Calendar of Special Observances and Events

  • August 19 (evening) - August 20 (evening): Al Hijra, Islamic New Year
    The day that marks the beginning on the new Islamic calendar year.

    September 6 - September 8: Rosh Hashanah - Religious/Cultural Observance
    The Jewish New Year Celebration marking the creation of the world.

    September 15 - September 16: Yom Kippur - Religious/Cultural Observance
    The holiest day on the Jewish calendar, a day of atonement marked by fasting and ceremonial repentance. 

    September 15 - October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
    Celebrates the history and contributions of Hispanic Americans.

    October 2: International Festival (Columbia)
    Celebrates Spartanburg's global appeal and its corresponding diversity. This year Spartanburg will celebrate the country of Columbia.

    November 1: All Saints Day (Catholic)
    A Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints. In Eastern Christianity, the day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

    November 1 - November 30: Native American Heritage Month
    Celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.

    November 4: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
    The Hindu, Jain, and Sikh five-day festival of lights celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness. 

    November 11: Veterans Day
    A U.S. federal holiday honoring military veterans.

    November 15 – November 19: American Education Week 
    Celebrates public education and honors individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.

    November 25: Thanksgiving Day
    A national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Carribean Islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. 

    November 28 – December 6: Hanukkah(Chanukah) Religious/Cultural
    A Jewish holiday observed around the world for eight days and nights celebrating the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek – Syrian ruler, Antiochus. Observance begins at Sundown.

    December 1 – December 24: Advent 
    The Christian season of celebration leading up to the observance of the birth of Christ.

    December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons
    Designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.

    December 6 – December 10: National Inclusive Schools Week
    An annual event held each year during the first full week of December that celebrates the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education for an increasingly diverse student population.

    December 8: Feast of Immaculate Conception
    Celebrates the solemn celebration, by various Christian denominations, of belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    December 25: Christmas – Birth of Jesus
    The day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth.

    December 26 – January 1: Kwanzaa
    An African-American Holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.

    January 1 – January 31: National Mentoring Month
    An annual designation observed in January which focuses on how we can all work together to increase the number of mentors to make sure young people in our communities have dependable people to look up to as role models.

    January 6: Epiphany or Three Kings Day
    In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. 

    January 7: Orthodox Christmas
    Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7th.  It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who is believed to be the son of God.

    January 14: Orthodox New Year’s Day
    Widely known as the Old New Year.  Many Orthodox Christians in the U.S. celebrate the New Year based on January 1st in the Julian calendar.

    January 17: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
    Commemorates the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Noble Peace prize and an activist for nonviolent social change until his assassination in 1968.

    February 1 – February 28: African American History Month
    February is African American History month in the U.S. and Canada.  Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora.

    February 15: Nehan (Nivana Day)
    The commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana.

    March 1: Shrove Tuesday
    The day before Ash Wednesday.  Though named for its former religious significance, it is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration, which traditionally preceded the observance of the Lenten fast.  It is observed by various Christian denominations.

    March 1 – March 31: National Women’s History Month
    Started in 1987, Women’s History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society.

    March 2: Ash Wednesday
    Ash Wednesday is named after the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful as a reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. It is observed by most Christians including Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists.

    March 16 - 17: Purim
    A Jewish Celebration that marks the time when the Jewish community living in Persia was saved from genocide. On Purim, the Jewish people offer charity and share food with friends.

    March 8: International Women’s Day
    First observed in 1911 in Germany, it has now become a major global celebration honoring women’s economic, political, and social achievements.

     April 1 - April 30: Celebrate Diversity Month
    Started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all.  By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will gain a deeper understanding of one another.

    April 1 – April 30: Autism Awareness Month
    Established to raise awareness about the developmental disorder that affects children’s normal development of social and communication skills.

    April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
    Created to raise awareness of the developmental disorder around the globe.

    April 10: Palm Sunday
    Marks the beginning of Holy Week and is an important Christian festival around the world.  It falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday and is therefore, like Easter, a moveable feast (i.e. a religious celebration or observance which does not occur on the same date each year).                                             

    April 15: Good Friday
    Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.

    April 15 – April 23: Passover
    Passover is related to Christian observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and the Islamic Day of Ashura.

    April 17: Easter
    Christian festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

    May 1 - May 31: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
    Celebrates the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. 

    May 5: Cinco De Mayo
    Annual celebration held on May 5th commemorating the Mexican army's victory of the French empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

    June 19: Juneteenth 
    Known to some as the country’s “second Independence Day,” June 19—often called Juneteenth—celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in the United States at the end of the Civil War.