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Holy Days & Holidays

*Begins at sundown
**Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date. 

August 2020 - July 2021

AUGUST 2020

August  1: Lughnasadh - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Celebration of midpoint between solstice and equinox marking first harvest.*

August  3: Eid al Adha ends - Islam

August  3: Raksha Bandhan - Hindu - Festival honoring family ties between brothers and sister. **

August  11: Krishna Janmashtami  - Hindu - Festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. He exhorted the epic poem “Gita” to Arjun. **

August  13: Obon begins - Buddhist/Shinto - Japanese Buddhist festival to honor ancestors. **

August  15: Obon ends - Buddhist/Shinto

August  15: Assumption of Mary - Catholic Christian - Celebration of assumption of Mary into heaven. Holy day of obligation for Catholics. 

August  16: Paryushana Parva begins - Jain - Eight-day Jain festival of devotion.*

August  20: Hijra New Year - Islam - Muslim new year, marking the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madinah 622 CE.*

August  21: Ganesh Chaturthi - Hindu - Festival honoring Lord Ganesh. **

August  23: Paryushana Parva ends - Jain

August  29: Ashura  - Islam - Muslim commemoration of Prophet Moses delivering his people from Pharaoh (a day of optional fasting accompanied with a day of fasting before and/or after) and of trials endured by leaders among Prophet Muhammad’s family.*

SEPTEMBER 2020

September  19: Erev Rosh Hashanah  - Jewish - Eve of the Jewish New Year and beginning of High Holy Days (begins at sundown).* 

September  20: Rosh Hashanah  - Jewish - New Year.*

September  21: Fast of Gedaliah - Jewish - Day of fasting marking the assassination of Gedaliah, the Governor of Judea, following the Babylonian conquest.*

September  22: Mabon - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Observance of autumn equinox and harvest festival.*

September  28: Yom Kippur  - Jewish - Day of Atonement, observed with fasting.*

September  28: Birth of Confucius - Observed in religious traditions emanating from China. 

OCTOBER 2020

October  3: Sukkot begins - Jewish - Eight-day remembrance of God’s protection during time in the wilderness. Observed by eating in a temporary hut called a “sukkah” (begins at sundown Oct. 2, concludes Oct. 9).*

October  9: Sukkot ends - Jewish

October  10: Shemini Atzeret  - Jewish - Eight-day festival connected to Sukkot (begins at sundown Oct. 9).*

October  11: Simchat Torah - Jewish - Day of rejoicing to celebrate the yearly completion of reading the whole Torah (begins at sundown Oct. 10).*

October  12: Indigenous People's Day - Interfaith celebration of cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of Western hemisphere. 

October  17: Navaratri begins - Hindu - Nine-night festival worshiping different forms of the Goddess Shakti. **

October  18: Birth of the Báb  - Bahá’í - Celebrates the birth of one of the founders of Bahá’í faith.*

October  20: Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib - Sikh - Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib. Recognition of Sikh sacred writings as the final, eternal guru. 

October  25: Dussehra - Hindu - Celebration of the victory of Lord Rama over demon Ravan. Also known as Vijayadashami. 

October  26: Navaratri ends - Hindu **

October  29: Mawlid al-Nabi - Islam - The day that commemorates the birth of the last Prophet of Islam, Muhammad c. 570 CE (begins sundown Oct. 28).*

October  30: Birth of Bahá'u'lláh  - Bahá’í - Commemoration of the birth of Bahá›u›lláh (translated ‘Glory of God’), the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í faith*

October  31: All Hallows Eve  - Christian - Celebration derived from Celtic Samhain, beginning two-day remembrance of the dead. 

NOVEMBER 2020

November  1: All Saints Day  - Christian - Celebration of lives of the saints. Holy day of obligation for Catholics. 

November  1: Samhain  - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Observance of midpoint between equinox and solstice, descent into depths of winter.*

November  2: All Souls Day  - Catholic Christian - Celebration of lives of the saints. Holy day of obligation for Catholics. 

November  14: Diwali  - Hindu - Jain - Sikh - The main day of the five-day festival of lights, celebration of light over darkness, new beginnings and triumph of goodness. **

November  14: Bandi Chor Diwas - Sikh - Celebration of the release of Guru Hargobind from wrongful imprisonment.

