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 November, along with a brief description. We hope it helps you take steps toward further connecting with and honoring your employees across the world.
All Saints’ Day – November 1st
This is a Catholic holiday celebrating saints of the church – those especially pious individuals who have made it to heaven. While there are days in the Christian calendar dedicated to specific saints (St. Valentine’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, etc.), All Saints’ Day commemorates those without a dedicated holiday in their name, and Catholics who revere a certain less known or obscure saint may devote this day to him or her.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) – November 2nd
One of the most widely celebrated holidays in Mexico, Día de los Muertos is a festive day of morbid joy where the living and the dead are reunited. Families build shrines to their departed loved ones or gather at their graves to bring food offerings and recount (often humorous) memories and stories. Many people go out wearing skull masks, and the food of the day is pan de muerto – a kind of sweet pastry. Celebrants hail each other with the greeting ‘Feliz Día de los Muertos”.
Armistice Day/Remembrance Day – November 11th
Observed across Europe, Armistice Day marks the 1918 agreement signed between the Allied forces and Germany effectively ending World War I. It’s also a solemn day of remembrance, honoring the many millions of military personnel who lost their lives during this terrible conflict. Ceremonies, wreath dedications, and nationwide moments of silence take place across the continent.
Thanksgiving (US) – November 24th
American Thanksgiving originated with the early New England colonists as a day of thanks, prayer, and celebration of the harvest. The holiday has been observed nationally since 1789, usually with families coming together and giving thanks over a feast of classic American cuisine like squash, corn, cranberries, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and of course – turkey!
Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day — November 17th
Observed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, this serious holiday commemorates the day in 1939 when Nazis stormed the University of Prague in addition to several other universities after continued student protests against the German invasion. Nine student leaders were executed, and over 1000 sent to concentration camps. Today, the holiday highlights the memory of those lost, emphasizes the importance of free speech and democracy, and honors students in general.
November Days of Independence
Here are a few of the countries celebrating their Independence Days in November:
Cambodia, November 9th
Poland, November 11th
Latvia, November 18th
Morocco, November 18th
Panama, November 28th