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Religious Festivals Calendar 2013-2014

At UCL it has been agreed that student requests to be absent due to religious commitments should be dealt with sympathetically by departments. Students should not be registered as 'absent' without good cause' if they are absent due to religious commitments, provided this has been discussed and agreed with their tutor.

Staff wishing to observe religious festivals and holy days should negotiate with their managers in advance. Managers in turn are encouraged to consider sympathetically requests for annual leave or flexible work schedules from staff wishing to participate in religious festivals and to be prepared to make reasonable adjustments to working arrangements as long as they don't cause undue disruption. Each academic year, a calendar of the main religious holidays is available so these can be taken into account by Departments with reference to drafting teaching timetables, coursework deadlines and field trips etc.

Please note that the effect of these festivals will vary from person to person, and they will not necessarily impact on staff or students time whilst at university (for example they are celebrated in the evening or at weekends).

The calendar for 2014-2015 can be found here.

September 2013 +

Sep Thu 4-6
• Rosh Hashanah* - Jewish
Jewish New Year. A two-day festival during which work is not permitted - begins on the eve of the 4 Sept.

Sep Sun 8
• Nativity of the Theotokos - Christian
Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary
• Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Christian
Roman Catholic and Anglican churches celebrate the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus.
• Fast of Gedalliah - Jewish
Fast in memory of the assassination of Gedalliah Ben Achikam, the Governor of Israel during the days of Nebuchadnetzar, King of Babylonia. Work is permitted.

Sep Mon 9
• Ganesh Chaturthi** - Hindu

Sep Tue 10
• Paryushana Parva** - Jain

Sep Weds 11
• Ethiopian New Year - Rastafari
The start of the New Year in Ethiopia is recognised because Rastafarians believe Ethiopia to be their spiritual homeland, and a place to which they want to return.

Sep Fri 13
• Yom Kippur - Jewish
Day of Atonement - the most solemn day of the Jewish year. Work is not permitted.

Sep Sat 14
• The Triumph of the Cross - Christian
Catholics and Orthodox Christians reflect on the salvation they believe inherent in the symbol of the Cross

Sep Wed 18-20
• Sukkot - Jewish
Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions. Sukkot lasts for seven days, and work is not permitted on the 19 & 20 September.

Sep Sun 22
• Autumn Equinox - Pagan

Sep Mon 23
• Saint Pio of Pietrelcina - Catholic
Catholics honour the 20th century Italian stigmatist, popularly known as Padre Pio.

Sep Wed 25-26
• Shemini Atzeret - Jewish
Shemini Atzeret can be translated as "the assembly of the eighth (day)." In Israel the festival is combined with Simchat Torah. Work is not permitted from the eve of the 25 Sept.

Sep Fri 27
• Simchat Torah - Jewish
Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." This holiday marks the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings. Work is not permitted.
• Meskel - Ethiopian Christian

Sep Sun 29
• Michaelmas/St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael's Day - Christian
A feast day in honour of the archangel Michael. Michael is one of the angels named in the Bible (along with Gabriel and, in some traditions including Roman Catholic, Raphael)


October 2013 +

Oct Weds 2
• Feast of the Guardian Angels - Christian
A Catholic festival celebrated annually on 2 October in honour of guardian angels.

Oct Fri 4
• Saint Francis Day - Catholic Christian

Oct Sat 5
• Navaratri (start) - Hindu
Navaratri (nine nights) symbolises the triumph of good over evil and marks the start of autumn.

Oct Tue 8
• Thanksgiving - Canada - Interfaith

Oct Wed 9
• Birthday of Guru Ram Das (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Ram Das (1534-1581) was the fourth of the Sikh Gurus.

Oct Sun 13
• St Edward's Day - Christian
Edward the Confessor was King of England 1042 - 1066. He built Westminster Abbey where there is a shrine to him - and where the saint is also celebrated on January 5 each year, the anniversary of his death.

