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 2018.
2018 Calendar of Holidays:
January 1 – New Year’s Day – Celebrate, plan, vision cast – everything’s new
January 15 – 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 16 – National Religious Freedom Day – Unofficial US holiday to celebrate religious freedom
January 22 – National Hugging Day – Unofficial US holiday to give hugs
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 4 – 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 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 16 – Chinese New Year – celebrated by Chinese communities globally, it is the first day of the Chinese calendar (Changes annually, based on lunar calendar)
February 19 – 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 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 – International Day of Happiness – UN day to recognize and promote the pursuit of happiness.
March 20 – First Day of Spring – the spring equinox, where the length of day and night are almost equal
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 30 – Good Friday – global Christian holiday commemorating the death of Jesus (Changes annually, based on the lunar calendar)
April 1 – Easter – a global Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Changes annually, based on the lunar calendar)
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 7 – World Health Day – UN day to promote global health
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 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 13 – Mother’s Day – global day to show appreciation to mothers and mother figures (Changes annually, always the 2nd Sunday of May)
May 15 – International Day of Families – global day to recognize the importance of families
May 28 – Memorial Day – US holiday to commemorate those who have died in military service (Changes annually, always last Monday in May)
June 1 – National Donut 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 17 – Father’s Day – global day to show appreciation to fathers and father figures (Changes annually, always the 3rd Sunday of June)
June 21 – First Day of Summer – the longest day of the year
Want this calendar in an easy PDF you can save & reference?
July 4 – Independence Day – US holiday to celebrate the declaration of independence from Great Britain
August 5 – International Day of Friendship – UN day to celebrate the role of friendship (Changes annually, always the 1st Sunday in August)
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 3 – Labor Day – US holiday to celebrate contributions of labor associations (Changes annually, always the first Monday of September)
September 5 – International Bacon Day – Unofficial day to celebrate the love of bacon
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 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 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 22 – Thanksgiving – US holiday to show gratitude (Changes annually, always the 4th Thursday in November)
November 23 – Black Friday – US day where business offer the largest sales of the year (Changes annually, always the Friday after Thanksgiving)
November 24 – Small Business Saturday – US day to promote shopping at small business (Changes annually, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving)
November 26 – Cyber Monday – US day where online stores offer sales (Changes annually, always the Monday after Thanksgiving)
November 27 – Giving Tuesday – US day to promote donating & volunteering to charitable causes (Changes annually, always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving)
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
Want this calendar in an easy PDF you can save & reference?
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: