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Religious & Spiritual Life

Religious Observances Calendar

The following calendar is taken from the InterFaith Calendar. Jewish holy days and the weekly Sabbath begin at sunset on the day preceding the given date, as does Ramadan.

Download the 2021 Religious and Spiritual Holidays Calendar (.pdf)

  Holiday ’20/’21 ’21/’22 ’22/’23
New Years Day – Interfaith USA Jan 1 Jan 1 Jan 1
Christian Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian


A celebration of the holiness of Mary as the chosen bearer of Jesus.

Jan 1 Jan 1 Jan 1
sikh Birth of Guru Gobind Singh – Sikh


Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.

Jan 5 Jan 5 Jan 5
Christian Epiphany – Christian


End of the 12 days of Christmas; celebrates visit of the three kings to baby Jesus; especially important to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

Jan 6 Jan 6 Jan 6
sikh Maghi – Sikh


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

Jan 13 Jan 13 Jan 13
baha'i World Religion Day – Baha’i


In 1950, this day was founded by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States to address the need for religious unity.

Jan 17 Jan 16 Jan 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Jan 18 Jan 17 Jan 17
Islam Fatemiyeh – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, lady Fatima.

Jan 19
Christian Clean Monday (Lent Begins) – Orthodox Christian


Period of preparation for Easter, usually 40 days before. Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the Lenten period.

Mar 15 Mar 7 Mar 7
Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist Chinese New Year – Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist Feb 12 Feb 1 Feb 1
Christian Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins) – Christian


Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.

Feb 17 Mar 2 Mar 2
St. Valentine’s Day – Christian Catholic – Interfaith USA Feb 14 Feb 14 Feb 14
Islam Wiladat Lady Fatmia – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, lady Fatima. Some countries recognize this day as Mother’s Day.

Feb 5
buddhist Nirvana Day – Buddhist


Commemorates the death of Buddha

Feb 15 Feb 15 Feb 15
buddhist Parinirvana – Buddhist Feb 15 Feb 15 Feb 15
President’s Day – Interfaith USA Feb 15 Feb 21 Feb 15
baha'i Ayyam-i-Ha – Baha’i


This period adjusts the Baha’i year to the solar calendar. It leads to the 19 day fast; each day of Ayyam-i-Ha is marked by a different virtue like hospitality, gift giving or charity.

Feb 26 – Mar 1 Feb 26 – Mar 1 Feb 26 – Mar 1
baha'i Nineteen Day Fast Period – Baha’i


A fast to be observed by adult Baha’is in good health from sunrise to sundown.

Mar 1 – 19 Mar 1 – 19 Mar 1 – 19
Islam Wiladat Imam Ali – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the Birthday of Imam Ali ibn Aboutaleb. Some countries consider this day as Father’s Day.

Feb 28
Christian St. Patrick’s Day – Catholic Christian Mar 17 Mar 17 Mar 17
Christian Palm Sunday – Christian


Celebrates the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem during Passover. Usually reenacted by the waving of palm branches and the singing of songs. This also commemorates the beginning of Holy Week.

Mar 28 Mar 10 April 10
baha'i Naw-Ruz – Baha’i
Nowruz – ZoroastrianThe day of the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is celebrated as the beginning of New Year in Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and by various ethno-linguistic groups across the world
Mar 20 Mar 20 Mar 20
Hindu Holi – Hindu


Spring festival; a carnival occasion featuring bright colors, pilgrimages and bonfires.

Mar 29 Mar 18 Mar 18
Islam Maba’ath-Islam


The Shia observance is based on the beginning of the Holy Prophet’s mission of propagating the message of Almighty Allah.

Mar 12
Jewish Purim – Jewish


Feast of Lots; celebrates deliverance of Jews of ancient Persians froma plot to destroy them.

Feb 26 Mar 16 Mar 16
sikh 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.

Mar 29 Mar 18
Islam Promised Savior Day – Islam
The Shia observance is based on the birthday of Imam Mahdi, the promised savior who is the descendant of Prophet Muhammad. The eschatological redeemer of Islam and ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imam of the Shia who will emerge with Isa (Jesus Christ) to fulfill their mission of bringing peace and justice to the world.
Mar 29
Christian Maundy Thursday – Christian


Also known as Holy Thursday, this day celebrates the institution of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at Jesus’ Last Supper.

April 1 April 14 April 14
Christian Good Friday – Christian


The Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.

