Awareness days and holidays can offer community managers and social media managers a useful framework for campaign and content planning.
Some are more serious and formal than others, but these dates can be useful for helping to spark conversations within your communities. Community hosts can encourage member engagement by sharing stories and offering advice or peer support.
There are 100s of community awareness days and months throughout the year for some excellent causes. We've focused on those relevant to business and the workplace, health and well-being, and diversity and inclusion.
We explore them in more detail below but here's a quick list of 2023 awareness days.
January 16 2023 - Blue Monday (Global) or Brew Monday (UK)
January 23 2023 - Community Manager Appreciation Day (Global)
January 27 2023 - National Fun at Work Day (Global)
January 30 – February 5 2023 - National Storytelling Week (UK only)
February 2023 – National LGBT+ History Month (UK only)
February 2 2023 – Time to Talk Day (UK only)
February 6-12 2023 – National Apprenticeship Week (UK only)
February 6-12 2023 – Race Equality Week (UK only)
February 7 2023 – Safer Internet Day (Global)
February 17 2023 – Random Acts of Kindness Day (Global)
March 1 2023 – Zero Discrimination Day (Global)
March 3 2023 - Employee Appreciation Day (Global)
March 8 2023 – International Women’s Day (Global)
March 17 2023 - World Sleep Day (Global)
March 13-19 2023 - Neurodiversity Celebration Week (UK only)
April 7 2023 – World Health Day (Global)
April 22 2023– Earth Day (Global)
May 2023 – Local and Community History month (UK only)
May 4 2023 - World Password Day (Global)
May 7 – World Laughter Day (Global)
May 15-21 2023 - Learning at Work Week (UK Only)
May 15-21 2023 – Mental Health Awareness Week (UK Only)
May 18 2023 - Global Accessibility Awareness Day (Global)
June 1 – 7 2023 - Volunteers Week (UK Only)
June – Pride Month (Global)
June 5 2023 – World Environment Day (Global)
June 15 2023– National Freelancers Day (UK only)
July – Plastic Free July (Global)
July 17 2023 - World Emoji Day (Global)
July 30 2023 - International Day of Friendship (Global)
August 9 – Book Lovers Day (Global)
August 10 2023 - International Update Your Bio Day (Global)
September 18-24 2023 - International Week of Happiness at Work (Global)
September 26 2023 - European Day of Languages (Europe only)
October 2023 – Black History Month (UK only)
October 2023 – Global Diversity Awareness Month (Global)
October 2-6 - National Work Life Week (UK only)
October 6 2023 - World Smile Day (Global)
October 10 2023 – World Mental Health Day (Global)
November 1 2023– National Stress Awareness Day (UK only)
November 13-19 2023 – Global Entrepreneurship Week (Global)
November 24 2023 - Black Friday (Global)
November 27 2023 - Cyber Monday (Global)
November 28 2023 - Giving Tuesday #GivingTuesday (Global)
December 3 2023 – International Day of People with Disability (Global)
December 5 2023 - International Volunteer Day (Global)
December 8 2023 – Christmas Jumper Day (UK only)
16 January - Blue Monday (Global)
First established in 2005, Blue Monday, which falls on the third Monday of each January, is said to be the most depressing day of the year. The theory is that the winter weather, short daylight hours, and average number of days since last pay day all contribute to a feeling of negativity. The Samaritans charity has a more constructive take, and recommends people mark Brew Monday, saying “we all have our good days and our bad days, and those aren’t for the calendar to decide.” Whichever path you choose, taking “time for a cuppa and a catch-up” will help your community to connect.
23 January – Community Manager Appreciation Day (Global)
Community Manager Appreciation Day occurs on the fourth Monday of each January, to recognise and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the globe. It’s a day where people traditionally take to social media platforms to give thanks to their online community managers.
27 January - National Fun at Work Day (Global)
Authors Mario Tamayo and Bob Nelson say that in Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work list, 81% of employees at companies ranked as “great” described their office environments as fun. Since we spend so much of our time at work, this might be a good opportunity to bring teams together over an activity, light-hearted charity event or event. It’s good for your team and good for your organisation.
30 January– 5 February - National Storytelling Week (UK Only)
Primarily an initiative to get children and young people enthused by the power of stories. However, it’s a great catalyst for sharing stories in your community, or sharing stories about your community with wider audiences. Check out our guide to using story and journalism to support your community.
