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Holy Days Calendar

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

January

Date Event
January 1 Feast of St. Basil – Orthodox Christian
Orthodox Christian commemoration of St. Basil the Great, who wrote a Eucharist Liturgy which bears his name.
January 1 Solemnity of Mary of God – Christian
Liturgical feast of Mary celebrated by the Catholic church.
January 1 Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto
Shinto New Year festival observed with prayers for inner renewal, prosperity and health.
January 5 Twelfth Night – Christian
A Christian observance of the close of Christmastide and prelude to Epiphany which begins the next day.
January 5 Guru Gobind Singh Birthday – Sikh
Sikh honoring of the birth of the founder of the Khalsa who lived from 1469 – 1539 c.e. Marked by sacred readings, prayers, hymns and meals together.
January 5 Mahavana New Year – Buddhist
Mahayana is one of three main existing branches of Buddhism.
January 6 Epiphany – Christian
Christian commemoration of the manifestations of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. The homage of the magi to the infant Jesus is honored by some.
January 6 Feast of Theophany – Orthodox Christian
Orthodox Christian Feast to recall the revelation of the Holy Trinity in the baptism of the Lord.
January 6 Nativity of Christ – Armenian Orthodox Christian
Armenian celebration of the Nativity of Christ.
January 7 Nativity of Christ – Orthodox Christian
Also known as the “Incarnation of Christ,” this feast celebrates the day that Jesus became human and came into the world as a Savior.
January 11 Baptism of Lord Jesus – Christian
Christian commemoration of the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.
January 13 Mawlid an Nabi – Islam
Islamic commemoration of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, in about 570 c.e. The prophet’s teachings are read and religious meetings are held.
January 13 Maghi – Sikh
Commemoration of a battle which forty Sikhs died for Guru Gobindh Singh Ji.
January 18-25 Week of prayer for Christian Unity Christian
Christian observance with prayer for the restoration of unity among the churches of the faith.
January 19 World Religion Day – Baha’i
Baha’i sponsored day dedicated to the unity and oneness of all world religions.
January 19 Timkat – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
Ethiopian Orthodox Christian epiphaphy celebration of the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.
January 24 Vasant Panchami – Hindu
Hindu celebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of learning.
January 25 Conversion of St. Paul – Christian
Christian observance of the experience of Paul when he was confronted by a vision of Jesus while on his way to persecute Christians and became a leading presenter of Jesus. Observed at worship services.

February

Date Event
February 2 Imbolc (Lughnassad) – Wiccan/Pagan
The second of four great fire festivals, Imbolc (meaning “in milk”) recognizes a time of awakening, promise, and hope for the spring.
February 2 Candlemas – Christian
Christian celebration of the presentation of young Jesus in the temple to the aged Simeon. New beginnings are recognized. Candles are lighted.
February 3 Setsubun-sai – Shinto
Shinto celebration of the change of seasons with the coming of spring with shouts of “Devils out, Good Fortune in.” Bean throwing protects against demons.
February 4 Tu B’shevat – Jewish
Jewish celebration of the coming of spring by preparation of foods native to Israel.  It is also known as “New Year for Trees” – a method for determining the age of trees for tithing purposes.
February 8 Chinese New Year – Taoist – Buddhist
The Chinese New Year remains the most important social and economic holiday in China. The holiday is a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors, and includes feasting together as a family.
February 9 Shrove Tuesday – Christian
Christian Carnival Day on the eve of Ash Wednesday which begins Lent, a time of fasting and devotions.  Pancakes are often served. It is also known as Fat Tuesday in some places.
February 10 Ash Wednesday – Lent begins – Christian
In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent, 40 days of preparation for Easter. Many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline.
February 12 Vasant Panchami – Hindu
A North Indian celebration, is associated with Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning and with Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. The color yellow is associated with this festival.
February 14 St. Valentine’s Day – Christian
Christian celebration of the love of God presented in Jesus and in the lives of Christian believers. St. Valentine was a 3rd century martyr. Widely observed in the USA as a secular celebration of love.
February 15 Nirvana Day – Buddhist – Jain
A regional observance of the death of Buddha.
February 15 Transfiguration Sunday – Christian
Christian commemoration of the experience on Mt. Tabor when Jesus’ physical appearance became brilliant as his connection with traditional Jewish holy figures became evident to the disciples.
February 26-29 Intercalary Days – Baha’i
Baha’i insertion of days into the calendar in order to maintain their solar calendar.

