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During the seven days of the holiday, people visit one another’s homes to offer good wishes for the New Year. July 23: Birthday of Haile Selassie I; Haile Selassie (Rastafari). Roman Catholic observance and commemoration of their belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken body and soul into heaven. This commemorates and marks the death and burial of the Virgin Mary. September 8-13: Hajj (Islam), the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, typically referred to as Patriot Day, is dedicated to remembering the 2,977 people killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorists attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York City, New York, United States. Feast of Sacrifice is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. Beginning at sundown on the day before, Eid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. Shia Muslims observe Ashura to mark the martyrdom of Hussain. From that day to the present, Native Americans observe Indigenous People’s Day, not Columbus Day. 17-23: (sunset of the previous day to nightfall of last day) Sukkot (Jewish) also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The literal translation of Simchat Torah is “Rejoicing in the Torah.” Oct. October 31-November 1: Somhain (Southern Hemisphere Wiccan). This two-day celebration honors the souls of dead children on 11/1 and honors the souls of older relatives and friends on 11/2. This day has become an annual day of recognition of AIDS to: remember those who have died, acknowledge the need for continued commitment to care for those who are HIV/AIDS-positive, and to support the research to find a cure. Many churches are named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus. Siddhartha Gautama was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, and remains a symbol of the struggle for civil rights. Meaning “baptism,” this is the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany and celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. This emerged from the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, when patrons of a gay New York nightclub, The Stonewall Inn, resisted a police attempt to raid the club.January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December BAHA’I: The dates refer to the Baha’i day which begins at sunset on the preceding day and ends at sunset on the date listed. Observed to honor the heroic battle of the Forty Liberated Ones who laid down their lives to save Guru Gobind Singh. Observed on various dates, especially as related to St. This document proclaimed the independence of the thirteen colonies from allegiance to the British Crown and the dissolution of all political ties with Great Britain. This Muslim celebration begins at sunset on July 4 and commemorates the ending of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to Allah for enjoying the month of Ramadan. This is an African-American holiday started by Mailana Karenga, an African world scholar, in 1966. BUDDHISM: Holy Days are synchronized with the phases of the moon; thus they vary from year to year according to the Gregorian calendar. Birth of Jesus celebrated on this date by Orthodox Christians. It involves wearing the finest clothing, saying prayers, and nurturing understanding with other religions. Anniversary of the Bab’s execution in Tabriz, Iran in 1850. Japanese Buddhist festival to honor deceased ancestors. It is based on the agricultural celebrations of Africa called “the first fruits” celebrations, which are times of harvest, gathering, reverence, commemoration, and recommitment. Occasion to thank God for bringing people safely through another year. Maintained by HR Office of Organizational Development and Staff Diversity. *** CHRISTIANITY: Some Holy Days have the same date each year; others vary from year to year. Celebrated twelve days after Christmas, it marks the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus. Feast to recall the revelation of the Trinity in Christ’s baptism. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the return to this world of ancestors’ spirits, and at the festival’s end, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas to guide the spirits back into their world. Therefore, Kwanzaa is a time for achievements, reverence for the Creator and creation, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals, and celebration of the good. Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus. Please send your comments and suggestions to: Stanley Byrd, HR Director, Organizational Development and Staff Diversity. HINDUISM: The dates change each year, based on the lunar calendar. Each year on this date (according to the Nanakshahi calendar) his birthday is celebrated with a Sikh festival that is a religious celebration in which prayers for prosperity are offered. During the festival bonfires are lit, traditional meals are offered, paper lanterns hung, and folk dances performed. This date marks the start in 1810 of the Mexican War of Independence that ended Spanish dictatorship. 30: Muharram (Islam), This month is the start of the Islamic New Year and is the most sacred month except for Ramadan. Christians celebrate this feast to commemorate the life of Saint Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. The first day of winter occurs on or around December 22 and is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 24-January 1: Chanukah, also known as Hanukkah (Jewish). It is celebrated on December 25 by Western churches and on January 7 of the following year by Eastern Orthodox churches. Kwanzaa, a Swahili word, means “first.” Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, thus available to and practiced by Africans of all religious faiths. ISLAM: The dates are based on actual sightings of the crescent moon. Observance of the close of Christmastide and prelude to the Epiphany which begins the next day. Obon is observed from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th month of the year, which is July according to the solar calendar. This most-revered festival is comprised of eight or ten days (depending on the Jain sect) of fasting and repentance. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The Mexican people began planning an uprising against Spanish colonizers after Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain and imprisoned King Ferdinand the Seventh. Commemoration of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length; also celebrated as a time for harvest festivals. Festival of nine nights that honors Goddess Durga, the Deity of Power. It is a time of remembrance, peace, and the mourning of the death of Muhammad’s grandson as a result of events at the battle of Karbala. It is a popular day for pets to be “blessed.” October 10: National Native American Day (USA). This is an annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender awareness day observed on October 11. Also known as Navidenas (Mexico-Christians), this festival includes processions and parties reenacting Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem. Also known as the Festival of Lights, this is an eight-day festival recalling the war fought by the Maccabees in the cause of religious freedom and the rededication of the temple after recapturing it from the Syrians.

