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July Cultural Awareness Brief

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July 1 is Canada Day or Fête du Canada, a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act which established the three former British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick as a united nation called Canada. July 4 is Independence Day or the Fourth of July, a U.S. federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when the original thirteen American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America. July 8 to 9 (sundown to sundown) is Waqf al Arafa, the second day of pilgrimage within the Islamic faith. July 9 is the Martyrdom of the Bab, a day when Bahá’ís observe the anniversary of the Báb’s execution in Tabriz, Iran, in 1850. July 9 to 10 (sundown to sundown) is Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. July 11 is St. Benedict Day, the feast day of St. Benedict celebrated by some Christian denominations. July 11 is World Population Day, an observance established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program; the annual event is designed to raise awareness of global population issues. July 13 is Asalha Puja or Dharma Day, a celebration of Buddha’s first teachings. July 14 is International Nonbinary People’s Day, a day aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by nonbinary people around the world while celebrating their contributions. July 14 is also Bastille Day, a French federal holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that held political prisoners who had displeased the French nobility; the Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, was regarded as a turning point of the French Revolution. July 15 is St. Vladimir of the Great Day, a feast day for St. Vladimir celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

July 18 is Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly; it was inspired by a call Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices in which he stated, “It is in your hands now.” July 23 is the Birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia whom the Rastafarians consider to be their savior. July 24 is Pioneer Day, observed by Mormons to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter-day Saints pioneer in Salt Lake Valley. July 25 is St. James the Greater Day, a feast day for St. James the Greater celebrated by some Christian denominations. July 26 is Disability Independence Day, celebrating the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. July 29 to 30 is Hijri New Year, the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year. July 30 is International Day of Friendship, proclaimed in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

 

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