February 2024 Culture Calendar

Month-long observances:

American Heart Month

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for most groups. February, we encourage all people to gain knowledge on how to keep their hearts healthy and start developing those habits now to manage the risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and more.

Observance Suggestion: Offer up incentives and benefits for acts that will keep employees’ hearts healthy. Things like gym membership reimbursements, cholesterol tests, and healthy grocery delivery services can all play a part in keeping hearts healthy.

Black History Month

This month is a chance to learn the details of Black history that are far too often ignored or neglected. Black folks have endured a lot in American history, and to this day, their stories of struggle continue. This is the time to learn about what’s happened in the past and how to continue to address it appropriately and headstrong now.

Observance Suggestion: Take a look at your list of supply vendors. Are there Black owners involved in your list of suppliers? Also, consider if there is room on your organization’s platform to uplift Black-owned businesses. Could you give them space to talk to your clientele? Could you encourage the people who work with you to also work with Black-owned businesses?

Calendar Dates

February 1 – National Freedom Day (same every year)

United States Citizens have many freedoms that should never be taken for granted. The freedom to vote, pray, for speech, and freedom from slavery are all a part of what we celebrate today. National Freedom Day is all about celebrating the freedoms we have now, and those we will have in the future, even if it’s the freedom to say you’re not happy with the way things run now.

Celebration Suggestions: Host a discussion about the freedoms people in your organization have. Chances are, employees will define freedom in various ways. Hearing what each person values as their own freedom will help to create a culture where those freedoms are valued and respected.

February 4 — Rosa Parks Day (same every year)

This day is in remembrance of Rosa Parks, a major influential Civil rights activist. She is an inspiration to all, especially those who continue to activate modern-day civil rights across the country. Today, many communities host events to include government leaders, not only her most famous act (not giving up her seat on the bus) but also all of her contributions to equality.

Celebration Suggestion: Get involved with your local government and ask about how you can help advocate for civil rights in the spirit of Rosa Parks.

February 6 — Safer Internet Day

The internet is an amazing tool and resource. We can learn almost anything with a simple Google search. We can connect easier with people regardless of where they live. We can shop for anything, play games, and catch up on any television or movie. But it can also be an incredibly dangerous place full of phishing schemes, hackers, and cat phishing. Today, we encourage everyone to learn more about how the internet continues to evolve so you can learn how to keep yourself and your family safe online.

Observance Suggestion: Hire an internet safety expert to do a workshop with your teams. Learn how current technology is evolving for both good and bad internet use. Discover the tricks deceitful people are using to get information that could harm you while in their hands.

February 10 — Tết (Festival of the First Day)

Tết marks the advent of spring as per the Vietnamese calendar and coincides with Chinese Lunar New Year. It’s a time for pilgrimages and family gatherings, putting the past year’s troubles behind in hope of a joyous new one. Celebrations can span from one day to a week, with lively street festivities where people use firecrackers, drums, bells, gongs, and more to scare away evil spirits. Parades feature performers wearing masks and engaging in múa lân, or lion dancing.

Celebration Suggestion: Organize a potluck or catered lunch featuring traditional Vietnamese dishes like bánh chưng, bánh tét, and phở. This is a delicious way to share the culture and celebrate together. Consider invite a local lion dance troupe to perform at your office during the meal. This vibrant and energetic act is a highlight of Tết celebrations and brings good luck and prosperity.

February 10 — Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon)

Over 20 percent of the world’s population will be celebrating the Chinese New Year with more fireworks than any other holiday, parades, and shouts of joy and blessings. As the first day of a 15-day celebration, it’s difficult to find a more celebrated day among the Chinese people full of goodwill and good luck.

Celebration Suggestion: Get in on the fun! Ask any Chinese team members if there are celebrations you can attend and enjoy. Also, take part in the red envelope traditions. Red is a symbol of good luck, and monetary gifts are a wish for good fortune. Tip: keep the money in an even amount and leave out the number four.

February 13 – Mardi Gras

Easily one of the biggest celebrations in the world, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, represents the last day to eat fatty foods and/or meat before the Christain observance of Lent. Mardi Gras is full of rich foods, vibrant music, elaborate masks, and fun parties. People all over the world celebrate, but the festivities in New Orleans are the most well-known.

Celebration Suggestion: If your organization is known to come together around food, this is a great time to have a festive meal catered. 

February 14 – Ash Wednesday

Six weeks before Easter, this Christian holiday is all about fasting and prayer. This signifies their recognition of Christ’s 40-day and 40-night fast. 

Observance Suggestion: Understand that some employees may not eat, or will eat very little. Minimize office activities centered around food and where possible, limit late afternoon meetings.

February 14 — Frederick Douglass’ Birthday (same every year)

This day celebrates the life and legacy of Frederick Douglas, recognizing his contributions to abolitionism, human rights, education, women’s suffrage, and journalism. Although his enslavement at the time of his birth in 1818 prevented his specific birth date from being recorded, he chose to celebrate each year on Valentine’s Day, and many organizations continue to commemorate his contributions on February 14th each year.

Celebration Suggestion: Organize a discussion centered on one of Douglass’ autobiographies or speeches. Consider inviting a historian or speaker to share more about Douglass’s life and achievements, focusing on themes like abolitionism, social justice, or self-education.

February 14 – Valentine’s Day (same every year)

Candy, hearts, and all the love, Valentine’s Day is known as the most romantic holiday of the year. People everywhere use this day to get engaged, have amazing date nights, and shower their significant others with as much love as possible.

Celebration Suggestion: Today, ask people within your organization what kind of acts make them feel loved and recognized. You don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day by showing romantic love to one person. Instead, use the tips your employees give to shower them with gestures that make them feel connected to you and your organization.

February 15 – Nirvana Day (Buddhist) (same every year; either the 15th or the 8th)

Also known as Parinirvana Day, Nirvana Day commemorates the day Buddha achieved nirvana and passed away. According to Buddhism, Nirvana can only be attained by deeply understanding the Four Noble Truths.

Observance Suggestion: Offer up meditation time for your team members so they can reflect on their life and their own immortality. Understand that they believe life on Earth is temporary, but after nirvana and death, your story is immortal.

February 15 – International Childhood Cancer Day (same every year)

Every year, about 300,000 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer. This day is dedicated to the awareness of the variety of childhood cancers as well as support for the families who have been impacted by them. Early detection is key, and International Childhood Cancer Day hopes to educate on what that looks like to help save the lives of children worldwide.

Observance Suggestion: Send donations to organizations and hospitals that are dedicated to educating and helping families with childhood cancer.

February 15 — Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday (same every year)

Susan B. Anthony was a pivotal figure in the American women’s suffrage movement and a dedicated advocate for equality and social justice. While suffrage was her primary focus, Anthony also championed other causes like abolitionism, temperance, and labor rights. Her courage and determination inspired generations of women.

Celebration Suggestion: Partner with a local organization to set up a voter registration drive at the office, encouraging employees to exercise their right to vote.

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice (same every year)

As much as we’ve accomplished in the name of social justice, it’s pretty clear that it’s not the norm worldwide. People all over the world are being deprived of basic facilities, living without a roof over their heads, and not having access to the healthcare they need, education, meals, and so much more. This day is for privileged people to recognize these issues and take action to make social justice a reality for all.

Observance Suggestion: Survey your team members and align on an activity to advocate for social justice in your local community.

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