Skip to content

One interesting factor about Days of the Year is that it incorporates a variety of types of events which may include days, weeks and months that are often considered national, international, global or world events. But the good news is that, no matter what the distinguishing factor is for each one, these types of days, weeks or months can be celebrated by just about anyone who comes from anywhere on the planet! 

It is true that certain events which are titled “national” days may be sanctioned by a government or national authority to make that day an official day or even a public holiday within that nation or country. In fact, in the United States, declaring an official “national day” technically requires an Act of Congress and the process may take many months or even years. In Canada, the members of parliament can pass certain types of legislation that will proclaim a specific day as officially recognized or a “national” day.

Many different countries recognize their own “national” days that are dedicated to marking the statehood, nationhood or culture of a group of people. This might be included as an independence day, such as July 4th for the United States or September 16th for Mexican Independence Day.  The celebrations of these events may include parades, programs, speeches, ceremonies or even government office, bank and school closures. 

Some nations may have more than one such holiday, while Denmark and the UK are the only countries who don’t have an official national holiday. Other “national” days may be approved of by the government but celebrated on a local level that is less formal. These may include days dedicated to patron saints, such as St. David’s Day in Wales. In addition, many unofficially days have also gained a huge following and are celebrated in a less formal manner, such as National Random Acts of Kindness Day.  

What is the Difference between National and International Days?

Many of the days that are referred to as “international” days have been founded by or adopted through the efforts of the United Nations. While the concept of international days existed prior to the UN, the organization has adopted many of them to be used as powerful tools for awareness, advocacy and support regarding important issues that impact the world.

These specific days, weeks, months, years, or even decades have been designated as occasions to mark important events or topics that deserve to be promoted with the purpose of raising awareness and support, particularly throughout all UN member countries, such as the International Day of Forests.  

Certain events may be declared through special agencies of the United Nations, such as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), as they may be specialized within one area. Often, these days are later adopted by the entire UN member states through the General Assembly. In any case, these international days are always related in some way to the main fields of action of the UN, including peace and security, sustainable development, human rights, international law and humanitarian action.

Some days that are adopted by the UN may be referred to as “world” days instead of “international” days, such as the World Day for the Environment. The most important difference with these days or weeks is that they include an open call for people, groups and countries all over the world to join in and celebrate, beyond just UN member states. For more information on all of the various events supported by the United Nations, check out their website.  

Can National Days Be Celebrated by Anyone Around the World?

Yes! Even though some “national” days may have been founded in a certain nation, there is always an open invitation for people from various states, countries and nations to participate. After all, most of these days are meant to improve public awareness and increase knowledge and support for a specific topic, so including people from different places on the globe is an excellent way to grow support for the event. For instance, National Survivors’ Day was originally founded in Australia, but it is a day that can be observed by individuals and groups all over the world to raise awareness about sexual assault and prevention.  

How Many National Days Are There?

It’s almost impossible to count how many national days there are, because the number is almost constantly growing and changing. Through political activism, creative advocacy, petitions, marketing efforts and many other tactics, the development of national days continues to move forward. And this is great news!

With only 365 days per year (or 366 every four years with Leap Year Day) every day of the year offers a wide range of reasons to celebrate. Add to that the fact that there are awareness weeks and months, truly there seems to be a never-ending and ever-increasing list of exciting, enticing, and important national days to be aware of, enjoy and show support for. 

Some of the days of the year that are celebrated as “national” days are vitally important, bringing a great deal of weight and need for education, such as the National Day for Remembrance for Indian Boarding Schools. Other events may be celebrated in a more lighthearted way, with an attitude that is just for fun and giggles, including National Absurdity Day.

What's coming up?

Browse the next few weeks...
Celebrate with us

Coming up...

Find out what else is coming up
Find out what else is coming up

Calendar