the sky.

January 4  National Braille Day
We celebrate World Braille Day every year on January 4th because it’s Louis Braille’s birthday. He’s the inventor of braille! Louis was born in 1809 in France and became blind after a childhood accident. But he quickly mastered his new way of living. When Louis was only 15 years old, he created a reading and writing system based on Charles Barbier’s night writing system. We know Louis’ system today as braille. Adjusted over time, braille is now easier to read and used worldwide! 

January 6  Coptic Orthodox Christmas 
Like Orthodox churches around the world, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on 7 January, according to the Julian Calendar. On 7 January, Coptic Orthodox Christians – who comprise 90 percent of Egypt's Christian population – will break their 43-day fast and celebrate Christmas. 

January 7  Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)
Mahayana New Year is celebrated this year on January 7 by Buddhists around the world. The term Mahayana encompasses Buddhist ideologies and philosophies. Mahayana is one of the two main branches of Buddhism and is mostly practiced in Northeast Asia — China, Japan, Tibet, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Korea. Each region has its own customs and traditions for practicing Mahayana Buddhism. 

January 13  Maghi (Sikh)  
Maghi is celebrated one day before of famous Hindu festival Makara Sankranti and is observed on the same day as Lohri. Maghi is the Punjabi festival and mainly observed by Sikh community. It is traditional to eat sweet rice porridge with milk, which is known as Kheer, on the day of Maghi. Sikhs visit the Gurdwara as the day of Maghi is observed to honour the heroic fight of the Chali Mukte, or the Forty Liberated Ones, who sacrificed their own lives defending an attack by the Mughal Empire army marching in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh. 

January 15  World Religion Day
World Religion Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in January every year, and is a reminder of the need for harmony and understanding between religions and faith systems. On this day, communities of different faiths have the opportunity to get together and listen to each other, as well as celebrate the differences and commonalities that the delicate intermingling of culture and religion brings. There are approximately 4,200 religions around the world. While many people live their lives without religion, faith in a higher being or power works for the majority of people. Whatever the reasons, we are all for the idea of people being unified despite differences, and celebrating them. 

January 16  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, in the United States, holiday (third Monday in January) honouring the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. A Baptist minister who advocated the use of nonviolent means to end racial segregation, he first came to national prominence during a bus boycott by African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and led the 1963 March on Washington. 

January 22  Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit)
Chinese New Year 2023 falls on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 5th, 2023. Celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (January 22nd–January 29th, 2023). Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit; 2022 the Year of the Tiger. 

January  24   International Day of Education
The fifth International Day of Education will be celebrated on 24 January 2023 under the theme “to invest in people, prioritize education”. Building on the global momentum generated by the UN Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, this year’s Day will call for maintaining strong political mobilization around education and chart the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action. Education must be prioritized to accelerate progress towards all the Sustainable Development Goals against the backdrop of a global recession, growing inequalities and the climate crisis. 

January 26   International Customs Day 
International Customs Day is celebrated on January 26 every year and was initiated by the World Customs Organization (W.C.O.) in 1983. This day celebrates all the customs officials and agencies that toil day in and day out to ensure effective world trade management. The officials also ensure the smooth functioning of trade operations across international borders and put people at the very center of the transformation process. Each year, the day also follows a new theme like ‘Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal, and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain’ or ‘Customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity, and the plant.’ 

January 27  International Holocaust Remembrance Day 
The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.