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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best Holiday of All Time

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    1
    Fiesta Nacional de España

    Fiesta Nacional de España

    The Fiesta Nacional de España (Festa Nacional d'Espanya in Catalan/Valencian; Festa Nacional de España in Galician; Espainiako Jai Nazionala in Basque) is the national day of Spain. It is held annually on October 12 and is a national holiday. It commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the Americas, a day also celebrated in other countries. The day is also dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Our Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint of all Hispanic peoples and of the Spanish Civil Guard. The anniversary of Columbus' landing in the New World on October 12, 1492, is widely celebrated throughout the Americas; it is known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Día de la Raza in various Latin American countries. Celebration of the anniversary in Spain dates to 1935, when the first festival was held in Madrid. The day was known as Dia de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain's connection to the Hispanidad, the international Hispanic community. On November 27, 1981, a royal decree established Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday. However, on October 7, 1987, the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional, and October 12 became one of two national
    7.43
    7 votes
    2
    National Day of Prayer

    National Day of Prayer

    The National Day of Prayer (36 U.S.C. § 119) is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation". Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. The modern law formalizing its annual observance was enacted in 1952, although it has historical origins to a mandate by George Washington, the first president of the United States. On the National Day of Prayer, Americans from all religious backgrounds turn to God in prayer for the United States. Its constitutionality was unsuccessfully challenged in court by the Freedom From Religion Foundation after their first attempt was unanimously dismissed by a federal appellate court in April 2011. The observance of the National Day of Prayer by individuals has reflected the demographics of the United States. Today, the National Day or Prayer is celebrated by Americans of all religions, including Christians of many denominations, such as Baptists and Catholics, as well as Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews. On the National Day of Prayer, many Americans assemble in prayer in front of
    8.00
    6 votes
    3
    Sukkot

    Sukkot

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות‎ or סֻכּוֹת sukkōt or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (variously from late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. It follows the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The holiday lasts seven days (eight in the diaspora). The first day (and second in the diaspora) is a sabbath-like yom tov when work is forbidden, followed by the intermediate Chol Hamoed and Shemini Atzeret. The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth or tabernacle", which is a walled structure covered with skhakh (plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves). The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and some people sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav and
    7.67
    6 votes
    4
    Portugal Day

    Portugal Day

    Portugal Day, officially Portuguese: Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas (Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities), is Portugal's National Day celebrated annually on 10 June. Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and emigrants throughout the world celebrate this holiday. The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580. Camões wrote Os Lusíadas (usually translated as The Lusiads), Portugal's national epic poem celebrating Portuguese history and achievements. The poem focuses mainly on the 16th-century Portuguese explorations, which brought fame and fortune to the country. The poem, considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature, became a symbol for the great feats of the Portuguese Empire. Camões was an adventurer who lost one eye fighting in Ceuta, wrote the poem while traveling, and survived a shipwreck in Cochinchina (then a French colony; a region of present-day Vietnam). According to popular folklore, Camões saved his epic poem by swimming with one arm while keeping the other arm above water. Since his date of birth is unknown, his date of
    7.50
    6 votes
    5
    Equinox

    Equinox

    • Featured in religions: Paganism
    An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day have approximately equal length. At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point (RA = 00 00 00 and longitude = 0º) and the autumnal point (RA = 12 00 00 and longitude = 180º). By extension, the term equinox may denote an equinoctial point. The equinoxes are the only times when the subsolar point is on the Equator. This point (the place on the Earth's surface where the center of the Sun can be observed exactly overhead) crosses the Equator moving northward at the March equinox and crosses the Equator moving southward at the September equinox. The
    6.57
    7 votes
    6
    Guy Fawkes Night

    Guy Fawkes Night

    • Day Of Year: November 5
    Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure. Within a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was known, became the predominant English state commemoration, but as it carried strong religious overtones it also became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment. Puritans delivered sermons regarding the perceived dangers of popery, while during increasingly raucous celebrations common folk burnt effigies of popular hate-figures, such as the pope. Towards the end of the 18th century reports appear of children begging for money with effigies of Guy Fawkes and 5 November gradually became known as Guy Fawkes Day. Towns such as Lewes and Guildford
    8.60
    5 votes
    7
    Japanese New Year

    Japanese New Year

    The Japanese New Year (正月, shōgatsu) is an annual festival with its own customs. The preceding days are quite busy, particularly the day before, known as Ōmisoka. The Japanese New Year has been celebrated since 1873 according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year (New Year's Day where the Gregorian calendar is used). In Okinawa, the cultural New Year is still celebrated as the contemporary Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese New Years. Prior to the Meiji Period, the date of the Japanese New Year was based on the Chinese lunar calendar, as are the contemporary Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese New Years. However, in 1873, five years after the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar and the first day of January became the official and cultural New Year's Day. In the Ryukyu Islands, a separate cultural New Year is still celebrated based on the Chinese lunar calendar. Japanese people eat a special selection of dishes during the New Year celebration called osechi-ryōri (御節料理 or お節料理), typically shortened to osechi. This consists of boiled seaweed (昆布, konbu), fish cakes (蒲鉾, kamaboko), mashed sweet potato with chestnut (栗きんとん, kurikinton), simmered burdock root
    8.60
    5 votes
    8
    Midsummer

    Midsummer

    Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 21 and June 24 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. Midsummer is especially important in the cultures of Scandinavia, Estonia and Latvia where it is the most celebrated holiday apart from Christmas. European midsummer-related holidays, traditions, and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin. They are particularly important in Northern Europe - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania – but are also found in Germany, Ireland, parts of Britain (Cornwall especially), France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, other parts of Europe, and elsewhere - such as Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, and also in the Southern Hemisphere (mostly in Brazil, Argentina and Australia), where this imported European celebration would be more appropriately called "Midwinter". Midsummer is also sometimes referred to by Neopagans and others as Litha, stemming from Bede's De temporum ratione which provides Anglo-Saxon names for the months roughly
    8.60
    5 votes
    9
    April Fool's Day

    April Fool's Day

    • Holiday Category: Secular Holiday
    • Day Of Year: April 1
    April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. In France and Italy, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other's back as a trick and shout "April fish!" in their local languages (poisson d'avril! and pesce d'aprile! in French and Italian, respectively). The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 as New Year's Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references. Precursors of April Fools' Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28, still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries. In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts
    7.00
    6 votes
    10
    Flag Day

    Flag Day

    • Day Of Year: June 14
    In the United States Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 110 is the official statute on Flag Day; however, it is at the President's discretion to officially proclaim the observance. One of the longest-running Flag Day parades is held annually in Quincy, Massachusetts, which began in 1952, celebrating its 59th year in 2010. The 59th Annual Appleton Wisconsin 2009 Flag Day Parade featured the U.S. Navy.
    6.83
    6 votes
    11
    Palm Sunday

    Palm Sunday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Featured in religions: Catholicism
    Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19). In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of box, yew, willow, olive, or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday. In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place about a week before his Resurrection. The symbolism is captured in Zechariah 9:9 "The Coming of Zion's King - See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey". It was perceived that Jesus was declaring he was the King of Israel to the anger of the Sanhedrin. According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating
    5.86
    7 votes
    12
    Ramadan

    Ramadan

    • Featured in religions: Islam
    Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, IPA: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn]; Persian: ‎ Ramazān, Ramezũn; Urdu: Ramzān; Turkish: Ramazan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is wajib (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are ill, travelling or going through menstrual bleeding. While fasting from dawn until sunset Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and sexual relations; and in some interpretations from swearing. According to Islam, the sawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran. Chapter 2, Revelation 185 of the Qur'an states: The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and
    6.67
    6 votes
    13
    Junkanoo

    Junkanoo

    Junkanoo is a street parade with music, which occurs in many towns across The Bahamas every Boxing Day (December 26), New Year's Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahama. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital. In the USA, there are also Junkanoo parades in both Miami, in June and Key West, in October, where the local Black American populations have their roots in the Bahamas. There are similar masquerade/street performance traditions, also known as Junkanoo, in other islands in the Caribbean. The origin of the word Junkanoo is rather obscure. Some people believe it comes from the French "L'inconnu", which means, "the unknown", in reference to the masks worn by the paraders. Others believe it comes from "junk enoo", the Scottish settlers' reference to the parades, meaning "junk enough"; or "John Canoe," the name of an African tribal chief who, in the 17th century, demanded the right to celebrate with his people even after being brought to the West Indies in slavery. Junkanoo may have West African origins as the costumes and conduct of the masqueraders bear similarities with the Yoruba Egungun festivals. These slaves were not allowed
    7.60
    5 votes
    14
    Assumption of Mary

    Assumption of Mary

    The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, informally known as The Assumption, according to the Christian beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of Anglicanism, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Theotokos, which is the same as the Assumption,, the death of Mary has not been dogmatically defined. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many Catholic countries, the feast is also marked as a Holy Day of Obligation. In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse,
    7.40
    5 votes
    15
    Chinese New Year

    Chinese New Year

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western Carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēngyuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chúxī (除夕) or "Eve of the Passing Year." Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year". Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as China, including Hong Kong Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia,
    7.40
    5 votes
    16
    Christmas Sunday

    Christmas Sunday

    Christmas Sunday is a name for the Sunday after Christmas. In the United Kingdom, if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, 26 December is sometimes referred to as "Christmas Sunday", and Boxing Day moves to 27 December, although this practice has now fallen out of common usage and 26 December is usually referred to as Boxing Day even when it falls on a Sunday. In Western Christianity, the first Sunday after Christmas is called the "First Sunday of Christmas". Christmas Sunday usually coincides with the "Sunday After the Nativity" feast day that commemorates King David, Saint Joseph (who is called "Joseph the Betrothed"), and James the Brother of the Lord. Special hymns for these saints are found in the Menaion, which are combined with hymns for the Feast of the Nativity, and special Epistle and Gospel readings are chanted at the Divine Liturgy. If there is no Sunday between December 25 and January 1, this feast is moved to December 26, where it is combined with the Synaxis of the Theotokos. The Saturday After Nativity also has a special Epistle and Gospel reading (though no hymns, except those of the Afterfeast). The Saturday Before Theophany has a special Epistle and Gospel reading
    7.40
    5 votes
    17
    Nativity Fast

    Nativity Fast

    The Nativity Fast is a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches, in preparation for the Nativity of Christ, (December 25). The fast is similar to the Western Advent, except that it runs for 40 days instead of four weeks. The fast is observed from November 15 to December 24, inclusively. These dates apply to those Orthodox Churches which use the Revised Julian calendar, which is identical to the Gregorian calendar. For those national Churches which still follow the Julian calendar (Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem), the Winter Lent does not begin until November 28 (Gregorian) which coincides with November 15 on the Julian calendar. Sometimes the fast is called Philip's Fast (or the Philippian Fast), as it traditionally begins on the day following the Feast of St. Philip the Apostle (November 14). Some churches have abbreviated the fast to start on December 10, following the Feast of the Conception by Saint Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos. Fasting with humility and repentance is believed to enable one to draw closer to God by denying the body worldly
    8.50
    4 votes
    18
    Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi

    The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), also known as Corpus Domini, is a Latin Rite liturgical solemnity celebrating the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his Real Presence in the Eucharist. It emphasizes the joy of the institution of the Eucharist, which was observed on Holy Thursday in the somber atmosphere of the nearness of Good Friday. In the present Roman Missal, the feast is designated the solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is also celebrated in some Anglican, Lutheran, and Old Catholic Churches that hold similar beliefs regarding the Real Presence. The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, "where the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day". At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John
    7.20
    5 votes
    19
    Hōnen Matsuri

    Hōnen Matsuri

    Hōnen Matsuri (豊年祭, Harvest Festival) is a fertility festival celebrated every year on March 15 in Japan. Hōnen means prosperous year in Japanese, implying a rich harvest, while a matsuri is a festival. The Hōnen festival and ceremony celebrate the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of prosperity and fertility. The best known of these festivals takes place in the town of Komaki, just north of Nagoya City. The festival's main features are Shinto priests playing musical instruments, a parade of ceremonially garbed participants, all-you-can-drink sake, and a 280 kg (620 pound), 2.5 meter (96 inch)-long wooden phallus. The wooden phallus is carried from a shrine called Shinmei Sha (in even-numbered years) on a large hill or from Kumano-sha Shrine (in odd-numbered years), to a shrine called Tagata Jinja. The festival starts with celebration and preparation at 10:00 a.m. at Tagata Jinja, where all sorts of foods and souvenirs (mostly phallus-shaped or related) are sold. Sake is also passed out freely from large wooden barrels. At about 2:00 p.m. everyone gathers at Shinmei Sha for the start of the procession. Shinto priests say prayers and impart blessings on the
    7.20
    5 votes
    20
    Yom Kippur

    Yom Kippur

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר‎‎, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or יום הכיפורים), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im ("Days of Awe"). Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei and also regarded as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jewish person tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God. The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several
    8.25
    4 votes
    21
    Leif Erikson Day

    Leif Erikson Day

    Leif Erikson Day is an annual American observance which occurs on October 9. It honors Leif Ericson (Icelandic: Leifur Eiríksson,Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson or the Norwegian: "Leiv Eiriksson"), the Norse explorer who brought the first Europeans known to have set foot in North America. America Not Discovered by Columbus by Rasmus B. Anderson was published in 1874. This book helped popularize the now familiar idea that Vikings were the first Europeans in the New World. During his appearance at the Norse-American Centennial in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge gave recognition to Leif Erikson as the Discoverer of America due to research by Norwegian-American scholars such as Knut Gjerset and Ludvig Hektoen. In 1930, Wisconsin became the first U.S. state to officially adopt Leif Erikson Day as a state holiday, thanks in large part to efforts by Rasmus Anderson. A year later, the state of Minnesota followed suit. By 1956, Leif Erikson Day had been made an official observance in seven states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, and California) and one Canadian province (Saskatchewan). In 1963, the U.S. Representative from Duluth, John Blatnik, introduced a
    5.43
    7 votes
    22
    Independence Day

