January Diversity Calendar
African-American Events, Asian New Year, Christmas in January?, and More
By Richard T. Alpert, Ph.D., President, Diversity Resources, Inc.
African American Events
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday: Observed January 20
Born on January 15th, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is celebrated on the following Monday, which in 2014 is January 20th. Dr. King was the preeminent leader of the United States civil rights movement of the 1960s and early 1970s and the use of non-violence in the pursuit of social justice, leading to his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He spoke out against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, and was preparing to lead a massive Poor People's March on Washington when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
For a complete list of upcoming business closures at home and abroad, please see our best-selling 18-month diversity calendar.
Events Ending of Slavery
January is a key month in African-American culture, marking two key events in ending slavery in North America. On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the Confederate states. That same day in 1804 marked Haiti’s independence from France, a result of the only successful slave revolt in history
Chinese New Year and an Early Spring
The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of year for roughly 1/5th of people in the world. Celebrated by the Chinese worldwide, in 2014 it falls on January 31. Ushering in the Year of the Horse, it’s also known as the Spring Festival and marks the end of winter.
Christmas in January and New Year on January 14?
Just when many of us thought we had finished the Christmas holiday and celebrated the New Year, much of the world had yet to do so. Coptic Christians in Egypt and Armenian Christians celebrated Christmas on January 6 , while those following the Eastern Orthodox rite (Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian Orthodox) celebrated on January 7 (to plan ahead for events next year, check out our complete online diversity calendar). New Year for Eastern Orthodox Christians also is celebrated on January 14 not on January 1.
Islam – Prophet Mohammed’s Birth
January 13 marks Maulid-an-Nabi.This occurs on the 12th day of the Muslim month of Rabi ul-Awwal and marks the birth of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, in 570 A.C.E.
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Independence and National Days: Australia to Africa
On January 26, Australians will engage in nationwide Australia Day festivities marking its unique founding as a penal colony to relieve crowding in British prisons. The first prisoners arrived on that date in 1788. Formerly known as Foundation Day or Anniversary Day, the event has been celebrated since 1817.
A number of countries celebrate gaining national independence during this month. On January 11, Morocco will enjoy Independence Manifesto Day. On that date in 1944, it declared independence from France. On January 18, Tunisia marks the unseating of its monarchy in 1957.
For a complete list of upcoming religious events affecting the workplace, see our best-selling 18-month cultural diversity calendar.