Ethnic Holidays

Discover fun and interesting holidays that help us celebrate different ethnicities, cultures, and languages.

Chinese New Year – January 28

If you feel the ground trembling beneath your feet on January 28—don't fear! It is simply the beginning of the Chinese New Year and 20% of the Earth's population is celebrating, using the largest amount of fireworks of any one day of the year. When farming dominated life in China, this holiday blessed the upcoming growing season. Today, it is a celebration marked by good food, red envelopes and blessings for everyone. 2017 marks the Year of the Fire Rooster, highlighting the traits of responsibility and hard work.

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17

We’re giving you the green light to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this March 17! We know you’ve commemorated this holiday in the past, but have you ever learned about why it exists? Today’s your lucky day, because we’re about to tell you. (We’re trying to fit as many St. Patty’s puns in here as possible. Can you tell?) St. Patrick’s Day is both a cultural and religious celebration. It falls on the date of the death of St. Patrick, who was a patron saint of Ireland. In the early 17th century, it was even made an official Christian feast! But now, people celebrate it all kinds of ways — from drinking green beer to wearing green clothing. Grab your beer (if you’re of legal drinking age) and let’s celebrate!

St. George’s Day – April 23

Did you know that the iconic flag of England is much more than just a red cross over a white background? It is actually St. George's Cross—a symbol that is so closely intertwined with English national identity, that St. George has his own national holiday. On April 23, we celebrate the patron saint of England, who has captivated the imaginations of the British since the Crusades and the Hundred Years' War. Perhaps the most British of all holidays, this special day is a unique opportunity to let your English flag fly, literally and figuratively. Get out the Punch and Judy dolls and grab your fish & chips—it's St. George's Day!

Cinco de Mayo – May 5

Ready for a fiesta? Cinco de Mayo is coming up on May 5 and we all know you’re itching to celebrate! Despite the holiday’s popularity in the United States, many do not know what it is we are all celebrating each year. While often mistaken in the U.S. to be Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayois not a national holiday in Mexico. It is much more popular in the Unites States and has been celebrated by American citizens since the 1860s. The observation of this holiday began as a means of resistance against French rule in Mexico, but today it is observed primarily to celebrate Mexico and it’s culture. Every year on May 5, parties erupt all over the country in celebration. So let’s taco ‘bout Cinco de Mayo, shall we?

Russian Language Day – June 6

It’s time to take a quick trip to the Eastern Hemisphere, because June 6 is Russian Language Day! Being the largest country on Earth, and the source of many important social and political movements in recent times, Russia remains a rich source of culture, and June 6 is the day to celebrate the language that makes that makes that culture what it is. Russian is a Slavic language, whose closest relatives are Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Rusyn (which is spoken in some parts of the Ukraine and Slovenia). In the 19th century, what we now classify as modern Russian was known as “Great Russian,” while Belarusian was called “White Russian” and Ukrainian was “Little Russian.” Today, an estimated 170 million people speak Russian. And today, we celebrate them!

Day of the Dead – November 2

Celebrated on November 2, Day of the Dead os a traditional Mexican holiday that stems from the ancient indigenous people of Mexico. On this day, it is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit their living family members. Many people celebrate this day by visiting the graves of deceased loved ones and setting up alters with their favorite foods, drink, and photos. It is a time to remember the good times and remember the loved ones who are no longer with us.
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