    Independence Day

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    Independence Day, observed annually on 15 August, is a national holiday in India commemorating its independence from British rule on 15 August 1947. India attained freedom following an independence movement noted for largely peaceful nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress. Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British Indian Empire was divided along religious lines into two new states—the Dominion of India (later the Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Bangladesh); the partition was accompanied by violent communal riots. The flagship event in Independence Day celebrations takes place in Delhi, where the prime minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort and delivers from its ramparts a speech that is broadcast nationwide. The holiday is observed all over India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. Indians celebrate the day by displaying the national flag on their attire, accessories, homes and vehicles; by listening to patriotic songs, watching patriotic movies; and bonding with family and friends. However, separatist and militant
    6.17
    6 votes
    23
    National Day of Catalonia

    National Day of Catalonia

    The National Day of Catalonia (Catalan: Diada Nacional de Catalunya [diˈaðə nəsiuˈnaɫ də kətəˈɫuɲə]) is a day-long festival in Catalonia. It commemorates the defeat of the Catalan troops during the War of the Spanish Succession. The Catalan troops that supported the Habsburg dynasty were defeated at the Siege of Barcelona by the troops of Bourbon Philip V of Spain on 11 September 1714 after 14 months of siege. The holiday was officially reinstated in 1980 by the autonomous governing body of Catalonia, the Generalitat de Catalunya, upon its restoration after the end of the Franco dictatorship. Independentist organizations and political parties traditionally lay floral offerings at the monuments of the leaders of the defence of the city Rafael Casanova and General Moragues for their fight against the king Philip V of Spain. Typically, Catalan nationalists organize demonstrations and meet at the Fossar de les Moreres of Barcelona, where they pay homage to the defenders of city who died during the siege and were buried there. Throughout the day, there are independentist demonstrations and cultural events in most of Catalan villages and many citizens wave senyeres and estelades.
    6.17
    6 votes
    24
    Yule

    Yule

    Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time") is a religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples and some neighboring peoples, before later being absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht. Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for the Christian Christmas (with its religious rites), but also for other holidays of the season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites. Yule is the modern English representative of the Old English words ġéol or ġéohol and ġéola or ġéoli, with the former indicating "(the 12-day festival of) Yule" (later: "Christmastide") and the latter indicating "(the month of) Yule", whereby ǽrra ġéola referred to the period before the Yule festival (December)
    9.33
    3 votes
    25
    Diwali

    Diwali

    • Day Of Year: 29 Ashwin
    • Featured in religions: Sikhism
    Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BCE. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji. The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of "Deepavali" (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (dīpa in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst in order to drive away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along
    8.00
    4 votes
    26
    Liberation Day

    Liberation Day

    In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May 5th, to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British, American and Polish forces, (see Operation Market Garden) and French airborne (see Operation Amherst). On the 5th of May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next-door to the hotel. After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year. On May 4th, the Dutch hold the Remembrance of the Dead for the people who fought and died during World War II, and in wars in general. There is a remembrance gathering in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam. Throughout the
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    Tynwald Day

    Tynwald Day

    Tynwald Day (Manx: Laa Tinvaal) is the National Day of the Isle of Man, usually occurring on 5 July. On this day the Isle's legislature, Tynwald, meets at St John's, instead of its usual meeting place, Douglas. The session is held partly in the Royal Chapel of St John the Baptist and partly in the open air on the adjacent Tynwald Hill (an artificial mound). The meeting, the first recorded instance of which dates to 1417, is known as Midsummer Court. It is attended by members of the two branches of Tynwald: the House of Keys, and the Legislative Council. The Lieutenant Governor, the representative of the Lord of Mann, presides except on the occasions when the Lord or another member of the British Royal Family is present. All bills that have received the Royal Assent are promulgated on Tynwald Day; any Act of Tynwald which is not so promulgated within 18 months of passage ceases to have effect. Other proceedings include the presentation of petitions and the swearing in of certain public officials. Since the first recorded Tynwald Day in 1417, Tynwald Day had traditionally been held on 24 June, which is the feast day of St John the Baptist and also Midsummer's Day). In 1753, the Isle
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    St George's Day

    St George's Day

    • Day Of Year: April 23
    • Featured in religions: Catholicism
    Saint George's Day is the feast day of Saint George. It is celebrated by various Christian churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. Saint George's Day is celebrated on 23 April, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in AD 303. For Eastern Orthodox Churches which use the Julian calendar, 23 April corresponds to 6 May on the Gregorian calendar. As Easter often falls close to Saint George's Day, the church celebration of the feast may be moved from 23 April. In England and Catalonia, where it is observed as a solemn feast, for 2011 and 2014 the Anglican and Catholic calendars celebrate Saint George's Day on the first Monday after Easter Week (2 May and 28 April, respectively). Similarly, the Eastern Orthodox celebration of the feast moves accordingly to the first Monday after Easter or, as it is sometimes called, to the Monday of Bright Week. Countries that celebrate St George's Day include England, Canada, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia. Cities include Moscow in Russia, Genova in Italy, Ljubljana in
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    Dragon Boat Festival

    Dragon Boat Festival

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies. In Mandarin, it is known as Duānwǔ Jié; in Hong Kong and Macau, by the Cantonese name Tuen Ng Festival; in Hokkien-speaking areas, by the names Gō͘-go̍eh-cheh/Gō͘-ge̍h-choeh (五月節) and Gō͘-ji̍t-cheh/Gō͘-ji̍t-choeh (五日節). In 2008, it was recognised as a public holiday in mainland China for the first time since the 1940s. The festival has also long been celebrated in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. Equivalent and related festivals in Asia include the Kodomo no hi in Japan, Dano in Korea, and Tết Đoan Ngọ in Vietnam. The festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. This is the source of the alternative name of Double Fifth. The date varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. In 2011, this fell on June 6 and in 2012 on June 23. The focus of the celebrations includes eating rice dumplings zongzi, drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu (雄黃酒), and racing dragon boats. The sun is considered to be at its strongest around the time of summer
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    Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras

    "Mardi Gras" ( /ˈmɑrdiɡrɑː/), "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. The day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess." Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition, as it is associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins. In many areas, the term "Mardi Gras" has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it is now called "Mardi Gras Day" or "Fat Tuesday". The festival
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    Coming of Age Day

    Coming of Age Day

    Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no Hi) is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority (20 years old (二十歳, hatachi)) over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. Festivities include coming of age ceremonies (成人式, seijin-shiki) held at local and prefectural offices, as well as after-parties amongst family and friends. Coming of age ceremonies have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood. The holiday was first established in 1948, to be held every year on January 15. In 2000, as a result of the Happy Monday System, Coming of Age Day was changed to the second Monday in January. Until recently, all young adults attending the coming of age ceremony were exactly 20 years of age, having held their 20th birthday after the previous year's Coming of Age Day but before (or on) the present Coming of Age Day. In current practice, some of those attending the coming of age ceremony are actually only 19 years old; attendees are those whose 20th birthday
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    Mawlid

    Mawlid

    Mawlid (Qur'anic Arabic: مَوْلِدُ النَبِيِّ‎ mawlidu n-nabiyyi, “Birth of the Prophet” Standard Arabic: مولد النبي mawlid an-nabī, sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic مولد mawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes ميلاد mīlād) is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. The term Mawlid is also used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints. Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word (Arabic: ولد‎), meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant. In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad. Other terms used for this event include: Mawlid falls in the month of Rabi' al-awwal in the Islamic calendar. Shias observe the event on the 17th of the month, coinciding with the birth date of their sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and the Prophet Muhammad while Sunnis observe it on the 12th of the month. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar varies each
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    Easter Monday

    Easter Monday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Monday after Easter
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Easter Monday (also known as Egg Nyte) is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures. Easter Monday in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar is the second day of the octave of Easter Week and analogously in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the second day of Bright Week. Formerly, the post-Easter festivities involved a week of secular celebration, but in many places this was reduced to one day in the 19th century. Events include egg rolling competitions and, in predominantly Roman Catholic countries, dousing other people with water which traditionally had been blessed with holy water the day before at Easter Sunday Mass and carried home to bless the house and food. In the Eastern Orthodox Church Easter Monday is known as "Bright Monday" or "Renewal Monday". The services that day, as in the rest of Bright Week, are quite different than during the rest of the year and are similar to the services on Pascha (Easter Sunday) and include an outdoor procession after the Divine Liturgy; while this is prescribed for all days of that week, often they are only celebrated on Monday and
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    Lag Ba'omer

    Lag Ba'omer

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Lag BaOmer (Hebrew: ל״ג בעומר‎), also known as Lag LaOmer amongst Sephardi Jews, is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. According to the Talmud and Midrash, this day marks the hillula (celebration, interpreted by some as anniversary of death) of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a Mishnaic sage and leading disciple of Rabbi Akiva in the 2nd century, and the day on which he revealed the deepest secrets of kabbalah in the form of the Zohar, a landmark text of Jewish mysticism. In modern Israel, Zionist ideology redefined Lag BaOmer as a nationalist holiday, connecting it to the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire. Etymology Lag BaOmer is Hebrew for "33rd [day] in the Omer". (According to gematria, the Hebrew letter ל (lamed) or "L" is equivalent to "30" and ג (gimmel) or "G" is equivalent to "3". A vowel sound is conventionally added for pronunciation purposes.) Some Jews call this holiday Lag LaOmer, which means "33rd [day] of the Omer", as opposed to Lag BaOmer, "33rd [day] in the Omer." Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson writes in his Likkutei Sichos that the reason why the day
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    Tu Bishvat

    Tu Bishvat

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: טו בשבט‎) is a minor Jewish holiday, occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (in 2012, Tu Bishvat occurred from sunset on February 7 through the time when you can see three stars in the sky on February 8). It is also called "Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot" (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות‎), which means the "New Year of the Trees". Tu Bishvat is one of four "New Years" mentioned in the Mishnah. The name Tu Bishvat is derived from the Hebrew date of the holiday, which occurs on the fifteenth day of Shevat. "Tu" stands for the Hebrew letters Tet and Vav, which together have the numerical value of 9 and 6, adding up to 15. Tu Bishvat is a relatively recent name; the date was originally called "Ḥamisha Asar BiShvat" (חמשה-עשר בשבט), which means "Fifteenth of Shevat". Tu Bishvat appears in the Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashanah as one of the four new years in the Jewish calendar. The discussion of when the New Year occurs was a source of debate among the rabbis: "And there are four new year dates: - The first of Nisan - new year for kings and festivals - The first of Elul - new year for animal tithes. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon say: the first of Tishrei. - The
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    Shavuot

    Shavuot

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Shavuot (help·info) (or  Shavuos (help·info), in Ashkenazi usage; Shabuʿoth in Classical and Mizrahi Hebrew Hebrew: שבועות‎, lit. "Weeks") is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer. The date of Shavuot is directly linked to that of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover and immediately followed by Shavuot. This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and desire for the Giving of the Torah. On Passover, the people of Israel were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot they were given the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God. In Hasidic thought, the word Shavuot "Weeks" is interpreted as also an acronym for Shavuot, Bikkurim,
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    Hola Mohalla

    Hola Mohalla

    • Featured in religions: Sikhism
    Hola Mahalla (Punjabi: ਹੋਲਾ ਮਹੱਲਾ, Hindi: होला मोहल्ला; also Hola Mohalla or simply Hola) is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The event lasts for a week, and consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting prowess and bravery, followed by kirtan, music, and poetry. For meals, which is an integral part of the Sikh institution (Gurdwara), visitors sit together in pangats (Queues) and eat vegetarian food of the Langars. The event concludes with a long, military-style procession near Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs. Bhai Kahan Singh, who compiled the Mahan Kosh (the first Sikh encyclopedia) at the turn of the 20th century, explained, "Hola is derived from the word halla (a military charge) and the term mohalla stands for an organized procession or an army column. The words 'Hola Mohalla' would thus stand for 'the charge of an army.'" Dr. M.S. Ahluwalia notes that the related Punjabi term mahalia (which was derived from the Arabic root hal, meaning to alight or descend)
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    Youth Day

    Youth Day

    Youth Day is a holiday dedicated to the youths of a country. International Youth Day is an international observance on August 12 officially recognized by the United Nations. National Youth Day is a national holiday in Albania on December 8. On 14 April Angola celebrates Youth Day. Archived 22 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine National Youth Day is a national holiday in Cameroon on February 11. Youth Day (青年节) in the People's Republic of China is on May 4. It was established in December 1949 by the Government Administration Council to commemorate the beginning of the May Fourth Movement. Youth Day (青年節) in the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been celebrated on March 29 since 1954. It commemorates the Huanghuagang Uprising of 1911, during which 72 young revolutionaries sacrificed their lives to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. The Uprising took place on April 27 (the 29th day of the 3rd month in Chinese Calendar), 1911 and is subsequently known as 3.29 Guangzhou Uprising. This event also marked the last unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Qing before the Wuchang Uprising successfully overturned millennia of dynastic rule in China to establish the Republic of China. Originally, Youth
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    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    • Day Of Year: January 27
    Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January) is a national event in the United Kingdom dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of The Holocaust. It was first held in January 2001 and has been on the same date every year since. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945, the date also chosen for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and some other national Holocaust Memorial Days. In addition to the national event, there are numerous smaller memorial events around the country organised by many different organisations, groups and individuals. Every year since 2001, there has been an annual national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The UK Event has been hosted in: The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 was Speak Up, Speak Out. In 2010, for the sixty-fifth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Annual National Commemoration returned to London with the theme of The Legacy of Hope. The commemoration, at London's Guildhall, included survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp, other survivors of genocide and politicians. In a statement, The Archbishop of Canterbury urged people to hear
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    Imbolc

