November 1, 2021

Holidays your colleagues might be celebrating

Happy holidays!

We often say this in the workplace, recognizing not everyone celebrates this — or any — season in the same way. It’s important to be sensitive to different family and faith traditions, yet many of us may only be aware of the seasonal events we have encountered personally. Navigating the season (gifts, gatherings, etc.) opens a whole other set of questions. The truth is, holidays in the workplace can feel a bit sticky.

We all have a role to play in inclusion, and we can all learn more about the perspectives of others. But it’s especially important for leaders to set this tone by honoring the experiences of others.  I’m hoping this post will help you do just that.

Below, you’ll find a reasonably complete list of the holidays that your employees and colleagues might be marking in some way at year’s end. Not all will have implications for the workplace, but they may give you some context for lives that differ from your own.

This list benefited from a photo of a cultural calendar I ran across months ago plus a whole lot of searching online. All names and dates have been confirmed, and those that I had difficulty confirming were left off. If you know of others, please mention them in the comments, and we will continue to add to the list and update it annually.

Occasions: A working list for sensitive workplaces

  • Oct. 31-Nov. 2: Day of the Dead (Mexico)
  • Nov. 1: All Saints’ Day (Christian)
  • Nov. 2: All Souls’ Day (Christian)
  • Nov. 4: Diwali (Hindu)
  • Nov. 6: Birth of the Báb (Baha’i)
  • Nov. 7: Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Baha’i)
  • Nov. 11: Veterans Day (United States)
  • Nov. 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance (international)
  • Nov. 21: Feast of Christ the King (Roman Catholic)
  • Nov. 25: Thanksgiving (United States)
  • Nov. 26: Native American Heritage Day (United States)
  • Nov. 28: Advent begins (Christian)
  • Nov. 28: Hanukkah begins (Jewish)
  • Nov. 30: St. Andrew’s Day (Christian)
  • Dec. 1: World AIDS Day (international)
  • Dec. 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • Dec. 6: Hanukkah ends (Jewish)
  • Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (United States)
  • Dec. 8: Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
  • Dec. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Christian)
  • Dec. 10: Human Rights Day (international)
  • Dec. 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Christian)
  • Dec. 13: St. Lucia’s Day (Christian)
  • Dec. 16: Las Posadas begins (Mexico, Central America)
  • Dec. 21: Pancha Ganapati begins (Hindu)
  • Dec. 21: Winter Solstice/Yule (Pagan, Wiccan)
  • Dec. 23: HumanLight (Humanist)
  • Dec. 24: Christmas Eve (Christian)
  • Dec. 24: Las Posadas ends (Mexico, Central America)
  • Dec. 25: Christmas (Christian)
  • Dec. 25: Pancha Ganapati ends (Hindu)
  • Dec. 26: First day of Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Dec. 26: Boxing Day (Great Britain, Commonwealth countries, some former British colonies)
  • Dec. 26: Feast of the Holy Family (Roman Catholic)
  • Dec. 28: Feast of the Holy Innocents (Christian)
  • Dec. 31: Watch Night (Christian)
  • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve
  • Jan. 1: Kwanzaa ends (African American)
  • Jan. 1: Happy New Year!

Please continue to add to this list of holidays for use in the workplace and beyond using the comments below, and let us know how you honor inclusivity to your workplace.

Last updated November 1, 2021

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