- Background Material
- Public Holidays by Country
- Video Tour of the Calendar
- Caribbean American Heritage Month
- Gay and Lesbian Pride Month
The sample calendar is limited to the past three months.
Notes on Calendar Entries
The terms used for various ethnic and cultural groups reflect, as far as possible, the preferred usage within that cultural group. We have tried to be as sensitive and contemporary as possible, while recognizing that preferences may vary among members of particular groups.
For example, we use both the terms Hispanic and Latino. The term Hispanic, as used to identify a cultural group, was created by the United States Census Bureau in 1970 as an ethnic category for persons who identify themselves as being of Spanish origin. In the 1980 census, the Census Bureau further broke down this very broad category into Mexican/Mexican American, Puerto Rican, or Cuban/Cuban American, and then added the categories Central or South American, and “Other” Spanish/Hispanic to the 1985 census questionnaire. The term Latino first appeared in the 2000 U.S. Census, when all respondents were asked to identify whether they were of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. Unlike all other Census Bureau designations, the term Hispanic distinguishes between neither race nor color; thus, a Hispanic may be White, Black, or Indian. Hispanic is a general term that covers a very diverse population. Hispanics may include (1) Mexican Americans/Chicanos, (2) Puerto Ricans/Boricuas, (3) Hispanos (U.S. Hispanics who identify themselves as “Spanish”), (4) Cuban Americans, and (5) Latinos (Hispanics from countries other than those already mentioned). Terms other than Hispanic may be preferred. For example, many Mexican Americans prefer Chicano, Puerto Ricans may prefer Boricua, while others may prefer the more general term, Latino, which emphasizes Latin American, rather than Spanish colonial, origins.
The term Native American began to be used in the 1960s to denote the groups served by the Bureau of Indian Affairs: American Indians and Alaska Natives (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts of Alaska). Later the term also included Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in some federal programs. Since 1986, the term for the month of November has changed from Native American Heritage Month to National American Indian Heritage Month.
The Eskimos and Aleuts in Alaska are two culturally distinct groups and are sensitive about being included under the “Indian” designation. They prefer Alaska Native.
China refers to both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan); if the entry applies to one and not the other, the specific country is indicated. Korea refers only to South Korea.
For the translation and spelling of non-English terms, we have generally used the English translation and spelling most widely accepted for academic purposes. Where possible, we have also used appropriate diacritical marks for non-English terms and names.
Entries commemorating people generally appear on the day of their birth. If the birth is unknown, anniversaries of their death are used. Some people are entered for both birth and death dates because different cultures honor the person at these different times. This is the case, for example, with Sun Yat-sen, whose memory is celebrated on the day of his birth in the Republic of China and on the day of his death in the People’s Republic of China. Independence days are not included for all countries; we have included as many as possible given the constraints of space.
Years of birth dates that occurred before year 1 of the Common Era are designated as B.C.E. (Before the Common Era).
Days of religious observance are included on a fixed date or a moveable date as appropriate. Many cultures use a lunar calendar, with dates of religious observance varying from year to year.
The actual day of observance for holidays that move from year to year may vary a day or two for any given year. This is true, for example, of Islamic and Hindu festivals. If the exact date is important, consult those in your local community who observe the holiday.
Dates for the summer and winter solstices and the autumnal and vernal equinoxes are based on either eastern standard or eastern daylight time. Since the autumnal equinox and vernal equinox are celebrated as holidays in Japan, because of the difference in time, the holiday may be celebrated on the day following the occurrence of the equinox in the United States.