    Imbolc

    Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-MOLK or i-MOLG ), also called Brighid's Day or St Brighid’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa’l Breeshey), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is celebrated on 1 or 2 February (or 12 February, according to the Old Calendar) in the northern hemisphere and 1 August in the southern hemisphere. These dates fall about halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. The festival was observed in Gaelic Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Man during the Middle Ages. Reference to Imbolc is made in Irish mythology, in the Tochmarc Emire of the Ulster Cycle. Imbolc was one of the four cross-quarter days referred to in Irish mythology, the others being Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. It has been suggested that it was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brighid and that it was Christianized as a festival of Saint Brighid, with whom she is said to share many traits. In the 20th century, Imbolc was resurrected as a religious festival in Neopaganism, specifically in Wicca, Neo-druidry and Celtic Reconstructionism. Irish imbolc derives from the Old
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    Yom HaShoah

    Yom HaShoah

    • Holiday Category: Israeli National Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Nisan 27
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. In Israel, it is a national memorial day. It was inaugurated in 1953, anchored by a law signed by the Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion and the President of Israel Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to Shabbat, in which case the date is shifted by a day. In other countries there are different commemorative days—see Holocaust Memorial Day. Yom HaShoah was inaugurated in 1953, anchored in a law signed by the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, and the President of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. The original proposal was to hold Yom HaShoah on the 14th of Nisan, the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising (April 19, 1943), but this was problematic
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    Cinco de Mayo

    Cinco de Mayo

    • Day Of Year: May 5
    Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on 5 May. It is celebrated across the entire United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief outside of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16. Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, the Mexican Civil War of 1858, and the 1860 Reform Wars. These wars left the Mexican Treasury nearly bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez
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    3 votes
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    Muster

    Muster

    • Day Of Year: April 21
    Aggie Muster is a time-honored tradition at Texas A&M University which celebrates the camaraderie of the school while remembering the lives of Aggies who have died, specifically those in the past year. Muster officially began on April 21, 1922 as a day for remembrance of fellow Aggies. Muster ceremonies today take place in approximately 320 locations globally. The largest muster ceremony occurs in Reed Arena, on the Texas A&M campus. The "Roll Call for the Absent" commemorates Aggies, former and current students, who died that year. Aggies light candles, and friends and families of Aggies who died that year answer “here” when the name of their loved one is “called”. Campus muster also serves as a 50th year class reunion for the corresponding graduating class. Some non-campus muster ceremonies do not include the pageantry of the campus ceremony, and might consist simply of a barbecue. On June 26, 1883, former students of Texas A&M University gathered together to "live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and in the classroom." The same year, the Ex-Cadets Association established the "Roll Call for the Absent." The event grew into
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    Presidents' Day

    Presidents' Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: Third Monday of February
    Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The holiday is also commonly referred to as Presidents Day (sometimes spelled Presidents' Day or President's Day). As Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states. Titled Washington's Birthday, a federal holiday honoring George Washington was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1879 for government offices in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This date places it between February 15 and 21, which makes the name "Washington's Birthday" in some sense a misnomer, since it never occurs on Washington's actual birthday, either February 11 (Old Style ), or February 22 (New Style). The
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    White Cane Safety Day

    White Cane Safety Day

    White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane. On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, H.R. 753, was signed into law as Pub.L. 88-628, and codified at 36 U.S.C. § 142. This resolution authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day". President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation within hours of the passage of the joint resolution. In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.
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    Evacuation Day

    Evacuation Day

    • Holiday Category: Civic holiday
    • Day Of Year: November 25
    Following the American Revolution, Evacuation Day on November 25 marks the day in 1783 when the last vestige of British authority in the United States — its troops in New York — departed from Manhattan. The last shot of the American Revolutionary War was reported to be fired on this day, as a British gunner on one of the departing ships fired a cannon at jeering crowds gathered on the shore of Staten Island, at the mouth of New York Harbor (the shot fell well short of the shore). Following the first and largest major engagement of the Continental Army and British troops in the American Revolutionary War, at the Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn) on August 27, 1776, General George Washington and the Continental Army retreated to Manhattan Island. The Continentals withdrew north and west and, following the Battle of Fort Washington on 16 November 1776, evacuated the island. For the remainder of the Revolutionary War much of what is now Greater New York and its surroundings were under British control. New York City (then occupying only the southern tip of Manhattan) became, under Lord Howe and his brother Sir William, the British political and military center
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    Ascension

    Ascension

    The Ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. In the biblical narrative, an angel tells the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming will take place in the same manner as his ascension. The canonical gospels include two brief descriptions of the Ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:50-53 and Mark 16:19. A more detailed account of Jesus' bodily Ascension into the clouds is then given in the Acts of the Apostles (1:9-11). The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into Heaven. The Feast of the Ascension, celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday), is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year. The feast dates back at least to the later 4th century, as is widely attested. The Ascension is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being Baptism, Transfiguration,
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    Feast of San Gennaro

    Feast of San Gennaro

    The Feast of San Gennaro, originally a one-day religious commemoration, began in September 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples congregated along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City, to continue the tradition they had followed in Italy to celebrate San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. His feast day is September 19 in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The immigrant families on Mulberry Street who started it all, a group of cafe owners, erected a small chapel in the street to house the image of their patron Saint. They invited all to partake of their wares, asking the devoted to pin an offering to the ribbon streamers that are hung from the statue's apron. This money was then distributed to the needy poor of the neighborhood. Over time, the festival expanded into an 11-day street fair organized and run by people outside the neighborhood. It is now an annual celebration of food and drink, frequented by tourists. Centered on Mulberry Street, which is closed to traffic for the occasion, the festival generally features sausages, parades, street vendors, games, zeppole and other such attractions. The Grand Procession is held
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    Indian Army Day

    Indian Army Day

    Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K. M. Cariappa's taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander, in 1948. The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in national capital as well as all 6 Army Command headquarters. On 15 January 2010 India celebrated 62nd Indian Army day in New Delhi. Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificied their lives to protect our country and the people living in it. On this day in 1948 Lieutenant General K. M. Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief. Army played equally important role as the other freedom fighters in instilling democratization in India. General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa shared a good bonding with both natives and Britishers and then succeeded General Roy Butcher of British Army to become the first Indian Commander in Chief of the democratic India. The Indian Army fights adversities on borders as well as with natural calamities. The major feature of this army is that it combats in hot, chilly, temperate, forestry, terrain. One
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    Nevada Day

    Nevada Day

    • Day Of Year: Last Friday of October
    Nevada Day commemorates the admission of the state of Nevada into the union on October 31, 1864. The first known observance of Nevada Day (originally known as "Admission Day") was by the Pacific Coast Pioneer society during the 1870s. It was not until 1933 that the state legislature designated October 31 as Nevada Day and a state holiday. On this holiday all state, county and city government offices are closed, along with most schools and libraries. Some private businesses, like banks, also close at their discretion. In Nevada's capital, Carson City, a parade is held through the heart of downtown, as well as a carnival and several other events. In 2000, the Nevada Legislature decided to celebrate the holiday on a Friday, hoping that a three-day weekend would generate more interest. Nevada Day is now observed on the last Friday in October. But most of the big events in Carson City, including the parade, occur on the following Saturday. This was shortly followed by Las Vegas and Henderson adding up to three Nevada Days throughout the year in addition to the actual holiday which are determined by city council vote during the first week of each legislative year. Until 2000, Halloween
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    2 votes
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    Plough Monday

    Plough Monday

    Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. References to Plough Monday date back to the late 15th century. The day before Plough Monday is sometimes referred to as Plough Sunday. The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. In some areas, particularly in northern England and East England, a plough was hauled from house to house in a procession, collecting money. They were often accompanied by musicians, an old woman or a boy dressed as an old woman, called the "Bessy", and a man in the role of the "fool". 'Plough Pudding' is a boiled suet pudding, containing meat and onions. It is from Norfolk and is eaten on Plough Monday. William Hone made use of Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain: Including the Whole of Mr. Bourne's Antiquitates Vulgares (1777) by the antiquary John Brand. Brand's work (with additions by Henry Ellis) mentions a northern English Plough Monday custom also observed in the beginning of Lent. Evidently the Plough dance depicted by Phiz in his illustrations for Harrison
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    All Souls Day

    All Souls Day

    All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed. In Western Christianity, this day is observed principally in the Catholic Church, although some churches of Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches also celebrate it. The Eastern Orthodox Church observes several All Souls' Days during the year. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory. The official name of the celebration in the Roman Rite liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is "The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed". Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls. In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead. The Western celebration of All Souls'
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    Arbor Day

    Arbor Day

    Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States by J. Sterling Morton. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872 and an estimated one million trees were planted that day. Many countries now observe a similar holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season. Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada and Europe. Beginning in 1906, Pennsylvania conservationist Major Israel McCreight of Du Bois, Pennsylvania argued that President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation speeches were limited to businessmen in the lumber industry and recommended a campaign of youth education and a national policy on conservation education. McCreight urged President Roosevelt to make a
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    Mother's Day (USA)

    Mother's Day (USA)

    • Day Of Year: Second Sunday in May
    Mother's Day in the United States is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well the positive contributions that they make to society. Although many Mother's Day celebrations world-wide have quite different origins and traditions, most have now been influenced by the more recent American tradition established by Anna Jarvis, who celebrated it for the first time in 1908, then campaigned to make it an official holiday. Previous attempts at establishing Mother's Day in the United States sought to promote peace by means of honoring mothers who had lost or were at risk of losing their sons to war. Traditions on this day include churchgoing, the distribution of carnations, and family dinners. The holiday has been heavily commercialized by advertisers and retailers. The first attempts to establish a "Mother's Day" in the United States came from women's peace groups. A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War. In 1868, Ann Jarvis – mother of Anna Jarvis – created a committee to establish a "Mother's
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    Zacchaeus

    Zacchaeus

    This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.  Zacchaeus (Greek Ζακχαῖος, "Zakchaios" Hebrew זכי, which means pure and righteous one.), according to chapter 19 of the Gospel of Luke, was a superintendent of customs; a chief tax-gatherer (Latin: publicanus) at Jericho (Luke 19:1-10). Tax collectors were hated by many of their fellow Jews, who saw them as traitors for working for the Roman Empire. Because the lucrative production and export of balsam was centered in Jericho, his position would have carried both importance and wealth. In the account, he arrived before the crowd who were later to meet with Jesus, who was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Described as a short man, then Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree so that he might be able to see Jesus. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up into the branches, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a Jew, would sully himself by being a guest of a tax collector. Moved by the audacity of
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    Sweetest Day

    Sweetest Day

    • Holiday Category: Hallmark holiday
    Sweetest Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes region, and parts of the Northeast United States, on the third Saturday in October. It is described by Retail Confectioners International as an "occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed." Sweetest Day has also been referred to as a "concocted promotion" created by the candy industry solely to increase sales of sweets. The creation of Sweetest Day is often attributed to Herbert Birch Kingston. However, the first Sweetest Day was pronounced as October 8, 1921 in Cleveland. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's October 8, 1922 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to "newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor" in Cleveland, Ohio. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara
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    German Unity Day

    German Unity Day

    • Day Of Year: October 3
    The Day of German Unity (German: Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is the national day of Germany, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday. It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990, when the goal of a unity of Germany that originated in the middle of the 19th century, was fulfilled. Therefore, the name addresses neither the re-union or union, but the unity of Germany. The Day of German Unity on October 3 has been a German national holiday since the reunification in 1990, when the German reunification was brought out in full force. The 3rd of October is a legal holiday of the Federal Republic of Germany. An alternative choice to commemorate the reunification could have been the day the Berlin Wall came down—November 9, 1989, which coincided with the anniversary of the proclamation of the German Republic in 1918 and the defeat of Hitler's first coup in 1923. However, 9 November was also the anniversary of the first large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews in 1938 (Kristallnacht), so the day was considered inappropriate as a national holiday. Therefore, 3 October 1990, the day of formal reunification, was chosen instead. Before 1871, in the area where the single
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    Holy Family

    Holy Family

    The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on the Sunday following Christmas, unless that Sunday is January 1st, in which case it is celebrated on December 30th. Veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Mgr François de Laval, a Canadian bishop who founded a Confraternity. The feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany; that is to say, on the Sunday between January 7 through January 13, all inclusive (see General Roman Calendar of 1962). The calendar of the 1962 Roman Missal, whose use is still authorized, keeps the celebration on that date. In the 1962 calendar, the feast was always on a Sunday and, if it fell on 13 January, it replaced the Commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord, to which the 1962 calendar assigned that date. It was never a holy day of obligation, but when its celebration fell on a
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    Laetare Sunday