March

Date Event
March 2-20 Nineteen Day Fast – Baha’i
Baha’i Fast to be observed by adult Baha’is in good health – sunrise to sundown – no food or drink.
March 5 Magha Puja Day – Buddhist
Magha Puja Day is a holy day of homage to The Buddha.
March 6 Holi – Hindu
This springtime festival of colors includes music, dancing, laughter and teasing. It is a fun-filled, joyous celebration.
March 8 Maha Shivaratri – Hindu
A Hindu festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. Ceremonies involving prayers and hymns take place mostly at night. Special foods are not used.
March 13 L. Ron Hubbard Birthday – Scientology
Birth date of Scientology founder, L. Rob Hubbard (1911)
March 17 Saint Patrick’s Day – Christian
Christian celebration of Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland in early days of the faith.
March 20 Equinox-Ostara-Wiccan/Pagan
Celebration of new life; a time of renewal and rebirth.
March 20 Palm Sunday – Christian
Celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
March 21 Naw Ruz (New Year) – Baha’i
The New Year celebrates the love relationship between the Creator and the creation, in the material world.
March 21 Norooz (New Year) – Zoroastrian
Celebrates the renewal of the world and the creation of fire. Zarathustra received his revelation on this day.
March 23 Holi – Hindu
Colorful and joyous festival that welcomes Spring. Referred to as the Festival of Colours, it is celebrated with people throwing colorful powder and colored water. Generally celebrated over two days.
March 24 Purim – Jewish
This merry holiday celebrates a time when Jewish people in Persia were saved from destruction. Joyful, carnival-like celebrations and it is customary to hear the reading of the Book of Esther, eat, drink, give gifts of food and drink.
March 24 Holy (Maundy) Thursday – Christian
The Thursday before Easter commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the gospels. Mass or services may include the symbolic washing of feet.
March 24 Hola Mohalla – Sikh
A three-day festival following Holi; the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, started it as a time for military preparedness exercises. Today, mock battles are followed by music competitions and festivities.
March 25 Good Friday – Christian
This solemn day, Christians commemorate the passion, suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ. Christians spend this day in fasting, repentance, prayer, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross.
March 27 Easter – Christian
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year and includes a joyous celebration of Mass or a Service of Christ’s Resurrection.
March 28 Rama Navami – Hindu
Hindu celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana. It involves telling of stories and going to the temple.
March 30 Mahavir Jayanti – Jain
Festival honoring Lord Mahavira on the founder’s birthday. Shrines are visited and teachings are reviewed and reflected upon.

April

Date Event
April 4 Hanuman Jayanti – Hindu
This event celebrates Hanuman, one of the most popular Hindu idols, the ape that helped Lord Rama fight evil. Hanuman represents the inherent and rarely used power that lies within all.
April 8 Hindu New Year – Hindu
Navvarsha (New Year’s Day). Bikarami Samvat 2073 begins.
April 8-15 Ramayana – Hindu
Ramayana week begins nine days before Ramanavami, the birth day of Lord Rama. Fasting during this period is considered highly auspicious.
April 12 Easter/Pascha – Orthodox Christian
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated with a feast in the Orthodox Christian church. Recognizes Christ’s power over death and the gift of restoration, transformation and life everlasting.
April 14 Vaisakhi – Sikh
Anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa and is important for Sikhs because on this day in 1699, the clerical system was removed from Sikhism.
April 15 Lord’s Evening Meal – Jehovah’s Witness Christians
This was first observed by Jesus Christ on Jewish Passover in 33 C.E. It is observed only once per year.  Celebrants partake of bread and wine which are symbols of Christ’s body and blood.
April 15-16 Yom HaShoah – Jewish
Also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, this day offers remembrance for persons who died in the Shoah, actions against the Jewish people during World War II.
April 15 Ramanavami – Hindu
Celebrates the birth day of Rama, the seventh incarnation of the God Vishnu. During the previous eight days, Hindus read the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, which tells the story of Rama.
April 21 First day of Ridvan – Baha’i
Baha’i commemoration of the twelve day period in 1863 when Baha’u’llah declared that he was God’s messenger for this age. Work is to be suspended on days 1, 9, and 12 of the festival.
April 22 Hanuman Jayanti – Hindu
Celebrates the birth of the god Hanuman, a loyal devotee to Lord Rama.
April 22-23 Theravadin New Year – Buddhist
Buddhists of the Theravada tradition celebrate the New Year with symbolic elements often found at the beach: sand and water.
April 22-30 Pesach  (Passover) – Jewish
Pesach, which means to pass through, commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and the Holy One passing over the Jewish homes when the first-born Egyptians were slain.

