Pioneer Day: Mormons celebrate Brigham Young and Salt Lake City

Hundreds of members of Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform in Mormon Temple

Broadway’s former “Cinderella” star performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for this year’s Pioneer Day concerts. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

FRIDAY, JULY 24: Across the state of Utah and in Mormon communities worldwide, Pioneer Day marks the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley. Parades, fireworks, rodeos, carnivals and more accompany festivals in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. On this date in 1847, Brigham Young and his followers ended a thousand-mile search for a permanent settlement and an escape from religious persecution. (Wikipedia has details.) Many voyagers didn’t survive the difficult journey, and on Pioneer Day, Utahns pay homage to all pioneers—Mormon or not. Across Utah, many governmental offices and places of business are closed for the state holiday.

Did you know? Some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reenact the entrance of pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, by handcart, each Pioneer Day. Annually, Pioneer Days draws approximately 250,000 people.

This year, activities for Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City began a week before July 24, brimming with live music, pioneer heritage activities, pancake breakfasts and more. (Read more in the Salt Lake Tribune.) For Ogden Pioneer Days, Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke during the annual devotional, referencing the Sermon on the Mount when he spoke of the need for reconciliation, forgiveness and a culture of community. (Deseret News has the story.) In contrast to Mormon-centered activities, some bars and restaurants are gearing up for “Pie ‘n’ Beer Day,” a homophonic allusion to Pioneer Day that is based in Utah. Non-Mormons who reported feeling out of place during the Pioneer Day activities say that they now have a place to go on July 24. (New York Times reported.)

NEWS: TEMPLE OPEN FOR TOURS, A NEW ELDER & CINDERELLA SINGING

Following three years of construction on a 34,000-square-foot building, Mormonism’s newest temple, will be open for tours to non-Mormons in Indiana through August 8. During the past decade, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has only opened three or four temples worldwide each year, reaching a total of 147. Despite reports that the religion’s numbers are declining, officials expect that the temple in Indiana will host 75,000 visitors before closing its doors to non-Mormons, at which time it will serve approximately 30,000 Mormons in the state. (Read more from USA Today, Fox News and Indianapolis Monthly.)

With the death of 90-year old Boyd Packer, it has been reported that Russell Nelson will take over the position of president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a statement, the Church said that the apostles have “heavy administrative responsibilities as they oversee the orderly progress and development of the global church.”

Broadway star Laura Osnes, best known for her role as “Cinderella,” joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra for its Pioneer Day concert July 17 and 18. (Watch a video of the performance here.) Prior to the performances, Osnes—nominated for a Tony Award and recipient of several other awards—described her excitement in performing with such a renowned and enormous group. (Read more here.)

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Categories: Mormon

Interfaith Calendar: Religious and Cultural Observances

Read The Spirit reports on major holidays, festivals, milestones and other observances that shape community life around the world. As we approach these special dates, our columnist Stephanie Fenton reports fresh stories about the way each milestone is marked. Please remember: DATES and OBSERVANCES VARY.

Here is our 2017 list …

January 2017

Black-and-white photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in suit with microphones, speaking outdoors

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1—New Year’s Day

1—Mary, Mother of God (Catholic)

1—Feast of St. Basil (Orthodox Christian)

1—Gantan-sai (New Year’s) (Shinto)

5—Twelfth Night (Christian)

5 – Guru Gobindh Singh birthday (Sikh)

6—Epiphany and Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) (Christian) NOTE: In some regions and denominations, observance is held on January 1; in others, the celebration is transferred to Sunday, January 8. Also, some traditions combine this with liturgical celebrations of the Baptism of Jesus.

6—Theophany (Orthodox Christian)

7—Nativity of Christ (Orthodox Christian, Julian calendar)

12 – Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)

13—Maghi (Sikh)

14—Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

14—Sunset, World Religion Day (Baha’i)

16—Martin Luther King Day (U.S.)