* JUDAISM: All Jewish holidays begin and end at sundown on the dates listed. This is celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, it is celebrated on January 2. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid-August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid-July in other regions. The first Monday in September is celebrated with picnics and parades honoring workers in the two countries. The “Paryushan-Parva,” is celebrated annually for self-purification and uplift and reinforces adherence to the ten universal virtues in practical life. It was an ideal opportunity to set up local governments in Mexico since Spain was in turmoil without clear leadership. This day was first observed by the United Nations General Assembly in1982. Each festival day is dedicated to one of the different forms taken by Durga. This is a time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and repentance. While not an official government holiday, most American-Indian organizations and tribes do observe this holiday. Founded in 1988, in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, the emphasis is that the most basic form of activism is coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. Each evening candles are lit on the “menorah” (candelabra), adding one candle each night.

** SIKHISM: The calendar is based on the length of the tropical solar year, instead of the lunar cycle. New Year festival popularly celebrated in Japan and observed with prayers for inner renewal of hearts, good health, and prosperity. Basil was the forefather of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Obon week in mid-August is one of Japan’s three major holiday seasons. Asalha Puja is a Theravada Buddhist festival which typically takes place in July, on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. This day honors the memory of the death of John the Baptist who is known for preparing people to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. 1: Ecclesiastical Church Year Begins (Orthodox Christian). It leads us on the right path, far from the mad strife for material prosperity, and ultimately leads us to our true destination, i.e., salvation. 8: Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary—Heavenly Birthday. Commemorates and recognizes the Cross on which Jesus was crucified as the main symbol of Christianity. This day is celebrated throughout the nation with feasts, festivals, fireworks, and parades. The story of Abraham is read, the ram’s horn is blown, and special foods are prepared and shared. The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. Day that Christopher Columbus encountered the New World in 1492. Beginning in 1992, on this day, drums across the USA and in different time zones coordinate ceremonies and observances at 12 p.m. 24 (sunset to nightfall): Shemini Atzeret observed by the Jewish community as the assembly of the eighth day. 24-25: (sunset to nightfall) Simchat Torah (Jewish). Marks the anniversary of their tradition of religious freedom and its emphasis on the place of the Bible in their religion. Celebrated by Christians as the night before All Saints Day (All Hallows Day), this tradition dates back over 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This is a national holiday in Mexico and is also celebrated in parts of the USA. Commemoration of the birthday of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Hanukkah is a time for playing games and singing, for visiting and for giving gifts.

Celebrants wear their best clothes and visit shrines in large numbers. The New Year is celebrated to commemorate the kindness and generosity of St. Asalha Puja, also known as Dharma Day, is one of Theravada Buddhism’s most important festivals, celebrating as it does the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set out to his five former associates the doctrine that had come to him following his enlightenment. Celebrated by Rastas to commemorate the birthday of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican politician who foretold the crowning of a King in Africa, and instigated the “Black to Africa” movement. Festival that celebrates and honors the loving bond that exists between a brother and a sister. Celebrates and commemorates the 5243 Birth Anniversary of Lord Krishna, the highest and most revered god in the Hindu religion. Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches mark this day to celebrate the heavenly birthday (the day she was received into heaven) of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the LGBT Community, “coming out” means the voluntary self-disclosure of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Hindu celebration to commemorate Rama’s victory over evil. The day of Ashura or the tenth day of the first Islamic month (Muharram), is observed by Muslims as a whole. Celebrated by Jews as the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, it is also known as the Day of Atonement and is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance. to celebrate and honor 500 years of North American Indigenous people’s resistance and survival. This day is observed by the Baha’i followers to celebrate the birthday of the founder of the Babiism, a precursor to the Baha’i faith. Observance and commemoration of the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings. Celebrates the festival of lights, the most colorful and popular festival celebrated with great fervor by Hindus, Janis, and Sikhs. Also celebrated by the Pagans as the Feast of the Dead; Pagans also celebrated it to commemorate the Celtic New Year. Celebrated by Anglican and Roman Catholic Christians to honor all known and unknown saints. Mexicans regard this annual holiday as a happy occasion that reunites them with the souls of loved ones. Celebration of the birth of Saint Nicolas, patron saint of children and the role model for gift giving. Celebrated by Roman Catholics to commemorate the Virgin Mary’s conception as being without sin and therefore immaculate. Buddhists commemorate Siddhartha Gautama’s attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India. Established by the United Nations in 1948, it commemorates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is the date most celebrated although it is celebrated on different dates in India and Pakistan. Day observed by catholic Christians commemorating the legendary appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 c.e.

King was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 1964. She gave up her life for her faith and is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, mentioned by name in the Canon of the Mass. Since he was a champion of love, he came to be known as the patron saint of lovers. Parinirvana is celebrated by some Buddhists on February 8. Originally honored Presidents Washington and Lincoln and now serves as a reminder of the contribution of all U. June 28: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Pride Day (USA).

One of the world’s best known advocates of nonviolent social change, Dr. Commemorates the martyrdom of Agnes at the young age of 13. Valentine was arrested and beheaded on February 14. This day, also called Nirvana Day, celebrates and marks the death anniversary of Buddha. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada. Celebrated at the height of the brilliant northern summer before the first harvest, this has always been one of the most popular festivals in Northern Europe, especially in Sweden, and is Pagan in origin.

This is a time for reflection and preparation for Holy Week and Easter by fasting, giving to charity, and worshipping. The emperor believed that he could form a larger and stronger army if men remained single and had no family ties. Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a “designated group,” along with women, visible minorities, and people with physical or mental disabilities.

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