2023 Religious Holidays

January 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Christian

Liturgical feast of Mary celebrated by the Catholic Church.

January 6: Epiphany – Christian

Feast day commemorating the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the wedding at Cana.

January 13: Maghi – Sikh

Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh)

January 22:  Chinese New Year – Confucian –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 1-2: Imbolc – Nature Traditions

The second of four great fire festivals, Imbolc (meaning “in milk”) recognizes a time of awakening, promise and hope for the spring. This holiday begins at sundown on February 1 and ends at sundown on February 2.

February 5-6: Tu B’Shevat  – Jewish

One of four new Year’s days, Tu B’Shevat (the 15th day of the month of Shevat) is New Year’s Day of Trees, and traditionally the first of the year for tithing fruit of trees. Nowadays, it is a day for environmental awareness and action such as tree planting. Seders include the seven fruits of the land – wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and (date) honey, each symbolizing a spiritual reality. Celebrated from sundown on Feb 5 to sundown on Feb 6.

February 15:  Nirvana Day – Buddhist – Jain

Festival commemorating Buddha’s death at 80 when he attained Nirvana – the state at which all desires and afflictions are gone, and the cycle of death and rebirth ends.

February 17-18: Lailat al Miraj – Islam

Observance of Muhammad’s (Peace be upon Him) night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven. Celebrated from sundown on Feb 17 to sundown on Feb 18.

February 22: 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.

March 6: Magha Puja Day – Buddhist

Magha Puja Day is a holy day of homage to The Buddha.

March 6-7: Purim – Jewish

This merry holiday celebrates a time when Jewish people in Persia were saved from destruction. It is customary to hear the reading of the Book of Esther, eat, drink, and be joyful, give gifts of food and drink and gifts to charity, and hold carnival-like celebrations. Celebrated from sundown on Mar 16 to sundown on Mar 17.

March 8: Holi – Hindu

This springtime festival of colors includes music, dancing, laughter and teasing.  It is a fun-filled, joyous celebration. This holiday begins at sundown on March 17 and ends at sundown on March 18.

March 8-10: Hola Mohalla – Sikh

A day to commemorate the valor and bravery of the Sikhs. This 3-day festival consists of mock battles, music and poetry reading.

March 20: Equinox-Ostara-Nature Traditions

Celebration of new life; a time of renewal and rebirth.

March 20-21: Naw Ruz (New Year) – Baha’i

The New Year celebrates the love relationship between the Creator and the creation, in the material world. Celebrated from sundown on Mar 20 to sundown on Mar 21.

March 22 – April 21: Ramadan – Islam

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and lasts for thirty days. It is the Islamic month of fasting from sex, drinking, eating, and smoking during daylight hours. The purpose of Ramadan is to rededicate oneself to God through patience, faith, and submission.

April 4: Mahavir Jayanti – Jain

Festival honoring Lord Mahavira on the founder’s birthday. Shrines are visited and teachings are reviewed and reflected upon.

April 4: 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 5-13: 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.

April 6: 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.

April 6: 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 7: Good Friday – Christian

On this solemn day, Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many Christians spend this day in fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross.

April 9: 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.

April 14: Vaisakhi – Sikh

This Anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa – on this day in 1699, guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru, removed the clerical system from Sikhism. This reaffirmed the direct connection between Sikhs and the Divine.

April 17-18: 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. Celebrated from sundown on Apr 17 to sundown on Apr 18.

April 21-22: Eid al Fitr – Islam

Eid al Fitr is a festival of thanksgiving for enjoying the month of Ramadan. It involves wearing the finest clothing, saying prayers, and fostering understanding with other religions. Celebrated from sundown on Apr 21 to sundown on Apr 22.

April 21 – May 2: Ridván: Bahá’í

Commemorates the declaration of Baha’u’llah to his followers in 1863. Work is suspended for the 1st, 9th and 12th day.

April 24: Easter/Pascha – Orthodox Christian

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated with this feast in the Orthodox Christian church. It recognizes Christ’s power over death and the gift to Christians of restoration, transformation and life everlasting.

April 25-26: Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Jewish

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, celebrates the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Coming on the heals of Yom HaZikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut is celebrated in Israel and around the world with dancing, fireworks, parties and the ubiquitous “mangal,” or Israeli style barbecue. Celebrated from sundown on Apr 25 to sundown on Apr 26.

May 1: Beltane- Nature Traditions

Beltane celebrates the fertility and abundance of the earth.

May 5: Buddha Day – 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 18: Ascension Day – Orthodox Christian

Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.

May 23-24: 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. This holiday begins at sundown on May 23 and ends at sundown on May 24.

May 25-27: Shavuot – Jewish

Festival of Weeks; celebrates harvest of first fruits and commemorates the giving of the Torah and Commandments at Mt’ Sinai.

May 28-29: Ascension of Baha’u’lah – Baha’i

A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah. Celebrated from sundown on May 28 to sundown on May 29.

May 28:  Pentecost- Christian

Pentecost is a celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples, and the birth of the church, following His resurrection. Pentecost always occurs seven weeks after Easter Sunday and is typically celebrated with baptism liturgies and joyous services.