Oct Mon 14
• Dussera - Hindu
Celebrates Lord Rama's victory over the evil demon Ravana.
• Waqf al Arafa - Hajj Day * ** - Islam
• Thanksgiving - Canada - Interfaith

Oct Tue 15
• Eid-Ul-Adha - Muslim
Festival of Sacrifice marking the day after Arafat. The Day of Arafat is the most important day in the Hajj ritual. This is a four day holiday

Oct Fri 18
• Saint Luke - Apostle and Evangelist - Christian

Oct Sun 20
• Birth of the Bab - Bahai
Celebrates the birth of the precursor of the founder of the Baha'i faith.

Oct Sun 27
• Reformation Day ** - Protestant Christian

Oct Thu 31
• Samhain Hallowe'en - Pagan
Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn') marks the Feast of the Dead. Many Pagans also celebrate it as the old Celtic New Year (although some mark this at Imbolc).
• Hallowe'en (All Hallows' Eve) - Christian
The night before All Saints' Day (All Hallows' Day). Its origins date back over 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It was celebrated as a Christian festival by the 8th Century.


November 2013 +

Nov Fri 1
• All Saints' Day (Hallowmas, All Hallows') - Christian
All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is when Anglicans and Roman Catholics honour all saints, known and unknown, of the Christian church. Orthodox churches celebrate it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
• Samhain - Beltane * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres

Nov Sat 2
• All Souls' Day – Catholic Christian
All Souls' Day is an opportunity for Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithful departed. They remember and pray for the souls of people who are in Purgatory. All Souls' Day is celebrated on 3 November if the 2nd is a Sunday.
• Coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I (Rastafari )
Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia. Rastas believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile.

Nov Sun 3
• Diwali - Hindu
Diwali, the festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. It is an occasion for celebrations by Hindus as well as Jains and Sikhs.
• Diwali - Jain
Diwali, the festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. It is an occasion for celebrations by Hindus as well as Jains and Sikhs.
• Diwali - Sikh
For Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important because it celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him, in 1619.

Nov Mon 4
• Al-Hijira - Muslim
Islamic New Year. Marks the migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina

Nov Mon 11
• Armistice Day (Multifaith )
Marks the end of the First World War on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. At 1100 on this day people in the UK pause for 2 minutes of silence to remember those who gave their lives in past conflicts.

Nov Tue 12
• Birth of Baha'u'llah - Bahai
Celebrates the birth in 1817 of the founder of the Baha'i faith.

Nov Wed 13
• Ashura - Muslim
Islamic holy day observed on the 10th of the Islamic month of Muharram. Shi'ite Muslims regard it as a major commemoration marking the martydom of the Prophet's grandson, Hussein.

Nov Thu 14
• Winter Lent begins to 12/25 - Orthodox Christian

Nov Fri 15
• Shichigosan (7-5-3 festival) - Shinto
A festival to give thanks for children. Often celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the 15th to allow working parents to take part.

Nov Sun 17
• St Hilda - Christian
The 7th century Northumbrian monastic and saint.
• Birthday of Guru Nanak (Lunar Calendar) - Sikh
This festival may be celebrated by some on the date fixed by the Nanakshahi calendar: April 14

Nov Thu 21
• Yule - Christian

Nov Sat 23
• Niinamesei - Shinto
Labour Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday in Japan and originally a harvest festival.

Nov Sun 24
• Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth Sikh Guru and is honoured as a champion of religious freedom. He was executed in 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam.

Nov Tue 26
• Day of the Covenant - Bahai
This minor festival celebrates the covenant of Baha'u'llah. Baha'is also mark the life of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on this day.

Nov Wed 27
• Hanukkah - Jewish
Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.

Nov Thu 28
• Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha - Bahai
Marks the death of the son of Baha'u'lláh. This is a minor holy day and work is not suspended.

Nov Sat 30
• St Andrew's Day - Christian
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece and Russia. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew. St Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was originally a fisherman and became the first Apostle.

December 2013 +

Dec Sun 1
• Advent Sunday - Christian
The beginning of the ecclesiastical year on the Sunday closest to November 30. Advent is the season before Christmas - In Western Christendom, four Sundays are included. In Eastern Christendom, the season is longer and begins in the middle of November

Dec Fri 6
• Saint Nicholas Day - Christian

Dec Sun 8
• Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Christian
Celebrated by Roman Catholics who remember Mary's conception as being without sin, therefore, immaculate.
• Bodhi Day - Buddhist
On Bodhi day some Buddhists celebrate Gautama's attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.

Dec Thu 12
• Our Lady of Guadeloupe - Catholic
Celebrated by Roman Catholics throughout Central and South America who honour the Empress of the Americas. Peter Owen Jones joined over 5 million pilgrims in Guadeloupe.
• Fast of 10 Tevet- Jewish

Dec Fri 13
• St Lucy's Day - Christian
Saint Lucy's Day or the Feast of St. Lucy is marked by Catholics and Orthodox Christians and also celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church.

Dec Sat 21
• Winter Solstice - Pagan
Yule is the time of the winter solstice, when the sun child is reborn, an image of the return of all new life born through the love of the Gods. Within the Northern Tradition Yule is regarded as the New Year.

Dec Tue 24
• Christmas Eve - Christian
The day before Christmas Day

Dec Wed 25
• Christmas Day - Christian
The day when Western Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Dec Thu 26
• Boxing Day - Secular
The day after Christmas Day. A secular festival.
• St Stephen's Day - Christian
St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, is celebrated on this day by Roman Catholics. The day is also called the Feast of Stephen.
• Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra ** - Zoroastrian

Dec Sat 28
• Holy Innocents - Christian

Dec Sun 29
• Feast of the Holy Family - Catholic Christian

Dec Tue 31
• Watch Night - Christian

January 2014 +

Jan Wed 1
• Circumcision - Christian
Marks the day when Jesus was circumcised.
• New Year's Day - Secular
The start of the Western calendar year
• Oshogatsu (or Shogatsu, Gantan-sai) - Shinto
Shinto New Year, one of the most popular occasions for shrine visits.
• Festival of St Basil the Great - Christian
St Basil is one of the great fathers of the Orthodox Church.
• Mary, Mother of God - Catholic Christian

Jan Sun 5
• Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was the tenth and last of the Sikh Gurus. He instituted the Five Ks and established the Order of the Khalsa.
• Twelfth Night - Christian

Jan Mon 6
• Epiphany - Christian
Celebrates the visit of the wise men (the magi) to the infant Jesus. In the East, where it originated, the Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. (Catholics and Episcopalians celebrate this separately: see Baptism of the Lord) Also known as Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day).
• Christmas Day (Armenian Orthodox) - Christian
Armenian Christians celebrate Christ's birth at Epiphany, except for Armenians in the Holy Land, who celebrate Christmas on January 19th.
• Theophany (Orthodox) - Christian
Orthodox churches mark the baptism of Jesus on this day.
• Dia de los Reyes - Hispanic Christian

Jan Tue 7
• Christmas Day (Ethiopian) - Rastafari
Rastafarians believe Ethiopia to be their spiritual homeland, and a place to which they want to return.
• Christmas Day (Orthodox) - Christian
Most Orthodox churches use the Julian rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar. As a result, they celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches.
• Nativity of Christ** – Orthodox Christian

Jan Sun 12
• Baptism of the Lord - Christian
Commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Occurs on the first Sunday after Epiphany. Catholics and Episcopalians celebrate this holy day, but Eastern Christianity celebrates the baptism of Jesus at Epiphany.

Jan Mon 13
• St Hilary's Day - Christian
According to tradition, "St. Hilary's is the coldest day of the year." St. Hilary was a fourth century Bishop of Poitiers.
• Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad) - Muslim
Shia Muslims celebrate this 5 days later. Some Muslims do not approve of celebrating the birthday, and regard doing so as a religious innovation.
• Maghi - Sikh

Jan Tue 14
• Makar Sankranti - Hindu
Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and celebrates the sun's journey into the northern hemisphere.

Jan Wed 15
• Seijin Shiki (Adults' Day) - Shinto
Japanese who have reached legal adulthood (20 in Japan) in the previous year attend a shrine to give thanks.

Jan Thu 16
• Tu B'Shevat - Jewish
The Jewish New Year for trees - For religious accounting purposes all trees have their anniversaries on this festival, regardless of when they were planted.

