Health holidays don’t only exist to raise awareness about the hundreds of illnesses and heath issues people live with every day, but also to celebrate the doctors and nurses working tirelessly to find a cure and improve our health. That’s why we celebrate over 137 health based holidays every year, from National Gluten-Free Day on January 13 to National Handwashing Awareness Week during the first week of December.
Where did health holidays come from?
Awareness holidays started popping up around the 1980's to bring attention to newly-discovered maladies. Activists and organizations wanted to draw attention to their causes, so they created days to mobilize volunteers, raise awareness, fundraise, and advocate for a cure.
Just look at World AIDS Day on December 1 — the first ever global health day. HIV and AIDS started ravaging communities in 1981, killing more than 35 million. The disease wasn't even identified until 1984—but once it had a name, there was a desperate need to raise awareness before it spread further. So World AIDS Day was created in 1988 to show solidarity and champion the rights of those living with the disease.
By the 1990s, other activists had started creating holidays to draw attention to their own causes — and today we commemorate over a hundred health holidays every year.
Submit your favorite health holidays
Is there a health holiday that we haven't listed? Click the "Submit A Holiday" button below and fill us on any day that we've missed. All that we need from you is a bit of the background and history, as well as the significance of the day, and then we'll take care of the rest.