May

Date Event
May 1 Beltane – Wiccan/Paggan
Beltane celebrates the fertility and abundance of the earth.
May 1 Pascha (Easter) – Orthodox Christian
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.
May 4 Visakha Puja – Buddhist
This festival celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. The day includes preparation of sweets for the monks, sermons and a candle-lighting ceremony.
May 5 Lailat al Miraj – Islam
Islamic observance of Mohammed’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven.
May 5 Ascencion of Jesus – Chrsitian
Christian recognition of the departure of Jesus from earth after the resurrection. It’s perhaps the earliest observed celebration in Christianity. Observed with worship including prayers and music.
May 5 Yom HaShoah – Jewish
Held in memory of the six millions Jews who died as victims of Nazi atrocities (World War II).
May 7 Lag B’Omer – Jewish
Jewish observance of the counting of the days – the link – between Pesach and Shavout.
May 15 Pentecost- Christian
Celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples, the birth of the church, following His resurrection. Occurs seven weeks after Easter Sunday and is celebrated with baptism liturgies and joyous services.
May 21 Declaration of the Bab- Baha’i
This day recognizes the declaration in 1844 by Ali Muhammed that he was the anticipated “Coming One” of all religions. Work is suspended on this day.
May 22 Trinity Sunday – Christians
Christians honor the belief in one God with a threefold nature.
May 23 Lailat al Bara’ah – Islam
Islamic Night of Forgiveness.  A night of prayer to Allah for forgiveness of the dead. Preparation for Ramadan through intense prayer.
May 23 Declaration of the Bab – Baha’i
Commemorates the date in 1844 on which He announced His identity at The Bab, or Gate, the Herald of the new age.
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i
Marks the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Baha’i faith.

June

Date Event
June 4 Corpus Christi – Catholic Christians
Catholic celebration in recognition of the Eucharist – The Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. The real presence of the body and blood of Jesus is honored.
June 6 Ramadan Begins – Islam
Holiest period of the Islamic Year. Commemoration of Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation recorded in the Qur’an. Authorities in Saudi Arabia sight the new moon of the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.
June 7 All Saints Day – Orthodox Christian
Christian day for honoring saints, known and unknown. In general, saints are persons with reputation for unusual lives of holiness and devotion to God or who were martyred for their faith.
June 12-13 Shavuot – Jewish
Jewish celebration of Moses’ descent from Mt. Sinai with the ten commandments. Begins the evening of June 3rd. Plants and flowers are used in decorations.
June 16 Guru Arjan Dev Martyrdom – Sikh
Sikh time of remembering those who have suffered for the faith. Observed by reading the Guru Granth Sahib.
June 19 Pentecost – Orthodox Christian
Also known as Whitsunday in some Western Churches, is the commemoration of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus following his ascension.
June 20 Solstice – Wiccan/Pagan
Wicca celebration of the sacred marriage in which energy of the gods is poured into the service of life.
June 26 All Saints – Orthodox Christian
Honors Christian saints throughout the ages.