Jan Fri 17
• Blessing of the Animals - Hispanic Catholic Christian

Jan Sat 18
• Milad un Nabi (Shia) (Muslim )
Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Sunni Muslims celebrate this 5 days earlier. Some Muslims do not approve of celebrating the birthday, and regard doing so as a religious innovation.
• Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (start) (Christian )
First celebrated in 1908. The days of 18-25 January (regardless of the days of the week involved) were originally chosen because they covered the days between the feast of St Peter and the feast of St Paul. Some churches and regions use a different week.

Jan Sun 19
• World Religion Day - Baha'i
• Timkat - Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

Jan Tue 21
• St Agnes - Christian
Patron saint of girls, martyred at the age of 13

Jan Sat 25
• St Paul's Day - Christian
Anglicans and Catholics celebrate St Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus.

Jan Tue 28
• St Thomas Aquinas - Christian
Doctor of the Church and patron saint of students and theologians.

Jan Fri 31
• Birthday of Guru Har Rai (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Har Rai (1630-1661) was the seventh of the Sikh Gurus.
• Chinese New Year - Chinese

February 2014 +

Feb Sun 2
• Candlemas - Christian
This is often called The Presentation of Christ in the Temple and commemorates the day Mary took Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to present him to God. Coincides with Groundhog Day (USA)
• Iambic - Pagan
Also called Oimelc and Candlemas, Imbolc celebrates the awakening of the land and the growing power of the Sun.
• Four Chaplains Sunday- Interfaith
• Presentation of Christ in the Temple - Anglican Christian

Feb Mon 3
• Rissun (Setsubun) - Shinto
A Spring festival that marks the division between Winter and Spring and is celebrated with beans.

Feb Tue 4
• Vasant Panchami ** - Hindu

Feb Sat 8
• Parinirvana - Nirvana day - Buddhist
Mahayana Buddhist festival marking the anniversary of Buddha's death. Pure Land Buddhists call the festival "Nirvana Day".

Feb Tue 11
• Our Lady of Lourdes - Christian
Marks the day in 1858 when St Bernadette had her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Feb Fri 14
• St Valentine's Day - Christian
Now more a secular festival than a religious one. There are at least three different saints named Valentine.

Feb Fri 15
• Nirvana day (alternative date) - Buddhist
Nirvana Day is also known as Parinirvana and is celebrated by some Buddhists on February 8th. Nirvana Day is the celebration of Buddha's death when he reached total Nirvana, at the age of 80.

Feb Sat 16
• Triodion begins - Christian

Feb Sun 24
• Purim * - Jewish

Feb Tue 26
• Intercalary Days * - Baha'i

Feb Thu 28
• Maha Shivaratri ** - Hindu


March 2014 +

Mar Sat 1
• St David's Day - Christian
Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he's called in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales.
• Fast of Esther (Taanit Esther) (Jewish )
A fast in commemoration of the fast of Mordechai and Esther. This is not a major Jewish fast.

Mar Sun 2
• Nineteen Day Fast (start) - Bahai
Ends 20 March. During this period Baha'is go without food or drink from sunrise to sunset.
• Transfiguration Sunday - Christian
• Meatfare Sunday - Orthodox Christian

Mar Mon 3
• Hina-matsuri - Festival of Dolls - Shinto
Celebrates daughters in the family
• Clean Monday - Beginning of Lent (Orthodox) (Christian )
The start of the "Great Lent" for Orthodox Christians. This day is called Clean Monday, and occurs seven weeks before the Orthodox Easter

Mar Tue 4
• Shrove Tuesday - Christian
Also called Pancake Day and Mardi Gras. The British name of "Pancake Day" comes from the tradition of making pancakes to use up all the food that could not be eaten during Lent.

Mar Wed 5
• Ash Wednesday - Christian
The first day of Lent for Western Christian churches. Lent is the season marking the time Jesus spent in the wilderness.
• St Piran's Day - Christian
Piran is regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall and tin miners. He was born in Ireland. The Cornish flag may have been inspired by the legend that Piran discovered the process for smelting tin: black rock with a white cross of pure metal.

Mar Sun 9
• Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Sunday

Mar Thu 13
• Fast of Esther - Jewish

Mar Thu 13-16
• Purim - Jewish
Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther. Work should be avoided.

