12 Important Holidays to Add to Your Calendar Right Now

With so many worthy causes and initiatives vying for our attention —World Oceans Day, International Day of Peace, Global Recycling Day, etc.— it’s easy to miss some of them. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 12 important days (one for each month of the year) to add to your calendar. They may not be as well known, but they still deserve exposure.

Remember, the day is there to highlight the issue. That doesn’t mean you should forget about once it’s over. If an idea resonates with you, make it something you support throughout the year.

important days

1. NATIONAL HUGGING DAY (JANUARY 21)

Why It’s Important

Hugging isn’t just a nice thing to do, it actually has numerous health benefits. It improves relationships, increases oxytocin, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. It also makes you feel good.

How to Celebrate

The most obvious way to celebrate National Hugging Day is by embracing the people closest to you. But don’t stop there. Make yourself a “free hugs” t-shirt or placard and brighten a stranger’s day like this guy did.

2. RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS DAY (FEBRUARY 17)

Why It’s Important

We often get so caught up in our own lives that we forget about the world around us. Random acts of kindness remind us how good it feels to give without expectations. Kindness is good for our health, too.

How to Celebrate

Celebrating this day is easy. You could treat a friend to coffee, buy a colleague flowers, give up your seat on the bus or buy a homeless person lunch. If you’re at a loss, you’ll find lots of ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness website.

3. WORLD COMPLIMENT DAY (MARCH 1)

Why It’s Important

Humans love to complain. We’ll go out of our way to point out the negative, but we often fail to highlight the good stuff. In a world where people are increasingly at odds with one another, taking the time to pay a compliment can make all the difference.

How to Celebrate

Make every day World Compliment Day by getting into the habit of complimenting people on daily basis. Write a short email to colleague or friend you admire. If the barista at your local coffee shop makes great foam art, say so.

4. WORLD WISH DAY (APRIL 29)

Why It’s Important

We all have dreams. Some of them will come true, others might not. For most of us though, we have the time to work towards making them a reality. Sadly, there are thousands of children battling critical illness who don’t have that luxury.

How to Celebrate

You can celebrate World Wish Day by spreading the message or supporting wishes. Remember, “Where there’s a wish, there’s a way.”

5. INTERNATIONAL RESPECT FOR CHICKENS DAY (MAY 4)

Why It’s Important

Chickens are intelligent creatures with friend and family connections and feelings. Unfortunately, the majority of them end up spending their lives in tiny cages. When they stop laying enough eggs, farmers put battery hens, usually in an inhumane manner.

How to Celebrate

Celebrating International Respect for Chickens Day is easy. Stop supporting battery farms. Buy your eggs for an ethical supplier, one that can prove its chickens have proper access to the outdoors. Even better: stop eating eggs altogether. If you have the space, adopt a battery hen (or five).

6. WORLDWIDE DAY OF GIVING (JUNE 15)

Why It’s Important

World Day of Giving reminds us to offer a helping hand. So often, we get caught up in our own troubles, forgetting that there are people worse off than us. Giving inspires gratitude by showing us how good our lives actually are.

How to Celebrate

You can celebrate this special day by giving a stranger $10, volunteering your time or donating $10 to your favorite cause. If you can’t afford $10, then give what you can. Your intention is more important than the amount you give.

7. WORLD SNAKE DAY (JULY 16)

Why It’s Important

Snakes play an important role in the ecosystem. Along with maintaining balance in the food web, they also keep pests under control. One study found that when snakes keep rodent populations in check, the prevalence of Lyme disease is reduced.

How to Celebrate

With summer upon us, the chances of spotting a snake in your backyard are good. You can celebrate World Snake Day by calling a professional wildlife removal company to assist you if that happens.

8. INTERNATIONAL HOMELESS ANIMAL DAY (AUGUST 17)

Why It’s Important

Pet overpopulation is a growing concern. Each year, more than six million lost, abandoned or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters in the U.S. alone. Many more end up on the streets. Failure to spay or neuter and supporting puppy mills instead of adopting are two of the main reasons for the epidemic.

How to Celebrate

You can make a difference on International Homeless Animal Day by showing your support for animal shelters, educating people on the importance of spaying or neutering their animals and supporting organizations that help homeless animals.

9. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CHARITY (SEPTEMBER 5)

Why It’s Important

Coinciding with the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death, the International Day of Charity aims to increase public support for charity. Serving the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable among us is everyone’s duty and responsibility. If we have the means to help, we must.

How to Celebrate

Being charitable is becoming more and more commonplace. Everywhere we look there are individuals making a difference, non-profit organizations sprouting up and businesses contributing in whatever way they can. All we need to do is support them or follow their example.

10. WORLD HABITAT DAY (OCTOBER 7)

Why It’s Important

Along with food, water, sleep and sex, shelter forms the foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In 2005, the United Nations estimated there were 100 million people homeless worldwide. According to Habitat.org (2015), as many as 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing.

How to Celebrate

Everyone deserves somewhere safe and warm to hang their hat. Supporting World Habitat Day can help make that happen. One option is to take a volunteer vacation and help build houses for people.

11. WORLD HELLO DAY (NOVEMBER 21)

Why It’s Important

World Hello Day came about in 1973 in response to the Yom Kippur War. Demonstrating the importance of personal communication for preserving peace, the day has since been celebrated in 180 countries around the world. It’s hard feel hatred for someone when you greet them sincerely.

How to Celebrate

One novel way to celebrate World Hello Day is to learn how to say hello in different languages. Or, you can simply make a point of greeting at least 10 people in your own language. The important thing is to make a connection.

12. INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY (DECEMBER 11)

Why It’s Important

Mountains aren’t just nice to look at; they play a significant role in our environment. Humans depend on mountains for water, food and clean energy. International Mountain Day aims to highlight the importance of sustainable development in mountains.

How to Celebrate

The theme for 2019 is Mountains Matter for Youth. You can celebrate by raising awareness in your community or joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #MountainsMatter. Another option is simply to spend some time in the mountains enjoying what they have to offer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

35 comments

Jan S
Jan S19 hours ago

thank you for posting

SEND
Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin9 days ago

literally just added most of these on my outlook calendar :)

SEND
Lara A
Lara A10 days ago

Thanks

SEND
Ann B
Ann B11 days ago

the chicken in the red sweater is TO MUCH--and the hug a person day--if you touch someones child you go to jail these days

SEND
heather g
heather g11 days ago

Thanks

SEND
Clare O
Clare O12 days ago

be kind and help others

SEND
Clare O
Clare O12 days ago

never heard of most of those but they mean well

SEND
Clare O
Clare O12 days ago

th

SEND
Renata B
Renata B12 days ago

But most (if not all!) of these celebrations should be not one day a year, but EVERY DAY.

SEND
Renata B
Renata B12 days ago

Very important, yes, thanks, some more important than others, but all important and worthy.

SEND