17 – Blessing of the Animals (Hispanic Catholic Christian)

19—Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins (Christian)

19—Timkat (Ethiopian Christian)

25—Conversion of St. Paul (Christian)

27—World Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day

28—Chinese New Year

February:

Black-and-white stamp of Four Immortal Chaplains

This U.S. postage stamp was issued in honor of the Four Immortal Chaplains in 1948. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1—Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
2—Candlemas/Presentation of Lord at the Temple (Christian)
2—Imbolc / Lughnassadh (Wiccan/Pagan)
2—St. Brigid of Kildare (Celtic Christian)
2—Groundhog Day
3—Setsubun Sai (Shinto)
5—Four Chaplains Sunday (Interfaith)
10 – Sunset, Tu B’Shvat (Jewish)
11—Our Lady of Lourdes (Catholic)
14—St. Valentine’s Day (Christian/Secular)
15—Nirvana Day (Buddhist / Jain)
19 – Meatfare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
20—Presidents’ Day (U.S.)
24 –Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)
26 – Cheese Fare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
26 – Transfiguration Sunday (Christian)
25—Sunset, Intercalary Days (Days of Ha) begin (Baha’i)
27/28—Ramakrishna Jayanti (Hindu)
27 – Clean Monday (Orthodox Christian)
28 – Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras (Christian)

March:

wpid-SF_212_Hina_matsuri_doll_display.jpg

Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) (Japan)

1 – Ash Wednesday (Christian)
1—Sunset, Nineteen Day Fast begins (Baha’i)
3—Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) (Japan)
5 – Sunday of Orthodoxy (Orthodox Christian)
11 – Sunset, Purim begins (Jewish)
12—Daylight Savings Time begins
12 –Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)
12 – Holi (Hindu)
12/13—Hola Mohalla (Sikh) (Dates may vary by region)
13—L. Ron Hubbard birthday (Scientology)
17—St. Patrick’s Day (Christian/Secular)
20–St. Joseph’s Day (Christian) Transferred from March 19, as it is, in 2017, the third Sunday of Lent.
20—Equinox
20—Ostara/Mabon (Wiccan/Pagan)
20—Sunset, Naw-Ruz (Baha’i)
21—Norooz (Persian/Zoroastrian)
21—International Day of Nowruz
25—Annunciation of the Lord (Christian)
28 – Ramayana begins (Hindu)
28—Ugadi, New Year (Hindu)

April:

Eggs painted in various colors, detailed, in basket

Photo in public domain

LENT and EASTER/PASCHA:
More than 2 billion people around the world claim Christian affiliation, making it the world’s largest religious group. However, deep divisions in Christianity have left what many Christian leaders consider to be a tragic separation in celebrations of the church’s most important holiday: Easter, which Eastern Christians refer to as “Pascha.” Wikipedia has a detailed article about historical efforts to unify the date of Easter. In 2017, Eastern and Western Easters converge in 2017 on April 16—then separate once more and stay that way through the end of the decade.

1 – Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)
2 —Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
5 – Ramnavami (Hindu)
9 – Palm Sunday (Christian)
9—Mahavir Jayanti (Jain) (Date may vary by region)
10 – Sunset, Pesach (Passover) begins (Jewish)
11 – Lord’s Evening Meal (Jehovah’s Witness)
11 – Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)
11 – Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)
13—Maundy Thursday (Christian)
14—Good Friday (Christian)
14 – Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)
14—Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) (Sikh)
15—Holy Saturday (Christian)
16—Easter (Christian)
16 – Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)
17 – Easter Monday (Christian)
20—Sunset, First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)
22—Earth Day
23 – Sunset, Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
23 – Sunset, Lailat al Miraj (Islam)
28—Akshaya Tritiya (Hindu)
28—Sunset, Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)
30 – Sunset, Yom HaZikaron (Jewish)

May:

Three girls in fancy red Mexican dresses and hairdos

Dancers join the Cinco de Mayo parade in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Obie Fernandez, courtesy of Flickr