Mar Sun 16
• Magha Puja Day ** - Buddhist

Mar Mon 17
• Shushan Purim - Jewish
In some places Purim is celebrated one day later. In this case it is called Shushan Purim.
• Hola Mohalla (Lunar Calendar) - Sikh
Hola Mohalla is three day festival of military exercises and mock battles, together with religious discussions and devotional music, at Anandpur Sahib on the day after Holi.
• St Patrick's Day - Christian
St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.

Mar Wed 19
• St Joseph’s Day, (husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary) - Christian

Mar Thu 20
• Spring Equinox - Eoster Pagan
Spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with the Spring.

Mar Fri 21
• Naw-Ruz - Bahai
Baha'i New Year
• Jamshedi Noruz (Fasli) - Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian New Year's Day in the Fasli calendar.
• Shubun-sai - Equinox day - Shinto
A day for visiting graves. Also associated with Buddhism in Japan.

Mar Tue 25
• Annunciation - Christian
Marks the angel Gabriel's message to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the incarnation of Christ. It also celebrates the incarnation itself as the date falls 9 months before Christmas.

Mar Wed 26
• Khordad Sal (Fasli) - Zoroastrian
The birthday of Zoroaster, celebrated on this date in the Fasli calendar. Also known as the Greater Noruz

Mar Fri 28
• Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zaranhushtra) ** - Zoroastrian

Mar Sun 30
• Mothering Sunday - Christian
Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Not the same as Mothers' Day in the USA.

Mar Mon 31
• Ugadi (Yugadi) - Hindu
Ugadi (literally 'the start of an era') is the New Year festival for Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in southern India. It occurs on the first day of the month of Chaitra.
Ramayana ** - Hindu

April 2014 +

Apr Tue 8
• Swaminarayan Jayanti - Hindu
This day marks the birth of Lord Swaminarayan for followers of the Swaminarayan tradition.
• Ramanavami ** - Hindu

Apr Sat 12
• Lazarus Saturday - Orthodox Christian

Apr Sun 13
• Vaisakhi - Sikh
The Sikh New Year Festival, which also commemmorates the founding of the Khalsa by the tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) in 1699. Also spelled Baisakhi.
• Palm Sunday - Christian
The sixth and last Sunday of Lent. Marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the start of Holy Week.

Apr Mon 14
• Birthday of Guru Nanak (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
The founder of the Sikh religion was born on 14 April 1469. This festival is also currently celebrated according to the Lunar Calendar, but this may change.
• Hola Mohalla (Nanakshahi Calendar) - Sikh
Hola Mohalla is currently celebrated according to the Lunar Calendar, but this may change.
• Fast of the Firstborn - Jewish
Observed only by firstborn males, on the day before Passover. This fast celebrates the survival of Jewish firtborn sons from the 10th Plague of Egypt.

Apr Mon 14-22
• Passover (1st day) - Jewish
The start of the season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. Work is not permitted on the 14 & 15 and the 21 & 22 of April.

Apr Tue 15
• Theravada New Year - Buddhist
New Year festival for Theravada Buddhists, celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April
• Hanuman Jayanti ** - Hindu

Apr Thu 17
• Maundy Thursday - Christian
Christians remember Maundy Thursday as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist.

Apr Fri 18
• Birthday of Guru Angad Dev (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Angad Dev (1504-1552) was the second of the Sikh Gurus.
• Birthday of Guru Tegh Bahadur (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) was the ninth of the Sikh Gurus.
• Good (Holy) Friday - All Christian

Apr Sat 19
• Holy Saturday (Western) - Christian
The evening before Easter Sunday is spent in anticipation of Christ's resurrection the next morning.

Apr Sun 20
• Easter (Orthodox) - Christian
Orthodox Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - his return from death after the Crucifixion. The most important Christian festival
• Easter Sunday (Western) - Christian
Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - his return from death after the Crucifixion. The most important Christian festival. Most years Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on a different date.