April 2 April 15 April 15
Christian Easter – Christian


Celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

April 4 April 17 April 17
Christian Easter – Orthodox Christian


Celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

May 2 April 24 April 24
Hindu Baisakhi/Vaisakhi – Hindu – Sikh


Anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa (the army of the Pure Ones) in 1699.

April 14 April 14 April 14
Jewish Pesach (Passover) – Jewish


Marks the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt; “Seder” ceremonies emphasize the concept of freedom.

Mar 27 – Apr 4 April 15 – 23 April 15 – 23
baha'i Ridvan – Baha’i


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

April 21 – May 2 April 21 – May 2 April 21 – May 2
Christian Ascension Day – Christian


Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.

May 13 May 26 May 26
Jewish Yom Ha-Sho’ah – Jewish April 8 April 27 April 27
buddhist Buddha Day (Visakaha Puja, Wesak) – Buddhist


Celebration of the birth of Buddha in Japan.

May 26 May 16
Islam Martyrdom of Imam Ali Ibn Aboutaleb – Islam
The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Imam Ali Ibn Aboutaleb, who was assassinated while he was praying at Masjid Al-Kufa on 19 Ramadan and passed away on 21st.
May 5
Christian Pentecost – Christian


Fifty days after Easter, this time celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon early Christians following the ascension of Jesus.

May 23 June 5
Islam Lailat al Bara-ah – Islam


Night of Forgiveness. A night of prayer to Allah for forgiveness of the dead. Preparation for Ramadan through intense prayer.

Mar 29 Mar 19
Christian Trinity Sunday – Protestant Christian May 30 June 12 June 12
Christian Corpus Christi – Catholic Christian


This is a feast in honor of the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

June 3 June 16 June 16
baha'i Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i


A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah.

May 29 May 29 May 29
Memorial Day – Interfaith USA May 31 May 30 May 29
Islam Ramadan Begins (US Date) – Islam


The ninth month in the Islamic calendar; 30 days of strict fasting from sunup to sundown in honor of the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

April 13 April 3 April 3
Jewish Shavuot – Jewish


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

May 16 June 4 June 5
sikh 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 16 June 16 Jun 16
Juneteenth – Interfaith USA


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

June 19 June 19 June 19
pagan Summer Solstice – Pagan/Wicca June 21 June 21 June 21
Islam Lailat al-Qadr – Islam


Night of Destiny. First revelation of Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Observed during the last ten days of Ramadan.

May 9 April 29 April 28
Independence Day – Interfaith USA July 4 July 4 July 4
Islam ‘Id al-Fitr – Islam


Festival of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan.

May 14 May 3 May 3
baha'i Martyrdom of the B’ab – Baha’i


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

July 9 July 9 July 9
 mormon temple Pioneer Day – Mormon


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

July 24 July 24 July 24
 Jewish Tisha B’av – Jewish


A day of mourning and repentance in remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

July 30 July 18 Aug 7
Christian Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary – Catholic Christian Aug 15 Aug 15 Aug 15
Christian Dormition of the Theotokos – Orthodox Christian


The Orthodox Christian commemoration of the death and burial of the Virgin Mary.

Aug 15 Aug 15 Aug 15
Christian Passion of St. John the Baptist – Catholic Christian


Christian remembrance of the death of John who is known for preparing the people so they would recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Aug 29 Aug 29 Aug 29
Hindu Raksha Bandhan – Hindu


Hindu festival honoring the loving ties between brothers and sisters in a family.

Aug 3 Aug 22 Aug 11
Islam Aid al Ghadir Khumm – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the day that Prophet Muhammad Appointed his successor Imam Ali ibn Aboutaleb for the completion of the message of Islam, in his last Hajj on 18 Dhu al-Hijjah.

Aug 10
Christian Ecclesiastical year begins – Orthodox Christian


The way a Christian Church arranges a calendar of time and sets dates of special importance.

Sept 1 Sept 1 Sept 1
Hindu 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.

Aug 11 Aug 30 Aug 18
Labor Day – Interfaith USA Sept 7 Sept 6 Sept 5
Christian Nativity of Mary – Christian


A Christian celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.

Sept 8 Sept 8 Sept 8
Christian 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.

Sept 14 Sept 14 Sept 14
 Jewish Rosh Hashanah – Jewish


Jewish New Year. Begins at sundown. A time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and penitence. The story of Abraham is read, the ram’s horn is sounded, and special foods are prepared and shared.

