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February Diversity Holidays

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora.  

FEBRUARY 1

  • Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred of all traditional Chinese holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. The Lunar New Year is also celebrated at this time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia. 
  • National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States in 1865 
  • St. Brigid of Kildare, feast day for St. Brigid celebrated by some Christian denominations 

FEBRUARY 1 - 2

  •  Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring 

FEBRUARY 2

  • Candlemas, a Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and Virgin Mary’s purification   

FEBRUARY 3

  • St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches 
  • Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated annually as part of the Spring Festival 
  • Four Chaplains Day commemorates the fifty-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the US Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.  

FEBRUARY 5

  • Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring. On this day, Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art, and culture.   

FEBRUARY 14

  • St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. This holiday is typically associated with romantic love and celebrated by people expressing their love with gifts. 

FEBRUARY 15

  • Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year; participants enjoy watching paper lanterns illuminate the sky on the night of the event  
  • Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day), the commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana; February 8 is an alternative date of observance 

FEBRUARY 16

  • Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Devotees take a holy bath on this day and also carry out charity work. 
  • Magha Puja Day (also known as Maka Bucha), a Buddhist holiday that marks an event early in the Buddha’s teaching life when a group of 1,250 enlightened saints ordained by the Buddha gathered to pay their respect to him. It is celebrated on various dates in different countries.   

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