The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance toward embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

The diversity calendar details all the main religious and secular dates of the year. The calendar promotes the SUNY College of Optometry’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as to ensure that meetings and organizational events are not planned for dates when key sections of the workforce cannot participate.

Note: Starred (*) holy days begin at sunset of the date listed and go to sunset of the following day. Due to regional and cultural differences, the holidays listed may be celebrated on different dates by individuals of the same faith. Muslim holidays are based on actual sighting of the moon and therefore the day may vary.

Jan January
Feb February


New Years Day January 1 International
Three Kings Day/Epiphany January 6 Mexican/Christian
Epiphany January 6 International
Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 20 USA
Lunar New Year (Year of the Horse) January 31 China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea


  • African American History Month

Imbolc(g) February 1 Neo-Pagan
Valentine’s Day February 14 International
Presidents' Day February 17 USA
Day of Remembrance February 19 USA
Fat Thursday February 27 Catholic


Great Lent March 3 - June 8 Orthodox Christian
Mardi Gras March 4 Catholic
Ash Wednesday March 5 Christian
Lenten Season March 5 - April 17 Christian
International Women’s Day March 8 International
Fast of Esther March 13 Jewish
Purim March 15* Jewish
St. Patrick’s Day March 17 Irish
Holi March 17 Hindu
Ostara March 20 Neo-Pagan
Nowruz March 20 Asia/Middle East
International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21 International


National Tartan Day April 6 Scottish American
National Day of Silence April 11 LGBTQ and allies
Palm Sunday April 13 Christian
Bun Pi Mai (New Year) April 14 - 16 Laotian
Pasach/Passover April 14 - 21* Jewish
Vaisakhi April 14 Sikh
Good Friday April 18 Christian
Easter Sunday April 20 Christian
Orthodox Easter April 20 Orthodox
First Day of Ridván April 20* Bahá'i
Holocaust Memorial Day April 27* Jewish
Ninth Day of Ridván April 29* Bahá'i

May 2013

  • Asian American and South Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Jewish American Heritage Month

May Day May 1 Internatn'l Worker’s Day
Beltane May 1 Neo-Pagan
Twelfth Day of Ridván May 2* Bahá'i
Orthodox Easter May 5 Eastern Orthodox
Cinco de Mayo May 5 USA/Mexican
Mother’s Day May 11 USA
Vesak May 13 Buddhist
Declaration of the Báb  May 23 Bahá'i
Memorial Day May 26 USA
Ascension of Jesus May 29 Catholic
Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh May 29* Bahá'i


  • Gay & Lesbian Pride Month, Caribbean‐American Heritage Month

Shavu'ot June 3 - 5* Jewish
Pentecost June 8 Christian
Philippine Independence Day June 12 Filipino
Loving Day June 12 USA
Ramadan June 28 - July 28* Islamic


  • American Heritage Month

Independence Day July 4 USA
Dharma Day July 12 Buddhist
Obon July 13-15 Japanese Buddhist
Birthday of Haile Selassie July 23 Rastafarian
Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) July 28* Islamic


Lughnasadh (Lammas) August 1 Neo‐Pagan
Tisha B'Av August 4 - 5* Jewish
Raksha Bandhan August 10 Hindu
International Youth Day August 12 International
Krishna Janmashtami August 17 Hindu and Sikh


  • National Hispanic‐Latino Heritage Month (Sept. 15‐Oct. 15)

Labor Day September 1 United States
International Day of Democracy September 15 International
Independence Day September 16 Mexico
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) September 24 - 26* Jewish
Navaratri September 25 - October 3 Hindu


  • Diversity Awareness Month

  • Disability Awareness Month

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month

  • National Mental Illness Awareness Month

  • German American Heritage Month

  • Italian American Heritage Month

  • Polish American Heritage Month

Hajj October 1 - 6 Islamic
Yom Kippur October 3 - 4* Jewish
Eid al-Adha October 4 Islamic
Sukkot October 8 - 15 Jewish
National Coming Out Day October 11 LGBTQ
Columbus Day October 13 USA
Día de la Raza October 13 Latin American & Mexican
Indigenous People's Day October 13 USA
Shemini Atzeret October 15* Jewish
Simchat Torah October 17* Jewish
Birth of Báb October 20 Bahá'i
Diwali October 23 Hindu
Al-Hijra  October 25 Islamic
Muharram October 25 - November 22 Islamic
Lakshmi Puja October 23 Hindu
Halloween October 31 USA
Samhain October 31 Neo‐Pagan


All Saints Day November 1 Catholic
All Souls’ Day November 2 Mexico
Ashura November 3 Islamic
Birth of Bahá'u'lláh November 11 - 12 Bahá'i
Veterans Day November 11 USA
International Day of Tolerance November 16 International
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women November 25 International
Thanksgiving Day November 27 USA


World AIDS Day December 1 International
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery December 2 International
International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3 International
Feast of the Immacculaate Concepcion December 8 Catholic
Bodhi Day December 8 Buddhist
Human Rights Day December 10 International
Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe December 12 Mexico
Simbang Gabi December 15 Filipino Catholic
Hanukkah December 16 - 24 Jewish
International Migrants Day December 18 International
Christmas Day December 25 Christian
Boxing Day December 26 UK and Commonweath
Kwanzaa December 26 - January 1 African American
Omisoka December 31 Japan
New Year’s Eve December 31 International

Note: Starred (*) holy days begin at sunset of the date listed and go to sunset of the following day.

Due to regional and cultural differences, the holidays listed may be celebrated on different dates by individuals of the same faith.

Islamic holidays are based on the actual sighting of the moon and therefore the day may vary.