September Diversity Calendar
Hispanic Heritage Month, African-American Events, Religious Holidays and More
Hispanic Heritage Month
September is Hispanic Heritage Month. Started in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month starts annually on September 15. That’s the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period, while Columbus Day – known to Hispanics as Día de la Raza – is October 12.
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The term Hispanic or Latino refers to South or Central American, Puerto Rican, or other Spanish cultures or origins, regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”
According to that Census, 50.5 million people living in the United States – or 16% of the U.S. population – were of Hispanic or Latino origin. That’s a significant increase from 2000, which reported a Hispanic population of 35.3 million people or 13% of the population.
African American Events
African Americans will celebrate on September 4 the birthdays of Lewis Latimer, the first inventor to patent the electric light bulb, as well as Richard Wright, author of Native Son. The great jazz singer Bessie Smith was born on September 25.
September 11 marks Patriots Day in the United States, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, and the downing of United Airlines Flight 93.
In both the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan (the Republic of China) Confucius will be honored. His death is celebrated in China on September 9, and in Taiwan on September 28.
The Japanese will close most public offices and other businesses the week of September 21 for Respect for the Aged Day. Hindi workers will likely miss work on two holidays, Siddha Vinayak Chaturthi on September 17.
Christian and Jewish New Years
While the New Year occurs for the world on January 1, a number of religions recognize the New Year in September. Jews will usher in the New Year at sunset on September 13, beginning the Days of Awe and ending with Yom Kippur, which begins at sunset on September 22.
Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate the New Year on September 12.
September recognizes the shift from summer to fall, and the beginning of the Harvest season with holidays in different cultures and religious traditions. September 27 is a major holiday in key Asian cultures, including China and Vietnam – celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival In South Korea, Chuseok will be celebrated Sept 26 to 29.