Multicultural Calendar

This calendar is provided as a resource for the Gustavus Adolphus College and broader communities. It includes National/Cultural Days, Independence Days of countries, and Religious Observances from around the world. Consider using this information when scheduling appointments, holding meetings or planning events. Bolded dates represent events at Gustavus Adophus College. Source: Creative Cultural Communications Multicultural Calendar

Date Observance Location, Religion, Peoples

April 2011

April 5 Ch'ing Ming Festival - It is a national holiday celebrated with visits to family graves in order to ask for blessings from the departed spirits
China, Taiwan
April 15 Teach-In on Japan 2:30-4pm
Gustavus Community
April 16 Mahavira Jayanti - This Day Celebrates the birthday of the Lord Mahavira who was the 24th leader of the Jain religion
Jain
April 19 Passover Seder Dinner - 6pm in the Heritage Banquet Room. This time commemorates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It begins with a ritual meal called 'Seder" when unleavened bread is consumed with special and symbolic foods

Jewish

Gustavus Community

April 24 Easter - The day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from his tomb. Many Christians welcome Easter with a sunrise service.
Christian
April 30 Walpurgis Night - Swedish annual festival of the witches. Huge bonfires are lit all over the country to scare them away as they fly overhead, headed for their annual sabbath in Brocken in the Harz Mountains in Germany. Young and old come together all over Sweden to celebrate around a communal bonfire with fireworks, signing and dancing continued until the early hours of the morning.
Sweden
April 30 Arbor Day - People all over the USA plant trees in order to help conserve American forests
USA

May 2011

May 2 Buddha's Birthday - Buddhism was founded in Northern India by the first known Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama who attained enlightenment in 535 BCE and assumed the title Lord Buddha
Buddhism
May 5 Cinco de Mayo - Celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French in 1862. Although the Mexican army was defeated, it has become a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. Parades, mariachi music, folkloric dancing and other activities mark this holiday
Mexico
May 13 Our Lady of Fatima - This day marks the vision of the Virgin Mary by three shepherd children
Portugal
May 25 Memorial Day - A remembrance for those who died in service to their country
USA

August 2011

August 1 Ramadan Begins - Holiest period of the Islamic Year commemorating the period in which Prophet Mohammed received divine revelations. Observing Muslims fast between the hours of sunrise and sunset during the entire month, read the Qu'ran and worship in a mosque or at home.
Islam
August 14 Chung Yuan Festival - Known as the Feast of Lanterns by Japanese Buddhists. Prayer services are held to remember the ancestors, food is offered, and all houses are lit with lanterns. The most beautiful part of the ceremony is when thousands of lanterns are floated down the rivers to the sea to guide the spirits of the ancestors back to the other world.

China

Taiwan

August 24 Birth of the Prophet Zarathustra - Zarathustra is the founder of the Zoroastrian religion dating back to some time between 1500 and 1000 BCE.
Zoroastrian
August 29 Notting Hill Festival - A West Indian street carnival with floats, bands and stalls.

England

West Indian

September

September 15 National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins - Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th because it is the day five Hispanic countries gained their independence - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. United States of America
September 29 Rosh Hashanah - First and second day of the Jewish New Year celebrating the anniversary of the creation of the world. Jewish
September 21 Eid-ul-Fitr - Marks the end of the Ramadan fast and is celebrated for three days. Date of observance varies according to the sighting of the new moon. Islam
September 28 Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement, the holiest and most solemn of all days in the Jewish year. Jewish

October 2009

October 3 Harvest Moon Festival - A holiday observed in many parts of Asia paying homage to ancestors and expressing gratitude for rich crops. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea
October 11 Coming Out Day - An international event giving gay, lesbian, and bisexual people an opportunity to come out to others about their sexuality. GLBT Community
October 12 Dia De La Raza - Celebration of Hispanic and Latino heritage in the Americas. Mexico
October 14, 15 - Heritage Room Safe Zone Training Campus Community
October 17 Diwali - The Hindu New Year. Sikh, Hindu
October 31 Halloween - The tradition goes back to the Celtic people 2,000 years ago who celebrated their New Year in late autumn and honored Samhain or Lord of the Dead Canada, USA

