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Global Workforce

February National Holidays

One of the cultural challenges of employing workers all over the world is the recognition of national holidays and days of remembrance that are an important part of their local reality. Making mention of these days and sending well wishes as they happen can go a long way toward building bridges and affinities with your global teams, though they may be oceans away.

Here are some prominent holidays coming up in January, along with a brief description. We hope it helps you take steps toward further connecting with and honoring your employees across the world.

National Day (Sri Lanka) – (4 February) Sri Lanka’s National Day, alternately known as Independence Day, celebrates the end of British rule over the island nation in 1948. Sri Lanka celebrates its National Day with fireworks, airshows, ceremonial drumming, and more.

Waitangi Day (New Zealand) – (6 February) Waitangi Day commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which made the indigenous Maori people subjects of the British Crown and is widely seen as the founding document of New Zealand. For much of the country, the tone of Waitangi Day is somber. While the Maori often celebrate with traditional rituals, musical performances, and debates about issues facing Maori today, other New Zealanders take the opportunity to better learn about the Maori and the injustices they have faced, both past and present.

Carnival (16 – 21 February) – Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival celebrated by many cultures and religious groups, including Roman Catholicism and some Protestant denominations. It is typically a time of revelry and celebration, marked by parades, masquerade balls, and feasting, before the more somber season of Lent begins.

Prophet’s Ascension – (18 February) The Prophet’s Ascension – Lailat al Miraj in Arabic – commemorates both parts of the Night Journey, when the Prophet Muhammad is said to have supernaturally travelled first to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where he led other prophets in prayer, and then to heaven itself. The evening is one of the holiest days in Islam and celebrated widely by Muslims all over the world.

Family Day (Canada) – (20 February) – Canada Family Day is a public holiday observed in some provinces of Canada, celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is a day for families to spend time together and enjoy activities.

Ash Wednesday – (22 February) – Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar, occurring 46 days before Easter. It is a day of fasting and repentance, marked by the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of participants as a symbol of penitence