The Multicultural Center at Georgia State University celebrates diversity and inclusion of all communities. Celebrating various cultural holidays and observances fosters an ever growing, inclusive environment. Listed observances may be celebrated outside of the context of religion.
If you do not see an observance listed below, it may be included on our religious observances page. If you would like to request more cultural observances that may not be listed, please contact William Britto. To have cultural observances included in the Student Center holiday display, please complete the Student Center Holiday Display Form.
- Gatan-sai (New Years): January 1, 2019
- Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day): January 6, 2019
- World Religion Day: January 20, 2019
- Martin Luther King Day: January 21, 2019
- Republic Day of India: January 26, 2019
- International Day of Commemoration: Janaury 27, 2019
Gantan-sai is the Shinto celebration of the new year (Oshogatsu).
Holiday observed by Eastern and Western Christians that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus.
Observed by the Baha’i faith to promote interfaith harmony.
Commemorates the life and celebration of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Commemorates the date the constitution of India came into law in 1950.
A day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.
- African American History Month
- National Freedom Day: February 1, 2019
- Imbolc: February 2, 2019
- Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring): February 3, 2019
- Lunar New Year: February 5, 2019
- Lantern Festival: February 19, 2019
- Intercalary: February 26 – March 1, 2019
Black History Month was first initiated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves, who received a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is considered a pioneer in the study of African American History. He believed that truth could not be denied and reason would prevail over prejudice. Thus, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and Negro History Week in 1925. In 1976, this week expanded into Black History Month, also known as African American Heritage Month.
Celebrates the signing of the 13th amendment and the abolishment of slavery.
A Wiccan and Gaelic holiday celebrating fire and light and the return of life.
Celebration of the beginning of spring in Japan.
The beginning of a three-day celebration of the Chinese New Year.
The first significant feast after the Chinese New Year.
Intercalary days are observed with gift giving, special acts of charity and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Yea for the Baha’i Faith.
- National Women’s History Month
- National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
- Nineteen-Day Fast: March 1-2; 19-20
- Mardi Gras: March 5, 2019
- Ash Wednesday: March 6, 2019
- International Women’s Day: March 8, 2019
- Deaf History Month: March 13-April 15, 2019
- St. Patrick’s Day: March 17, 2019
- Vernal Equinox/Ostara: March 20, 2019
- Nowruz: March 21, 2019
- Khorad Sal (Birth of prophet Zoroaster): March 27, 2019
- International Transgender Day of Visibility: March 31, 2019
Like other heritage months, Women’s History Month was first nationally recognized in 1982 as Women’s History Week. In 1987, after the Women’s History Project petitioned, the week was expanded into a month used to recognize the shared past from a different perspective.
A month to commemorate, acknowledge and appreciate the disability community. This is inclusive of all disabilities.
A time in the Baha’i Faith to reinvigorate the soul and bring one closer to God.
The last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday.
The beginning of Lent in the Christian faith
A major global celebration honoring women’s economic, political and social achievements.
This observance celebrates key events in deaf history.
A holiday started in Ireland to recognize St. Patrick.
Celebrated by Wiccan and Pagan faiths to acknowledge the first day of spring.
Celebrated by Middle Eastern and Central Asian cultures to honor the return of spring.
Commemorates the birth of Zoroaster, a spiritual leader and ethical philosopher.
Celebrated to bring awareness to the transgender community and their identities.
- Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day): April 5, 2019
- National Tartan Day: April 6, 2019
- Rwanda Genocide Commemoration: April 7, 2019
- Day of Silence: April 20, 2019
- First Day of the Ridvan Festival: April 21, 2019
- Earth Day: April 22, 2019
The only traditional Chinese holiday celebrated according to the solar calendar.
This day recognizes the contributions of Scottish Americans to the U.S.
Commemoration of the genocide that took place in Rwanda.
The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual day of action to protest the bullying and harassment of LGBTQIQA students and their supporters.
Commemoration of the Baha’u’llah in 1863 of his missions as the last messenger of God to the world.
Promotes world peace and sustainability on the planet.
- Jewish American History Month
- Asian-Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month
- Beltane: May 1, 2019
- Cinco De Mayo: May 5, 2019
- Memorial Day: May 27, 2019
Proclaimed by President George W. Bush to recognize and celebrate the history of Jewish American culture.