    Laetare Sunday

    Laetare Sunday ( /liːˈtɛərɪ/ or /laɪˈtɑrɪ/ as in ecclesiastical Latin), so called from the incipit of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" ("O be joyful, Jerusalem"), (from Isaiah 66:10, masoretic text) is a name often used to denote the fourth Sunday of the season of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar. This Sunday is also known as Mothering Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carême), and Rose Sunday (because the golden rose sent by the popes to Catholic sovereigns used to be blessed at this time). The term "Laetare Sunday" is used predominantly, though not exclusively, by Roman Catholics and Anglicans. The word translates from the Latin laetare, singular imperative of laetari to rejoice. The full Introit reads: Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis,et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Psalm Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. Psalm: I
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    Memorial Day

    Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces of the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador in times of war, specifically since the First World War. It is observed concurrently with Canada's national holiday, Canada Day. Memorial Day is observed on 1 July to recall the losses of Dominion of Newfoundland at Beaumont-Hamel during the Battle of the Somme of the First World War and has been observed annually since 1917. During the First World War Newfoundland was a largely rural Dominion of the British Empire with a population of 240,000, and not yet part of Canada. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was deployed at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli peninsula with the 29th British Division in support of the Gallipoli Campaign. With the close of the Gallipoli Campaign the regiment spent a short period recuperating before being transferred to the Western Front in March 1916. In France, the regiment regained battalion strength in preparation for the Battle of the Somme. The infantry assault was to began on 1 July 1916 and at 8:45 a.m. the Newfoundland Regiment and 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment received orders to move forward. So far as can be
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    Plough Sunday

    Plough Sunday

    Plough Sunday is a traditional English celebration of the beginning of the agricultural year that has seen some revival over recent years. Plough Sunday celebrations usually involve bringing a ploughshare into a church with prayers for the blessing of the land. It is traditionally held on the Sunday after Epiphany, the Sunday between 7 January and 13 January. Accordingly, work in the fields did not begin until the day after Plough Sunday: Plough Monday. As well as a ploughshare, in rural areas, it is common for local farmers to attend the service with their tractors - both new and old (see photo).
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    Presentation of Mary

    Presentation of Mary

    The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as it is known in the West), or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (its name in the East), is a liturgical feast celebrated by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox Churches. The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would bear a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Mary remained in the Temple until puberty, at which point she was assigned to Joseph as guardian. Later versions of the story (such as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary) tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God. The "Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" is a pious belief, but not a defined matter of faith. The feast originated as a result of the
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    Shemini Atzeret

    Shemini Atzeret

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Shemini Atzeret (שמיני עצרת – "the Eighth [day] of Assembly"; Ashkenazic pron. shmini-atseres) is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah. In Israel, as well as in Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into one and the names are used interchangeably. Shemini Atzeret is often referred to as the eighth day of the Festival of Sukkot, which occupies the seven preceding days. This description is not entirely accurate, however. The Talmud, in Tractate Sukkah 48a, describes Shemini Atzeret with the words "a holiday in its own right" (רגל בפני עצמו, regel bifnei atzmo) with respect to six specific halakhic (Jewish law) issues. The six issues are abbreviated as פז"ר קש"ב: Just below this discussion, the Mishnah (at Sukkah 48a or at Mishnah Sukkah 4:7) describes Shemini Atzeret as יום טוב אחרו‏ן של חג (yom tov aḥaron shel ḥag, final holiday of the Festival [of Sukkot]). The context here is that the Sukkot obligations of שמחה (simcha, joy) and recitation of הלל (Hallel) last
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    Transfiguration of Jesus

    Transfiguration of Jesus

    The Transfiguration of Jesus is an episode in the New Testament narrative in which Jesus is transfigured (or metamorphosed) and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28–36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16–18 refers to it. In these accounts, Jesus and three of his apostles go to a mountain (the Mount of Transfiguration). On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is then called "Son" by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father, as in the Baptism of Jesus. The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. This miracle is unique among others that appear in the Canonical gospels, in that the miracle happens to Jesus himself. Thomas Aquinas considered the Transfiguration "the greatest miracle" in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven. The Transfiguration is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being Baptism, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and
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    Inauguration Day

    Inauguration Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: January 20
    Inauguration Day is the day every four years on which the President of the United States is sworn in and takes office. The next Inauguration Day will occur on January 20, 2009. The inauguration for the first U.S. president, George Washington, was held on April 30, 1789 in New York City. Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4, giving electors from each state nearly four months after Election Day to cast their ballots for president. In 1933, the day of inauguration was changed by the Twentieth Amendment from March 4 to noon on January 20, beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's second term in 1937. Thomas Jefferson was the first to be sworn in as president in Washington, D.C., which did not officially become the U.S. capital until 1801. Since 1901, all inaugural ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol have been organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. The U.S. Armed Forces have participated in inaugural day ceremonies since George Washington, because the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since the first inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, that participation has been coordinated by the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (now called
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    Ivan Kupala Day

    Ivan Kupala Day

    • Day Of Year: June 24
    • Featured in religions: Eastern Christianity
    Kupala Night, Ivan Kupala Day (Feast of St. John the Baptist; Russian: Иван-Купала; Belarusian: Купалле; Ukrainian: Іван Купала; Polish: Noc Kupały/Święto Iwana Kupały) is celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland (Mazowsze and Podlasie) and Russia currently on the night of 23/24 June in the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which is 6/7 July in the Julian or Old Style calendar still used by many Orthodox Churches. Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter solstice holiday Korochun. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of fascinating Pagan rituals. Some early mythology scholars, such as Sir James Frazer, claimed that the holiday was originally Kupala; a pagan fertility rite later accepted into the Orthodox Christian calendar. There are analogues for celebrating the legacy of St. John around the time of the summer solstice elsewhere, including St. John's Day in Western Europe. The Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian name of this holiday combines "Ivan" (John — the Baptist) and Kupala which is related to a word derived from the Slavic word for bathing, which is cognate. The latter is reinterpreted as John's baptizing people
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    Kwanzaa

    Kwanzaa

    Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and Canada honoring African Canadian and African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. and culminates in a feast and gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. Maulana Karenga of the US Organization created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s; despite the fact that East African nations were not involved in the Atlantic slave trade that brought blacks to America. Kwanzaa was a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage
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    Visitation

    Visitation

    The Visitation is the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, 1:39–56. It is also the name of a Christian feast day commemorating this visit, celebrated on 31 May in the West (2 July in calendars of the 1263–1969 period and in the modern regional calendar of Germany) and 30 March in the East. Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth; they are both pregnant. Mary is pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary left Nazareth immediately after the Annunciation and went to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to attend her cousin Elizabeth. Catholics believe that the purpose of this visit was to bring divine grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child. Even though he was still in his mother's womb, John became aware of the presence of his Divine Saviour; he leapt for joy as he was cleansed from original sin and filled with divine grace. Elizabeth also responded and recognised the presence of Jesus. Thus Mary, now for the first time, exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man. Elizabeth remarks to Mary: "And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb. And whence [is]
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    Đurđevdan

    Đurđevdan

    Đurđevdan (Ђурђевдан, pronounced [ˈdʑuːrdʑeʋdaːn], "George's day" in Serbian, Gergyovden "George's day" in Bulgarian, or Jurjevo "George's" in Croatian and Bosnian is a South-Slavic religious holiday, celebrated on April 23 by the Julian calendar (May 6 by Gregorian calendar), which is the feast of Saint George and a very important Slava. He is one of the most important Christian saints in Orthodox churches. This holiday is attached to the tradition of celebrating the beginning of spring. Christian synaxaria hold that St. George was a martyr who died for his faith. On icons, he is usually depicted as a man riding a horse and killing a dragon. Jurjevo is mainly celebrated in the rural areas of Croatia, mostly Turopolje and Gornja Stubica whereas every Đurđevdan is celebrated all over the Serbian diaspora but mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina. In Croatian St. George is called Sv. Juraj while in Serbian he's called Sveti Đorđe (Serbian Cyrillic: Свети Ђорђе) and in Bulgarian- Sveti Georgi (Cyrillic: Свети Георги). In Croatia, the Catholic version of St.George's day, Jurjevo is celebrated on April 23 by the Gregorian calendar. The tradition is mostly celebrated in
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    King cake

    King cake

    A king cake (sometimes rendered as kingcake, kings' cake, king's cake, or three kings cake) is a type of cake associated with the festival of Epiphany in the Christmas season in a number of countries, and in other places with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras / Carnival. It is a popular food item during the Christmas season (Christmas Eve to Epiphany) in Mexico, France, Belgium, Quebec and Switzerland (galette or gâteau des Rois), Portugal (bolo rei), Spain, and Spanish America (roscón or rosca de reyes and tortell in Catalonia), Greece and Cyprus (vasilopita) and Bulgaria (banitsa). In the United States, Carnival is traditionally observed in the Southeastern region of the country, particularly in Mobile, Alabama, the towns and cities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, on the southeast Texas island of Galveston, southern Louisiana and New Orleans. In this region, the king cake is closely associated with Mardi Gras traditions and is served throughout the Carnival season, which lasts from Epiphany Eve to Fat Tuesday. The cake has a small trinket (often a small plastic baby, said to represent Baby Jesus) inside (or sometimes placed underneath), and the person who gets the piece of
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    Nativity of the Theotokos

    Nativity of the Theotokos

    The Nativity of the Theotokos, celebrating the birth of Mary, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year. It is celebrated on September 8 on the liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, September 8 falls on September 21 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). According to the sacred tradition of the Orthodox Church, Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna (now saints), in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christianity does not accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (according to which Mary was preserved from that original sin which befalls all other descendants of Adam and Eve, in anticipation of her giving birth to the sinless Christ). The Orthodox Church does not share the Western, Augustinian understanding of the transmission of original sin, so the question does not arise in Orthodox theology. All Orthodox are agreed that Mary was kept free from actual sin by God's grace,
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    Saint Jonas' Festival

    Saint Jonas' Festival

    Saint Jonas' Festival (aka: Rasos (Dew Holiday), Joninės, Kupolė, Midsummer Day or St. John's Day) is a midsummer folk festival celebrated on June 24 all around Lithuania. While midsummer day is celebrated throughout Europe, many Lithuanians have a particularly lively agenda on this day. The traditions include singing songs and dancing until the sun sets, telling tales, searching to find the magic fern blossom at midnight, jumping over bonfires, greeting the rising midsummer sun and washing the face with a morning dew, young girls float flower wreaths on the water of river or lake. These are customs brought from pagan culture and beliefs. The latter Christian tradition is based on the reverence of Saint John the Baptist. Lithuanians with the names Jonas, Jonė, Janina receive many greetings from their family, relatives and friends.
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    Twelfth Night

    Twelfth Night

    Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking". However, there is currently some confusion as to which night is Twelfth Night: some count the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. One source of this confusion is said to be the Medieval custom of starting each new day at sunset, so that Twelfth Night precedes Twelfth Day. In some cases the 25 December is the first day of Christmas, so therefore 5 January is the 12th day. It is erroneous to count the Christmas season as the 12 days after Christmas Day, making 6 January the Twelfth Day, as 6 January is the Epiphany, and church seasons do not overlap. A recent belief in some English-speaking countries holds that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a belief originally attached to the festival of Candlemas which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at
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    Whit Monday

    Whit Monday

    Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (also known as Monday of the Holy Spirit) is the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost, a movable feast in the Christian calendar. It is movable because it is determined by the date of Easter. Whit Monday gets its English name for following "Whitsun", the day that became one of the three baptismal seasons. The origin of the name "Whit Sunday" is generally attributed to the white garments formerly worn by those newly baptized on this feast. The Monday after Pentecost is a holiday in Austria, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland. In many of these countries, Whit Monday is known as "the second day of Pentecost" or "the second Whitsun". In France, it became a work day for many workers from 2005 to 2007. This was to raise extra funds following the government's lack of preparation for a summertime heat wave, which led to a shortage of proper health care for the elderly. Contrary to what many sources report, Pentecost Monday did not become a public holiday again in 2008. Many offices are indeed closed that day,
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    Eid ul-Fitr

    Eid ul-Fitr

    • Featured in religions: Islam
    Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr (Arabic: ‎عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast". The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity. Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two raka'ah (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allahu Akbar" [God is Great]), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard (obligatory), Mustahabb (strongly
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    76
    Floralia

    Floralia

    The Floralia, also known as the "Florifertum," was an ancient Roman festival dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers and vegetation. It was held on the IV Calends of May, April 27 to May 3, and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. These days were considered by the prostitutes of Rome to be their own. While flowers decked the temples, Roman citizens wore colorful clothing instead of the usual white, and offerings were made of milk and honey to Flora.
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    Harvest festival

    Harvest festival

    A Harvest Festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times throughout the world. Harvests festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, contests, music and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world. In North America, Canada and the US each have their own Thanksgiving celebrations in October and November. Certain religious holidays, such as Sukkot, have their roots in harvest festivals. In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (about Sept. 23). In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. The celebrations on this day usually
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    Memorial Day

    Memorial Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: Last Monday of May
    Memorial Day is an American federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in
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    79
    Reformation Day

    Reformation Day

    Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. It is a civic holiday in Slovenia (since the Reformation contributed to its cultural development profoundly, although Slovenes are mainly Roman Catholics) and in the German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia. It is also a national holiday in Chile since 2008. In the United States churches often transfer the holiday, so that it falls on the Sunday (called Reformation Sunday) on or before October 31, with All Saints' Day moved to the Sunday on or after November 1. In 1516–17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to raise money to rebuild St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone, without charity or good works, is necessarily not true and salvific faith; On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the
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    1 votes
    80
    Solstice

