July 2024 Cultural Diversity Review

Cultural Diversity

July is historically a relatively quiet month for international holidays. That’s not to say there aren’t any interesting holidays or festivals taking place. In fact, July can be considered the most revolutionary of months with 25 independence holidays taking place around the world, more than any other month. In most cases, these independence days are the national days of the countries, and a great chance to celebrate the culture and heritage of those nations. The list of national days in July is shown below.

Month info: The name was chosen by Augustus to honor Julius Caesar, who was born in July. The month was previously known as Quintilis – meaning fifth month. The month was pronounced in English as ‘Julie’ until the eighteenth century. In other languages, the month retains this pronunciation.

Featured Holiday

July 4: US Independence Day

On July 4th 1776, the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England by adopting the Declaration of Independence.

While the signing of the Declaration itself was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday is seen as the official anniversary of U.S. independence.

As this is a Federal holiday, not only will schools and libraries be closed. Most federal and state offices will also be closed and there will be no mail deliveries on Independence Day.

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Independence Day Facts

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by only two people on July 4th 1776 – John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most added their signatures on August 2 1776
  • 56 people signed the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote the majority of it.
  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving signer of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95
  • The two future presidents who signed, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration in 1826.
  • John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, signed the declaration first but his signature was so large it left little room for the others. The term “John Hancock” is still used as a slang term for a signature in the US today.

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Notable Holidays

July 1: Canada Day

On June 20th 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty’s loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st 1867, with the passing of the North American Act of 1867. This was a true milestone in Canada’s history – on this day, Canada’s four colonies united.

The July 1st holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

There is little or no record of any organised ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the naming of new buildings on the 50th and 60th anniversaries. It actually was not until 1917 that larger scale and more extravagant celebrations commenced.

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July 11 – 15: Naadam Festival


The Naadam Festival is a celebrated in Mongolia with public holidays from July 11 – 15 each year. This is the largest and most popular holiday in Mongolia. The first day of the festival takes place on Revolution Day, Mongolia’s National Day, which commemorates independence from China on 11 July 1921.

During the Naadam Festival, Mongolians participate in the “Three Manly Games” of archery, wrestling and horseback riding which represent the heritage of the nation.

The festival originated in the 12th century as a way for Mongolians to demonstrate their military prowess. From the 17th century, Naadam contests were held during religious holidays. Since 1922, they have been held on Revolution Day, the anniversary of the People’s Revolution.

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July 14: Bastille Day

Technically the holiday marks the Fête de la Fédération of the July 14th 1790, which was a huge feast and event to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France. However the holiday is usually seen as a celebration of the storming of the Bastille.

After years of misrule by the Monarchy, the French people had finally united in a popular uprising in an effort to take control of their own country.

On July 14th 1789 the people of Paris banded together to march on the Bastille, 14th century medieval fortress that became a state prison. It was used by the King to imprison his opponents, often without trial.

The storming of the prison marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

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July 21: Belgian National Day

Belgium had been part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1815, but the majority of the population were Roman Catholic and increasingly felt the rule of King William I favoured the Northern protestants.

In August 1830, riots led to a wider uprising and calls for Belgium to succeed from the Netherlands. A London Conference of major European powers then recognized Belgian independence.

After Belgium asserted its independence from the Netherlands on 4th October 1830, the Belgian National Congress asked Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg to become king of the newly formed country.

Leopold accepted and was proclaimed “King of the Belgians” on June 26th 1831. He swore allegiance to the constitution in the Royal Palace in Brussels on July 21st 1831.

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National Days in July

34 countries have their national days in July. How many people in the company do you know from each country? Remember to wish them a happy national day!

Jul 01BurundiIndependence Day: Independence from Belgium in 1962
Jul 01CanadaCanada Day: Marks the union of the British North America provinces under the name of Canada in 1867
Jul 01Cayman IslandsConstitution Day: 1st Monday in July
Jul 01Hong KongHKSAR Day: Transfer of sovereignty to the PRC 1997
Jul 01RwandaIndependence Day: Independence from Belgium in 1962
Jul 01SomaliaIndependence Day: Foundation of the Republic, from Italy and the formation of Somali Republic in 1960
Jul 01British Virgin IslandsTerritory Day: Celebrates becoming a self-governing colony in 1956
Jul 03BelarusIndependence Day: Marks the liberation of Minsk in 1944
Jul 04United StatesIndependence Day: Marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
Jul 05Cape VerdeIndependence Day: Marks independence from Portugal on 5 July 1975
Jul 05Isle of ManTynwald Day: Tynwald (parliament) annual meeting. July 5 or next weekday.
Jul 05VenezuelaIndependence Day: Signing of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence in 1811
Jul 06ComorosNational Day: Independence from France 1975
Jul 06MalawiIndependence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1964
Jul 07Solomon IslandsIndependence Day: Independence from the UK in 1978
Jul 09PalauConstitution Day: In 1981, the constitution of Palau gave the world its first nuclear-free constitution.
Jul 09South SudanIndependence Day: South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011
Jul 10BahamasIndependence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1973
Jul 11MongoliaNaadam Holiday: Declaration of independence from China 1921
Jul 12KiribatiIndependence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1979
Jul 12São Tomé and PríncipeIndependence Day: Independence from Portugal 1975
Jul 13MontenegroStatehood Day: Recognised as independent at the Congress of Berlin 1878
Jul 14FranceBastille Day: Fête de la Fédération. Bastille Day, 14 July 1789
Jul 14French GuianaBastille Day: Fête de la Fédération. Bastille Day, 14 July 1789
Jul 20ColombiaIndependence Day: Declaration of independence from Spain 1810
Jul 21BelgiumIndependence Day: Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld takes the oath as first king of the Belgians in 1831
Jul 21GuamLiberation Day: Americans landing on Guam 1944, the beginning of the Battle of Guam
Jul 23EgyptRevolution Day: The revolution of 1952
Jul 25Puerto RicoConstitution Day: Establishment of Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 1952
Jul 26LiberiaIndependence Day: Proclamation of the Republic: independence from the United States 1847
Jul 28PeruIndependence Day: Declaration of independence from Spain in 1821
Jul 29Faroe IslandsSaint Olav’s Day: Ólavsøka. Saint Olaf’s death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030
Jul 30VanuatuIndependence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom and France in 1980

July Video Conference Backgrounds

Why not brighten up your video conference calls by changing the background to match an important holiday or festival in July? On this page, you will find a selection of free images to use.

July 4, USA
July 14, France
July 21, Belgium

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There is a Day for That!

Throughout the month, there are days set aside to observe all sorts of events, some serious and some not so serious. These days can provide interesting ways to engage employees in diversity issues. The table below shows a selection of these days with some ideas how you could use them within your organization.

11thWorld Population DayQuiz: Which are the biggest countries that your company operates in?
18thNelson Mandela International DayDiscussion: what were you doing on the day Nelson Mandela was freed?
23rdNational Hot Dog DayHot Dogs on the staff canteen menu?
30thInternational Day of FriendshipDiscussion: How has working with colleagues from around the world helped widen your view on life?

For a full list of observances in July 2024, visit Thereisadayforthat.com