Sept 18 – 20 Sept 6 – 8 Sept 26 – 27
Jain Paryushana Parva – Jain


Jain 8 day fesitval signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement. Marked by recitations from Jain sacred writing and family exchange of cards and letters. Celebration of the natural qualities of the soul. The 8th day (Samvatsari) is most important and is forcused on forgiveness.

Aug 16 Sept 3 Aug 23
Islam Waqf al Arafa – Hajj – Islam


Begins at sundown. Islamic observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy.

July 30 July 19 July 9
Jewish Yom Kippur – Jewish


Begins at sundown. Jewish Day of Atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance.

Sept 28 Sept 16 Oct 5
pagan Mabon – Wicca/Pagan


Wicca observance of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length. A harvest festival time.

Sept 22 Sept 22 Sept 22
Islam Eid al Adha – Sacrifice Day – Islam


Begins at sundown. Islamic Festival of Sacrifice. The day after Arafat, the most important day in the Hajj ritual. A three-day festival recalling Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.

July 31 July 20 July 20
Christian Meskel – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian


Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian commemoration of the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Eleni (St. Helena) in the 4th century a.d.

Sept 27 Sept 27 Sept 27
Jewish Sukkot – Jewish


Begins at sundown. Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the harvest and 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. In temperate climates, night is spent in the Succoth.

Oct 2 – 9 Sept 20 – Sept 27 Oct 10 – Oct 11
Christian 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.

Oct 4 Oct 4 Oct 4
Islam Arbaeen – Islam


Arbaeen Chehlum is a Shia religious observance that occurs forty days after the Imam Hussain martyrdom on the Day of Ashura when the caravan of the captives came back to Karbala for the first time.

Oct 9
Jewish Shemini Atzeret – Jewish


Begins at sundown. Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah

Oct 9 Sept 27 Oct 17
Jewish Simchat Torah – Jewish


Begins at sundown. Jewish day to celebrate the reading of the law. Synagogue services involve readings, processions and blessing of the children.

Oct 10 Sept 28 Oct 18
Hindu 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.

Oct 17 Oct 6 Sept 26
Islam Hijra – New Year – Islam


Begins at sundown. The emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 615 c.e.

Aug 21 Aug 10 July 30
baha'i Birth of the Bab – Baha’i


Begins at sundown. Baha’i honoring of the founder of the Babi religion, forerunner to Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i faith.

Oct 20 Oct 20 Oct 20
sikh Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh


Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, are honored as perpetual Guru.

Oct 20 Oct 20 Oct 20
Hindu Dasara (Dussehra) – Hindu


Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.

Oct 25 Oct 15 Oct 5
Christian Saint George Day – Christian


Christian remembrance of a person who, in the 4th century, was a martyr and became an ideal of martial valor and selflessness. Legend of killing a dragon is connected with this patron saint of England.

Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Islam Ashura – Islam


An Islamic optional one day fast. The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s Grandson, Hussein, martyred on this date in 683/684 AD at the battle of Kerbala. Sunni observance is a recognition of Moses fasting in gratitude to Allah/God for liberation from oppression.

Aug 28 Aug 18 Aug 7
Christian Reformation Day – Protestant Christian


Protestant Christian anniversary of their tradition and its emphasis on the place of the Bible and religious Freedom. On October 31, 1517 c.e. Martin Luther posted a belief statement on Wittenbeg Church door. The date of public observation is the Sunday before October 31.

Oct 25 Oct 25 Oct 25
Islam End of Safar – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the death anniversary of Prophet Muhamamd and the martyrdom of Imam Hasan and Imam Reza.

Oct 17-19
Islam Mawlid an Nabi – Islam


Islamic commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, in about 570 c.e. The prophet’s teachings are read and religious meetings are held. Shia and Sunni on separate days. Begins at sundown.

Oct 29 Oct 19 Oct 8
Christian Milvain Bridge Day – Christian


Christian day of solemn reflection on the relationship of the spiritual community and the powers of civil government. On October 28, 312 c.e., Emperor Constantine prevailed in a battle and proceeded to make Christianity the legal religion of the Roman Empire.

Oct 28 Oct 28 Oct 28
Christian 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.

Oct 31 Oct 31 Oct 31
Christian All Saints Day – Christian


Christian day for honoring saints, known and unknown. In general, saints are persons with a reputation for unusual lives of holiness and devotion to God or who were martyred for their faith. A Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church where saints have special formal status.

