Champ always gets quite depressed after we take the Christmas Tree (which, I can assure you, we did in a timely matter, at the beginning of January). To cheer him up, I embarked on a calendar project, compiling holidays and observances, national and international celebrations.
I included Christian holidays, and then added some Jewish holidays, and then looked up literary birthdays as well.
As you might have guessed, the project began to take on a life of its own, and I still haven’t finished it. However, I thought there might be some other families out there who’d like a list of holidays that expanded upon the public holidays each month, so I thought I’d share what I’ve got so far.
Many of these national celebrations were taken from an exhaustive list found at Brownielocks.com. The literary holidays were compiled from birthday lists of authors. I never found a complete list, and many of the writers and poets I just looked up individually.
This is a perpetual list of holidays, meaning you can come back to this list each year. I do have downloadable calendars for 2014 at the bottom of this post that you are free to print and use!
How it works
Each month has a theme. Some are nationally or internationally recognized, and others are just suggestions (take February for example—”Celebrate the ones you love Month”). Each month also has a list of authors born in that month. The idea is that older children or parents choose from that list and read a book from one or more of the authors during the month.
The holidays listed under the “weeks” are holidays that occur on a particular day each year. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is always celebrated the third Monday in January.
The holidays listed here are celebrated or observed on the same date each year. New Year’s Day is always January First. I’ve included birthdays of poets on these lists, so that on their birthdays, we can read one of their poems. It’s a gentle reminder to me that I need more poetry in my life, and it’s an excuse to read poetry to my children at least a few times each month.
Some holidays aren’t based on the Gregorian calendar. For example, the Chinese New Year is celebrated in January some years, and February other years. I have 2014 dates for these holidays marked on the printable calendars. For subsequent years, you’ll have to look them up. I’ll include links when I can find them.
- Resolution Month (Choose a motto for the new year, make a collage, etc.)
- Human Trafficking Prevention
- Authors: Tolkien, A.A. Milne, Poe, Lewis Carroll
- Second (always 8th–14th)—Universal Letter Writing Week
- 3rd Sunday—Sanctity of Life Day
- 3rd Monday—MLK Day
- 1/1 New Year’s Day
- 1/3 Tolkien Day
- 1/8 Midwife’s Day, Elvis’ Bday
- 1/18 Winnie the Pooh Day (A.A. Milne’s Birthday)
- 1/19 Edgar Allan Poe
- 1/27 US Holocaust Memorial Day (day of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp), Lewis Carroll
- 1/29 Puzzle Day
- January or February: Chinese New Year
- Last week in January: Lead up to Super Bowl
- Celebrate the ones you love Month (Read some classic love stories, compile stories of how your family members met & fell in love)
- Winter Olympics Month (every 4 years)
- Authors: Dickens, Jules Verne, Lemony Snicket, Laura Ingalls Wilder
- First Sunday—Super Bowl Sunday
- Second Monday & Tuesday—Westminster Dog Show
- Third—Engineers Week
- Third Monday—Presidents’ Day
- 2/1 Langston Hughes
- 2/2 Groundhog’s Day
- 2/8 Elizabeth Bishop
- 2/14 Valentine’s Day
- 2/15 Susan B Anthony Day
- 2/27 Longfellow
- February or March: Carnival / Mardi Gras (day before Ash Wednesday)
- Ash Wednesday
- Purim (Esther’s Feast)
- Women’s History Month
- Authors: Dr. Seuss, Lois Lowry
- 3/4 National Grammar Day
- 3/6 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- 3/14 Pi Day
- 3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
- 3/21 First Day of Spring
- 3/26 Robert Frost
- March or April: Easter
- National Poetry Month
- Authors: Hans Christian Anderson, Shakespeare
- 4/2 Hans Christian Anderson Day
- 4/7 Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide
- 4/12 D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read Day)
- 4/15 da Vinci Birthday
- 4/23 Shakespeare’s birthday (observed; day of his death)
- April or May: Yom Hashoa (Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Download the 2014 Calendar
- Download the plain 2014 calendar (with federal and public holidays) here.
- Download our family’s calendar for January–April (with various religious, literary, and geeky observed holidays) here. (Subscribe by email or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to be notified when the other months are ready!)