July

Date Event
July 1 Lalat ul Qadr – Islam
Islamic Night of Destiny. First revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Mohammed. Observed during the last ten days of Ramadan. Prayers to Allah for a good destiny.
July 2 Asalha Puja Day – Buddhist
Observance of the day when Gautama Buddha made his first public proclamation to five ascetics at Deer Park, Banares. He taught the noble eight-fold path and the four noble truths.
July 7-9 Eid al Fitr – Islam
Islamic event marking the close of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to Allah for enjoying the month of Ramadan. It involves wearing the finest clothing, saying prayers, and fostering understanding with other religions.
July 9 Martyrdom of the Bab – Baha’i
Ali Mohammed was executed in 1850 by Persian political and religious powers. Observed by abstaining from commerce and work.
July 13-15 Obon – Shinto
Japanese Buddhist festival to honor deceased ancestors. Involves lighting of bonfires, traditional meals, paper lanterns and folk dances.
July 13-15 Ulambana (Obon) – Buddhist
Buddhist celebration of the ritual of saving the deceased from the torments after death.
July 26 Tish’a B’av – Jewish
A Jewish day of fasting in remembrance of the destruction of the temple in 586 b.c.e. and 70 c.e.

August

Date Event
August 1 Lammas – Christian
Christian first fruits celebration observed by placing bread baked from the first harvest on the altar. From the Celtic Christian tradition.
August 1 Lughanssad (Imbolc) – Wiccan/ Pagan
Wicca observance of the first harvest of the year involving agricultural festivals and prosperity magic. The Christian name of Lammas is sometimes used.
August 1 Fast in Honor of the Holy Mother of Jesus – Orthodox Christian
Begins the Orthodox Christian 14 day fasting period in preparation for the celebration of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.
August 6 Transfiguration of the Lord – Orthodox Christian
Christian commemoration of the experience on Mt. Tabor when Jesus’ physical appearance became brilliant as his connection with traditional Jewish holy figures became evident to the disciples.
August 14 Tish’a V’av – Jewish
A major fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in ancient times.
August 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Christian
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven.
August 18 Raksha Bandhan – Hindu
Hindu festival honoring the loving ties between brothers and sisters in a family.
August 25 Krishna Janmashtami – Hindu
Hindu commemoration of the birth of Krishna – the 8th incarnation of the god Vishnu who took the form of Krishna to destroy the evil king Kansa.

September

Date Event
September 6-15 Paryushana Parva – Jain
8-day festival signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement. Recitations from Jain, sacred writing and family exchange of cards & letters. Day 8 is most important and focuses on forgiveness.
September 8 Nativity of Mary – Christian
This holiday, celebrated in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, celebrates the birth date of Mary, mother of Jesus.
September 10 Waqf al Arafa (Hajj Day) – Islam
Islamic observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy. Hajj is Islamic pilgrimage rites at Mecca on 7-12th days of the month of Dhu al-Hajj.
September 11-14 Eid al Adha – Islam
Islamic festival of sacrifice. The day after Arafat, the most important day in Hajj ritual. A three-day festival recalling Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.
September 14 Holy Cross Day – Christian
A Christian day of recognition for the cross on which Jesus was crucified as a central symbol of the Christian religion.
September 17 Ganesh Chaturthi – Hindu
A Hindu festival honoring the god of prosperity, prudence and success. Images of Ganesha are worshiped.
September 22 Equinox (Mabon) – Wiccan/Pagan
Mabon, falling in September in the Northern Hemisphere, is a celebration of the second harvest during the autumn equinox. When day and night are equal, it marks a balance between light and dark.
September 29 Meskel – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian commemoration of the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Eleni (St. Helenea) in the 4th century a.d.

October

Date Event
October 1-10 Navaratri – Hindu
Hindu festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.
October 2 Hijra (New Year) – Islam
This is the first day of the month of Muharram which marks the time in 622 C.E. when Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina.
October 3-4 Rosh Hashanah – Jewish
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashana is the first of the High Holy days or Days of Awe; it is a time of prayer, reflection, and services.
October 4 Saint Francis Day – Christian
Christian recognition of service to people and appreciation of the natural world, as practiced by St. Francis and the Franciscan Monastic Order which he founded.
October 11 Dasara – Hindu
Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.
October 12 Ashura – Islam
The Day of Ashura commemorates, for Shi’a muslims, a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali,  the grandson of the prophet Muhammad.
October 12 Yom Kippur – Jewish
Jewish day of atonement. This holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance.
October 17-23 Sukkot – Jewish
Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the harvest and the protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents. Temporary dwelling places have leaves for a roof so the sky can be seen.
October 20 Birth of the Bab – Baha’i
Baha’i honoring of the founder of the Babi religion, forerunner to Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i faith.
October 24 Shemini Atzeret – Jewish
Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.
October 25 Simchat Tora -Jewish
Jewish day to celebrate the reading of the Law. Synagogue service involves readings, processions and blessing of the children.
October 28 Milvian Bridge Day – Christian
Christian day of solemn reflection on the relationship of the spiritual community and the power of civil government.
October 30 Diwali – Hindu – Jain – Sikh
The Festival of Lights commemorates the triumph of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness.
October 31 Reformation Day – Protestant Christian
Anniversary of tradition and its emphasis on the place of the Bible and religious freedom. Public observation is the Sunday before October 31.
October 31 Jain New Year – Jain
The first day of the Indian month Katik/Karthik. Chief disciple of Mahavira, Gautama Swami, is believed to have attained Supreme Knowledge.
October 31 All Hallow’s Eve – Christian
Christian celebration of mystery combining prayers and merriment involving children and families. It is a prelude to All Saint’s Day.

