Alternative Holidays

I compiled this list originally to help me with social justice organizing… I wanted to find alternative holidays to use as occasions to do education, activities, or protests around certain issues. I was looking for holidays that celebrate people with marginalized identities, economic and social human rights, or events with social justice significance. I wanted alternatives to holidays celebrating imperialism, jingoism, consumerism, or a dominant religion.

I have linked to a website for each holiday if you want to learn more. Many of these are US-specific, which simply reflects my nationality. I encourage readers to add anything I have missed- this list is far from exhaustive!

January 17: Martin Luther King Day of Service [US]

January 27: Holocaust Remembrance Day (This is the day that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated.)

February: Black History Month [US]

February 20: World Day of Social Justice

March: Women’s History Month

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 31: César Chávez Day [US]

May: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month [US]

May 1: International Worker’s Day aka May Day
(Find out why we have a different Labor Day in the US.)

June 19: Juneteenth (commemorating the end of slavery in the US) [US]

June 20: World Refugee Day

July 18: Nelson Mandela Day [South Africa]

August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

September 15-October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month [US]

1st Monday in October (Oct.4 in 2010): World Habitat Day (Celebrating the right to housing.)

2nd Monday in October (Same day as Columbus Day, Oct.11 in 2010): Indigenous People’s Day aka Native American Day [US]

November 20: Trans Day of Remembrance

November 29: Solidarity Day aka International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

December 1: World AIDS Day

December 10: Human Rights Day

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa [US]

The UN’s list of EVEN MORE alternative holidays! (Scroll down to the United Nations category.)


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