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August Diversity Holidays

AUGUST 1

  • Lammas, a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest within some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Lughnasadh, a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season 
  • Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus, beginning of the fourteen-day period of preparation for Orthodox Christians leading up to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary 

AUGUST 6

  • Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast of the Transfiguration), celebrated by various Christian denominations, the feast day is dedicated to the transfiguration of Jesus.  

AUGUST 6 - 7

  •  Tisha B’Av, a fast in commemoration of the destruction of two holy and sacred temples of Judaism destroyed by the Babylonians (in 586 BCE) and Romans (in 70 CE). At the Tisha B’Av, after select passages from the Torah are read and understood, netilat yadayim, or the washing of the hands, is performed.  

AUGUST 7 - 8 (sundown to sundown)

  • Ashura, an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians  

AUGUST 11

  •  Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and sister. “Raksha” means “protection” in Hindi and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life.  

AUGUST 12

  • Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese holiday in which street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits   

AUGUST 13

  • Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, whose aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Black women and White men. Black women are paid 62 cents for every dollar paid to White men. 

AUGUST 13 - 15 

  • Obon (Ullambana), a Buddhist festival and Japanese custom that honors the spirits of ancestors  

AUGUST 15 

  • Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, as well as parts of Anglicanism, the day commemorates the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life. 
  • Dormition of the Theotokos, a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches that commemorates the “falling asleep,” or death, of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”) and her bodily resurrection before ascending into heaven 

AUGUST 17

  • Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America.  

AUGUST 18 - 19

  •  Krishna Janmashtami, a Hindu celebration of Lord Vishnu’s most powerful human incarnations, Krishna, the god of love and compassion. Celebrations include praying and fasting.  

AUGUST 21

  • Khordad Sal (Birth of prophet Zoroaster), birth anniversary (or birth date) of Zoroaster, a spiritual leader and ethical philosopher who taught a spiritual philosophy of self-realization and realization of the divine. Zoroastrians celebrate this day with prayer and feasting. 

AUGUST 23

  • International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean 

AUGUST 24

  • Paryushana Parvarambha, a Jain festival lasting eight to ten days that is observed through meditation and fasting. It focuses on spiritual upliftment, pursuit of salvation, and a deeper understanding of the religion. 

AUGUST 26

  • Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every US president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. 

AUGUST 31

  • Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu holiday lasting approximately ten days, in which the elephant-headed Hindu god is praised and given offerings   

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