November 2009

November National Native Month: American/Canadian - November is designated to honor and recognize all Native, Indigenous, and Aboriginal peoples. United States of America, Canada
November 1 All Saints Day - Day for honoring saints, known and unknown. Christian
November 2 Dia De Los Muertos - Also known as Day of the Dead, celebrated by building altars surrounded with flowers, food, and burning candles to honor the dead. Parts of the United States, Mexico
November 2, 4, 7 Our Story Conference focuses on Interracial Relationships Campus Community
November 26 Day of Hajj - Muslims perform the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam
November 26 Day Of Covenant - Day established to safeguard the unity of the community. Baha'i
November 26 Thanksgiving Day - Early American settlers gave thanks for good harvests by decorating their churches with fruits and vegetables and celebrated dinner with venison and waterfowl. United States of America
November 28 Eid-ul-Adha - Conclusion of the Hajj, three day festival celebrating Abraham's test of obedience to Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son. Islam
November 29 First Sunday of Advent - The beginning of the Christian church year. Christian

December 2009

December 1 World AIDS Day - Designated by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to increase awareness and education of AIDS. United Nations
December 9 - Alumni Hall Gustavus celebration of Kwanzaa due to school being out of session on the 26th. Campus Community, African-American Canadian
December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe - Important religious festival in Mexico where processions, dances, and visits are led to her Mexico City shrine. Mexico
December 12-19 Hanukkah - The eight day Festival of Lights celebrating Jewish victory over Syrians in approximagely 164 B.C. Legend has it that to rededicate the Temple, they found only one jar of holy oil and miraculously the candelabra remainded lit for eight days. Jewish
December 16 Posadas - Nine day celebration throughout Mexico. Processions of pilgrims go door to door asking for posada, meaning shelter. Mexico
December 18 1st Muharram - Islamic New Year. Islam
     
December 25 Christmas Day - Day celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christian
December 26 Kwanzaa - A harvest festival. Families exchange gifts and have African-style feasts. African-American/Canadian

January 2010

January 11 Seijin No Hi - Celebrates the coming the age of youth in Japan who are 20 years old. Japan
January 13 St. Knut's Day - The days between Christmas and St. Knut's Day are filled with parties for children and adults. After this day, trees are taken down to signify the end of the Christmas season. Finland, Sweden
January 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Commemorates the leader of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. United States of America
January 18 - Alumni Hall Mixed Blood Theatre presents Daughters of Africa Campus Community

February 2010

February 2 Groundhog Day - Folklore suggests that there will be six additional weeks of winter if the groundhog sees his shadow
Canada, USA
February 14 Valentine's Day - Named after priest Valentine who was martyred in Rome for secretly marrying couples against the orders of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II
Canada, UK, USA
February 24 Pancake Day (Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday) - This is the last day before Lent begins. Christian Lenten rules did not allow dairy products to be eaten, so pancakes were made to use the supplies of eggs, milk, butter and other fats
UK
February 26 - Carlson International Center Soul Food Dinner with Southern Soul Food Cooking
Campus Community

March 2010

March 8 International Women's Day - The day began in the early 1900s to commemorate the strike by women needle trades workers in NYC and was revived in the 1960s
UN
March 16 Gahambar Hamaspathmaedem - This day celebrates the creation of humans
Zoroastrian
March 17 St. Patrick's Day - St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Christian idea of the Holy Trinity, thus the use of the shamrock
Ireland
March 20 Poutuerangi - A Maori celebration that marks the Autumn Equinox in the Maori calendar where they harvest their crops
Aboriginal/Maori, New Zealand
March 21 Now Ruz (New Year) - Celebrated by Ismaili Muslims, it means 'new day' and celebrates the creation of fire on the day that Zarathustra received his revelation
Zoroastrain, Afghanistan, Islam Ismaili, Iran

April 2010

April 4 Ch'ing Ming Festival - It is a national holiday celebrated with visits to family graves in order to ask for blessings from the departed spirits
China, Taiwan
April 12 Easter - The day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from his tomb
Christian
April 21 Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate the death of 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime
Jewish
April 24-25 POW WOW - Annually celebrated wacipi in St. Peter and Mankato to promote positive interaction between Mdewakanton Dakota and non-Dakota people and to remember the 38 Dakota warriors killed in 1862
Campus Community, Native/Indigenous
April 25 Arbor Day - People all over the USA plant trees in order to help conserve American forests
USA

May 2010

May 2 Buddha's Birthday - Buddhism was founded in Northern India by the first known Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama who attained enlightenment in 535 BCE
Hong Kong
May 5 Cinco de Mayo - Celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French. Parades, mariachi music, folkloric dancing and other activities mark this holiday
Mexico
May 13 Our Lady of Fatima - This day marks the vision of the Virgin Mary by three shepherd children
Portugal
May 25 Memorial Day - A rememberance for those who died in service to their country
USA