In support of our faculty and staff, this information is offered as a resource about the observance of several holidays, recognition days, and events throughout the month of January:
New Year’s Day
Saturday, Jan. 1st
New Year’s Day is the first day of the modern Georgian calendar. In pre-Christian Rome, the day was dedicated to Janus, the god of gateways and beginnings. Celebrations vary across cultures and countries and include parades, concerts, polar bear plunges, and college football games.
World Braille Day
Tuesday, Jan. 4th
World Braille Day recognizes the birth of Louis Braille, who was the inventor of the Braille system of writing. At the age of 16, Braille began tinkering with raised dots to symbolize print letters and numbers in a tactile way. His invention has helped millions gain access to a world of reading and learning. More of his story can be found here.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, Jan. 17th
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States that recognizes the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s actual birthday was on January 15th, 1929, which in that year fell on a Tuesday. MLK Day now officially falls on the third Monday of January. King was an American Baptist minister and activist who helped to lead the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. He was known for promoting advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.
Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)
Tuesday, Jan. 18th
Mahayana, which can be translated as “Great Vehicle,” is a branch of Buddhism that is practiced around the world and most predominantly in China, Japan, Tibet, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Korea. Mahayana Buddhists believe that nirvana, or enlightenment, can be achieved by both monks and regular practitioners. The Mahayana New Year is a time for internal, personal reflection, but is also celebrated with feasts and fireworks.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Thursday, Jan. 27th
January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the concentration camps used by Nazis to confine, torture, and kill millions of Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and other “undesirable” peoples. On November 1, 2005, the United Nations passed a resolution to commemorate this day and to support educational programs to remember the Holocaust and prevent future genocide. Drawing from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the resolution condemns all forms of “religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief” throughout the world.
As always, should you have questions, concerns, or ideas about DEI matters in the workplace, you are welcome to approach or email any of the Council members.