2021 US & World Holidays to Plan Your Marketing Calendar Around

Holidays are a great time to craft unique and creative marketing campaigns. Besides the regular national holidays, there are tons of other world awareness days that focus on different themes and issues, many of which may be applicable to your brand.

Here is a list of both national holidays celebrated in the US, as well as global awareness days recognized worldwide. Many of them are created by the United Nations (UN) to emphasis different issues, and are particularly useful for nonprofits.

Other holidays are fun and unofficial days – like Pie Day or Hugging Day, that are great for small businesses.

Some holidays have the same specific DATE, while others fall on a specific DAY, and so will have changing DATES. This list is updated for 2021.

2020 Calendar of Holidays:

January Holidays

January 1 – New Year’s Day – Celebrate, plan, vision cast – everything’s new

January 16 – National Religious Freedom Day – Unofficial US holiday to celebrate religious freedom

January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – commemorates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr, a civil rights leader in America. (Changes yearly, always the 3rd Monday of January)

January 22 – National Hugging Day – Unofficial US holiday to give hugs


February Holidays

February 2 – Groundhog Day – a fun holiday based on the myth that a groundhog comes out and predicts whether winter is coming to an end or continue for another 6 weeks.

February 2 – Superbowl Sunday – the final NFL Championship match in the US and most watched TV event of the year. (Changes annually, usually the 1st Sunday in February)

February 4 – World Cancer Day – global observance to raise awareness and promote research

February 12 – Chinese New Year – celebrated by Chinese communities globally, it is the first day of the Chinese calendar (Changes annually, based on lunar calendar). 2021 is the year of the Ox.

February 13 – World Radio Day – a UN day that celebrates radio providing education, information, and freedom of expression.

February 14 – Valentine’s Day – celebrating romantic love.

February 15 – President’s Day – US holiday honoring the work of presidents & celebrating George Washington. (Changes annually, always the 3rd Monday of February)

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice – a UN observance day to promote the eradication of poverty.


March Holidays

March 3 – World Wildlife Day – UN day to raise awareness for endangered species and plants

March 8 – International Women’s Day – UN day to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history.

March 14 – National Pi Day – Unofficial US holiday to the Pi (3.14…) and also pie.

March 17 – St Patrick’s Day – festive holiday to commemorate Ireland’s patron saint.

March 20 – First Day of Spring – the spring equinox, where the length of day and night are almost equal

March 20 – International Day of Happiness – UN day to recognize and promote the pursuit of happiness.

March 21 – World Poetry Day – UN day to appreciate and celebrate poets.

March 22 – World Water Day – UN day to raise awareness for the importance and need for water.

March 27 – April 4 – Passover – Jewish holiday commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Changes annually based on the Hebrew calendar.


April Holidays

April 1 – April Fools Day – Get in on the fun and post something silly

April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day – global observance to raise awareness for people with autism, especially children

April 2 – Good Friday – global Christian holiday commemorating the death of Jesus (Changes annually, based on the lunar calendar)

April 4 – Easter  – a global Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Changes annually, based on the lunar calendar)

April 7 – World Health Day – UN day to promote global health

April 12 – First Day of Ramadan – Muslim holiday observed by one month of fasting from dawn to sunset. Changes annually based on Islamic calendar

April 22 – Earth Day – global holiday to raise awareness & appreciate the environment

April 25 – World Malaria Day – global day to raise awareness for malaria treatment efforts

April 30 – International Jazz Day – UN day to recognize and appreciate the contributions of jazz


May Holidays

May 3 – World Press Freedom Day – global holiday to focus on the importance of freedom of press as a basic human right

May 4 – Star Wars Day – Unofficial cultural holiday to celebrate Star Wars – “May the Fourth” sounds like “May the force be with you.”

May 5  – Cinco de Mayo – festive Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico & the US  for the defeat of the French army

May 5 – National Day of Prayer – US holiday to call on people of different faiths to pray for the nation

May 9 – Mother’s Day – global day to show appreciation to mothers and mother figures (Changes annually, always the 2nd Sunday of May)

May 12 – End of Ramadan – Muslim holiday marking the end of the fasting period, celebrated with a feast. Changes annually based on Islamic calendar

May 15 – International Day of Families – global day to recognize the importance of families

May 31- Memorial Day – US holiday to commemorate those who have died in military service (Changes annually, always last Monday in May)


June Holidays

June 4 – National Doughnut Day – Unofficial US holiday to celebrate donuts (Changes annually, always 1st Friday in June)

June 5 – World Environment Day – UN day to  raise awareness for the environment

June 8 – World Oceans Day – UN day to raise awareness for the importance of oceans

June 14- Flag Day – US holiday to commemorate the US flag

June 20 – Father’s Day – global day to show appreciation to fathers and father figures (Changes annually, always the 3rd Sunday of June)

June 20 – World Refugee Day – UN Day to raise awareness for the plight of refugees around the world

June 20 – First Day of Summer – the longest day of the year


July Holidays

July 4 – Independence Day – US holiday to celebrate the declaration of independence from Great Britain

July 30 – International Day of Friendship / World Friendship Day – UN day to celebrate the role of friendship


August Holidays

August 12 – International Youth Day – UN holiday to celebrate & promote the efforts of youth in society

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day – UN day to honor humanitarian work


September Holidays

September 5 – International Bacon Day – Unofficial day to celebrate the love of bacon

September 6 – Labor Day – US holiday to celebrate contributions of labor associations (Changes annually, always the first Monday of September)

September 8 – International Literacy Day – UN day to raise awareness for literacy issues

September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day – unofficial day to have fun talking like a pirate

September 22 – First Day of Fall – the autumnal equinox, where the length of day and night are almost equal


October Holidays

October 5 – World Teacher’s Day – UN day to celebrate commemorate the role of teachers

October 16 – World Food Day – UN day to raise awareness for the issues of food supply & distribution

October 31 – Halloween – a global festive holiday to celebrate with costumes and horror themes


November Holidays

November 2 – All Soul’s Day / Day of the Dead – a festive Mexican holiday to honor the dead

November 11 – Veterans Day – US holiday to honor all who have served in military service

November 25 – Thanksgiving – US holiday to show gratitude (Changes annually, always the 4th Thursday in November)

November 26 – Black Friday – US day where business offer the largest sales of the year (Changes annually, always the Friday after Thanksgiving)

November 27 – Small Business Saturday – US day to promote shopping at small business  (Changes annually, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving)

November 28 – December 6 – Hanukkah – Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. Changes annually based on Hebrew calendar

November 29 – Cyber Monday – US day where online stores offer sales (Changes annually, always the Monday after Thanksgiving)

November 30 – Giving Tuesday – US day to promote donating & volunteering to charitable causes (Changes annually, always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving)


December Holidays

December 1 – World Aids Day – UN day to raise awareness for people with HIV/AIDS

December 10 – Human Rights Day – UN day to raise awareness for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 21 – First Day of Winter – the shortest day of the year

December 25 – Christmas – global Christian holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus, also a universal holiday for gift-giving

December 26 – January 1Kwanzaa – African-American holiday based on harvest feast traditions from Africa


Go ahead and bookmark all the relevant holidays that apply to your brand and industry. Keep checking back, as I’ll add more holidays as I come across them. Are there any I missed that should be on here? Share in the comments!

Now that you have your holiday calendar down, you’ll need the right hashtags to run an effective social media marketing campaign:

Holiday Hashtags for Twitter & Instagram

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