    Solstice

    • Featured in religions: Paganism
    A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. As a result, on the day of the solstice the Sun appears to have reached its highest or lowest annual altitude in the sky above the horizon at local solar noon. The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun's path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In many cultures the solstices mark either the beginning or the midpoint of winter and summer. The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The day of the solstice is either the longest day of the year (in summer) or the shortest day of the year (in winter) for any place outside of the tropics. Of the many ways in which solstice can be defined, one of the most common (and perhaps most easily understood) is by the astronomical phenomenon for which it is named, which is readily
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    1 votes
    81
    Tatiana Day

    Tatiana Day

    Tatiana Day (Russian: Татьянин день, Tatyanin den' ) is a Russian religious holiday observed on January 25 according to the Gregorian calendar, January 12 according to the Julian. It is named after Saint Tatiana, a Christian martyr in 3rd century Rome during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus. In 1755 on the name day of Ivan Shuvalov's mother Tatiana Rodionovna, his mistress Empress Elizabeth of Russia endorsed his petition to establish a university in Moscow. The church of Saint Tatiana was later built in the university campus, the Russian Orthodox Church declared Saint Tatiana the patron saint of students, and Tatiana Day has become celebrated as Russian Students Day.
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    4 votes
    82
    Bastille Day

    Bastille Day

    • Day Of Year: July 14
    Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale (French pronunciation: [la.fɛt.na.sjɔ'nal] ; The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (French pronunciation: [lə.ka.tɔʁz.ʒɥi'jɛ] ; the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests. The Bastille Day Military Parade opens with cadets from the École Polytechnique, Saint-Cyr, École Navale, and so forth, then other infantry troops, then motorized
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    2 votes
    83
    Hangul Day

    Hangul Day

    Hangul Day — also called Hangul Proclamation Day or Korean Alphabet Day — is a Korean national commemorative day marking the invention and the proclamation of hangul (한글), the native alphabet of the Korean language, by King Sejong the Great. It is observed on October 9 in South Korea and on January 15 in North Korea. In North Korea, the day is called Chosun-gul Day. According to the Sejong Sillok (세종실록;世宗實綠), King Sejong proclaimed publication of Hunmin Jeongeum (훈민정음;訓民正音), the document introducing the newly created alphabet which was also originally called by the same name, in the ninth month of the lunar calendar in 1446. In 1926, the Hangul Society celebrated the octo-sexagesimal (480th) anniversary of the declaration of hangul on the last day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar, which is on November 4 of the Gregorian calendar. Members of the Society declared it the first observance of "Gagyanal" (가갸날). The name came from "Gagyageul" (가갸글), an early colloquial name for hangul, based on a mnemonic recitation beginning "gagya geogyeo" (가갸거겨). The name of the commemorative day was changed to "Hangullal" in 1928, soon after the term "hangul", coined originally in 1913 by Ju
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    2 votes
    84
    Martin Luther King Day

    Martin Luther King Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: Third Monday of January
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, though the act predated the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by 15 years. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980
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    2 votes
    85
    Michaelmas

    Michaelmas

    Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September. Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. In medieval England, Michaelmas marked the ending and beginning of the husbandman's year, George C. Homans observes: "at that time harvest was over, and the bailiff or reeve of the manor would be making out the accounts for the year." The Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence. Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes as well, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland as one of the quarter days. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not observe Michaelmas. The Greek Orthodox honor the archangels on 8 November instead. During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas
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    2 votes
    86
    Vijayadashami

    Vijayadashami

    • Featured in religions: Hinduism
    Vijayadashami (Bengali: বিজয়াদশমী, Kannada: ವಿಜಯದಶಮಿ, Malayalam: വിജയദശമി, Marathi: विजयादशमी, Nepali :विजया दशमी, Oriya :ବିଜୟାଦଶମୀ, Tamil: விஜயதசமி, Telugu: విజయదశమి) also known as Dussehra, is one of the most important festivals celebrated in various forms, across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Dasara/ Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning "remover of bad fate" meaning remover of ten heads of Ravana's. It is also referred to as Navratri and Durgotsav. It is also written as Dashahara, Dussehra Bengali: দশেরা, Kannada: ದಸರ, Malayalam: ദസറ, Konkani: दसरो, Marathi: दसरा, Oriya:ଦଶହରା, Telugu: దసరా, Punjabi: ਦਸੇਰਾ and Dashain in Nepal. Vijayadashmi or Dusshera is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin, or Ashwayuja which falls in September or October of the Western calendar, from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada, or the day after the new moon which falls in Bhadrapada, to the Dashami, or the tenth day of Ashvin. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri(Sanskrit: नवरात्रि, 'nine nights') or Sharada Navratri (the most important Navratri) and culminates on the tenth day as Dasara. The day marks the victory of Goddess Durga over such
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    2 votes
    87
    Lantern Festival

    Lantern Festival

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    The Lantern Festival in Taiwan (also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival in China; Chap Goh Meh Festival in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; Yuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, and "Tết Thượng Nguyên" or "Tết Nguyên Tiêu" in Vietnam; corresponding Japanese event Koshōgatsu); is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the lunar calendar, the last day of the lunisolar lunar New Year celebration. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is sometimes also known as the "Lantern Festival" in locations such as Singapore and Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyin: cāidēngmí). It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations. In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been being embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in shapes of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting a
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    3 votes
    88
    Saint David's Day

    Saint David's Day

    Saint David's day (Welsh: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi) is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on the 1st of March each year. The first day of March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David. Tradition holds that he died on that day in 589. The date was declared a national day of celebration within Wales in the 18th century. Cross-party support resulted in the National Assembly for Wales voting unanimously to make St. David's Day a public holiday in 2000. A poll conducted for Saint David's Day in 2006 found that 87% of people in Wales wanted it to be a bank holiday, with 65% prepared to sacrifice a different bank holiday to ensure this. A petition in 2007 to make St. David's Day a bank holiday was rejected by the office of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. St. David (Welsh: Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the fifth century. He was a scion of the royal house of Ceredigion, and founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro), at the spot where St David's Cathedral stands today. David's fame as a teacher and ascetic spread throughout the Celtic world. His foundation
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    3 votes
    89
    September 20

    September 20

    • Featured in religions: THC Ministry
    September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 102 days remaining until the end of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomical Autumn starts on 20 September. In the Southern Hemisphere, astronomical Spring starts on this date.
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    3 votes
    90
    Vaisakhi

    Vaisakhi

    • Featured in religions: Sikhism
    Vaisakhi (Punjabi: ਵਿਸਾਖੀ) visākhī), also known as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhi) is a festival celebrated across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially in the Punjab region by the Sikh nation. For the Sikh community this festival commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa. It is also celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists for different reasons. The festival bears a great significance for the Sikhs due of the fact that on the Baisakhi Day in the year 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa, that is the Order of the Pure Ones. This day is also observed as the thanksgiving day by the farmers whereby the farmers pay their tribute, thanking God for the abundant harvest and also praying for the future prosperity. Vaisakhi is one of the important festivals celebrated with fun and fervor by people of other religions too. For Hindus, it is the start of the New Year, and is celebrated with requisite bathing, partying, and worshipping. It's believed that thousands of years ago, Goddess Ganga descended to earth and in her honor, many Hindus gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths. The action is centered in the holy
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    3 votes
    91
    World Water Day

    World Water Day

    • Day Of Year: March 22
    World Water Day has been observed on 22 March since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as World Day for Water. This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Observance began in 1993 and has grown significantly ever since; for the general public to show support, it is encouraged for the public to not use their taps throughout the whole day, the day has become a popular Facebook trend. The UN and its member nations devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world's water resources. Each year, one of various UN agencies involved in water issues takes the lead in promoting and coordinating international activities for World Water Day. Since its inception in 2003, UN-Water has been responsible for selecting the theme, messages and lead UN agency for the World Day for Water. In addition to the UN member states, a number of NGOs promoting clean water and sustainable aquatic habitats have used World Day for Water as a time to focus public attention on the critical water issues
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    3 votes
    92
    Yalda

    Yalda

    Yalda (Persian: یلدا‎)), Shab-e Yaldâ (Persian: شب یلدا‎), "Yalda Night"), or Shab-e Chelleh (Persian: شب چلّه‎, Azerbaijani: چله گجه سی; lit. "Night of Forty") is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 20 or 21 each year. Yalda has a history as long as the Mithraism religion. The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra, Persian angel of light and truth. At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra was born. Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam in Persia/Iran, the religious significance of the event was lost, and like other Zoroastrian festivals, Yalda became a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop. The 13th century Persian poet Sa'di wrote in his Bustan:
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    3 votes
    93
    Fête nationale du Québec

    Fête nationale du Québec

    Quebec's National Holiday (French: La Fête nationale du Québec) is celebrated annually on June 24, St. John the Baptist Day In Quebec, the national holiday is a paid statutory public holiday covered under the Act Respecting Labour Standards. The festivities occur on June 23 and June 24 and since 1978 are publicly financed and organized by a National Holiday Organizing Committee (Comité organisateur de la fête nationale). June 24 continues to be celebrated as a festival of French Canadian culture in other provinces and in the United States. The feast day of Saint John the Baptist or Midsummer was a very popular event in the Ancien régime of France, and it is still celebrated as a religious feast day in several countries, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The tradition landed in Canada with the first French colonists. According to the Jesuit Relations, the first celebrations occurred on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River on the evening of June 23, 1636, with a bonfire and five cannon shots. In Lower Canada, the celebration of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day took a patriotic tone in 1834 on the initiative of one of the founders of the newspaper La
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    4 votes
    94
    Yuri's Day

    Yuri's Day

    Yuri's Day (Russian: Юрьев день, Yuriev Den) is the Russian name for either of the two feasts of Saint George celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church. Along with various other Christian churches, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of St George on April 23 (Julian Calendar), which falls on May 6 of the Western (Gregorian) Calendar. In addition to this, the Russian Church also celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Church of St George in Kiev by Yaroslav I the Wise (1051) on November 26 (Julian Calendar), which currently falls on December 9. One of the Russian forms of the name George being Yuri, the two feasts are popularly known as Vesenniy Yuriev Den (Yuri's Day in the Spring) and Osenniy Yuriev Den (Yuri's Day in the Autumn). Yuri's Day in the Autumn, celebrated at the time when the agricultural year is over and the harvest is in, had a special significance on the calendar of Russian peasants during the centuries when the system of Russian serfdom was established. The Sudebnik of 1497 established the two weeks' period around the Autumn Yuri's Day (one week before the feast and one week after it), as the only time of the year when the Russian
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    4 votes
    95
    Christmas

    Christmas

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: December 25
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Christmas (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, literally "Christ's Mass") is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season. The precise date of Jesus' birth, which some historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unknown. By the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted in the East. The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after early Christians believed Jesus to have been conceived, as well as the date of the southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice), with a sun connection being possible because Christians consider Jesus to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied in Malachi 4:2. The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity
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    3 votes
    96
    Easter

    Easter

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: First Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Easter (Old English: Ēostre) or Pascha (Greek: Πάσχα, Paskha; Aramaic: פַּסחא‎ Pasḥa; from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ) is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The festival is referred to in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday. Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is
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    3 votes
    97
    Feast of the Immaculate Conception

    Feast of the Immaculate Conception

    The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is universally celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, which is celebrated on September 8. It is the patronal feast day of Spain, Korea, Portugal, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Philippines and the United States of America. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church as well as a few other closely related Christian churches. The feast is often celebrated with Holy Mass, parades, fireworks, processions, ethnic foods, and cultural festivities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is generally considered a "family day", especially in many Catholic countries. The Eastern Christian Church first celebrated a Feast of the Conception of the Most Holy and All Pure Mother of God on December 9 perhaps as early as the 5th century in Syria. By the 7th century, the feast was already a widely known in the East. In the same century the idea of Mary's spotlessness was adopted by Islam and is included in the Qur'an. However, when the Eastern Church called Mary achrantos (spotless or immaculate), it did not define exactly what this meant. Today the
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    3 votes
    98
    Good Friday

    Good Friday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Friday before Easter
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Good Friday (from the senses pious, holy of the word "good") is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday, though the latter properly refers to the Friday in Easter week. Based on the details of the Canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model (consistent with Apostle Peter's reference to a "moon of blood" in Acts 2:20), points to Friday, 3 April AD 33. According to the accounts in the Gospels, the Temple Guards, guided by Jesus' disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested Jesus in the Garden
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    3 votes
    99
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Chinese: 香港特別行政區成立紀念日) is celebrated every 1 July, in Hong Kong since 1997. The holiday commemorates the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The day is customarily marked by an officially organised extravagant fireworks display in the evening, and is also the platform for political rallies demanding universal suffrage. In 2007, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary celebration the Hong Kong Government published a song, "Just Because You Are Here" (Chinese: 始終有你). It was sung by many Hong Kong singers and composed by Peter Kam (金培達) with lyric by Keith Chan (陳少琪). On 1 July of each year since the 1997 handover, a march is led by the Civil Human Rights Front. It has become the annual platform for demanding universal suffrage, calling for observance and preservation civil liberties such as free speech, venting dissatisfaction with the Hong Kong Government or the Chief Executive, rallying against actions of the Pro-Beijing camp. However, it was only in 2003 when it drew large public attention by
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    3 votes
    100
    Independence Day

    Independence Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: July 4
    Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States. During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the
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    3 votes
    101
    Selichot