November  16: Jain New Year  - Jain - Celebration of the new year. 

November  22: Christ the King - Christian - Festival celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus Christ as Lord over all creation. 

November  25: Day of the Covenant  - Bahá’í - The day when Bahá'ís celebrate the appointment of `Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh’s Covenant.*

November  26: Thanksgiving Day - Interfaith USA

November  27: Ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá - Bahá’í - Commemoration of the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá who died on Nov. 28, 1921, in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel).*

November  30: Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib - Sikh - Birth of the founder and first guru of the Sikh faith. 

DECEMBER 2020

December  6: Saint Nicholas Day  - Christian - Feast of saint popularly known as Santa Claus for his generosity. 

December  8: Bodhi Day - Buddhist - Celebration of beginning of path to enlightenment of the Buddha. 

December  8: Immaculate Conception of Mary  - Catholic Christian - Catholic day of celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin all of her life. Holy day of obligation. 

December  11: Chanukah begins - Jewish - Eight-night Jewish festival of lights remembering Maccabean victory and rededication of Temple in 165 BCE (first candle lit at sundown Dec. 10, holiday concludes at nightfall Dec. 18).*

December  12: Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe  - Catholic Christian - Catholic celebration of Mary as patron saint of Mexico. 

December  16: Posadas Navideñas begins - Christian - Mexican Catholic reenactment of journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. 

December  18: Hanukkah ends - Jewish

December  21: Yule  - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Observance of rebirth of the sun after longest night of winter.*

December  21: Remembrance Vigil for Pam Am Flight 103 - Interfaith - Syracuse University service of remembrance for the victims of Pan Am 103. 

December  23: Human Light - Secular celebration of humanist vision of peace and goodwill among all. 

December  24: Christmas Eve - Christian - Eve of traditional Western date observing birth of Christ in 12-day festival lasting to Epiphany. 

December  25: Christmas  - Christian - Traditional Western date observing birth of Christ in 12-day festival lasting to Epiphany.*

December  25: Fast of Tevet - Jewish - Day of mourning and repentance marking the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. In recent years, it also is a day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.*

December  25: Posadas Navideñas ends  

December  26: Zarathosht Diso  - Zoroastrian - Death of founding prophet Zarathushtra. **

December  26: Kwanzaa begins - x - Weeklong celebration of African American life and cultural heritage. 

December  27: Holy Family - Catholic Christian - Catholic celebration of the love between the family of Jesus. 

December  31: Watch Night  - Christian - Ritual service of preparation for the year to come. 

JANUARY 2021

January   1: Mary, Mother of God  - Catholic Christian - Catholic day of prayer and thanksgiving to Mary, mother of Jesus. 

January  1: Feast Day of St. Basil - Orthodox Christian - Celebration of defender of orthodoxy Basil of Caesarea. 

January  1: Gantan-sai  - Shinto - New Year festival. Also known as Shogatsu. 

January  1: Kwanzaa ends

January  6: Epiphany  - Christian - Festival celebrating the revelation of God in Jesus and the visit of the sages to the Christ child. 

January  7: Feast of the Nativity - Orthodox Christian - Traditional celebration of Christmas for Eastern Orthodox Christians. 

January  10: Baptism of the Lord Jesus - Christian - Commemoration of the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus. 

January  13: Maghi  - Sikh - Commemoration of the 40 martyrs (Chalis Mukte) who died fighting the Mughal army with Guru Gobind Singh in 1705 CE. 

January  14: Makar Sankranti - Hindu - Festival honoring the Sun, the main source of energy to our planet. 

January  18: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins  - Christian - Seven days of ecumenical prayer. 

January  20: Guru Gobindh Singh Jayanti - Sikh - Celebration of the birth of the final human guru of the Sikh faith. 

January  28: Tu BiSh'vat  - Jewish - Celebration of the New Year of the Trees (begins at sundown Jan. 27).*

FEBRUARY 2021

February  2: Candlemas - Christian - Celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. New beginnings are recognized. 

February  2: Imbolc - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Feast of waxing light, midpoint between solstice and equinox.*

February  3: Setsebun-sai - Shinto - Celebration of approach of spring as invitation to good fortune. 

