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 2018 list …

March 2018

1—St. David of Wales (Christian)

2—Nineteen Day Fast begins (Baha’i)

Piles ofcolored powder in silver bowls

Photo courtesy of MaxPixel

2—Holi (Hindu)

2/3—Hola Mohalla (Sikh)

3—Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) (Japan)

9—Sunset, National Day of Unplugging

11—Daylight Savings Time begins

13—L. Ron Hubbard birthday (Scientology)

17—St. Patrick’s Day (Christian)

18—Ugadi (New Year) (Hindu)

18—Ramayana (Hindu)

19—St. Joseph’s Day (Christian)

20—Equinox

20—Ostara / Mabon (Wicca, Pagan)

21—Norooz (New Year) / Naw-Ruz (New Year) (Persian/Zoroastrian, Baha’i)

25—Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Orthodox Christian)

25—Palm Sunday (Christian)

25—Ramanavami (Hindu)

28—Khordad Sal (Birth of Zarathushtra) (Zoroastrain)

29—Maundy Thursday (Christian)

29—Baseball Opening Day

30—Good Friday (Christian)

Plate with six compartments for egg, lettuce, bones, red sauce and pate

The Seder Plate contains symbolic items at the Passover seder table. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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

31—Holy Saturday (Christian)

31—Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)

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

31—Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)

31—Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)

April 2018

April observances: Arab-American Heritage Month, National Poetry Month, National Library Week,

1—Easter Sunday (Christian)

1—Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

1—April Fools Day

2—International Children’s Book Day / Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday

2—Easter Monday (Christian)

3—Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)

6—Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)

6—National Tartan Day (Scottish cultural celebration)

8—Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)

9—Annunciation (Christian)

11—Sunset, Yom HaShoah (Jewish)

12—Sunset, Lailat al Miraj (Islam)

14—Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) (Sikh)

15—Tax Day

17—Sunset, Yom HaZikaron (Jewish)

18—Akshaya Tritiya (Hindu, Jain)

18—Sunset, Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)

21—First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

21—National Tea Day (UK)

22—Earth Day

22—National Jelly Bean Day

25—Administrative Professionals Day (also known as Secretaries’ Day)

26—Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day

26—National Pretzel Day

27—Arbor Day

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

29—Visakha Puja (Buddha Day) (Buddhist)

30—Screen Free Week

30—New Year (Theravada Buddhist)

30—Sunset, Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)

May 2018

May observances: Jewish American Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, special Catholic devotions to Virgin Mary and National Bike Month.

1—Beltane / Samhain (Wicca, Pagan)

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

1—World Asthma Day

2—Sunset, Lag B’Omer (Jewish)

3—National Day of Prayer, U.S. (Interfaith) / National Day of Reason (secular)

4—Star Wars Day

Open-face carnitas with soft corn tortillas and shredded meat, cilantro and tomatoes

Mexican carnitas. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

5—Cinco de Mayo

6—Nurses’ Day

6—Free Comic Book Day

6—World Laughter Day

8—National Teacher Day

10/13—Ascension of the Lord (Ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha and Philadelphia, May 10; all other U.S. Ecclesiastical provinces, May 13)

13—Mother’s Day

13—National Skilled Nursing Care Week begins

13—Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) (Jewish)

15—Peace Officers Memorial Day

15—International Day of Families (United Nations)

16—Ramadan begins after sunset on May 15, so the first day of the fast is May 16 (Islam)

16—St. Brendan’s Day (Christian)

17—Ascension (Orthodox Christian)

18—International Museum Day

19–Sunset, Shavuot (Jewish)

19—Armed Forces Day

20—Pentecost (Christian)

20—Emergency Medical Services Week begins

21—Whit Monday (Christian)

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

27—Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)

27—Trinity Sunday (Christian)

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

28—Memorial Day (U.S.)

June 2018

2—All Saints (Orthodox Christian)

3—Corpus Christi (Christian)

6—D-Day remembrances

6—Laylat al Qadr (Islam)

8—Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic Christian)

9—St. Columba of Iona (Celtic Christian)

10—Sunset, Laylat al Qadr (Islam)

14—Flag Day (U.S.)

