December 2018 Diversity Calendar

According to a study by Harvard University, diversity training usually fails unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice.

Our December 2018 Diversity Calendar features a diverse array of multicultural holidays calling for respectful scheduling, as well as opportunities for celebrating awareness and inclusion. Here you’ll find 7 key events in December: for a complete list, see our online diversity calendar.

International : World AIDS Day

Also known as United Nations World AIDS Day, this day has been declared by the World Health Organization as a time to increase education and awareness of AIDS.

Jewish : Hanukkah (12/2-12/10)

A key December diversity holiday is Hanukkah. Often misunderstood as the “Jewish Christmas” since it occurs in December, it commemorates the victory of the Jewish people over the Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E. This victory marked the end of a three-year period of religious persecution, restored Jewish independence, and ensured the survival of monotheism (belief in one God). Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a candle on each of the eight days of celebration. This ceremony has given the holiday the additional name of “Festival of Lights.” Hanukkah is joyfully celebrated.

United Nations : International Day of Persons with Disabilities

One of the most important diversity events in December 2018. This international observance was established to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to foster awareness of the importance of integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of life.

Buddhist : Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment)

Among Mahãyãna Buddhists, this holiday celebrates Buddha’s attaining understanding of the truth of existence, freeing himself from all human suffering, and finding perfect happiness. The date is based on the Japanese Buddhist calendar.

Mexico : Las Posadas (12/16-12/24)

Las Posadas, celebrated from December 16 to December 24, commemorates Mary and Joseph’s effort to find an inn, and the events associated with the birth of Jesus. The holiday takes its name from the Spanish word posadas, meaning “a dwelling.” A candlelight procession represents the star in heaven that guided the three wise men on their way. After a religious ceremony on December 24, there is a traditional celebration centering on the piñata, a decorated clay container filled with toys and candy. When the piñata is broken, the children scramble for the candy.

Christian : Christmas

Most Christians observe Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and it is celebrated as a public holiday in many countries worldwide. Christmas is a family-oriented holiday with special foods, colorful decorations, and exchanging of gifts. Families often have their own traditions, especially concerning when gifts are exchanged and what foods are served. Jehovah’s Witnesses are among those who do not celebrate this holiday.

African American, African Heritage : Kwanzaa

Another essential multicultural holiday for December is Kwanzaa. First celebrated on December 26, 1966, the festival was created in the United States by scholar and cultural activist Dr. Maulana Karenga. Patterned after harvest festivals in Africa, Kwanzaa derives its name from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits.” Kwanzaa decorations traditionally use a color scheme of red, black, and green.  A Pan-African holiday, Kwanzaa is also celebrated in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and in African communities in Europe.

These are just 7 highlights from our December 2018 diversity calendar. See our online diversity calendar, to find out key diversity events in the coming months, get inclusion tips, and more.

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