February  3: Four Chaplains Interfaith Sunday - Interfaith - Commemoration of the event in World War II when four Chaplains of Jewish and Christian traditions (Catholic and Protestant) gave their life jackets to others as a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. 

February  12: Chinese New Year - Chinese traditional - Beginning of Chinese celebration of a new year for people of all religions. 

February  14: St. Valentine's Day - Christian - Festival of love loosely connected to Christian saint. 

February  15: Nirvana Day - Buddhist - Jain - Commemoration of passing into Nirvana of the Buddha . **

February  16: Vasant Panchami - Hindu - Festival honoring Saraswati, goddess of learning, wisdom, music and art. **

February  16: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras - Christian - Day of preparation for Lent, observed by feasting and carnival activities. 

February  17: Ash Wednesday - Christian - First of 40 days of Western Christian penitential observance of Lent. 

February  25: Feast of Esther - Jewish - Day preceding Purim that commemorates the fast Esther requested the Jewish people observe in preparation of her going to see the King uninvited.*

February  25: Ayyam-i-Ha begins - Bahá’í - Intercalary Days is a period dedicated to socializing, being hospitable, giving generously to the poor and needy, and preparing for the upcoming month of fasting. 

February  26: Purim  - Jewish - Holiday marking deliverance from Haman's genocidal plot against Jewish people in ancient Persia as related in Book of Esther (begins at sundown Feb. 25).*

February   28: Ayyam-i-Ha ends - Bahá’í

MARCH 2021

March  1: Bahá’í Fasting begins  - Bahá’í - Abstain from food and drinks between sunrise and sunset. 

March  10: Lailat al Miraj  - Islam - The day that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad's nighttime journey, in 622 CE, to Heaven to meet with God and to meet with his fellow Prophets like Abraham and Moses.*

March  11: Maha Shivaratri  - Hindu - Festival in honor of Lord Shiva. **

March  15: Clean Monday (Lent)  - Orthodox Christian - First day of Lent. 

March  17: St. Patrick's Day  - Christian - Celebration of Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. 

March  19: Bahá’í Fasting ends  - Bahá’í - Abstain from food and drinks between sunrise and sunset. 

March  19: St. Joseph's Day   - Christian - Celebration of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. 

March  20: Naw-Rúz  - Bahá’í - New Year (176 Bahá’í Era). 

March  21: Ostara  - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Spring equinox festival celebrating reawakening.*

March  21: Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Christian - First Sunday of Lent. Restoration of icons to the church is celebrated. 

March  25: Feast of the Annunciation - Christian - Commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. 

March  27: Holi  - Hindu - Colorful festival of spring. **

March  28: Lailat al Bara'ah  - Islam - Optional Night of prayer (begins at sundown March 28).*

March  28: Magha Puja Day  - Buddhist - Commemoration of presentation of Buddha to the world. **

March  28: Passover begins - Jewish - Eight-day commemoration of freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (begins with First Seder at sundown March 27; Second Seder begins at nightfall March 28; holiday concludes at nightfall April 4).*

March  28: Palm Sunday  - Christian - Beginning of Western Christian Holy Week, also known as Palm Sunday of the Passion. 

March  29: Hola Mohalla begins - Sikh - Begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar and follows the Hindu festival of colors, Holi. 

March   31: Hola Mohalla ends - Sikh

APRIL 2021

April  1: Maundy Thursday - Christian - Remembrance of Christ’s last supper. First day of the Sacred Triduum. 

April  2: Good Friday  - Christian - Remembrance of the crucifixion and death of Christ. Second day of the Sacred Triduum. 

April  3: Holy Saturday - Christian - Day of vigil culminating in observance of resurrection of Christ. Third day of the Sacred Triduum. 

April  4: Easter Sunday  - Christian - Feast of resurrection of Christ.*

April  4: Passover ends - Jewish

April  8: Yom HaShoah  - Jewish - Holocaust Remembrance Day (begins at sundown April 8).*

April  8: Buddha’s Birthday - Buddhist - Celebrates the Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha. Also known as Vesak.*

April  13: Ramadan begins  - Islam - Muslim Holy month of daily fasting (dawn to sunset) and nightly prayers (begins at sundown April 12).*

April  13: Chaitra Navaratri begins - Hindu - Nine-day festival that signifies the victory of good over evil. 

