International observance


A national or international awareness day or observance is a date usually set by a major organisation or government to commemorate a
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of Preventive healthcare, preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations (public and private), C ...

public health
ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of min ...
cause of importance on a national or international level. An international observance, also known as an international dedication or international anniversary, is a period of time to observe some issue of international interest or concern. This is used to commemorate, promote and mobilize for action. Many of these periods have been established by the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. Its ...
Economic and Social Council
Economic and Social Council
, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organ ...

World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainment ...
(WHO) and other United Nations bodies including the
International Telecommunication Union 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the ...

International Telecommunication Union
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is a specialized agency ...
World Intellectual Property Organization The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental orga ...
United Nations Environment Programme The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system. It was established by Maurice Strong Maurice Frederick Strong, (April 29, 1929 – November 27, 201 ...
International Maritime Organization The International Maritime Organization (IMO, French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), ...
(IMO) and the
International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency, specialized and funding agency of the United Nations. It changes the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and developme ...
(ICAO). In this case, the lead agency for a particular international observance uses the symbolism of the United Nations (UN), perhaps a specially designed logo for the year, and the UN infrastructure to coordinate events worldwide. It also presents a written report about the event. This summarizes the activities that took place around the world under the auspices of the international observance, and makes recommendations for the future. The lists below include some days, month, years, and decades that have been recognized as international observances by the United Nations, or by other organizations that declare international observances but are not as widely recognized.









Comic Sans Day
Comic Sans Day
- First Friday of July






Other days that vary by location

Arbor Day Arbor Day (or Arbour in some countries) is a secular day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...
Children's Day Children's Day is a commemorative date celebrated annually in honor of children, whose date of observance varies by country. In 1925, International Children's Day was first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare. Since ...
– dates vary between countries *
Father's Day Father's Day is a day of honouring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic countries of Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 as Saint Joseph's Day since the Middle Ages. In America, Fat ...
– dates vary between countries *
Flag Day A flag day is a flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The term ''flag'' is also used to refe ...
– dates vary between countries *
Hangul Day The Korean Alphabet Day, known as Hangeul Day (한글날) in South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McC ...
– 9 October (
South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Namchosŏn'' in North Korean usage), officially the R ...

South Korea
); 15 January (
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It borders China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Yalu (Amnok) and Tum ...

North Korea
) *
Imbolc Imbolc or Imbolg (), is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It is traditionally observed on the 1st February. It lands about halfway between the winter solstice The winter solstice, hiemal solstice or hibernal so ...
– beginning of February or at the first local signs of spring * Inventors' Day (dates vary between countries) *
Labour Day Labour Day ('' Labor Day'' in the United States) is an annual holiday A holiday is a day set aside by Norm (social), custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generall ...
– dates vary between countries *
Mardi Gras Mardi Gras (), or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival Carnival is a Western Christian festive season A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather, ecology, and the number of daylight hours in a given region. O ...

Mardi Gras
* Mothers' Day – dates vary between countries *
National day A national day is a day on which celebrations mark the nationhood A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural s ...

National day
– dates vary between countries * Scouts' Day (and Scout Weeks) – dates vary between countries



Regional or national

* OCDAction - week of Action 15–19 February; raising awareness of obsessive compulsive disorder in the UK * Celebrate Your Name Week - first full week in March * Fix a Leak Week - March * UK Parkinson's Awareness Week - 10–16 April 2017 * Sleep Awareness Week - Last week of April * National Dark-Sky Week (USA) - April (Week of new moon) * Public Service Recognition Week - 1–7 May * National Postcard Week (USA) - May (First full week) * National Dairy Goat Awareness Week (US) - from the second Saturday to the third Saturday of June * Gifted Awareness Week in New Zealand - the full week including George Parkyn's birthday, 17 June * Speech Pathology Awareness Week (Australia) - 20 August * Contact Lens Health Week - 21–25 August 2017 * Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week - worldwide event designed to raise awareness and educate the community about the rare neurological sleep disorder idiopathic hypersomnia; first week in September * Free Speech Week - third full week in October in the United States * National Map Reading Week - educational campaign to increase awareness of map skills; third full week in October * UK Charity Week - 4–10 December


See List of month-long observances.



See also

* Chase's Calendar of Events * :Disability observances, Disability observances * List of environmental dates * List of food days * Lists of holidays * List of holidays by country * List of vegetarian festivals * New Zealand list of Unofficial Observances * World Health Observances




"United Nations Conferences and Observances"
(press release), United Nations, Reference Paper No. 47, 20 February 2008.

External links

National Health Observances (NHO)
United States
UK awareness days calendar

United Nations Observances Calendar

UNESCO International Days
{{United Nations Calendars United Nations observances International observances Lists of observances, Minor secular Unofficial observances, *List