Table set fancy with bowls of dates, wraps, spices and cookies

A traditional Moroccan feast for Eid al-Fitr. Photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, courtesy of Flickr

14—Sunset, Eid al Fitr / Ramadan ends (Islam)

16—Martrydom of Guru Arjan (Sikh)

17—Father’s Day

19—New Church Day (Swedenborgian Christian)

19—Sunset, Waqf al Arafa (Hajj Day) (Islam)

19—Juneteenth

21—Solstice

21—Litha/Yule (Wicca, Pagan)

21—First Nations Day (Canadian Native People)

21—Midsummer

24—Nativity of St. John, the Baptist (Christian)

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

29—Sunset, The Three Weeks begins (Jewish)

July 2018

July is National Hot Dog Month—and a special celebration of other foods Americans love, including Fried Chicken, Chocolate and Ice Cream. Enjoy our story about these food-related observances, a column that includes lots of links to learn more about each celebration.

4—Independence Day (U.S.)

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

Red and yellow lit lanterns on string

Photo by Fabian Reus, courtesy of Flickr

13—Obon/Ullambana (Buddhist, Shinto)

15—St. Vladimir the Great Day (Orthodox Christian)

21—Sunset, Tisha B’Av (Jewish)

23—Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafari)

24—Pioneer Day (Mormon Christian)

26—Sunset, Tu B’Av (Jewish)

27—Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)

August 2018

1—Lammas (Christian)

1—Fast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) (Orthodox Christian)

2—Lughnassadh/Imbolc (Wicca, Pagan)

6—Feast of the Transfiguration (Christian)

6—Transfiguration of the Lord (Orthodox Christian)

9—World Indigenous Peoples Day

15—Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Catholic Christian)

15—Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)

17—Birth anniversary of Marcus Garvey (Rastafari)

19—The Hajj (Islam)

20—Sunset, Eid al-Adha (Islam)

29—Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)

September 2018

1—Ecclesiastical year begins (Orthodox Christian)

3—Labor Day (U.S.)

Painted blue Lord Krishna, smiling, amid swirls

Lord Krishna depicted in wood. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3—Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)

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

8—Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Christian)

9—Sunset, Rosh Hashana (Jewish)

9—National Grandparents Day

11—Sunset, Hijra (New Year) (Islam)

11—Patriot Day (U.S.)

13—Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu)

14—Holy Cross Day (Christian)

14—Paryushan Parva (Jain)

18—Sunset, Yom Kippur (Jewish)

20—Sunset, Ashura (Islam)

22—Equinox

22—Mabon/Ostara (Wicca, Pagan)

23—Sunset, Sukkot (Jewish)

23—Anant Chaturdashi (Hindu)

27—Meskel (Ethiopian Orthodox Christian)

29—St. Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas) (Christian)

30—Sunset, Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)

October 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1—Sunset, Simchat Torah (Jewish)

4—St. Francis Day (Catholic Christian)

8—Thanksgiving (Canada)

9-18—Navaratri (Hindu)

19—Dussehra, Dasaera (Hindu)

19—Sunset, Birth of the Bab (Baha’i)

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

31—All Hallows Eve (Christian)

31—Halloween (secular)

31—Reformation Day (Protestant Christian)

November 2018

1—All Saints Day (Christian)

1—Samhain/Beltane (Wicca, Pagan)

1—Dia de los Muertos (Mexico)

2—All Souls Day (Catholic Christian)

4—Daylight Savings Time ends

Girl poses with candle-lit bowls of oil

A girl with diya lamps lit for Diwali. Photo by Partha Sarathi Sahana, courtesy of Flickr

7—Diwali (Hindu)

8—New Year (Jain)

8—Vikram New Year (Hindu)

9—Kristallnacht anniversary

11—Veterans Day (U.S.)

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

15—Nativity Fast begins (Orthodox Christian)

20—Sunset, Mawlid an-Nabi (Islam)

22—Thanksgiving (U.S.)

25—Christ the King (Christian)

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

December 2018

2—Advent begins (Christian)

2—Sunset, Hanukkah (Jewish)

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

Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

6—St. Nicholas Day (Christian)

8—Bodhi Day (Buddhist)

8—Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christian)

12—Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Christian)

16—Posadas Navidenas (Hispanic Christian)

21—Solstice

21—Yule/Litha (Wicca, Pagan)

21—Yule (Christian)

24—Christmas Eve (Christian)

25—Christmas Day (Christian)

25—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)

26—Feast of St. Stephen (Christian)

26—Kwanzaa

28—Holy Innocents (Christian)

30—Holy Family (Christian)

31—Watch Night (Christian)

31—New Year’s Eve (secular)

 

 

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NOTE TO READERS

We continue to update this list, month by month. As you read the list, you may discover we have missed a fascinating observance or detail. If so, please email us at ReadTheSpirit@gmail.com.

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