    Selichot

    Selichot or slichot (Hebrew: סליחות‎) are Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays, and on Fast Days. God's Thirteen Attributes of Mercy are a central theme throughout these prayers. In the Sephardic tradition, recital of Selichot in preparation for the High Holidays begins on the second day of the Hebrew month of Elul. In the Ashkenazic tradition, it begins on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah. If, however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday or Tuesday, Selichot are said beginning the Saturday night prior to ensure that Selichot are recited at least four times. This may be because originally the pious would fast for ten days during the season of repentance, and four days before Rosh Hashanah were added to compensate for the four of the Ten days of Repentance on which fasting is forbidden - the two days of Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat Shuvah, and the day preceding Yom Kippur - and, while the fasts have since been abandoned, the Selichot that accompanied them have been retained. Alternatively, the Rosh Hashanah liturgy includes the Biblical phrase, “you shall observe a burnt offering”, and like an offering
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    3 votes
    102
    Tenebrae

    Tenebrae

    Tenebrae (Latin for 'shadows' or 'darkness') is a Christian religious service celebrated by the Western Church on the evening before or early morning of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which are the last three days of Holy Week. The distinctive ceremony of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms are chanted or recited. In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church the Tenebrae readings and psalms are those of Matins and Lauds. The Polish National Catholic Church and some churches within the Anglican Communion also observe Tenebrae. The tenebrae service is also used in various Holy Week services among Protestant churches such as Lutheranism. In the Roman Catholic Church, Tenebrae is the name given to the celebration, with special ceremonies, of Matins and Lauds, the first two hours of the Divine Office, of the last three days of Holy Week. Originally celebrated after midnight, by the late Middle Ages their celebration was anticipated on the afternoon or evening of the preceding day in most places. The structure of Tenebrae is the same for all three days. The first part of the service is Matins, which in its pre-1970 form is
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    3 votes
    103
    Ash Wednesday

    Ash Wednesday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. This practice is common in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptist denominations. At Masses and services of worship on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful (or on the tonsure spots, in the case of some clergy). The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the
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    4 votes
    104
    Epiphany

    Epiphany

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: January 6
    Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on 6 January, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. Eastern Churches following the Julian Calendar observe the Theophany feast on what for most countries is 19 January because of the 13-day difference today between that calendar and the generally used Gregorian calendar. Since 1970, the date of the celebration by Latin Rite Roman Catholics is fixed as 6 January only in countries where the feast is a Holy Day of Obligation, while in other countries it falls on the Sunday after 1 January. In the Church of England also, the feast may be celebrated on the Sunday between 2 January and 8 January inclusive. A separate celebration of the
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    Octave of Easter

    Octave of Easter

    The term Octave of Easter may refer either to the eight day period (Octave) from Easter Sunday until the Sunday following Easter, inclusive; or it may refer only to that Sunday after Easter, the Octave Day of Easter (sometimes known as Low Sunday). That Sunday is also known historically as St. Thomas Sunday (especially among Eastern Christians), Quasimodo Sunday and Quasimodogeniti. Since 1970 Low Sunday has been officially known as the Second Sunday of Easter (referring to the Easter season) in the Roman Catholic Church. On April 30, 2000, it was also designated as Divine Mercy Sunday by Pope John Paul II. Octave refers to an eight-day feast following that feast where the feast is celebrated for a further 8 days. In the Roman Catholic Church Christmas also has an 8 day Octave similar to Easter. The name Quasimodo came from the Latin text of the traditional Introit for this day, which begins "Quasi modo geniti infantes..." ("As newborn babies...", from 1 Peter 2:2). Literally, quasi modo means "as if in [this] manner". St. Thomas Sunday is so called because the Gospel reading always relates the story of "Doubting Thomas," in which Thomas the Apostle comes to believe in the
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    106
    Advent

    Advent

    Advent, anglicized from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming", is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi. The Eastern churches' equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs both in length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1. The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar, a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday from November 27 to December 3 inclusive. Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return from Heaven where he now sits at the
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    107
    Clean Monday

    Clean Monday

    Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday. The common term for this day, "Clean Monday", refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called "Ash Monday," by analogy with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches begin Lent). The term is often a misnomer, as only a small subset of Eastern Catholic Churches practice the Imposition of Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church is a notable Eastern rite that employs the use of ashes on this day. Liturgically, Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding (Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as "Clean Week," and
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    108
    Father's Day

    Father's Day

    • Holiday Category: US holiday
    • Day Of Year: Third Sunday of June
    Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father's Day complements Mother's Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood. Father's Day is a celebration of fathers inaugurated in the United States in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. After the success obtained by Anna Jarvis with the promotion of Mother's Day in the US, some wanted to create similar holidays for other family members, and Father's Day was the choice most likely to succeed. There were other persons in the US who independently thought of "Father's Day", but the credit for the modern holiday is often given to Sonora Dodd, who was the driving force behind its establishment. Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children
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    109
    Isra and Mi'raj

    Isra and Mi'raj

    The Isra and Mi'raj (Arabic: الإسراء والمعراج‎, al-’Isrā’ wal-Mi‘rāj), are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islamic tradition, the Islamic prophet Muhammad took during a single night around the year 621. It has been described as both a physical and spiritual journey. A brief sketch of the story is in sura 17 Al-Isra of the Quran, and other details come from the Hadith, supplemental writings about the life of Muhammad. In the journey, Muhammad travels on the steed Buraq to "the farthest mosque" where he leads other prophets in prayer. He then ascends to heaven where he speaks to God, who gives Muhammad instructions to take back to the faithful regarding the details of prayer. According to traditions, the journey is associated with the Lailat al Miraj, as one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar. Muhammad, the last prophet according to Islam, was approached by Gabriel (Jibral), on around 621 A.D 27th of Rajab (the seventh month of the Islamic calendar) (though no specific date is noted for the happening). On this day Muhammad was approached by Gabriel on the command of God and was given a animal called Buraq, which, according to Hadith was: Here
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    110
    Labour Day

    Labour Day

    Labour Day (Labor Day in the USA) is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. Celebrating the Australian labour movement, the Labour Day public holiday is fixed by the various state and territory governments, and so varies considerably. It is the first Monday in October in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia. In both Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March (though the latter calls it Eight Hours Day). In Western Australia, Labour Day is the first Monday in March. In both Queensland and the Northern Territory, it is the first Monday in May. In Bangladesh, it is observed on 1 May and is a Government holiday. Brazil officially celebrates the "Dia do Trabalho" every May 1 since 1924, regardless the day of week. Labour Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in Canada since the 1880s. The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to December 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto
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    Counting of the Omer

    Counting of the Omer

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Counting of the Omer (or Sefirat Ha'omer, Hebrew: ספירת העומר) is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot. This mitzvah derives from the Torah commandment to count forty-nine days beginning from the day on which the Omer, a sacrifice containing an omer-measure of barley, was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, up until the day before an offering of wheat was brought to the Temple on Shavuot. The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews, and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday of Shavuot, the 'fiftieth day.' The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah, which was given by God on Mount Sinai at the beginning of the month of Sivan, around the same time as the holiday of Shavuot. The Sefer HaChinuch states that the Jewish people were only freed from Egypt at Passover in order to receive the Torah at Sinai, an event which is now celebrated on Shavuot, and to fulfill its laws. Thus the Counting of the Omer demonstrates how much a Jew desires to accept
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    112
    Darwin Day

    Darwin Day

    • Day Of Year: February 12
    Darwin Day is a recently instituted celebration intended to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin's contribution to science and to promote science in general. The celebration of Darwin's work and tributes to his life have been organized sporadically since his death on April 19, 1882, at age 73. Events took place at Down House, in Downe on the southern outskirts of London where Darwin and members of his family lived from 1842 until the death of Emma Darwin in 1896. In 1909, more than 400 scientists and dignitaries from 167 countries met in Cambridge to honour Darwin's contributions and to discuss vigorously the recent discoveries and related theories contesting for acceptance. This was a widely reported event of public interest. Also in 1909, on February 12, the 100th birth anniversary of Darwin and the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species were celebrated by the New York Academy of Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History. A bronze bust of Darwin was unveiled. On June 2, 1909 the Royal Society of New Zealand held a "Darwin Celebration". "There was a very large
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    113
    Earth Day

    Earth Day

    • Holiday Category: International holiday
    • Day Of Year: April 22
    Earth Day originally celebrated at Spring Equinox around March 20, is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment. Now Earth Day is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day is planned for April 22 in all years at least through 2015. The name and concept of Earth Day was pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week,
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    114
    Halloween

    Halloween

    • Day Of Year: October 31
    Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of its original title "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. According to some scholars, All Hallows' Eve initially incorporated traditions from pagan harvest festivals and festivals honoring the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain; other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day. Although the phrase All Hallows' is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not seen until 1556. The Halloween holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots, even though the
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    115
    International Women's Day

    International Women's Day

    International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in
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    National Day Parade

    National Day Parade

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    • Day Of Year: August 9
    The Singapore National Day Parade (Abbreviation: NDP, simplified Chinese: 国庆庆典; traditional Chinese: 國慶慶典; pinyin: guóqìng qìngdiǎn, Malay: Perbarisan Hari Kebangsaan, Tamil: தேசிய தின அணிவகுப்பு) is a national ceremony in Singapore that, as its name implies, includes a parade on Singapore's National Day on August 9, in commemoration of Singapore's independence that is usually held at the Padang (1966–1974), the National Stadium, various decentalized venues all over Singapore or The Float@Marina Bay. The upcoming parade, National Day Parade, 2013, will be held at The Float@Marina Bay. Singapore celebrated its first National Day in 1966, one year after Singapore's separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965. The first National Day Parade started in the morning at 9:00 A.M. People came as early as 7:00 A.M. in order to get good vantage points. Singapore's first President, Mr Yusof bin Ishak and Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, were seated with members of the government at the grandstand on the steps of City Hall. When the parade began, 6 military contingents (including the Singapore Infantry Regiment, SPDF and the Republic of Singapore Police), a mobile column from
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    National Flag of Canada Day

    National Flag of Canada Day

    Flag Day, officially named National Flag of Canada Day (French: Jour du drapeau national du Canada), is observed annually on February 15, commemorating the inauguration of the Flag of Canada on that date in 1965. The day is marked by flying the flag, occasional public ceremonies, and educational programs in schools. It is not a public holiday, although there has been discussion about creating one. The Maple Leaf flag replaced the Canadian Red Ensign, which had been, with various successive alterations, in conventional use as a Canadian national flag since 1868. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Lester Pearson, resolutions recommending the new flag were passed by the House of Commons on December 15, 1964, and by the Senate two days later. The flag was proclaimed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on January 28, 1965, and took effect "upon, from and after" February 15. National Flag of Canada Day was instituted in 1996 by an Order in Council from Governor General Roméo LeBlanc, on the initiative of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. At the first Flag Day ceremony in Hull, Quebec, Chrétien was confronted by demonstrators against proposed cuts to the unemployment insurance system, and
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    Victory in Europe Day

    Victory in Europe Day

    Victory in Europe Day — known as V-E Day or VE Day — was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 (in Commonwealth countries, 7 May 1945) to mark the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, thus ending the war in Europe. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not until 9 May 1945. On 30 April Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg government. The act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France, and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany. Upon the defeat of Nazi Germany (Italy having already surrendered), celebrations erupted throughout the Western world. From Moscow to New York, people cheered. In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth,
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    Maundy Thursday

    Maundy Thursday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Thursday before Easter
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Spy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian or Julian calendar is used liturgically. Eastern churches generally use the Julian calendar, and so celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ; this period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter. The mass or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on feast of Passover. Use of the
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    Queen's Official Birthday

    Queen's Official Birthday

    The Queen's Official Birthday (King's Official Birthday in the reign of a male monarch) is the selected day on which the birthday of the monarch of the Commonwealth realms (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is officially celebrated in those countries. The date varies as adopted by each Commonwealth country, but is generally around the end of May to the start of June, to coincide with a high probability of fine weather in the Northern Hemisphere for outdoor ceremonies. The sovereign's birthday was first officially marked in the United Kingdom in 1748. Since then, the date of the king or queen's birthday has been determined throughout the British Empire and later the Commonwealth according to either different royal proclamations issued by the sovereign or governor or by statute laws passed by the local parliament. The exact date of the celebration today varies from country to country and except by coincidence does not fall on the day of the monarch's actual birthday (that of the present monarch being 21 April). In some cases, it is an official public holiday, sometimes coinciding with the celebration of other events. Most Commonwealth realms release a Birthday Honours List at this time.
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    Simchat Torah

    Simchat Torah

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Simchat Torah or Simḥath Torah (also Simkhes Toreh, Hebrew: שִׂמְחַת תורָה, lit., "Rejoicing with/of the Torah,") is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei (mid-September to early October on the Gregorian calendar). The main celebration of Simchat Torah takes place in the synagogue during evening and morning services. In many Orthodox and Conservative congregations, this is the only time of year on which the Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark and read at night. In the morning, the last parashah of Deuteronomy and the first parashah of Genesis are read in the synagogue. On each occasion, when the ark is opened, all the worshippers leave their seats to dance and sing with all the Torah scrolls in a joyous celebration that often lasts for several hours and more. The morning service is also uniquely characterized by the calling up of each male member (in some Orthodox and the majority of non-Orthodox congregations, male
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    Victoria Day

    Victoria Day

    Victoria Day (in French: Fête de la Reine) is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. The date is also, simultaneously, that on which the current reigning Canadian sovereign's official birthday is recognized. It is sometimes informally considered as marking the beginning of the summer season in Canada. The holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign's actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date; the holiday has always been a distinctly Canadian observance. It is a statutory holiday federally, as well as in six of Canada's ten provinces and all three of its territories. In Quebec, the same day was, since the Quiet Revolution, unofficially known as Fête de Dollard until 2003, when provincial legislation officially named the same date as Victoria Day the National Patriots' Day. The birthday of Queen Victoria was a day for celebration in Canada long before Confederation, with the first legislation regarding the event being in 1845 passed by the parliament of the Province of Canada to officially
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    World No Tobacco Day