1 – Sunset, Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)
1—Beltane / Samhain (Wiccan/Pagan)
1—Sunset, Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)
4—National Day of Prayer (Interfaith)
5—Cinco de Mayo
10 – Visakha Puja/Vesak Day (Buddhist)
11 – Sunset, Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)
13 – Sunset, Lag B’Omer (Jewish)
14 – Mother’s Day (U.S.)
22—Sunset, Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)
23—Sunset, Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) (Jewish)
25 – Ascension of the Lord (Catholic Christian)
26 – Sunset, Ramadan begins (Islam)
28—Sunset, Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
30—Memorial Day (U.S.)
30 – Sunset, Shavuot (Jewish)

June:

4—Pentecost Sunday (Christian)
5—Whit Monday (Christian)
9—St. Columba of Iona (Celtic Christian)
11 – Trinity Sunday (Christian)
14—Flag Day (U.S.)
15 – Corpus Christi (Catholic)
16—Martyrdom of Guru Arjan (Sikh)
18—Father’s Day (U.S.)
19—Juneteenth (U.S.)
19—New Church Day (Swedenborgian Christian)
21—Solstice
21—Litha/Yule (Wiccan/Pagan)
21 – Sunset, Lailat al Qadr (Islam)
23 – Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic)
24—Midsummer
24—Nativity of John the Baptist (Catholic)
24 – Sunset, Eid al-Fitr (Islam)
29—Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (Christian)

July:

Red, white and blue batter cupcakes with white icing peak and American flag on top

Photo by Ginny, courtesy of Flickr

4—Independence Day (U.S.)
8—Sunset, Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)
9—Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)
11 – Feast of All Saints (Orthodox Christian)
13—Obon (Ullambana) (Buddhist/Shinto/Japan)
15—St. Vladimir the Great (Orthodox Christian)
23—Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafari)
23—Sunset, The Three Weeks begins (Jewish)
23—Khordad Sal (Qadimi) (Zoroastrian)
24—Pioneer Day (Mormon)
25—St. James the Apostle (Christian)
31 – Sunset, Tisha B’Av (Jewish)

August:

Hands and arms, tying a threaded bracelet onto another person

Tying a rakhi for Raksha Bandhan. Photo by Joe Athialy, courtesy of Flickr

1—Lammas (Christian)
1—Lughnassadh/Imbolc (Wiccan/Pagan)
1—Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Lord Jesus (Orthodox Christian)
6—Transfiguration of the Lord (Orthodox Christian)
7—Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)
9—World Indigenous Peoples Day
14, 15—Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)
15—Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian)
15—Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)
17—Birth anniversary of Marcus Garvey (Rastafari, anniversary)
26—Paryushan Parva begins (Jain) (Dates may vary by region and sect)
29—Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Christian)
30 – Sunset, Waqf al Arafa (Hajj Day) (Islam)
31 – Sunset, Eid al-Adha (Islam)

September:

Pink elephant statue with bangles, gold and fancy painted clothes

Ganesh. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1—Ecclesiastical Year begins (Orthodox Christian)
4—Labor Day (U.S.)
4/5—Anant Chaturdashi (Hindu)
8—Nativity of Virgin Mary (Christian)
11—Patriot Day (U.S.)
14—Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross (Holy Cross Day) (Christian)
20 – Navaratri (Hindu)
20 – Sunset, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
20 – Sunset, Hijra (New Year) (Islam)
22—Equinox
22 —Mabon/Ostara (Wiccan/Pagan)
25 – Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu)
27 —Meskel (Ethiopian Christian)
29 —Michael and All Angels (Christian)
29 —Sunset, Yom Kippur (Jewish)
30 —Daesara (Hindu)
30 – Sunset, Ashura (Islam)

October:

Man in brown robes in field with animals

Saint Francis with the Animals. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

4—St. Francis Day and Blessing of the Animals (Catholic)
4—Sunset, Sukkot (Jewish)
9—Thanksgiving (Canada)
9—Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day (U.S.)
11—Sunset, Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)
12—Sunset, Simchat Torah (Jewish)
18—St. Luke, Apostle and Evangelist (Christian)
19—Diwali (Hindu / Sikh / Jain)
19—Sunset, Birth of the Bab (Baha’i)
20—Installation of the Scriptures as Guru Granth (Sikh)
24—United Nations Day
31—Reformation Day (Protestant Christian)
31 —All Hallows Eve (Christian)

