Diversity calendar

Throughout the year around the world people come together in recognition, commemoration and celebration of significant national and international dates. The Diversity calendar provides some further information about these significant dates. By acknowledging and celebrating these days we can foster a more inclusive culture and increase the visibility of Diversity within the Faculty of Arts.

If there are other national and internationally recognised dates you would like us to include in the Diversity Calendar, please email Arts Diversity and Inclusion.

Day/DateSignificanceDescription
January
14 - 17 JanuaryPongal
(Hinduism - Tamil  people in India & Sri Lanka)
Pongal is a four-day harvest festival celebrated as a giving ceremony for the year’s harvest.
16 JanuaryWorld Religion Day
(Interfaith)
Observed in over 80 countries, the Day aims to foster interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasising  the common elements underlying all religions. 
26 JanuaryInvasion / Survival Day
(Australia Day)
For some Australians, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 26 January, commonly celebrated as Australia Day is not a day of celebration. Rather, it is seen as a day that commemorates the invasion by British settlers of lands already owned.
February
1 - 7 FebruaryWorld Interfaith Harmony Week
(International)
Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2010, World Interfaith Harmony week was conceived to  promote a culture of peace and harmony between all people regardless of their faith. 
13 FebruaryAnniversary of National Apology Day
(Australia)
On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the National Apology to Australia's Aboriginal peoples and Torres  Strait Islander peoples  for the injustices of past government policies, particularly to the Stolen Generations. 
1 - 15 February (date varies each year)Lunar New Year / Spring Festival
(Chinese Chunjie; Vietnamese Tet Festival, Korean Solnal; Tibetan Losar; etc.)
The Spring Festival marks a new year on the Lunar Calendar. It is celebrated in several Asian countries. Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist practitioners celebrate this festival.
16 FebruaryMagha Puja Day
(Buddhism)
Also known as Sangha Day, this day celebrates the community of followers of the teachings of Buddha (Theravada tradition).
21 FebruaryInternational Mother Language DayThe Day celebrates language diversity and variety worldwide. Its purpose is 'to promote the preservation and protection of all languages  used by peoples of the world.' 
March
1 MarchZero Discrimination Day
(International)
The day celebrates the right of everyone to live a full and productive life - and live it with dignity.  The Day highlights how people can  become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change.
8 MarchInternational Women's DayA global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural  and political achievements of women.
17 March (3rd Thursday in March every year)National Close the Gap Day
(Australia)
The campaign seeks to close the gap in health and  life expectancy outcomes  between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  peoples and non-Indigenous Australians  within a generation. 
18 March (date varies)World Sleep DayWorld Sleep Day celebrates the benefits of good and healthy sleep and draws attention to the burden of sleep problems and their medical, educational, and social aspects. 
21 March (date varies with countries)Naw-Ruz, Nowruz
(Baha'i)
Naw Ruz is the Baha’i New Year festival, marking the first day in the Baha’i calendar. It also marks the end of the 19-day Baha’i Fast and symbolises the new life of spring. Work is suspended on this day.
21 MarchWorld Down Syndrome DayCelebrates the lives and achievements of people with Down syndrome. The Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the rights and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. 
21 MarchInternational Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationAlso known as ‘End racism day’, it is ‘observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960’. 
21 - 29 MarchCultural Diversity Week
(Victoria, Australia)
Cultural Diversity Week features a program of festivals and events highlighting Victoria’s cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. 
27 March (to evening of 4 April)Passover
(Judaism)
Passover is one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar. Jews celebrate the Feast of Passover (Pesach) to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.
31 MarchInternational Transgender Day of VisibilityTrans Day of Visibility is an annual international celebration of trans pride and awareness, recognising trans and gender diverse experiences and achievements. 
April
2 AprilWorld Autism Awareness DayThe Day 'recognises and celebrates the rights of persons with autism'. Tickets are on sale for Autism Awareness Australia 2022 events.  
2 April (month-long fasting)Ramadan
(Islam)
The holy month of Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. Throughout this month, Muslims fast during daylight hours, celebrate an evening meal with family and friends, pray and show charity to the poor. The date varies every year as per the Islamic Calendar. 
