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National Women's History Month and Irish American Heritage Month 

Established by presidential proclamation, the 2015 theme for National Women’s History Month is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” into the essential fabric of the history of the United States.

Irish American Heritage Month was first proclaimed by the U.S. Congress in 1995 and celebrates the many achievements and contributions made to American culture by persons of Irish heritage. The president of the United States issues a proclamation each year declaring March as Irish American Heritage Month.

Although the month of March features may celebrations, holidays and noted people, we selected several women and the Irish Patron Saint for our calendar!  You can license an entire year of the Diversity Resource Calendar today!

Read more on our Heritage Month Guide.

3. Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri): Japan

A major social festival in traditional Japan, the day is celebrated by visiting among family members and friends, and visitors bring gifts of dolls. Traditional holiday foods are red-bean-flavored rice, rice dumplings wrapped in cherry leaves, and a special sweet cake.

8. International Women's Day: International

International Women's Day got its start as part of the socialist movement for greater women's rights, particularly the right to vote. The Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen, Denmark, first designated the last Sunday in February as the celebratory day in 1910. Later, it was changed to be uniformly celebrated on March 8 to honor women's role in the Russian Revolution. With the resurgence of feminism in the late 1960s, International Women's Day gained renewed interest as a day to celebrate women's lives and work.

10. Harriet Tubman (1820-1913): African American

Tubman, a noted abolitionist, became the "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a clandestine system for helping slaves escape to freedom in the North. She too an escaped slave, she earned the name "Moses" for her heroic work in leading some 400 slaves to freedom. She once said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” She died on this date. 

13. [Edna] Marie Faulk Rudisill (1911-2006): U.S. American

The aunt of the novelist Truman Capote, Marie Rudisill was a writer and television personality who compiled the recipes of Capote's great-aunt into a cookbook called Sook's Cookbook: Memories and Traditional Receipts from the Deep South (first published in 1989, with an updated version published in 2008). The book includes recipes from plantation record books dating from 1836, such as Southern recipes for green olive jambalaya, watermelon rind preserves, poinsettia cake, buttermilk biscuits, persimmon cake, and sweet toncha (a corn pudding named after the Choctaw name for sweet corn), as well as Sook's famous "Christmas Memory" fruitcake, about which Capote wrote a short story. Paired with the recipes are family memories and stories written by Rudisill portraying life in the South. Rudisill's other books include Fruitcake: Memories of Truman Capote and Sook and Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him.

14. New Year: Sikh

Sikhs, one of the largest religious groups in India, celebrate the new year 547 of the Nanakshahi Era. The first year of the Nanakshahi Era is 1469, the year of birth of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. The Sikh community’s calendar, the Nanakshahi calendar, also named after the founder, was introduced in 1999 and officially approved by the Sikh clergy in 2003.

17. St. Patrick's Day: Ireland

According to tradition, Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick, died on this date in A.D. 493 at the age of 106. The anniversary of his death is celebrated in Ireland as a national holiday, with the color green signifying undying gratitude to the saint, who brought Christianity to Ireland. People also wear the shamrock to commemorate its use by the saint as a symbol of the Trinity. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of Irish descent all over the world as an expression of pride in their heritage. For many Irish Americans, a meal of corned beef and cabbage is part of observing this holiday.

20. International Happiness Day: United Nations

Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, March 20 of every year marks International Happiness Day to promote the happiness and well-being of all people. The idea for a happiness day came from Jigme Singye Wangchuck (b. 1955), the Fourth Druk Gyalpo (“Dragon King”) of the Kingdom of Bhutan, who created the political philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an alternative to the Gross National Product (GNP) in Bhutan. Wangchuck believed that true progress should be measured by how much happier the people were rather than how much money the nation made.

21. Chaitra Navratri begins: Hindu

The Goddess Shakti and three of her most popular avatars—Durga, the warrior Goddess, Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, and Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge—are all worshipped during this festival of “nine nights”, which begins on the first day of the month of Chaitra and ends with Ramanavami. Goddess Shakti is also honored in the other “nine nights” of the Navratri festival celebrated in September or October. Since the festival dates are determined according to the lunar calendar, the length of the festival may vary from year to year.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: United Nations

In 1966, the UN General Assembly proclaimed this international day to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre. On this day in 1960, at least sixty-nine people were killed by police in a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid "pass laws" in the township of Sharpeville, South Africa. This day is commemorated in South Africa as Human Rights Day.

24. Dorothy I. Height (1912-2010): African American

Height was a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Her activism spanned three-quarters of a century from the Roosevelt administration to the election of President Barack Obama. From 1957 until 1997 she led the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune to advance opportunities for African American women. Height, the leading women in the upper ranks of the early Civil Rights Movement, marched alongside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and witnessed from the platform Dr. King delivering his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. With her friend Polly Cowan, she organized "Wednesdays in Mississippi" (WIMS), in which Northern women of different races traveled to Mississippi during Freedom Summer in 1964 to create dialogue with Southern women across regional, racial, and class differences in an effort to promote racial integration. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and in 2004 received the Congressional Gold Medal.

29. Palm Sunday: Christian

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the most important week of the Christian year. On this Sunday a week before Easter, Christians remember Jesus' last entry into Jerusalem, when his way was strewn with palms by those gathered to see him. Churches around the world are decorated with palm on this Sunday. In England and Russia, where palm is unobtainable, pussy willow is used instead. In Spain and Mexico many communities have penitential processions often lit by candles and people sometime flagellate themselves to reenact Jesus' suffering. Some communities perform traditional passion plays. The Holy Week or Semana Santa in Spanish, is Mexico's biggest holiday period with many cities holding candlelight processions.

The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Electronic Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

For more information about the calendar and how to license it for your employees, please visit here.

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The 2015 - 2016 electronic calendar offers 12-months of the most comprehensive information available with over 600 entries. Displaying world-class artwork, new features include oral pronunciation of holidays in various languages; videos accompanying entries -- watch a Chinese Lantern Festival, listen to songs of a Muslim EID, or observe a Native American Heritage cultural celebration. Find in-depth explanations about how multicultural holidays and events are celebrated complete with recipes of key foods, and a powerful search engine to quickly find all entries on a particular subject.

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