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 21 USA


  • African American History Month

Imbolc (g) February 1 Neo-Pagan
Fat Thursday February 7 Catholic
Lunar New Year (Year of the Snake) February 10 China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea
Mardi Gras February 12 Catholic
Ash Wednesday February 13 Christian
Lenten Season February 13-March 30 Christian
Valentine’s Day February 14 International
President’s Holiday February 18 International
Day of Remembrance February 19 USA
Fast of Esther February 21 Jewish
Purim February 24 Jewish


International Women’s Day March 8 International
St. Patrick’s Day March 17 Irish
Orthodox Lent March 18 Orthodox Christian
Persian New Year March 20 Iranian
Ostara March 20 Neo-Pagan
Nowruz March 21 Bahá'I 
International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21 International
Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21 Internationl
Palm Sunday March 24 Christian/Orthodox
Holy Week March 24-30 Christian
Pesach/Passover March 25*-Apr 2 Jewish
Holi March 27 Hindu
Good Friday March 29 Christian/Orthodox
Easter Sunday March 31 Christian


National Tartan Day April 6 Scottish American
Holocaust Remembrance Day April7* International
Bun Pi Mai (New Year) April 13 Laotian
Vaisakhi April 14 Sikh
National Day of Silence April 20 LGBTQ and Allies
First Day of Ridván April 20* Bahá'i
Ninth Day of Ridván April 29* Bahá'i
Beltane April 30* Neo‐Pagan
Pesach/Passover March 25 - April 2 Jewish

May 2013

  • Asian American and South Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Jewish American Heritage Month

May Day May 1 Internatn'l Worker’s Day
Twelfth Day of Ridván May 2* Bahá'i
Orthodox Easter May 5 Eastern Orthodox
Cinco de Mayo May 5 USA/Mexican
Ascension of Jesus May 10 Catholic
Mother’s Day May 10 Mexican
Pentecost May 19 Catholic
Declaration of the Báb  May 23 Bahá'i
Shavuot May 14* Jewish
Pentecost May 19 Christian
Vesak May 17 Buddhist
Memorial Day Holiday May27 USA
Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh May 29* Bahá'i


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

Philippine Independence Day June 12 Filipino
Loving Day June 12 USA


  • American Heritage Month

Independence Day July 4 USA
Ramadan July 9 Islamic
Tisha B’Av July 15* Jewish
Obon July 13-15 Japanese Buddhist
Dharma Day July 22 Buddhist
Birthday of Haile Selassie July 23 Rastafarian


Lughnasadh (Lammas) August 1 Neo‐Pagan
EidalFitr (End of Ramadan) August 9 Islamic
International Youth Day August 12 International
Raksha Bandhan August 20 Hindu
Krishna Jayanti August 28 Hindu and Sikh


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

Labor Day September 3 United States
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) Sunset Spet. 4 - Nightfall Sept. 6 Jewish
Deaf Awareness Week September 10 -18  
Yom Kippur September 13 & 14 Jewish
International Day of Democracy September 15  
Independence Day September 16 Mexico
Hajj September 17-October 20 Islamic
Oktoberfest September 22 - October 7  Germany
Sukkot September 30 - October 7 Jewish


  • 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

Navaratri October 5 -13  
Shemini Atzeret October 7* Jewish
Simchat Torah October 8* Jewish
Indigenous People’s Day October 8  European American
Columbus Day October 8  USA
National Coming Out Day October 11 LGBT
Día de la Raza October 12 Latin American & Mexican
Lakshmi Puja October 18 Hindu
Birth of the Báb October 20* Bahá'i
Eid ul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) October 25* Islamic
Halloween October 31 USA
Samhain October 31 Neo‐Pagan


All Saints Day November 1 Catholic
All Souls’ Day November 2 Mexico
Birth of Bahá'u'lláh November 11 - 12 Bahá'i
Veterans Day November 11 USA
Diwali November 13 Hindu
Al-Hijira (Islamic New Year) November 15 Islamic
Muharram November 15 - December 13 Islam
International Day of Tolerance November 16 International
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women November 25  
Thanksgiving Day November 22 USA
Ashura November 24 Islamic
Hanukkah November 27 - December 5 Jewish


World AIDS Day December 1 International
Rosa Parks Day December 1 USA
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery December 2 International
International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3 International
International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development December 5 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
International Migrants Day December 18  
International Human Solidarity Day December 20


Christmas Day December 25 International
Boxing Day December 26 Canada
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.

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