February – National LGBT+ History Month (UK only)
National LGBT+ History Month occurs every February in the UK, and it exists to promote equality and inclusion. It's an opportunity to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their lives, history and experiences. The initiative aims to advance education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community, and to help make institutions and workplaces safer for all.
2 February – Time to Talk Day (UK only)
Time To Talk Day is organised by Mind with Rethink Mental Illness and the Co-op. Its aim is to create “supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health”. 1 in 4 people will have a mental health problem in any given year – talking about it reduces stigma and helps people support themselves and others. Lots of resources available on the Time to Talk Day website.
6-12 February – National Apprenticeship Week (UK only)
National Apprenticeship Week in the UK was set up to highlight the exceptional work of employees and apprentices. It’s an opportunity to highlight the positive impact of apprenticeship schemes for apprentices, employers and the wider economy.
6-12 February – Race Equality Week (UK only)
Race Equality Week is an annual UK-wide movement – in 2022 it united over 3,500 organisations to address the barriers to race equality in the workplace. The 2023 theme is #ItsEveryonesBusiness and organiser Race Equality Matters offers many resources to help you take part, including a 5 day challenge.
7 February – Safer Internet Day (Global)
Safer Internet Day uses the strapline ‘Together for a better internet’. Its aim is to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, particularly among children and young people.
17 February 2023 – Random Acts of Kindness Day (Global)
A global movement that aims to “Make Kindness the Norm”, Random Acts of Kindness Day should be a perfect fit for any community. Mark it in big or small ways, use it as a prompt to reconnect with members you’ve not seen for a while, or simply start a conversation with your own stories. Think kindness should be for every day, not just one day? The free 2023 Kindness at Work calendar has you covered and many of the prompts can be used in your community.
1 March – Zero Discrimination Day (Global)
UNAIDS runs Zero Discrimination Day on 1 March to “celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life—and live it with dignity”. It aims to help to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination.
3 March - Employee Appreciation Day (Global)
Taking place on the first Friday of every March, Employee Appreciation Day is a relatively new date in the diary. It's an opportunity for companies to thank their staff for their hard work and effort throughout the year. Businesses celebrate in different ways, from encouraging colleagues to leave early, to arranging events or showing recognition in other ways.
8 March – International Women’s Day (Global)
Taking place on 8 March every year, International Women’s Day first began over a century ago. It celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, whilst working to accelerate gender equality. The global theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. See what words of wisdom three Guild members hoped to pass on to young women at the start of their careers.
17 March - World Sleep Day (Global)
Held on the Friday before spring Equinox each year, World Sleep Day is designed to call for action on important sleep related issues. This includes the effects of medicines, education, social aspects and driving. Introduced by the World Sleep Society, its mission is to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. In a professional context you could look at the impact of broken sleep and the importance of work-life balance, reducing stress, screen breaks and working hours.
13-19 March - Neurodiversity Celebration Week (UK only)
Almost 15% of students in the United Kingdom have a learning difference. Neurodiversity Celebration Week was founded by Siena Castellon, a teenager with ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. It focuses on schools and colleges but as Siena says "The struggling SEN students of today will become the entrepreneurs and revolutionaries of tomorrow" so your business or professional community might also want to mark this week with awareness activity.
7 April – World Health Day (Global)
World Health Day is an international event to draw attention to a specific health topic of concern to people around the world.
The topic of the 2023 World Health day has not yet been confirmed, but the day occurs on 7 April each year to mark the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. Previous themes have included universal health coverage, active ageing, high blood pressure and depression.
22 April – Earth Day (Global)
Earth Day, organised by Earthday.org, is an annual event held to encourage mass environmental protection. The first Earth Day took place in 1970 in the US, and it now has the support of 193 countries globally. It's observed by more than one billion people worldwide with a wide range of events - see the Take Action for ideas for your organisation or community.
May – Local and Community History month (UK only)
The purpose of Local and Community History Month is to raise awareness of local history and promote its importance within the local community, encouraging participation from everyone. Throughout May, activities are planned across the country, such as trips, library exhibitions, and local lectures.