April  13: Hindu New Year  - Hindu**

April  14: Yom HaZikaron - Jewish - Honors Israeli soldiers who have died in combat and civilian victims of terrorism.*

April  14: Baisakhi  - Sikh - Commemorates the day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Guru, removed the clerical system from Sikhism and affirmed the direct connection between Sikhs and the Divine. 

April  15: Yom Ha'atzmaut -  - Isreal's Independence Day*

April  21: First Day of Ridván - Bahá’í - Celebrate the day Bahá’u’lláh arrived at the Garden of Ridván.*

April  21: Ramanavami  - Hindu - Celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, seventh incarnation of Vishnu. **

April  22: Chaitra Navaratri ends - Hindu

April  24: Lazarus Saturday  - Orthodox Christian - Feast commemorating the raising of Lazarus by Jesus Christ. 

April  25: Palm Sunday - Orthodox Christian

April  25: Mahavir Jayanti - Jain - Birth of founder of Jain tradition Mahavira 540 BCE. **

April  26: Hanuman Jayanti - Hindu - Festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Sri Hanuman. **

April  29: Ninth Day of Ridván  - Bahá’í - Celebrates the day Bahá’u’lláh declared the Mission and Purpose of the Bahá’í Faith. 

April  30: Holy Friday  - Orthodox Christian - Anniversary of the death of Christ, as commemorated by Orthodox Christians. 

April  30: Lag B'Omer - Jewish - Celebration of the 33 day of counting the Omer, a 49-day period between Pesach and Shavout (begins at sundown April 29).*

MAY 2021

May  1: Beltane - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Celebration of midpoint between equinox and solstice, celebrating Earth’s fertility.*

May  2: 12th day of Ridván  - Bahá’í - Commemoration of the day Bahá’u’lláh departed from the Garden of Ridván and continued His exile.*

May  2: Pascha (Easter)  - Orthodox Christian - Celebration of the resurrection of Christ, beginning at midnight. 

May  2: Laylat al Kadr The Night of Destiny begins - Islam - Muslim commemoration of the Holy Night, in Ramadan, when the Qur`an was revealed (begins at sundown May 1). It can fall on any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, and these nights are spent in worship, prayers and supplications. This night is also when the destiny of all things is determined for the coming year.*

May  8: 27th Night of Ramadan - Islam

May  10: Laylat al Kadr The Night of Destiny ends - Islam

May  12: Eid al Fitr – End of Ramadan  - Islam - Muslim  celebration showing gratitude for a successful completion of fasting in the Holy month of Ramadan (begins at sundown on May 12). The day begins with a distribution of charity to the needy the night before, followed by morning prayer services the next day and gatherings with family, friends, and relatives. *

May  17: Shavuot - Jewish - Festival of receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai (begins at sundown May 16, concludes at nightfall May 18).*

May  23: Pentecost - Christian - Celebration of the descent of Holy Spirit upon followers of Christ. 

May  23: Declaration of the Báb  - Bahá’í - Celebration of the day when The Báb announced He was "the bearer of a Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One of all religions."*

May  28: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh - Bahá’í - Commemoration of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í faith.*

May  30: Trinity Sunday  - Christian - Honors the belief in one God with a threefold nature. 

JUNE 2021

June  20: Pentecost  - Orthodox Christian - Celebration of the descent of Holy Spirit upon followers of Christ. 

June  21: Litha - Wiccan/Neo-pagan - Summer Solstice.*

June  27: Fast of Tammuz - Jewish - Commemoration of the breach of the walls of Jerusalem by the Romans.*

JULY 2021

July  10: Martyrdom of the Báb  - Bahá’í - The Báb, forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, was publicly executed for announcing the nearing arrival of the Promised One and the prophesied dawn of a new day.*

July  18: Fast of Tisha Be'Av - Jewish - Fast day mourning the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem and other devastations in Jewish history.*

July   19: Day of Arafah Hajj - Islam - Day of assembly on the plain of Arafah in Hajj. Optional day of fasting for nonpilgrims. 

July  20: Eid al Adha begins - Islam - Muslim celebration honoring the spiritual sacrifice of his son by prophet Abraham. 

July  23: Eid al Adha ends - Islam