November:

Illustration on old postcard of boy and turkey quarreling

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1—All Saints Day (Christian)
1—Samhain/Beltane (Wicca/Pagan)
1—Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Mexico)
2—All Souls Day (Catholic)
5—Daylight Savings Time ends
9—Kristallnacht (Anniversary)
11—Veterans Day (U.S.)
11—Sunset, Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
15—Nativity Fast begins (Orthodox Christian)
23—Thanksgiving (U.S.)
24—Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahdur (Sikh)
25—Sunset, Day of the Covenant (Baha’i)
26 – Christ the King (Christian)
27—Sunset, Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha (Baha’i)
30—St. Andrew’s Day (Christian)
30 – Mawlid an-Nabi (Islam)

December:

Man with red bishop's hat and white beard waves with white gloved hand

Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3—Advent begins (Christian)
6—St. Nicholas Day (Christian)
7—Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
8—Bodhi Day /Rohatsu (Buddhist)
8—Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic)
12—Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
12—Sunset, Hanukkah begins (Jewish)
16—Posadas Navidenas begins (Hispanic Christian)
21—Solstice
21—Yule/Litha (Wicca/Pagan)
21—Yule (Christian)
24—Christmas Eve (Christian)
25—Christmas (Christian)
25—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
26—Kwanzaa
26—St. Stephen’s Day (Christian)
31—Feast of the Holy Family (Christian)
31—Watch Night (Christian)
31—New Year’s Eve

 

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Care to look back?

Here are our 2016 stories …

JANUARY 2016

1—New Year’s Day

1—Mary, Mother of God (Catholic)

1—Feast of St. Basil (Orthodox Christian)

1—Gantan-sai (New Year’s) (Shinto)

5—Twelfth Night (Christian)

6—Epiphany and Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) (Christian) (In many communities, the celebration is transferred to Sunday, Jan. 3.)

6—Theophany (Orthodox Christian)

13—Maghi (Sikh)

Clean Monday kites flying photo from Wikimedia Commons15—Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

17—World Religion Day (Baha’i)

18—Martin Luther King Day (U.S.)

18—Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins (Christian)

20—Timkat (Ethiopian Christian)

24—Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)

24—Sunset, Tu B’Shvat (Jewish)

25—Conversion of St. Paul (Christian)

27—World Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day

28—St. Thomas Aquinas (Catholic)

 

February

2—Candlemas/Presentation of Lord at the Temple (Christian)

2—Imbolc / Lughnassadh (Wiccan/Pagan)

2—St. Brigid of Kildare (Celtic Christian)

2—Groundhog Day

3—Setsubun Sai (Shinto)

7—Four Chaplains Sunday (Interfaith)

7—Transfiguration Sunday (Christian)

8—Chinese New Year of the Monkey

9—Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras (Christian)

Woman with glasses standing with eyes closed, hand with white sleeve touching her forehead

A woman receives ashes on her forehead at an Ash Wednesday service. Photo John Ragai, courtesy of Flickr

10—Ash Wednesday (Christian)

11—Our Lady of Lourdes (Catholic)

12—Vasant Panchami (Hindu)

14—St. Valentine’s Day (Christian/Secular)

15—Nirvana Day (Buddhist / Jain)

15—Presidents’ Day (U.S.)