5 May - World Password Day (Global)
World Password Day was first established by Intel in 2013, and falls on the first Thursday of May each year to address the critical need for complex passwords. It highlights the importance of good practice and strong authentication for keeping personal information safe, and preventing cybercrime. Community managers could use it to prompt members to consider their password security.
7 May – World Laughter Day (Global)
Humour can sometimes be divisive but more often it brings us together. Laughter also has many health benefits from lowering blood pressure to potentially improving immunity. An easy prompt for your community might be to ask them to share something that makes them smile or to share their favourite (community-friendly) joke or pun in your sector
15-21 May - Learning at Work Week (UK only)
Campaign for Learning co-ordinates this annual event to promote lifelong learning at work. Organisations and workplaces are encouraged to provide inspiration, resources and time for teams to explore new learning opportunities. The 2023 theme is Create the future – see the Learning at Work Week website for ideas and resources.
15-21 May – Mental Health Awareness Week (UK Only)
Organised by mental health support charity Mind, Mental Health Awareness Week is a themed campaign to raise awareness, invite conversations, and encourage people to volunteer, raise awareness and take action to break the stigma associated with mental health.
18 May - Global Accessibility Awareness Day (Global)
98.1% of home pages have at least one accessibility issue under the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. Fostering inclusive design and development can have a huge impact and Global Accessibility Awareness Day highlights events and resources that “get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion”.
June – Pride Month (Global)
Pride is an annual opportunity to foster acceptance, equality and celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are many ways to take part and show genuine allyship. There are many events and resources available depending on your industry or sector – start by asking your own community members for their advice and the resources they trust.
1-7 June – Volunteers Week (Global)
Charities large and small come together to celebrate volunteers and the contributions they make to society. Volunteers Week is an opportunity to show the impact of volunteers and the difference volunteering can make both to individuals and organisations and encourage people to explore volunteering in the future.
5 June – World Environment Day (Global)
An annual event since 1974, World Environment Day began as a way to engage governments, businesses, and citizens to address pressing environmental issues. World Environment Day has a different theme and a different host nation each year. In 2023 it will be hosted by Sweden, with the theme 'Only One Earth', calling for transformative changes to enable cleaner, greener and more sustainable living.
15 June – National Freelancers Day (UK only)
National Freelancers Day was set up by the IPSE, the organisation supporting the UK’s self-employed and freelance community. It celebrates all things freelance and typically features influential speakers, interactive workshops and opportunities for the freelance and self-employed community to connect.
July – Plastic Free July (Global)
This month-long awareness event began in Western Australia but has expanded worldwide. It’s about raising awareness of different types of plastic and how to reduce single use plastic, whether in the home, workplace or the products we buy and use. Plastic Free July shares advice for homes, schools, businesses and communities.
17 July - World Emoji Day (Global)
Whether you love or hate emojis in professional communications there's no doubt they're becoming more common in the workplace. World Emoji Day can be a fun way to start a serious conversation about new ways to communicate - take a look at the day's organiser Emojipedia for more details on the meaning and accessibility of emojis.
July 30 2023 - International Day of Friendship (Global)
The UN General Assembly proclaimed in 2011 that 30 July should celebrate “the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities”. Groups are encouraged to hold events, activities and initiatives that promote dialogue, solidarity and mutual understanding.
9 August – Book Lovers Day (Global)
August tends to be a quiet time in workplaces and communities as colleagues and customers take holidays. Book Lovers Day is a light-hearted, low commitment way to engage people in conversation – what you are reading, what would you recommend, what’s your favourite book on a certain topic?
10 August - International Update Your Bio Day (Global)
Dr. Jason Jones of Stony Brook University is behind this "new, fun, made-up virtual holiday celebrating introspection and self-presentation". But there's a serious message behind the silliness - your online bio on every platform is part of you personally expressed identity and can show trends in disclosure, inclusivity and social concerns. At Guild, we encourage members to spend time on their Guild profile for improved networking and community experience. As far as we're concerned, every day could be an 'update your bio day'.
18 September - 24 September - International Week of Happiness at Work (Global)
International Week of Happiness at Work invites businesses to examine and celebrate workplace satisfaction. Ideas include team bonding events, inviting expert speakers, or creating a new workplace manifesto. This is an ideal opportunity to celebrate and share your values and what your business does well - as well as ask your community for ideas and inspiration.