13 AprilSongkran - Thai New Year
(Buddhism)
Also known as the Water Festival. The festival is celebrated in Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
13 - 14 AprilVaisakhi (Baisakhi) - Sikh New Year Festival
(Sikhism)
Vaisakhi is the most important occasion in the Sikh calendar. Sikhs come together on Vaisakhi to strengthen their practice of Sikh ideals and values, including praying and working to achieve prosperity for the whole human race.
14 AprilMahavir Jayanti
(Jainism)
This festival celebrates the day of Mahavira’s birth. Jains will gather in temples to hear readings of the teachings of Mahavira. Images of Mahavira are paraded through the streets with much pomp and ceremony.
15 April (to evening of 23 April)Passover
(Judaism)
Passover is one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar. Jews celebrate the Feast of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.
15 AprilGood Friday
(Christianity)
Also known as Holy Friday; it is a religious and national holiday in Australia and is held on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day, Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 
17 AprilEaster Sunday
(Christianity)
Easter Sunday is a religious and national holiday in Australia. On this day, Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ following his death by crucifixion.
27 - 28 AprilYom HaShoah
(Judaism)
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is a day set aside to remember the millions of Jews who died as victims of the Nazis during World War II and emphasises respect for human dignity.
19 April (to 5 May)Midsumma Festival
(Australia)
‘Midsumma is Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural organisation, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences’. 
25 AprilANZAC Day
(Australia, New Zealand)
On 25 April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name continues to this day. 
May
2 May (to evening 3 May)Eid al-Fitr
(Islam)
Also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan.
16 May (dates vary among Buddhist communities)Wesak or Vesak Day
(Buddhism - Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka)
Vesak celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on the one day. It is recognised by the UN ‘to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity’. 
17 MayInternational Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)People are encouraged to wear the rainbow on 17 May and use the day as a 'catalyst for creating safe spaces for LGBTIQ people all year round!' 
21 MayWorld Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and DevelopmentAims to acknowledge the cultural dimension of development, affirm and enrich cultural identity, broaden participation in cultural life and promote international cultural cooperation. 
26 MayNational Sorry Day
(Australia)
Provides an opportunity for people to come together and share the journey towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. The idea of holding a ‘Sorry Day’ was first mentioned as one of the 54 recommendations of the Bringing Them Home report (1997). 
27 May - 4 JuneNational Reconciliation Week
(Australia)
A time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation. The Week commemorates two significant milestones - the anniversaries of the 1967 Referendum and the High Court Mabo Decision.
June
1 - 30 JunePride Month
(International)
Pride Month celebrates the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community. 
3 JuneMabo Day
(Australia)
The Day ‘commemorates the courageous efforts of Eddie Koiki Mabo to overturn the fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no-one), the legal concept that Australia and the Torres Strait Islands were not owned by Indigenous peoples because they did not ‘use’ the land in ways Europeans believed constituted some kind of legal possession’. The decision paved the way for Native Title legislation. 
19 - 25 JuneRefugee Week
(Australia)
Since early 1945, more than seven million people have come to Australia as new settlers, including around 800 000 people under humanitarian programs, initially as displaced persons and more recently as refugees.  
20 JuneWorld Refugee Day‘The Day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.' World Refugee Day 'shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilise political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive’. 
July
1 JulyComing of the Light
(Australia)
Celebrated annually by Torres Strait Islander peoples, it marks the adoption of Christianity through island communities during the late 19th century. 
3 - 10 JulyNAIDOC Week
(Australia)
National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week celebrations are held to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The week is an excellent opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
10 JulyEid Al-Adha
(International)
Eid Al-Adha, also known as 'the Feast of the Sacrifice', is one of the two major Muslim festivals. 
14 JulyInternational Non-Binary People's DayHeld precisely in between International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day. 
30 JulyInternational Day of FriendshipThe day was proclaimed in 2011 by the UNGA ‘with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.’ 
August
4 AugustNational Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children's Day
(Australia)
NAICD is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child. It was first observed by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care in 1988. 
