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  2017 Diversity Holidays

The world is rich with diversity, which is reflected in the observances celebrated by its various cultures and populations. Knowledge of the following diversity holidays and celebrations can enhance your workplace diversity and inclusion efforts.

August

August 6: Transfiguration, a holiday recognized by Orthodox Christians to celebrate when Jesus became radiant, and communed with Moses and Elijah on Mount Tabor. To celebrate, adherents have a feast.

August 7: Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and a sister. Raksha means protection in Hindi, and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist, and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life.

August 15: Krishna Janmashtami is a celebration of Lord Vishnu’s most powerful human incarnations. The Hindu celebrations include praying and fasting.

August 17: Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America.

August 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in that nation.

August 25: Krishna Jayanti, the day Hindus celebrate Krishna’s birthday, Vishnu’s eighth incarnation on earth.

August 26 (Sunrise): Paryushana Parva is a Jain festival lasting about 8-10 days, and is observed through meditation and fasting.  Its main focus is spiritual upliftment, pursuit of salvation and gaining a deeper understanding of the religion.

August 26: Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the August 26, 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

August 27: Celebration of Ganesha is a huge community event lasting around 10 days, where the elephant-headed Hindu God is praised and given offerings.