25—Sunset, Intercalary Days (Days of Ha) begin (Baha’i)

 

March

1—Sunset, Nineteen Day Fast begins (Baha’i)

3—Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) (Japan)

6—Meatfare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

7—Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)

10—Sri Ramakrishna Jayanti (Hindu)

13—Daylight Savings Time begins

13—Forgiveness Sunday / Cheesefare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

13—L. Ron Hubbard birthday (Scientology)

14—Clean Monday (Orthodox Christian)

17—St. Patrick’s Day (Christian/Secular)

20—Equinox

20—Ostara/Mabon (Wiccan/Pagan)

20—Palm Sunday (Christian)

20—Sunday of Orthodoxy (Orthodox Christian)

20—Sunset, Naw-Ruz (Baha’i)

21—Norooz (Persian/Zoroastrian)

21—International Day of Nowruz

23—Holi (Hindu)

23—Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)

baking sheet with triangle-shaped pastries filled with jam

Hamentaschen, or Haman’s pockets, are a popular treat for Purim. Photo by ulterior epicure, courtesy of Flickr

23—Sunset, Purim begins (Jewish)

23/24—Hola Mohalla (Sikh) (Dates may vary by region)

24—Maundy Thursday (Christian)

25—Good Friday (Christian)

25—Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian)

26—Holy Saturday (Christian)

27—Easter (Western Christian)

28—Easter Monday (Christian)

28—Khordad Sal (Zoroastrian)

 

April

4—Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Christian)

Metallic tray and bowl, fancy, with candles, flowers and dish of liquid-like food

A tray prepared for Ugadi. Photo by Kalyan Kanuri, courtesy of Flickr

8—Ugadi, New Year (Hindu)

8—Ramayana (Hindu)

12—Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday

14—Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) (Sikh)

15—Ramnavami (Hindu)

19/20—Mahavir Jayanti (Jain) (Date may vary by region)

20—Sunset, First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

22—Earth Day

22—Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)

22—Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)

23—Lord’s Evening Meal (Jehovah’s Witness)

22—Sunset, Pesach (Passover) begins (Jewish)

23—Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)

24—Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

28—Sunset, Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

29—Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)

 

May

1—Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)

1—Beltane / Samhain (Wiccan/Pagan)

1—Sunset, Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

5—National Day of Prayer (Interfaith)

4—Sunset, Yom HaShoah (Jewish)

5—Lailat al Miraj (Islam)

5—Ascension of the Lord (Christian)

(In some ecclesiastical provinces, celebration is transferred to May 8)

5—Cinco de Mayo

Woman with two twin girls, young

Photo by Donnie Ray Jones, courtesy of Flickr

8—Mother’s Day (U.S.)

9—Akshaya Tritiya (Hindu)

10—Sunset, Yom Hazikaron (Jewish)

11—Sunset, Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)

15—Visakha Puja (Hindu)

15—Pentecost Sunday (Christian)

16—Whit Monday (Christian)

20—Vesak (Buddhist)

21—Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)

22—Trinity Sunday (Christian)

22—Sunset, Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)

25—Sunset, Lag B’Omer (Jewish)

26—Corpus Christi (Catholic) In some ecclesiastical provinces, celebration is transferred to May 29.

28—Sunset, Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)

National Memorial Day Concert th30—Memorial Day (U.S.)

 

June

3—Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic)

4—Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Catholic)

4—Sunset, Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) (Jewish)

6—

Woman stands below grand ceiling, hands raised, looking at ceiling, in dress and headscarf

A Muslim woman offers a Ramadan prayer. Photo by Thamer Al-Hassan, courtesy of Flickr

Ramadan begins after sunset on June 5 (Islam)

9—St. Columba of Iona (Celtic Christian)

9—Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)

11—Sunset, Shavuot (Jewish)

14—Flag Day (U.S.)

16—Martyrdom of Guru Arjan (Sikh)

19—Father’s Day (U.S.)

19—Juneteenth (U.S.)

19—New Church Day (Swedenborgian Christian)

19—Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)

Three older girls smile while wearing wildflower crowns

Girls pose in Midsummer crowns of flowers. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

20—Solstice / Litha/Yule (Wiccan/Pagan)Midsummer

20—First Nations Day (Canadian Native)

24—Nativity of John the Baptist (Catholic)

26—Feast of All Saints (Orthodox Christian)

29—Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (Christian)

 

July

2—Lailat al Qadr (Islam)

July-4-food (1)4—Independence Day (U.S.)

