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Observances Calendar

Observances Calendar

OPSEU Equity Unit
OPSEU Equity Unit
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OPSEU is committed to the principle of freedom of religion and upholding the right to equal treatment on the basis of creed.  In recognition of these rights and principles, which include respect for religious beliefs, practices and observances, the Equity Unit has compiled a calendar of religious observances.  Major religious celebrations, which represent the holiest time of the year for many worshipers, have also been highlighted.  It should also be noted that there are many other forms of religions and traditions that may fall outside the scope of the calendar provided.

In addition, key human rights and equity dates have also been included.  These dates promote achievements of the labour movement, and human rights and community organizations who have worked proactively to defend and improve members’ rights and working conditions.

While the calendar is not exhaustive, it does provide guidelines to assist in planning and scheduling OPSEU meetings, activities and events. To encourage inclusion and full participation, consideration should be given when scheduling events that could fall around these times.

Every effort is made to include all recognized holidays, events and days of remembrance. For any questions, please contact the Equity unit at equity@opseu.org. 

Diversity Calendar (Religious, Human Rights and Equity Observances)

International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour (United Nations)

International Year of Peace and Trust, Creative Economy Sustainable Development and of Fruits and Vegetables (United Nations)

January 2021

January 1 – New Year’s Day* – MO/SH

Gantan-Sai (New Year’s) (Shinto)* – MO/SH

January 5 – Twelfth Night* (Christian)

January 6 – Epiphany* (Christian)

January 7 – Nativity of Christ* (Armenian – Orthodox Christian) – MO/SH

January 27 – International Day to Commemorate Memory of Victims of Holocaust* (UN)

February 2021

Black History Month

February 3 – Setsubun-sai* (Shinto) – MO/SH

February 12 – Chinese New Year (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist) – MO/SH

February 14 – Valentine’s Day*

February 15 – Family Day – MO/SH

February 16 – Shrove Tuesday (Christian)

February 17 – Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins) (Christian) – MO/SH

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice* (UN)       

February 21 – International Mother Language Day* (UN)

March 2021

March 1 – Zero Discrimination Day (UNAIDS)

Black Mental Health Day 

March 8 – International Women’s Day* (UN)

March 15 – Lent (Orthodox)

March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day* (Christian)

March 20 – Journée internationale de la francophonie* (UN)

UN French Language Day*

March 21 – Naw Ruz* (Baha’i) – MO/SH

International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination* (UN)

March 22 – World Water Day*

March 24 – International Day for Truth Regarding Gross Human Rights violations and dignity of victims* (UN)

March 25 – International Day of Remembrance to Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade* (UN)

March 27 – Pesach (Passover – to April 4) (Judaism) – MO/SH

March 28 – Magha Puja Day (Buddhism)

Palm Sunday (Christian)

March 31 – Trans Day of Visibility*

April 2021

April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day* (UN)

Good Friday (Christian) – MO/SH

April 4 – Easter (Christian) – MO/SH

April 5 – Easter Monday

April 7 – World Health Day* (UN)

April 8 – Visakha Puja – Buddha Day (Buddhism) – MO/SH

April 13 – Hindu New Year

Ramadan Begins (Islam) – MO/SH

April 14 – Baisakhi (New Year)* (Sikh) – MO/SH

International Day of Pink

April 25 – Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

April 27 – Mahavir Jayanti (Jain) – MO/SH

April 28 – National Day of Mourning* (CLC/Gov’t of Canada)

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

April 30 – Good Friday (Orthodox)

May 2021

Asian Heritage Month

May 1 – Beltane and Samhain* (Wicca/Pagan) – MO/SH

May Day/International Worker’s Day* (CLC)

May 2 – Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)

May 5 – National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Red Dress Day)*

May 9 – Mother’s Day

May 14 – Eid al Fitr (sunset to May 16) (Islam) – MO/SH

May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia* (IDAHO) (Fondation Émergence)

May 21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development* (UN)

May 23 – Pentecost (Christian)MO/SH

                Declaration of the Bab* (Baha’i) – MO/SH

May 24 – Victoria DayMO/SH

May 29 – Ascension of Baha’u’llah* (Baha’i) – MO/SH

June 2021

Pride Month

National Indigenous History Month

June 12 – World Day Against Child Labour* (UN)

June 20 – World Refugee Day* (UN)

Father’s Day – MO/SH

June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day*

June 23 – United Nations Public Service Day*

June 27 – Multiculturalism Day* (Gov’t of Canada)

July 2021

July 1 – Canada Day* – MO/SH

July 13 – Obon (Shinto-Buddhism) – MO/SH

July 18 – Nelson Mandela International Day* (UN)

July 20 – Eid al Adha (to July 23) (Islam) – MO/SH

July 24 – Asalha Puja Day (Buddhism) – MO/SH

August 2021

August 1 – Emancipation Day*

August 2 – Civic Holiday

August 3 – Krisha Janmashtami (Hindu) – MO/SH

August 9 – International Day of World’s Indigenous People* (UN)

August 12 – International Youth Day* (UN)

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day* (UN)

August 23 – Internationall Day for Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition* (UN)

September 2021

September 6 – Labour Day – MO/SH

Rosh Hashanah (to Sept. 8) (Judaism) – MO/SH

September 8 – International Literacy Day* (UNESCO) – MO/SH

September 11 – Paryushana Parva (Jain) – MO/SH

September 13 – Yom Kippur (Judaism)       

September 15 – International Day of Democracy* (UN)

September 21 – International Day of Peace* (UN)

September 30 – Orange T-Shirt Day* (Indigenous)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation* (NEW Statutory holiday)

October 2021

Women’s History Month

October 1 – International Day of Older Persons*(UN)

October 7 – Navaratri (to Oct. 14) (Hindu) – MO/SH

October 10 – World Mental Health Day* (UN)

October 11 – Thanksgiving Day – MO/SH

International Day of the Girl Child* (UN)

October 17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty* (UN)

October 24 – United Nations Day*

October 31 – Halloween*

November 2021

November 1 – Samhain – Litha* (Wicca/Pagan) – MO/SH

November 4 – Diwali (Hindu-Jain-Sikh) – MO/SH

November 11 – Remembrance Day* – MO/SH

November 13 – Jain New Year (Jain)

November 16 – Louis Riel Day* (Métis)

International Day for Tolerance* (UNESCO)

November 19 – Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Birthday (Sikh) – MO/SH

November 20 – Universal Children’s Day* (UN)

Transgender Day of Remembrance*

November 25 – International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women* (UN)

November 29 – Hanukkah (to Dec. 6) (Judaism)

December 2021

December 1 – World Aids Day* (UN)

Advent (to December 24) (Christian)

December 2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery* (UN)

December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities* (UN)

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Status of Women)*

December 10 – Human Rights Day* (UN)

December 18 – International Migrants Day* (UN)

December 20 – International Human Solidarity Day* (UN)

December 24 – Christmas Eve*

December 25 – Christmas Day* (Christian) – MO/SH

December 26 – Boxing Day* – MO/SH

December 31 – New Year’s Eve*

Note:  This calendar only highlights religious celebrations which represent the holiest time of the year for many worshipers.  Major religious observances and statutory holidays are denoted as – MO/SH.  The asterisk (*) indicates observances and/or events which fall on the same day annually.

Compiled by the Equity Unit, OPSEU

Download the calendar here:

2021 Observances Calendar