    World No Tobacco Day

    World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the past twenty years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance across the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry. World No Tobacco Day is one of many other world health awareness days throughout the year organized by the WHO, including World Mental Health Day, World AIDS Day, and World Blood Donor Day, among others. Each year, the WHO selects a theme for the day in order to create a more unified global message for WNTD. This theme then becomes the central component of the WHO’s tobacco-related agenda for the following year. The WHO oversees the creation and distribution of publicity materials related to the theme, including brochures,
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    Ostara

    Ostara

    Ostara is a modern pagan festival. The name Ostara goes back to Jacob Grimm, who, in his Deutsche Mythologie, speculated about an ancient German goddess Ostara, after whom the Easter festival (German: Ostern) could have been named. Grimm's main source is De temporum ratione by the Venerable Bede. Bede had put forward the thesis that the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of April, Eostur-monath, was named after a goddess Eostre. Ostara is one of the four lesser Wiccan holidays or sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. Ostara is celebrated on the spring equinox, in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox. Among the Wiccan sabbats, it is preceded by Imbolc and followed by Beltane. In the book Eight Sabbats for Witches by Janet and Stewart Farrar, the festival Ostara is characterized by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death. Other variations include the young God regaining strength in his youth after being born at Yule, and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect.
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    Tisha B'Av

    Tisha B'Av

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Day Of Year: Tisha B'Av
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Tisha B'Av (help·info) (Hebrew: תשעה באב‎ or ט׳ באב, "the Ninth of Av,") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Although primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of the Temples, it is also considered appropriate to commemorate other Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, one of the concluding events of the Iberian Reconquista. Accordingly, the day has been called the "saddest day in Jewish history". Tisha B'Av falls in July or August in the western calendar. When Tisha B'Av falls on the Sabbath (Saturday) observance of Tisha B'Av takes place on Sunday; no outward signs of mourning intrude upon the normal Sabbath. While the day recalls general tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people over the ages, the day focuses on commemoration of five events: the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem, the sin of ten of the twelve scouts sent by Moses who spoke
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    Armistice Day

    Armistice Day

    Armistice Day (which overlaps with Remembrance Day) is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France and Belgium. In many parts of the world, people observe two consecutive minutes moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. local time
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    Dormition of the Theotokos

    Dormition of the Theotokos

    The Dormition of the Theotokos (Greek: Κοίμησις Θεοτόκου, Koímēsis, often anglicized as Kimisis) is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of the Theotokos (Mary, the mother of Jesus; literally translated as God-bearer), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on August 15 (August 28, N.S. for those following the Julian Calendar) as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest August 15. The Feast of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 (inclusive) Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from red meat, poultry, meat products, dairy products (eggs and milk products), fish, oil, and wine. The Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the Nativity Fast (Advent) or the Apostles' Fast, with only wine and oil (but no fish) allowed on weekends. As with the other Fasts of the Church year, there is a Great Feast that falls during the Fast; in this case, the Transfiguration (August
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    General Pulaski Memorial Day

    General Pulaski Memorial Day

    General Pulaski Memorial Day is a United States holiday in honor of General Kazimierz Pułaski (spelled Casimir Pulaski in English), a Polish hero of the American Revolution. This holiday is held every year on October 11 by Presidential Proclamation, to commemorate his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans. The observance was established in 1929 when Congress passed a resolution (Public Resolution 16 of 1929) designating October 11 as General Pulaski Memorial Day. Every President has issued a proclamation for the observance annually since (except in 1930). This is separate holiday from the regional holiday in the Chicago area titled Casimir Pulaski Day that commemorates Pulaski's birth on March 4, 1746. New York City has an annual Pulaski Day Parade and Grand Rapids, Michigan holds Pulaski Days at this time. Some areas with large Polish-American populations instead celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day on the first Monday of every March, marking Pulaski's March 4, 1746 birth. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana have state recognition of this holiday, which is particularly popular in Chicago and
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    Navy Day

    Navy Day

    Several nations observe or have observed a Navy Day to recognize their navy. The Argentine Navy day is celebrated on May 17, anniversary of the victory achieved in 1814 in the Battle of Montevideo. The Royal Australian Navy celebrates Navy Day in March. The Día de las Glorias Navales is a public holiday in Chile on May 21. It commemorates the Battle of Iquique on May 21, 1879, in the War of the Pacific. The date also marks the opening of ordinary Parliamentary season (through September 18, Independence Day) and is the traditional day for the President's State of the Nation address. Principal civic acts are performed in Santiago de Chile, Iquique and Valparaíso, where the Chilean Navy Headquarters are located. The Day of the Croatian War Navy is celebrated on September 18 on the anniversary of Army Day. 4 December is celebrated as Navy Day in India. This was the day when the Indian Navy played a significant role in the bombing of Karachi harbor in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The name given to the attack was Operation Trident which was launched on December 4. Owing to its success, the day of the attack has been celebrated as Navy Day ever since. In Israel, Navy Day (יום חיל הים)
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    New Year's Day

    New Year's Day

    • Holiday Category: International holiday
    • Day Of Year: January 1
    New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year's Day is a postal holiday in the United States. The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar. The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year's celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153
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    Remembrance of the Dead

    Remembrance of the Dead

    Remembrance of the Dead (Dutch: Dodenherdenking) is held annually on May 4 in the Netherlands. It commemorates all civilians and members of the armed forces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II. Until 1961, the commemoration only related to the Dutch victims of World War II. Since 1961, the victims of other military conflicts (such as the Indonesian National Revolution in Indonesia) and peacekeeping missions (such as in Lebanon or Bosnia) are remembered on May 4 as well. Traditionally, the main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument on Dam Square. This ceremony is usually attended by members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups. At 8:00 p.m., two minutes of silence are observed throughout the Netherlands. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. Radio and TV only broadcast the ceremonies from 19.00 until 20.30. Since May 4, 1994, the flags, having hung at half-staff from 18:00 onwards, are then hoisted to the music of the "Wilhelmus", the Dutch national anthem. Since 2001 the new
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    Baptism of the Lord

    Baptism of the Lord

    The Baptism of the Lord (or the Baptism of Christ) is the feast day commemorating the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Originally the baptism of Christ was celebrated on Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of the Magi, the baptism of Christ, and the wedding at Cana. Over time in the West, however, the celebration of the baptism of the Lord came to be commemorated as a distinct feast from Epiphany. The Baptism of the Lord is observed as a distinct feast in the Roman rite, although it was originally one of three Gospel events marked by the feast of the Epiphany. Long after the visit of the Magi had in the West overshadowed the other elements commemorated in the Epiphany, Pope Pius XII instituted in 1955 a separate liturgical commemoration of the Baptism. In fact, the Tridentine Calendar has no feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It was almost four centuries later that the feast was instituted, under the denomination "Commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord", for celebration on 13 January as a major double, using for the Office and the Mass those previously said on the Octave of the Epiphany, which Pius XII abolished; but if the Commemoration of the Baptism
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    Casimir Pulaski Day

    Casimir Pulaski Day

    • Holiday Category: Civic holiday
    • Day Of Year: First Monday of March
    Casimir Pulaski Day is a holiday observed in Illinois on the first Monday of every March in memory of Casimir Pulaski (March 6, 1745 – October 11, 1779), a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born in Poland as Kazimierz Pułaski. He is known for his contributions to the U.S. military in the American Revolution by training its soldiers and cavalry. The day is celebrated mainly in areas that have large Polish populations, such as Chicago. The focus of official commemorations of Casimir Pulaski Day in Chicago is at the Polish Museum of America where various city and state officials congregate to pay tribute to Chicago's Polish Community. This is a separate holiday from the federal observance, General Pulaski Memorial Day, which commemorates Pulaski's death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779. Illinois enacted a law on September 13, 1977, to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski and held the first official Pulaski Day celebrations in 1978. The bill was introduced by State Senator Norbert A. Kosinski, a Democrat from Chicago, and signed by Thomas C. Hynes, President of the Senate on June 26, 1977. Chicago Public Schools, Cook County government offices, the
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    Father Damien

    Father Damien

    Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, SS.CC. (Dutch: Pater Damiaan or Heilige Damiaan van Molokai; January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889), born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for his ministry to people with leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease), who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokaʻi in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. After sixteen years caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony, he eventually contracted and died of the disease, and is considered a "martyr of charity". He was the tenth person recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church to have lived, worked, and/or died in what is now the United States. In both the Latin Rite and the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, Damien is venerated as a saint, one who is holy and worthy of public veneration and invocation. In the Anglican communion, as well as other denominations of Christianity, Damien is considered the spiritual patron for leprosy and outcasts. As the patron saint of the Diocese
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    Feast of the Sacred Heart

    Feast of the Sacred Heart

    The Feast of the Sacred Heart (properly the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart or the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) is a feast in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. It falls 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday. The earliest possible date is 29 May, as in 1818 and 2285. The latest possible date is 2 July, as in 1943 and 2038. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be clearly traced back at least to the eleventh century. It marked the spirituality of Bernard of Clairvaux in the twelfth century and of Bonaventure and Gertrude in the thirteenth. The beginnings of a devotion toward the love of God as symbolized by the heart of Jesus are found even in the fathers of the Church, including Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, Hippolytus of Rome, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Cyprian, who used in this regard John 7:37-39 and John 19:33-37. But the first liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated, with episcopal approval, on 31 August 1670, in the major seminary of Rennes, France, through the efforts of John Eudes. The Mass and Office composed by this saint were adopted elsewhere also, especially in connection with the spread of devotion to the
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    Paschal cycle

    Paschal cycle

    The Paschal cycle in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, is the cycle of the moveable feasts built around Pascha (Easter). The cycle consists of approximately ten weeks before and seven weeks after Pascha. The ten weeks before Pascha are known as the period of the Triodion (referring to the liturgical book that contains the services for this liturgical season). This period includes the three weeks preceding Great Lent (the "pre-Lenten period"), the forty days of Lent, and Holy Week. The 50 days following Pascha are called the Pentecostarion (again, named after the liturgical book). The Sunday of each week has a special commemoration, named for the Gospel reading assigned to that day. Certain other weekdays have special commemorations of their own (see outline, below). The entire cycle revolves around Pascha. The weeks before Pascha end on Sunday (i.e., the Week of the Prodigal Son begins on the Monday that follows the Publican and the Pharisee). This is because everything in the Lenten period is looking forward towards Pascha. Starting on Pascha, the weeks again begin on Sunday (i.e., Thomas Week begins on the Sunday of St. Thomas). While the Pentecostarion closes after All
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    Tsagaan Sar

    Tsagaan Sar

    Mongolian Lunar New Year, commonly known as Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian: Цагаан сар; ᠴᠠᠭᠠᠨ ᠰᠠᠷᠠ᠌; or literally White Moon) is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunar calendar. The festival of the lunar New Year is celebrated by the Mongols. The White Moon festival is celebrated two months after the first new moon following the winter solstice. Tsagaan Sar is one of the most important Mongol holidays. Around the New Year families burn candles at the altar symbolising enlightenment. Also people greet each other by saying phrases like Амар байна уу? (Amar baina uu?), a greeting specific to the event meaning "Are you well-rested?". Mongols also visit friends and family on this day and exchange gifts. A typical Mongol family will meet in the home dwelling of the eldest in the family. Many people will be dressed in full garment of national Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during the White Moon festival, Mongols perform the zolgokh greeting, grasping them by their elbows to show support for them. The eldest receives greetings from each member of the family except for his/her spouse. During the greeting ceremony, family members hold long pieces of colored cloth
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    Winter Solstice Festival

    Winter Solstice Festival

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (Chinese: 冬至; pinyin: Dōngzhì; literally "the Extreme of Winter") is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. It occurred on December 22 (East Asia time) in 2010. The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, "Returning"). Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get togethers (especially in the southern parts of China and in Chinese communities overseas) is the making and eating of tangyuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinuous rice, which symbolize reunion. Tangyuan are made of glutinuous rice flour and sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large tangyuan in addition to several small ones. The
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    Burns supper

    Burns supper

    • Day Of Year: January 25
    A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night (Burns Nicht), although they may in principle be held at any time of the year. Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland but occur wherever there are Burns Clubs, Scottish Societies, expatriate Scots, or aficionados of Burns' poetry. There is a particularly strong tradition of them in southern New Zealand's main city Dunedin, of which Burns' nephew Thomas Burns was a founding father. The first suppers were held in Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by Robert Burns' friends on the anniversary of his death, 21 July, In Memoriam and they have been a regular occurrence ever since. The first Burns club, known as The Mother Club, was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday on 29 January 1802, but in 1803 discovered from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759, and since then suppers
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    Fast of the firstborn

    Fast of the firstborn

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Fast of the Firstborn (Hebrew: תענית בכורות‎, Ta'anit B'khorot or תענית בכורים, Ta'anit B'khorim); is a unique fast day in Judaism which usually falls on the day before Passover (i.e. the fourteenth day of Nisan, a month in the Jewish calendar. Passover always begins on the fifteenth of the Hebrew month). Usually, the fast is broken at a siyum celebration (typically made at the conclusion of the morning services), which, according to prevailing custom, creates an atmosphere of rejoicing that overrides the requirement to continue the fast (see Breaking the fast below). Unlike most Jewish fast days, only firstborns are required to fast on the Fast of the Firstborn. This fast commemorates the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn (according to the Book of Exodus, the tenth of the ten plagues wrought upon Ancient Egypt prior to the Exodus of the Children of Israel), when, according to Exodus (12:29): "...God struck every firstborn in the Land of Mitzrayim (Ancient Egypt)...." The origins of the Fast of the Firstborn are found in the Talmud, and the custom may have existed even prior to Talmudic times. The primary Talmudic source quoted for this custom
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    Hanukkah

