AL HIJRA (MUHARRAM) Remembrance of the migration of Mohammed and followers to Medina.
ALL HALLOWS EVE (HALLOWEEN)Also known as Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival is a celebration of the end of the harvest season. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31st, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved. This day is also celebrated as the eve of All Saints Day.
ALL SAINTS DAY Celebration of lives of all the saints, especially those who do not have a special day.
ALL SOULS DAY Day of prayer, remembrance and intercession for the dead.
ASCENSION DAY Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.
ASCENSION OF BAHA’U’LLAH A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah.
ASH WEDNESDAY Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.
CORPUS CHRISTI This is a feast in honor of the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
AYYAM-I-HA 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.
BIRTH OF BAHA’U’LLAHCommemorates the birth of the founder of the Baha’i faith in 1817. forgiveness of the dead. Preparation for Ramadan through intense prayer.
LAILAT AL-QADR Night of Destiny. First revelation of Qur’an to Prophet Mohammed. Observed during the last ten days of Ramadan.
LENT Period of preparation for Easter, usually 40 days before. Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the Lenten period.
MAGHI Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh).
MARTYRDOM OF THE B’AB Anniversary of the martyrdom of the B’ab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, in 1850.
MARTYRDOM OF GURU ARJAN DEV Anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev in 1606 C. E., the fifth guru who had built the Golden Temple of Amristar.
MAUNDY THURSDAY Also known as Holy Thursday, this day celebrates the institution of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at Jesus’ Last Supper. MAWLID AL-NABI Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, ca. 570 C. E.
NAVARATRI 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.
NAW-RUZ Baha’i and Iranian New Year.
NINETEEN DAY FAST A fast to be observed by adult Baha’is in good health from sunrise to sundown.
NIRVANA DAY Commemorates the death of Buddha.
PALM/PASSION SUNDAY 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.
PENTECOST Fifty days after Easter, this time celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon early Christians following the ascension of Jesus.
PESACH (PASSOVER) Marks the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt; “Seder” ceremonies emphasize the concept of freedom.
PIONEER DAY Observance of the arrival of Brigham Young and the early settlers to Salt Lake City, Utah.
BIRTH OF B’AB Anniversary of the birth of one of the twin prophet founders of the Baha’i faith.
BIRTH OF GURU GOBIND SINGH Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.
BODHI DAY Celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha, ca. 596 B.C.E.
BUDDHA DAY (VISAKHA PUJA) Celebration of the birth of Buddha in Japan.
CHRISTMAS Celebration of the birth of Christ.
DAY OF THE COVENANT Celebration of the covenant given in the last will and testament of Baha’u’llah.
DIWALI (DEEPAVALI) Festival of Lights; one of four seasonal celebrations in India.
DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS The Orthodox Christian commemoration of the death and burial of the Virgin Mary.
EASTER Celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
EPIPHANY End of the 12 days of Christmas; celebrates visit of the three kings to baby Jesus; especially important to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.
FEAST OF THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD A celebration of the holiness of Mary as the chosen bearer of Jesus.
FOUR CHAPLAINS SUNDAY Commemoration of the four Chaplains of Jewish and Christian traditions who gave their life jackets to others as a ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
GOOD FRIDAY The Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.
HANUKKAH Festival of lights; eight-day commemoration of the rededication of the Second Temple in 165 B.C.E. The eight candle Menorah is lighted.
HOLA MOHALA A day to commemorate the valor and bravery of the Sikhs. This 3-day festival consists of mock battles, music and poetry reading.
HOLI Spring festival; a carnival occasion featuring bright colors, pilgrimages and bonfires.
ID AL-ADHA Festival of sacrifice; commemorates the faith of Abraham and the near sacrifice of Isaac; also a memorial to the dead.
ID AL-FITR Festival of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Day of celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin all of her life.
INSTALLATION OF THE GURU GRANTH SAHIB Commemorates the installation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind Singh; these scriptures were installed as the perpetual guru.
JUNETEENTH Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.
KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI Birthday of Lord Krishna. It falls on the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). A twenty-four hour fast is observed on this day, which is broken at midnight.
KWANZAA Seven day spiritual celebration of African-American values and traditions and their continued vitality. &ldquo Kwanzaa is Swahili and means first fruits of the harvest.”
LAILAT AL MIRAJ Observance of Mohammed’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven.
LAILAT AL BARA’AH Night of Forgiveness. A night of prayer to Allah for
PURIM Feast of Lots; celebrates deliverance of Jews of ancient Persians from a plot to destroy them.
RAMADAN 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 Mohammed.
RIDVAN Commemorates the declaration of Baha’u’llah to his followers in 1863. Work is suspended for the 1st, 9th and 12th day.
ROSH HASHANAH New Year; beginning 10 days of penitence concluded on Yom Kippur.
SHAVUOT Festival of Weeks; celebrates harvest of first fruits and commemorates the giving of the Torah and Commandments at Mt’ Sinai.
SHEMINI ATZERET Eighth and last day of Sukkot.
SIMCHAT TORAH Joyous festival in which the reading of the Torah is completed and its first book begun again. Symbolized by singing, dancing and marching around the synagogue with Torah scrolls.
ST. STEPHEN’S DAY A day of remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
SUKKOT Festival of Booths (or tabernacles) and the fall harvest.
TISHA B’AV A day of mourning and repentance in remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
VAISAKHIAnniversary of the creation of the Khalsa (the army of the Pure Ones) in 1699.
WESAK The commemoration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, celebrated on the day of the full moon of the sixth month in the Theravada tradition.
WORLD RELIGION DAY 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.
YOM HA-SHO’AH Holocaust Remembrance Day. Memorializes the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Observance is not limited to Jews.
YOM KIPPUR Day of Atonement; day devoted to prayer, fasting and repentance.