9 AugustInternational Day of the World's  Indigenous PeopleObserved annually to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. 
12 AugustInternational Youth DayInternational Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. 
18 - 19 AugustKrishna Janmashtami
(Hinduism)
This festival is one of the most important events in the Hindu calendar. It celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, a Hindu deity, the eighth avatar of the God Vishnu. 
26 AugustWear it Purple Day
(Australia)
LGBTIQA+ awareness day – wear it Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. 
September
4 - 5 SeptemberYom Kippur
(Judaism)
Also known as Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Characterised by repentance and forgiveness, Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.
8 SeptemberR U OK? Day
(Australia)
R U OK? inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life. 
9 SeptemberAfrican Union (AU) Day
(Africa)
AU Day offers an occasion to promote the African Union and its activities all over the African continent and in the world.
10 SeptemberMid-Autumn (Moon) Festival
(East and Southeast Asia)
Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of the harvest and the Autumn season at the time of the full moon. This celebration is observed in Australia, mostly by east and southeast Asian people.
18 SeptemberInternational Equal Pay DayCelebrated for the first time this 18 September, the Day represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. 
20 - 26 SeptemberNational Week of Deaf People
(Australia)
The National Week of Deaf People is an opportunity for Deaf people to celebrate their community, language, culture and history; recognise their achievements; and make the public aware of their local, state and national Deaf communities. 
25 - 27 SeptemberRosh Hashanah / Jewish New Year
(Judaism)
Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world. A synagogue ritual is the blowing of the Shofar, a ram’s horn trumpet. Work is not permitted.
October
1 OctoberInternational Day of Older PersonsAims to raise awareness of the impact of an aging population and the need to ensure people can grow old with dignity and to elevate consciousness about points which are affecting the aged, like COVID-19, senescence and elder abuse. 
2 OctoberInternational Day of Non-ViolenceThe Day is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. 
6 OctoberWorld Cerebral Palsy DayWorld Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement of people with Cerebral Palsy and their families, and the organisations that support them, in more than 75 countries. 
9 - 16 October (official day 10 Oct)Mental Health Week
(International)
Organised around World Mental Health Day, the Week's objective is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health. 
13 OctoberWorld Sight DayWorld Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. 
24 October (date varies)Diwali / Deepavali (Festival of Light)
(Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism)
Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. 
November
1 - 2 NovemberDay of the Dead
(Mexico)
Dia De Los Muertos is a two-day holiday that reunites the living and dead. Families create ofrendas (Offerings) to honour their family members that have passed. The offerings are believed to encourage visits from the land of the dead as the departed souls hear their prayers, smell their foods and join in the celebrations!
13 - 19 NovemberTrans Awareness WeekHeld in the week leading up to Trans Day of Remembrance, Trans Awareness Week helps raise awareness of trans and gender diverse people, the issues facing these communities, and the ways people can get involved as allies and create a more fair and equal world for everyone.
16 NovemberInternational Day for ToleranceInternational Day for Tolerance is observed to ‘affirm that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human’. 
20 NovemberTransgender Day of RemembranceTransgender Day of Remembrance honours the memory of trans lives lost to acts of transphobia and discrimination. It is a day of gathering, togetherness, and community solidarity.
25 NovemberInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence Against WomenWomen's rights activists have observed 25 November as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo. 
29 NovemberInternational Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian PeopleIn 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. 
December
1 DecemberWorld AIDS DayRaises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS. It is a day for the community to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died of AIDS related conditions or other conditions associated with HIV. 
3 DecemberInternational Day of Persons with DisabilitiesAims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions. 
10 DecemberHuman Rights Day
(International)
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
18 DecemberInternational Migrants DayOn 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day. The day was selected to mark the anniversary of the 1990 adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. 
18 - 26 DecemberHanukkah (Festival of Lights)
(Judaism)
Also known as Chanukah, the festival commemorates the recapture and rededication by the Jewish people of the Jerusalem Temple.
25 DecemberChristmas Day
(Christianity)
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, peace on earth and goodwill.