Apr Mon 21
• Ridvan - first day - Bahai
The start of a 12 day festival when Baha'is celebrate the day when Baha'u'llah said that he was the prophet predicted by the Bab. The most important Baha'I festival.
• Anniversary of Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica - Rastafari
Marks the date Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica in 1966. Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia. Rastas believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile.

Apr Wed 23
• St George's Day - Christian
Saint George is the patron saint of England.
• Passover (final day) (Jewish )
The eighth and final day of Passover. Note that Passover lasts for seven days in Israel.

Apr Sun 27
• Yom Hashoah (Jewish )
The Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day. The date is chosen as the closest date (in the Jewish calendar) to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Apr Tue 29
• Ridvan - ninth day - Bahai
Marks the arrival of Baha'u'llah's family at the Ridvan garden.

May 2014 +

May Thu 1
• Beltane - Pagan
Pagans celebrate Beltane with maypole dances, symbolizing the mystery of the Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God.
• National Day of Prayer - Interfaith USA

May Fri 2
• Ridvan - twelfth day - Bahai
Marks Baha'u'llah's departure from the Ridvan garden.
• Birthday of Guru Arjan Dev (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) was the fifth of the Sikh Gurus
• National Day of Prayer USA - Interfaith

May Sun 4
• Yom Hazikaron - Jewish
A day of remembrance on the day preceding Israel's Independence Day.

May Mon 5
• Yom Ha'atzmaut - Jewish
Israel's Independence Day

May Wed 14
• SWesak or Buddha day - Buddhist
The most important of the Buddhist festivals. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death.

May Thu 15-18
• Theravadin New Year ** - Buddhist

May Sun 18
• Lag B'Omer - Jewish
A minor holiday on the 33rd day of the Omer commemorating a break in the plague during the lifetime of Rabbi Akiva.

May Fri 23
• Birthday of Guru Amar Das (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Amar Das (1479-1574) was the third of the Sikh Gurus.
• Declaration of the Bab - Bahai
The Bab was the Forerunner of Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i faith. His mission was to prepare the world for the coming of Baha'u'llah and he declared it in the evening of May 22 1844.

May Sun 25
• St Bede the Venerable - Christian
The great Anglo-Saxon saint and scholar from Jarrow.

May Tue 27
• Lailat al Miraj * ** - Islam

May Wed 28
• AYom Yerushalayim (Jewish )
Jerusalem Day

May Thu 29
• Ascension Day (Christian )
Ascension Day marks the last earthly appearance of Christ after his resurrection. Christians believe Christ ascended into heaven. It is celebrated 40 days after Easter.
• Ascension of Baha'u'llah (Bahai )
Anniversary of Baha'u'llah's death in in 1892 near Akka, Israel.

June 2014 +

Jun Sun 1
• Ascension Day (Catholic Church in England and Wales) (Christian )
Ascension Day is normally celebrated 40 days after Easter. The Catholic Church in England and Wales celebrates it on the following Sunday instead.

Jun Wed 4-5
• Shavuot - Jewish
Shavuot is a two-day festival that marks the time when the first harvest was taken to the Temple. Also known as the Festival of Weeks. Work is not permitted for the duration of the festival.

Jun Sun 8
• Pentecost - Whitsun - Christian
The seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and the birth of the Christian Church.

Jun Mon 9
• Saint Columba of Iona - Christian

Jun Sat 14
• Lailat al Bara'ah * ** - Islam

Jun Sun 15
• All Saints' Day (Orthodox) - Christian
This day honours all saints, known and unknown, of the Christian church. Western churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1.
• Trinity Sunday (Christian )
The first Sunday after Pentecost. Christians meditate on the nature of God as "Three in one".

 

Jun Mon 16
• Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh Guru and the first Sikh martyr. He also compiled all of the past Gurus' writings into one book, which is now the Sikh holy scripture: the Guru Granth Sahib.

Jun Thu 19
• Corpus Christi - Christian
Roman Catholic festival celebrating the "real presence of Christ in the Eucharist". The festival falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

Jun Sat 21
• Summer Solstice - Litha - Pagan
Longest day of the year

Jun Sun 22
• Corpus Christi (Catholic Church in England and Wales) - Christian
Corpus Christi falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. The Catholic Church in England and Wales celebrates it on the following Sunday instead.