6—Eid al-Fitr (Islam) (often spelled Eid ul-Fitr as well)

8—Sunset, Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)

13—Obon (Ullambana) (Buddhist/Shinto/Japan)

15—St. Vladimir the Great (Orthodox Christian)

19—Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)

1936 Haile Selassie as TIME magazine's Man of the Year (1)23—Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafari)

23—Sunset, The Three Weeks begins (Jewish)

24—Pioneer Day (Mormon)

25—St. James the Apostle (Christian)

 

August

Wheat in field with blue sky in background

1—Lammas (Christian)

1—Lughnassadh (Wiccan/Pagan)

Obon August update

1—Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Lord Jesus (Orthodox Christian)

6—Transfiguration of the Lord (Christian)

6—Hiroshima Day

9—World Indigenous Peoples Day

13—Sunset, Tisha B’Av (Jewish)

15—Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian)

15—Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)

17—Birth anniversary of Marcus Garvey (Rastafari, anniversary)

Woman at market in front of rows and boxes of colorfu bracelets

A woman browses a marketplace for Raksha Bandhan.

18—Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)

24, 25—Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)

(Note: Southern, Eastern and Western India Aug. 24; Northern India Aug. 25)

29—Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Christian)

29—Paryushan Parva (Jain) (Dates may vary by region and sect)

 

September

1—Ecclesiastical Year begins (Orthodox Christian)

4—Canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta at the Vatican

5—Labor Day (U.S.)

5—Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu)

8—Nativity of Virgin Mary (Christian)

Crowd of people with white architecture in background

Pilgrims attending Hajj. Photo by Bilal Randeree, courtesy of Flickr

10—Hajj begins (Islam)

11—Patriot Day (U.S.)

12—Eid al-Adha (Islam)

14—Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross (Holy Cross Day) (Christian)

15—Anant Chaturdashi (Hindu)

22—Equinox

22—Mabon/Ostara (Wiccan/Pagan)

29—Michael and All Angels (Christian)

29—Meskel (Ethiopian Christian)

 

October

October, especially 19—Bullying Prevention Month and PACER Unity Day

1—Navaratri (Hindu)

2—New Year (Islam)

2—Sunset, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)

4—St. Francis Day and Blessing of the Animals (Catholic)

10—Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day (U.S.)

10—Thanksgiving (Canada)

11—Daesara (Hindu)

11—Sunset, Yom Kippur (Jewish)

12—Ashura (Islam)

16—Sunset, Sukkot (Jewish)

18—St. Luke, Apostle and Evangelist (Christian)

19—Sunset, Birth of the Bab (Baha’i)

20—Installation of the Scriptures as Guru Granth (Sikh)

23—Sunset, Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)

24—United Nations Day

24—Sunset, Simchat Torah (Jewish)

30—Diwali (Hindu / Sikh / Jain)

31—All Hallows Eve (Christian)

31—Reformation Day (Protestant Christian)

31—New Year (Jain)

 

November

1—All Saints Day (Christian)

1—Samhain/Beltane (Wicca/Pagan)

1—Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Mexico)

2—All Souls Day (Catholic)

6—Daylight Savings Time ends

9—Kristallnacht (Anniversary)

11—Veterans Day (U.S.)

11—Sunset, Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)

15—Nativity Fast begins (Orthodox Christian)

20—Christ the King (Christian)

24—Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahdur (Sikh)

Pumpkin pie on plate with rest of whole pie behind it

Pumpkin pie. Photo by Dennis Wilkinson, courtesy of Flickr

24—Thanksgiving (U.S.)