26 September - European Day of Languages (Europe only)
The European Day of Languages is an annual event created by the Council of Europe. Millions of people take part in activities to celebrate linguistic diversity. It's a good opportunity to highlight the lingusitic and cultural richness of your community.
October – Black History Month (UK only)
Black History Month is an annual observation across the UK. It was first celebrated in 1987 and has evolved significantly since then. The Building Inclusive Cultures community on Guild have shared resources and learnings to improve racial equity in the workplace.
October – Global Diversity Awareness Month (Global)
Global Diversity Awareness Month takes place every October to recognise multicultural traditions, and to celebrate how different ethnicities, cultures, heritages and experiences contribute to more dynamic, innovative, richer and efficient workplaces.
2-6 October National Work Life Week (UK only)
Working Families is the UK’s national charity for working parents and carers. National Work Life Week is its annual campaign to get employers and employees to find ways to improve wellbeing at work, showcase flexible working practices and improve work-life balance for all.
6 October - World Smile Day (Global)
World Smile Day takes place on the first Friday of each October. It was born from the idea that everybody should devote one day each year to acts of kindness throughout the world, regardless of politics, geography and religion. The first World Smile Day was held in 1999 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and today is celebrated in numerous countries around the world.
10 October – World Mental Health Day (Global)
World Mental Health Day is organised by the WHO. It is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. The day highlights work being done on mental health issues, as well as the progress needed to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
1 November – National Stress Awareness Day (UK only)
On the first Wednesday of November, National Stress Awareness Day is celebrated in the UK as a way of highlighting the importance of managing stress in our daily lives. It aims to raise awareness of stress and its impact. It also aims to reduce stigma and promote wellbeing and stress reduction for individuals.
13-19 November – Global Entrepreneurship Week (Global)
Celebrated in November each year, this is a celebration of enterprise and entrepreneurial people. Global Entrepreneurship Week is described as a “worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people, with millions unleashing their enterprising talents and turning their ideas into reality.” Check out some of entrepreneurial communities on Guild that you can apply to join.
24 November - Black Friday (Global)
Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US and it is the busiest shopping day of the year. In more recent years, Black Friday is celebrated as a shopping holiday event in other countries around the world, with many retailers offering highly promoted sales on, or around, this day.
27 November - Cyber Monday (Global)
Cyber Monday is the Monday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and is the online equivalent of Black Friday, recognising the amount of e-commerce transactions that typically occur on this day. It was created by retailers to encourage consumers to shop online.
28 November - Giving Tuesday #GivingTuesday (Global)
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving. In 2023 it will take place on November 28th. Individuals, organisations and businesses can support charities and the initiative with donations, time, or action. It's a great time to explore ways of giving back in your community. At Guild we’re delighted to be taking part in #GivingTuesday again and will continue to support this important global movement.
3 December – International Day of People with Disability (Global)
The International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) is celebrated around the world on 3 December each year. This UN-sanctioned day was introduced to celebrate and value the diversity of our global community and to understand and learn from the experiences of people with living with a disability.
5 December - International Volunteer Day (Global)
The UN Volunteers (UNV) programme organises International Volunteer Day on to celebrate and promote the work of volunteers around the world.
8 December 2023 – Christmas Jumper Day (UK only)
Workplaces, schools and groups of friends come together to dress up in something festive, raise money for Save the Children and feel part of something bigger. Not everyone celebrates Christmas but it’s more about the charity and togetherness – take the opportunity to share photos in your team or community.
Header image by Anna Nekrashevich from Pexels
Six ways to use awareness days to create content and engage your community
- Create a poll or survey
- Ask your community to share their experiences or plans to mark a particular day
- Share your own experiences or story if the day is relevant to you
- Plan ahead and invite your community or organisation to share their experiences and insights in a piece of content
- Hold a webinar, AMA or lunch and learn with an expert or guest speakers
- Take part in an activity or donate to the cause behind the day - tell your community why it's important to you
Awareness days and holiday calendars
Alongside these widely recognised awareness days, why not look for some events and diary dates celebrated within your specific industry?
Here are some additional resources to explore:
Bank Holidays and Observances in the UK
NHS Employers - calendar of campaigns and awareness days
Examples of awareness day content on the Guild blog
Community Manager Appreciation Day
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