Jun Fri 27
• Sacred Heart of Jesus - Catholic Christian

Jun Sat 28
• Ramadan (start) - Muslim
Ramadan is the Muslim month of fasting.

Jun Sun 29
• St Peter and St Paul's Day - Christian
The martyrdoms of both these saints are observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutheran churches. One of the oldest saints' days.

July 2014 +

Jul Sat 5
• Birthday of Guru Hargobind (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) was the sixth of the Sikh Gurus.

Jul Wed 9
• Martyrdom of the Bab - Bahai
Anniversary of the Bab's execution in 1850 in Tabriz, Iran.

Jul Sat 12
• Asala - Dharma Day ** (Buddhist )
The anniversary of the start of Buddha's teaching - his first sermon ,"The Wheel of Truth", after his enlightenment.

Jul Sun 13-15
• Obon ** - Shinto

Jul Tue 15
• St Swithin's Day - Christian
Swithin (or Swithun) was a Saxon bishop in the 9th century. Legend has it that the weather on his feast day, 15 July, will determine the weather for the next 40 days.
• Fast of 17 Tammuz - Jewish

Jul Sat 19
• Jamshedi Noruz (Qadimi) - Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian New Year's Day in the Qadimi calendar.

Jul Tue 22
• St Mary Magdalene - Christian
Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox churches consider the first person to see Jesus at his resurrection a saint. She is also important in the Bahá'í faith.

Jul Wed 23
• Birthday of Haile Selassie I - Rastafari
Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia. Rastas believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile.
• Birthday of Guru Har Krishen (Nanakshahi calendar) - Sikh
Guru Har Krishan (1656-1664) was the eighth of the Sikh Gurus.
• Lalat al Kadr * ** - Islam

Jul Thu 24
• Pioneer Day - Mormon
Commemorates the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter Day Saints pioneers in Salt Lake Valley.
• Khordad Sal (Qadimi) - Zoroastrian
The birthday of Zoroaster, celebrated on this date in the Qadimi calendar.

Jul Mon 28
• Eid-Ul-Fitr ** - Muslim
The end of Ramadan when Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah for His help with their month-long act of self-control.

August 2014 +

Aug Fri 1
• Lughnasadh - Lammas - Pagan
A harvest festival and one of the Pagan festivals of Celtic origin which split the year into four.
• Lammas - Christian
• Fast in Honor of the Holy Mother of Jesus - Orthodox Christian

Aug Tue 5
• Tisha B'Av (Jewish )
A solemn day that commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.

Aug Wed 6
• Transfiguration - Christian
Orthodox Christian feast commemorating the sudden emanation of radiance from the person of Jesus that occurred on the mountain.

Aug Sun 10
• Raksha Bandhan ** - Hindu

Aug Fri 15
• Dormition of the Theotokos - Christian
An Orthodox festival that commemorates the death, resurrection, and glorification of Christ's mother. Dormition means "falling asleep".
• Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Christian
A largely Roman Catholic festival celebrating their belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken body and soul into heaven.

Aug Sun 17
• Birthday of Marcus Garvey - Rastafari
Commemorates the Birthday of Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican politician born in 1887 who predicted the crowning of a King in Africa, and instigated the 'Back to Africa' movement.
• Krishna Janmashtami ** - Hindu

Aug Mon 18
• Jamshedi Noruz (Shenshai) - Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian New Year's Day in the Shenshai calendar.

Aug Sat 23
• Khordad Sal (Shenshai) - Zoroastrian
The birthday of Zoroaster, celebrated on this date in the Shenshai calendar.

Aug Fri 29
• Ganesh Chaturthi ** - Hindu
• Beheading of John the Baptist - Christian

Aug Sat 30
• Paryushana Parva ** - Jains

 

Note:

1. * Holy days usually begin at sundown the day before this date.
2. ** Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.

This calendar is drawn together from information the following websites and organisations:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/interactive/calendar/index.shtml
http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/index.htm
The Buddhist Society
Jewish Calendar 2009-15
The Hindu Forum
The Muslim Council of Britain
The Sikh Missionary Society

 

 

Last updated: 28th July 2014