November

Date Event
November 1 Samhain – Wiccan/Pagan
Samhain marks the beginning of the Pagan year; a time to search for wisdom and guidance.
November 1 All Saints Day – Christian
The Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate all believers, known and unknown, alive and dead.
November 2 All Soul’s Day – Catholic Christian
Christian day of prayers and remembrance and intercession for the dead. Prayers of the faithful are seen as helping to cleanse the souls for the beatific vision of God in heaven.
November 12 Birth of Baha’u’llah  – Baha’i
Baha’i celebration of the birth of their founder and teacher. Baha’u’llah is the Messenger of God. His teachings create the foundation of the Baha’i practice which is the unity of people of all races and backgrounds.
November 14 Guru Nanak Dev Sahib’s Birthday – Sikh
Day honoring the birth of the first Sikh teacher who lived from 1469-1539 c.e. There are sacred readings, prayers, hymns and meals taken together.
November 15-25 Winter Lent – Orthodox Christian
Orthodox Christian season of preparation for the Nativity of Christ.
November 24 Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh
Time of remembering the execution of Teg Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.
November 24 Thanksgiving – Interfaith USA
Interfaith celebration of the created earth.  Celebrated in the USA.
November 25 Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Birthday – Sikh
A Punjabi festival commemorating Guru Nanak Dev Sahib’s birthday.
November 26 Day of the Covenant – Baha’i
Baha’i celebration of the covenant given in the last will and testament of Baha’u’llah.
November 27-December 24 Advent – Christian
Time of preparation for observing the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent is observed with the lighting of candles, display of wreaths, and special ceremonies. Advent anticipates the coming again to earth of Jesus Christ.
November 28 Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i
Baha’i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdu’l-Baha to the heavenly dwelling.
November 30 Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian
Christian observance of the coming of Christianity to the area now known as Scotland. The martyrdom of St. Andrew is remembered as the season of advent is about to begin.

December

Date Event
December 6 Saint Nicholas Day – Christian
Celebration of the birth of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving. Many churches names for this saint, who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus.
December 8 Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist
Rohatsu is the celebration of the enlightenment of the Buddha. A candle is lit every evening for thirty days, symbolic of enlightenment.
December 8 Immaculate Conception of Mary – Catholic Christian
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is the conception of the Virgin Mary without, according to the Roman Catholic Church, any stain of original sin.
December 12 Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic Christian
Catholic Christian honoring of the legendary appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 c.e.
December 16-25 Posada Navidenas – Christian
Hispanic Christian feast of The Lodgings commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.
December 21 Winter Solstice – Wiccan/Pagan
Yule is the time of greatest darkness and the longest night of the year. This time is celebrated as the “return of the Sun God” when He is reborn of the Goddess.
December 21 Solstice-Yule – Christian
A Christian celebration of the light dawning in Jesus.
December 24 Christmas Eve – Christian
Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It is observed with worship, candle lighting, manger scenes and festive meals.
December 25-January 1 Hanukkah – Jewish
Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem.
December 25 Christmas – Christian
Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.
December 26 Zarathosht Diso – Zoroastrian
Anniversary of the death of the Prophet Zarathushtra.
December 26 Kwanzaa – African American
A celebration of family, community, and culture.
December 28 Holy Innocents – Christian
Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus.