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Calendar of Holidays & Observances

With the arrival of March comes the promise of spring and the celebration of change.  Below are just a few holidays, observances and commemorations to help you celebrate equity, varying diversity dimensions, and inclusion in March.   Share your celebration with us on social media by using #IamEDI. We always welcome additions to our list -- please email us at edi@untsystem.edu.

 Women's History Month -- March 1-31
Started in 1987, Women's History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month -- March 1-31
Established to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month -- March 1-31
It was established to raise public awareness of the autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and assist those with multiple sclerosis in making informed decisions about their health care.

International Women's Day -- March 8
First observed in 1911 in Germany, it has now become a major global celebration honoring women's economic, political and social achievements.  Originally begun to advocate for greater women's rights, particularly the right to vote.

Maha Shivarati (Hindu) -- March 11
Festival honoring Lord Shiva celebrated just before the arrival of spring.  It is known as the Great Night of Shiva or Shivaratri and is one of the largest and most significant among the sacred festival nights of India.

Lailat al Miraj (Muslim) --  March 10-11
Commemorates the prophet Muhammad's nighttime journey from Mecca to the "Farthest Mosque" in Jerusalem, where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily.

Deaf History Month -- March 13-April 15
This observance celebrates key events in deaf history, including the founding of Gallaudet University and the American School for the deaf.

Pi Day -- March 14
Pi, also known by the Greek letter "π" is a constant value used in math that represents the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is just about 3.14.  March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday, making this holiday nothing short of a mathematician's delight.

St. Patrick's Day (Christian) -- March 17
A cultural and religious celebration held on the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c.385 - c. 461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.

Ostara (Pagan/Wiccan) -- March 20
A celebration of the spring equinox observed as a time to mark the coming of spring and the fertility of the land.

United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -- March 21
Observed annually in the wake of the 1960 killing of 69 people at a demonstration against apartheid pass laws in South Africa. The United Nations proclaimed the day in 1966 and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Passover (Jewish) -- March 27
An eight-day Jewish holiday and festival in commemoration of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Lord's Evening Meal (Jehovah's Witnesses) -- March 27
Jehovah Witnesses commemorate an event believed to have occurred on the first night of Passover in approximately 33 CE, the Last Supper, known as the Lord's Evening Meal.

Holi (Hindu) -- March 28
The annual Hindu and Sikh spring religious festival observed in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as other countries with large Hindu and Sikh populations.  People celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and water at each other.  It is often celebrated on the full moon (the Phalguna Purnima) before the beginning of the Vernal Equinox as based on the Hindu calendar.

Palm Sunday (Christian) -- March 28
A Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week.

Lailat al Bara'a (Muslim) -- March 28
Also known as Lailat Al Baraah, Barat, or popularly as Shab-e-Bara or Night of Forgiveness.  It is an Islamic holiday during which practioners of the faith seek forgiveness for sins.  Muslims spend the night in special prayers.  It is regarded as one of the most sacred nights on the Islamic calendar.

International Transgender Day of Visibility -- March 31
Celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people.