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and is a time to celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islander history and culture. In 1977, New York and California state representatives introduced a bill that eventually led to the first 10 days of May to be known as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. Twelve years later under President George H. W. Bush the week-long celebration was extended into a month-long celebration.
Celtic celebration signifying the beginning of summer.
A Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).
A day to commemorate military lives lost after the Civil war.
- Dragon Boat Festival: June 7, 2019
- Flag Day: June 14, 2019
- Native American Citizenship Day: June 15, 2019
- Juneteenth: June 19, 2019
- Litha: June 21, 2019
- First Nations Day: June 21, 2019
- Last Sunday in June
This public holiday honors Ch' Yuan, China's first major poet, who drowned himself in 278 B.C.E. to protest the injustice and corruption of his prince's government.
Observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.
Commemorating the day when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans in 1924.
Commemorates the last African Americans in Galveston, Texas to find out they were free from slavery.
A Pagan and Wiccan celebration of the beginning of summer.
Gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada.
LGBTQIQA Pride Day in the United States. It celebrates the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.
- Independence Day: July 4, 2019
- Birthday of Haile Selassie I: July 23, 2019
- Pioneer Day: July 24, 2019
- Disability Independence Day: July 26, 2019
- International Friendship Day: July 30, 2019
Honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Commemorates the birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia who Rastafarians consider their savior.
Observed by Mormons to commemorate the arrival of the first Latter Day Saints pioneers in 1847.
Celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Created in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between people, countries and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
- Lughnasadh (Lammas): August 1, 2019
- Hungry Ghost Festival: August 15, 2019
- Women's Equality Day: August 26, 2019
A Pagan festivals of Celtic origin which split the year into four.
A Chinese holiday where ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits.
Commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.
- National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
- Labor Day: September 2, 2019
- Ethiopian New Year: September 12, 2019
- Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Chung-ch'iu): September 13, 2019
- El Día de Independencia: September 16, 2019
- International Week of the Deaf: September 22-28, 2019
- Mabon (Autumn Equinox): September 23, 2019
Each year Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories and cultures of their ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
Rastafarians celebrate the new year on this date and believe that Ethiopia is their spiritual home.
A celebration where the moon is worshiped in the autumn, as it is believed the practice will bring them a plentiful harvest the next year.
A day of celebration for people of Mexican origin to commemorate the fight for independence in 1810.
Celebrates the accomplishments of the hearing impaired community.
A Wiccan celebration of the beginning of the autumn season.
- LGBTQIQA History Month
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Native American and Indigenous Peoples Day: October 14, 2019
- Canadian Thanksgiving: October 14, 2019
- National Coming Out Day: October 11, 2019
- Samhain: October 31, 2019
- Día de los Muertos: October 31 – November 2, 2019
In 1994, Mr. Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher, thought a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history. He gathered teachers and leaders around the community. October was selected as the month due to previous traditions of Coming Out Day on October 11 and public schools being in session.
Awareness month that educates the American public about issues related to disability and employment.
Native Americans' Day is a public holiday in South Dakota and in Berkeley, California instead of Columbus Day.
A chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.
An internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as LGTBQIQA coming out regarding one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Marks the Feast of the Dead for the Pagan culture.
Honors the return of souls in Mexican culture.
- Native American and American Indian Heritage Month
- Panamanian Independence Month
- Veterans Day: November 11, 2019
- Transgender Day of Remembrance: November 20, 2019
- Thanksgiving: November 28, 2019
The month of November is dedicated to celebrating the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of the original inhabitants of the United States, the American Indian and Alaska Native people.
A commemoration of the Panamanian independence.
A commemoration of United States military veterans.
A day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia, or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people. This day serves to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
Commemorates the harvest celebration of the pilgrims and the Native Americans that took place in 1621.
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities: December 3, 2019
- Human Rights Day: December 10, 2019
- Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: December 12, 2019
- Yule: December 21, 2019
- Boxing Day: Decemeber 26, 2019
- Kwanzaa: December 26, 2019 – January 1, 2020
A day to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities.
A celebration and honor of global human rights and the defenders of human rights.
A religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.
Marks the winter solstice and celebrates the rebirth of the sun in the Norse pagan tradition.
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom. Boxing Day is the second day of Christmastide and also Saint Stephen's Day. It is also celebrated as Saint Stephen's Day in Ireland.
A holiday that was patterned after harvest festivals in Africa. Kwanzaa derives its name from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza”, meaning “first fruits.” This holiday was began by Dr. Maulana Karenga.