25—Sunset, Day of the Covenant (Baha’i)

27—Advent begins (Christian)

27—Sunset, Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha (Baha’i)

30—St. Andrew’s Day (Christian)

 

December

6—St. Nicholas Day (Christian)

7—Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

8—Bodhi Day /Rohatsu (Buddhist)

8—Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic)

12—Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)

12—Mawlid an-Nabi (Islam)

16—Posadas Navidenas begins (Hispanic Christian)

21—Solstice

21—Yule/Litha (Wicca/Pagan)

21—Yule (Christian)

24—Sunset, Hanukkah begins (Jewish)

24—Christmas Eve (Christian)

25—Christmas (Christian)

25—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)

26—Kwanzaa

26—Zarathosht Diso (Death of Zarathustra) (Zoroastrian)

26—St. Stephen’s Day (Christian)

28—Holy Innocents (Christian)

30—Feast of the Holy Family (Christian)

31—New Year’s Eve (Secular)

31—Watch Night (Christian)

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NOTE TO READERS

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Categories: AnniversaryBaha'iBuddhistChristianFaiths of East AsiaFaiths of IndiaInterfaithInternational ObservancesJewishMormonMuslimNational ObservancesRastafari

Pioneer Day: Utahns join Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in celebration

PIONEER DAY is a longstanding tradition. This photo was taken about 1912 of a Pioneer Day re-enactment of the 1847 arrival by wagon train. Later, someone typed a caption on the front of the card. The image now is part of the Library of Congress archives, available for public use.

PIONEER DAY is a longstanding tradition. This photo was taken about 1912 of a Pioneer Day re-enactment of the 1847 arrival by wagon train. Later, someone typed a caption on the front of the card. The image now is part of the Library of Congress archives, available for public use.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24: Don your bonnet and lace up your boots—it’s Pioneer Day in Utah, and a celebration for Mormons nationwide. On this date in 1847, Mormon pioneers settled into the Salt Lake Valley to escape religious persecution. After being forced from their home in Nauvoo, Illinois, the pilgrims embarked on a thousand-mile journey to form a new settlement. Portions of the Mormon Trail are reenacted each year in Utah, and an elaborate Days of ’47 festival envelops the entire city of Salt Lake each July. (Check out photos here.) If you’re traveling through Utah at this time of year, you’re in for a treat!

In the final months before their journey West, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could feel the growing tension. They were no longer welcome in Nauvoo, Illinois, and when their founder—prophet Joseph Smith—was murdered on June 27, 1844, something had to be done. The Mormons left their settlement in Nauvoo for a new homeland, and after a treacherous journey, the surviving pilgrims crossed into Salt Lake City on July 24. (Find resources, historical photographs and more with links from the state of Utah.) The first statewide Pioneer Day celebration was held a decade later, in 1857, and July 24 remains a state holiday in Utah to this day.

A PIONEER ERA CELEBRATION:
FROM MORMONS TO AN INTERTRIBAL POWWOW

Old man with white beard in pink shirt with suspenders and white cowboy hat

Many participants reenact a portion of the Mormon trail each year near July 24, trekking several miles to make the grand entrance into Salt Lake City by handcart. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

For Utahns, the Days of ’47 festival commemorates the entire region’s culture and history—not just those of the Mormon pioneers. (The pioneer era is considered to have ended in 1869 with the arrival of the transcontinental railroad.) Significant settlers in Utah’s pioneer history are celebrated, an Intertribal Powwow lights up Liberty Park in Salt Lake City and parades, fireworks and rodeos fill the streets and grounds of Salt Lake in the days surrounding July 24.

THE DAYS OF ’47

The height of Mormon activities is the grand performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which this year was held last Saturday and whose venue allowed 21,000 attendees to hear featured hip-hop violinist Lindsey Stirling and pop-opera tenor Nathan Pacheco, along with the famed choir. (The Salt Lake Tribune had the story.) Organizers say they “consciously chose these two artists to appeal to a younger generation, and younger people responded eagerly. Our ticket supply disappeared before our eyes.”

Today, families that camped out along the parade route last night can awaken to the parade events. (The Deseret News reports.) The Days of ’47 Youth Parade—the largest youth parade in the country—kicked off the Days of ’47 festivities on July 20, with more than 5,000 participants: marching bands, clowns, Boy Scouts of America and wards and stakes from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ready for some pioneer fun at home? Try out these creative pioneer crafts for kids, courtesy of the Crafty Crow.

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(Originally published at www.ReadTheSpirit.com, an online magazine covering spirituality, religion, interfaith and cross-cultural issues.)

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Categories: Mormon