Numerous organizations designate specific days, weeks, and months for international observances. The motivations behind them include promoting awareness, facilitating unity, protecting human rights, fostering sustainability, and increasing peaceful action. Many dates have been designated by the United Nations (U.N.) or their agencies (like UNESCO or UNICEF) but some, like Golden Rule Day (April 5), have been declared by other groups around the world.
Unlike faith-based holidays, which focus on a particular tradition, international observances offer opportunities to reflect on themes that transcend religion. We are now developing free classroom resources with some of these days in mind. World Interfaith Harmony Week (Feb. 1-7), Int’l. Day of Peace (Sept. 21), and International Day for Tolerance (Nov. 16) work well, but a complete list of U.N. designations can be found here.
We are also developing religion-based resources for some of the earth-friendly days, like World Wildlife Day (March 3), World Water Day (March 22), Earth Day (April 22), and World Food Day (October 16).
Check out the resources currently available below, and let us know how you used them and how they worked!
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