June 16: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev – Sikh

Anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev in 1606 C. E., the fifth guru who had built the Golden Temple of Amristar.

June 19: Juneteenth – Interfaith

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.

June 21 – Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) – Nature Traditions

Midsummer festival marking the summer solstice.

June 28-29: Eid al Adha – Islam

Eid al Adha, also called the Feast of Sacrifice, celebrates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son to God. It also commemorates the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Celebrated from sundown on June 28 to sundown on June 29.

July 3: Asalha Puja – Buddhist

Asalha Puja (Dhamma Day) commemorates the Buddha’s first discourse, given to the five monks at the Deer Park at Sarnath, near Varanasi. The day is observed by donating offerings to temples and listening to sermons.

July 9: Martyrdom of the B’ab – Baha’i

Anniversary of the martyrdom of the B’ab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, in 1850.

July 19-July 20: Al-Hijra – New Year – Islam

This is the first day of the month of Muharram which marks the time in 622 CE when Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina. Celebrated from sundown on July 19 to sundown on July 20.

July 19- August 17: Muharram – Islam

The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram is one of the four sacred months in the year when warfare is forbidden.

July 24: Pioneer Day – Mormon

Observance of the arrival of Brigham Young and early Mormon settlers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

July 26-27: Tisha B’av – Jewish

A day of mourning and repentance in remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.  Celebrated from sundown on July 26 to sundown on July 27.

August 1: Lughnasadh – Nature Traditions

Festival celebrating the beginning of the harvest season.

August 19: Ashura – Islam

For Shi’ite Muslims, Ashura has special importance. It commemorates the martyrdom of Husain, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, in AH 61 (680 C.E.). Observed for 10 days from the first of the month of Ashura, the event is a time of great mourning. For Sunni Muslims Ashura is a time to remember two of Allah’s merciful acts” Noah’s safe landing after the Flood and the Israelites liberation from Egypt under Moses. Observance begins at sunset of the previous day, but special worship and prayers begin on August 8.

September 1: First Parkash – Sikh

Commemorates the installation of the Adi Granth (the first edition of the Sikh Scriptures) at Harimandir Sahib by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in 1604 C.E.

September 6-7: Krishna Janmashtami – Hindu

This festival celebrates the birth of Krishna, one of the central figures and The Supreme Being in Hinduism. The festival starts with a twenty-four hour fast, ending at midnight, and followed by a great celebration.

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 15-17: Rosh Hashanah – Jewish

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holy days or Days of Awe; it is a time of prayer, reflection, and services.

September 23: Equinox-Mabon-Nature Traditions

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 24-25: Yom Kippur – Jewish

Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath, meaning no work can be performed on this day.  It includes a complete fast and solemn services. “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement.”  Celebrated from sundown on Sep 24 to sundown on Sep 25.

September 26-27: Mawlid al Nabi – Islam

Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), c. 570 C.E.  Celebrated from sundown on Sep 26 to sundown on Sep 27.

September 29 – October 6: Sukkot – Jewish

This festival begins on the fifth day after Yom Kippur and is one of the most joyous holidays. Sukkot helps commemorate the period in which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert. People live and eat in temporary dwellings during the festival. Sukkot begins the evening of October 9 and end the evening of October 16.

October 7-8: Shemini Atzeret – Jewish

Eight and last day of Sukkot. Celebrated from sundown on Oct 7 to sundown on Oct 8.

October 8: Simchat Torah – Jewish

Joyous festival in which the reading of the Torah is completed and its first book begun again. Symbolized by singing, dancing, and marching around the synagogue with Torah scrolls.

October 15-24: Navaratri – Hindu

Festival of the divine mother which honors Durga, wife of Shiva, seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.

October 20: Instillation of Scriptures of Guru Granth Sahib – Sikh

Commemorates the installation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind Singh; these scriptures were installed as the perpetual guru.

October 26: Birth of the B’ab – Baha’i

Anniversary of the birth of one of the twin prophet founders of the Baha’i faith.

October 27: Birth of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i

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. The day includes prayers, a feast, and music.

October 31-November 1: Samhain – Nature Traditions (Northern Hemisphere)

Samhain marks the beginning of the Pagan year; a time to search for wisdom and guidance.

November 1: All Saints Day- Christian

On this day, the Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate all believers, known and unknown, alive and dead.

November 12: Diwali – Hindu – Jain – Sikh

The Festival of Lights commemorates the triumph of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness.

November 27: Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Birthday – Sikh

A Punjabi festival commemorating Guru Nanak Dev Sahib’s birthday.

November 29 – Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i

Marks the passing of ‘Abdul-Baha in 1921.

December 7-15:  Hanukkah – Jewish

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and nights of candle lighting. In Hebrew, the word “hanukkah” means “dedication,” and it commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E.

December 8: Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist

Also known as Awakening, 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 21: Yule – Winter Solstice – Nature Traditions

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” where He is reborn of the Goddess. This holiday begins at sundown on December 20 and ends at sundown on December 21.

December 25: Christmas – Christian

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Christmas is preceded by 40 days of spiritual preparation called Advent. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa

Seven day spiritual celebration of African-American values and traditions and their continued vitality. “Kwanzaa” is Swahili and means “first fruits of the harvest”.