Nov 1 Nov 1 Nov 1
pagan Samhain – Beltane – Pagan/Wicca


Wicca celebration of endings and beginnings and of remembering the dead. Revering of elders is also observed. Begins at sundown.

Nov 1 Nov 1 Nov 1
Christian All Souls Day – Catholic Christian


Christian day of prayers of 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.

Nov 2 Nov 2 Nov 2
Veterans Day – Interfaith USA Nov 11 Nov 11 Nov 11
Hindu Diwali – Hindu – Jain – Sikh


Hindu Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. Gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals.

Nov 14 Nov 4 Oct 24
baha'i Birth of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i


Baha’i celebration of the birth of their founder and teacher. Refrain from work. Begins at sundown.

Nov 12 Nov 12 Nov 12
Christian Nativity Fast Begins – Orthodox Christian Nov 15 Nov 15 Nov 15
Jain New Year – Jain Nov 15 Nov 5 Oct 25
Christian Christ the King – Christian


Christian celebration of the preeminence of Jesus over all earthly authorities.

Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22
sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh


Sikh time of remembering the execution of Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.

Nov 24 Nov 24 Nov 24
sikh Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday – Sikh


Sikh honoring of the birth of the first Sikh teacher who lived from 1469 – 1539 c.e. Sacred readings, prayers, hymns, meals together.

Nov 30 Nov 19 Nov 7
Thanksgiving – Interfaith USA


Interfaith celebration of the created earth. Celebrated in the USA.

Nov 26 Nov 25 Nov 24
baha'i Day of the Covenant – Baha’i


Baha’i day of celebration of the covenant given in the last will and testament of Baha’u’llah.

Nov 26 Nov 26 Nov 26
baha'i Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i


Baha’i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdu’l-Baha to the heavenly dwelling.

Nov 28 Nov 28 Nov 28
Christian Advent – Christian


Christian time of preparation for observing the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30 and is the beginning of the Christian worship year. Advent is observed with the lighting of advent candles, display of wreaths, and special ceremonies. Advent also anticipates the coming again to earth of Jesus Christ. The season continues through December 24.

Nov 29 Nov 29 Nov 29
Christian Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian Nov 30 Nov 30 Nov 30
Christian Saint Nicholas Day – Christian


Christian celebration of the birth of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving. Many churches are named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Dec 6 Dec 6 Dec 6
Jewish Hanukkah – Judaism


Jewish festival of lights. It commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165-164 b.c.e. Special readings and praise songs focus on liberty and freedom. The eight candle Menorah is lighted. Begins at sundown.

Dec 10 – Dec 18 Nov 28 – Dec 6 Dec 18 – 26
 Christian Immaculate – Catholic Christian


Catholic Christian day of celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin all of her life. A day of obligation and required church attendance.

Dec 8 Dec 8 Dec 8
buddhist Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist


Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha.

Dec 8 Dec 8 Dec 8
 Christian Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic Christian


Catholic Christian honoring of a legendary appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 c.e.

Dec 12 Dec 12 Dec 12
Christian Posadas Navidenas – Christian


Hispanic Christian feast of the Lodgings commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Dec 16 – 25 Dec 16 – 25 Dec 16 – 25
Christian Yule – Christian


A Norse Pagan celebration of the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. A present day Wicca event.

Dec 21 Dec 21 Dec 21
pagan Yule – Wicca/Pagan


The festival of the winter solstice

Dec 21 Dec 21 Dec 21
Islam Wiladat Bibi Zaynab bint Ali – Islam


The Shia observance is based on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter, Bibi Zaynab, who was also representative of the captives’ caravan from Karbala to Damascus.
Some countries recognize this day as Nurse’s day.

Dec 22
Christian Nativity Fast Ends – Orthodox Christian Dec 24 Dec 24 Dec 24
Christian 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, manager scenes and festive meals.

Dec 24 Dec 24 Dec 24
 Christian Christmas – Christian


Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.

Dec 25 Dec 25 Dec 25
Christian St. Stephen’s Day – Christian


A day of remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Dec 26 Dec 26 Dec 26
Zoroastrian Zarathosht Diso – Zoroastrian


Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra.

Dec 26 Dec 26 Dec 26
Kwanzaa – Interfaith USA


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

Dec 26 – Jan 1 Dec 26 – Jan 1 Dec 26 – Jan 1
 Christian Holy Innocents – Christian


Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus.

Dec 28 Dec 28 Dec 28