    Hanukkah

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Day Of Year: 25 Kislev
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Hanukkah (Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‎‎, Tiberian: Ḥănukkāh, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew; also romanized as Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanuka, or Khanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש‎, "attendant") and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves is forbidden. The name "Hanukkah" derives from the Hebrew verb "חנך", meaning
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    Hari Merdeka

    Hari Merdeka

    Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957, celebrated on August 31 each year. But Malaysia was formed on 16 September, 1963 together by Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. The effort for independence was spearheaded by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya in negotiations with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. Once it became increasingly clear that the Communist threat posed during the Malayan Emergency was petering out, agreement was reached on February 8, 1956, for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. However, for a number of logistical and administrative reasons, it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would only be made the next year, on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur. On the night of August 30, 1957,
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    Koliva

    Koliva

    Koliva (also transliterated Kollyva) (Greek, κόλλυβα, kólliva; Serbian, кољиво, koljivo; Romanian, colivă; Bulgarian, коливо, kolivo; Ukrainian, коливо, kolyvo) is boiled wheat which is used liturgically in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches. This ritual food most likely was used even before Christianity since the ingredients used have symbolic value relating to the Greek pantheon, though not to Christian iconography. In the Eastern Churches, koliva is blessed during the memorial Divine Liturgy performed at various intervals after a death; after the funeral; during mnemosyna - Orthodox Memorial services. It may also be used on the first Friday of the Great Lent, at slavas, or at mnemosyna in the Christmas meal. In some countries, though not in Greece, it is consumed on non-religious occasions as well. A similar food item is widely popular in Lebanon where it is known as snuniye and, more commonly, as berbara as it is prepared for Saint Barbara's day, December 4th, which is celebrated with Halloween-like festivities. While recipes may vary widely, the primary ingredient is wheat kernels which have been boiled until they are soft and then sweetened with honey
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    Mother's Day

    Mother's Day

    Mother's Day is a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April, or May. It complements Father's Day, a celebration honoring fathers. Mother's Day is a USA invention and it's not directly descended from the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years; like the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. Despite this, in some countries Mother's Day has become synonymous with these older traditions. The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in America. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Jarvis' holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world. Jarvis never mentioned Mothering Sunday or Julia Ward Howe's attempts in the 1870s, and she never mentioned any
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    National Aviation Day

    National Aviation Day

    The National Aviation Day (August 19) is a United States national observation that celebrates the development of aviation. The holiday was established in 1939 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who issued a presidential proclamation which designated the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday to be National Aviation Day (Mr. Wright, born in 1871, was still alive when the proclamation was first issued, and would live another nine years). The proclamation was codified (USC 36:A:I:118), and it allows the sitting US President to proclaim August 19 as National Aviation Day each year, if desired. His/her proclamation may direct all federal buildings and installations to fly the US flag on that day, and may encourage citizens to observe the day with activities that promote interest in aviation.
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    Norouz

    Norouz

    Nowrūz (Persian: نوروز‎, IPA: [nouˈɾuːz], Kurdish: Newroz, meaning "[The] New Day") is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the "Persian New Year". Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans. Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals. Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them
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    Norwegian Constitution Day

    Norwegian Constitution Day

    Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent. The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation. The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time under Swedish rule (following the Convention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a couple of years in the 1820s, King Karl Johan actually forbade it, as he thought the celebrations a kind of protest and disregard—even revolt—against Swedish sovereignty. The king's attitude changed slightly after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow it. It was, however, not until 1833, that anyone ventured to hold a public address on behalf of the day. That year, official
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    Rosh Hashanah

    Rosh Hashanah

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה‎, literally "head of the year"), is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im ("Days of Awe") which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two day celebration which begins on the first day of Tishrei, the first month of the Jewish calendar. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey. The common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is "Shanah Tovah." The term "Rosh Hashanah" does not appear in the Torah. Leviticus 23:24 refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as "Zikhron Teru'ah" ("a memorial with the blowing of horns"); it is also referred to in the same part of Leviticus as 'שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן' or penultimate Sabbath or meditative rest day, and a "holy day to God". These same words are commonly used in the Psalms to refer to the anointed days. Numbers 29:1 calls the festival Yom Teru'ah, ("Day [of] blowing [the horn]"), and
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    Von Steuben Day

    Von Steuben Day

    Von Steuben Day is a holiday traditionally held on a weekend in mid-September (von Steuben was born September 17), celebrating Baron Friedrich von Steuben, who arrived in the United States as a volunteer offering his services to General George Washington, and is generally considered the German-American event of the year. Participants march, dance, and play music. While Steuben Day is celebrated in many cities all across the United States, the largest crowds gather in New York City. Every year on the third Saturday in September, German-Americans celebrate the Annual Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue and an Oktoberfest-style beer fest complete with food and live music in Central Park. The Parade was founded in 1957 and has grown into one of the largest celebrations of German and German-American culture in the United States. In 2010, the Parade was held on September 25. In 2007, German-Americans celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this affair and welcomed former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as Grand Marshal and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl as Guest of Honor. The Chicago version of the parade was incorporated into the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, even though the
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    Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    • Holiday Category: US holiday
    • Day Of Year: February 2
    Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Murmeltiertag) is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g'spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition, received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day,
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    Remembrance Day

    Remembrance Day

    • Day Of Year: November 11
    Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month," in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917. The red remembrance poppy has
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    Rosh Chodesh

    Rosh Chodesh

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Rosh Chodesh or Rosh ḥodesh (Hebrew: ראש חודש‎; trans. Beginning of the Month; lit. Head of the Month) is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. The new moon is marked by the day and hour that the new crescent is observed. It is considered a minor holiday, akin to the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. The Book of Exodus establishes the beginning of the Hebrew calendar: "And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 'This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you.'" (12:1-2) In the Book of Numbers, God speaks of the celebration of the new moon to Moses: "And on your joyous occasions - your fixed festivals and new moon days - you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being." (10:10) In Psalm 81:3 both new and full moon are mentioned as a time of recognition by the Hebrews. The occurrence of Rosh Chodesh was originally based on the testimony of witnesses observing the new moon. When two reliable witnesses appeared before the Sanhedrin, the day was declared as Rosh Chodesh,
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    Distaff day

    Distaff day

    Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, since it was not really a holiday at all. In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this day, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaffs day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides. Some modern craft groups have taken up the celebration of Distaff day as part of their new year celebrations.
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    Hoshanah Rabbah

    Hoshanah Rabbah

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    The seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 21st day of Tishrei, is known as Hoshana Rabbah (Aramaic: הוֹשַׁעְנָא רַבָּא, "Great Hoshana/Supplication"). This day is marked by a special synagogue service, the Hoshana Rabbah, in which seven circuits are made by the worshippers with their lulav and etrog, while the congregation recites Hoshanot. It is customary for the scrolls of the Torah to be removed from the ark during this procession. In a few communities a shofar is sounded after each circuit. Hoshana Rabbah is known as the last of the Days of Judgment which began on Rosh Hashana. The Zohar says that while the judgment for the new year is sealed on Yom Kippur, it is not "delivered" until the end of Sukkot (i.e., Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot), during which time one can still alter their verdict and decree for the new year. Consequently, the blessing which Jews give each other on Hoshana Rabbah, פתקא טבא (piska tova or pitka tova), which in Yiddish is "A guten kvitel", or "A good note", is a wish that the verdict will be positive. In this spirit, the cantor wears a kittel as on the High Holidays. Since Hoshana Rabbah blends elements of the High Holy Days, Chol
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    International Men's Day

    International Men's Day

    International Men's Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on November 19. Inaugurated in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago, the day and its events find support from a variety of individuals and groups in Australia, the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, "This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance." She added that UNESCO was looking forward to cooperating with the organizers. The objectives of celebrating an International Men's Day include focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values. International Men's Day is celebrated in over 60 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, China, United States, Romania, Singapore, Malta, United Kingdom, South
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    Koninginnedag

    Koninginnedag

    • Holiday Category: The Netherlands National Holidays,
    • Day Of Year: April 30
    Koninginnedag ( pronunciation (help·info)) or Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 30 April (the 29th if the 30th falls on a Sunday), Koninginnedag is Queen Beatrix's official celebration day. Though Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana. Many of the traditional activities are held outside, and observing the holiday in April makes suitable weather more likely. From 1 May 2017 onwards, Saba and Sint Eustatius will be celebrating their own Koninginnedag on 30 April (29 April if 30th is a Sunday and 1 May if 30th is a Friday). The holiday was first observed on 31 August 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess's Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heiress to the Dutch throne. On her accession, the holiday acquired its present name, Koninginnedag. When held on 31 August the holiday was the final day of school summer vacation, leading to its popularity among children. Following the accession of Wilhelmina's daughter Queen Juliana in 1948, the holiday was moved to her birthday. Her daughter, Beatrix retained the celebration on 30 April after
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    Koroksun

    Koroksun

    Korochun (Russian: корочун, карачун, Slovak: Kračún, Romanian: Crăciun) was a pagan Slavic holiday. It was considered the day when the Black God and other spirits associated with decay and darkness were most potent. Max Vasmer derived the word from the Common Slavonic for "to step forward". The first recorded usage of the term was in 1143, when the author of the Novgorod First Chronicle referred to the winter solstice as "Korochun". It was celebrated by pagan Slavs on December 21 the longest night of the year and the night of the winter solstice. On this night, Hors, symbolising old sun, becomes smaller as the days become shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, and dies on December 22, the winter solstice. It is said to be defeated by the dark and evil powers of the Black God. On December 23 Hors is resurrected and becomes the new sun, Koleda. Modern scholars tend to associate this holiday with the ancestor worship. On this day Western Slavs lit fires at cemeteries to keep their loved ones warm, and organized feasts to honour the dead and keep them fed. They also lit wooden logs at local crossroads. In some Slavic languages, the word came to denote unexpected death of a young person
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    Labor Day (US)

    Labor Day (US)

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: First Monday of September
    Labor Day is an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labor festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday in 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day. Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that
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    Laylat al-Qadr

    Laylat al-Qadr

    Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر‎) (also known as Shab-e-Qadr), variously rendered in English as the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan. It is the anniversary of the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Laylat al-Qadr is believed to be the night when the Quran was first revealed. Some but not all Muslims believe that revelation of the Quran occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat al-Qadr to the angel Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic) in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Muhammad by Gabriel , across 23 years . The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Nur in Mecca. The first Surah that was revealed was Surah Al-Alaq ( in arabic ) "العلق" which is also commonly referred to as Surah Iqra (In arabic) "اقرأ".During the first revelation the first 5 verses of this surah , chapter , were revealed .The first word of the revelation , 'Ikra' meaning 'read' is significant as the Holy
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    Lincoln's Birthday

    Lincoln's Birthday

    Lincoln's Birthday is a legal holiday in some U.S. states including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Indiana. It is observed on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809. The earliest known observance of Lincoln's birthday occurred in Buffalo, New York, in 1874. Julius Francis (d. 1881), a Buffalo druggist, made it his life's mission to honor the slain president. He repeatedly petitioned Congress to establish Lincoln's birthday as a legal holiday. The day is marked by traditional wreath-laying ceremonies at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The latter has been the site of a ceremony ever since the Memorial was dedicated. Since that event in 1922, observances continue to be organized by the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee and by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). A wreath is laid on behalf of the President of the United States, a custom also carried out at the grave sites of all US presidents on their birthdays. Lincoln's tomb is in Springfield, Illinois. On February 12, 2009, the
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    161
    National holiday of Sweden

    National holiday of Sweden

    National Day of Sweden (Sveriges nationaldag) is a national holiday observed in Sweden on the 6th of June every year. Prior to 1983, the day was celebrated as Svenska flaggans dag (Swedish flag day). At that time, the day was renamed to the national day by Riksdagen . The tradition of celebrating this date began 1916 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden. Some question the validity of this as a national holiday, as it was not observed as a holiday until decades later. However this event does signify the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union, so in a sense it is a marking of Swedish independence, though the event occurred so long ago that it does not have as strong of a presence in the social consciousness as does, for example, Norway's Syttende Mai (17 May). In 2005 it became an official Swedish public holiday, replacing Whit Monday. This change led to fewer days off from work (more working-days) as the 6th of June will periodically fall on the weekend, unlike Whit Monday, which was always celebrated on a Monday. This has in turn led to complaints from some Swedish unions. The
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    162
    Setsubun

    Setsubun

    Setsubun (節分, Bean-Throwing Festival or Bean-Throwing Ceremony) is the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan. The name literally means "seasonal division", but usually the term refers to the Spring Setsubun, properly called Risshun (立春) celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival (春祭, haru matsuri). In its association with the Lunar New Year, Spring Setsubun can be and was previously thought of as a sort of New Year's Eve, and so was accompanied by a special ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. This special ritual is called mamemaki (豆撒き) (literally "bean throwing"). Setsubun has its origins in tsuina (追儺), a Chinese custom introduced to Japan in the eighth century. The custom of Mamemaki first appeared in the Muromachi period. It is usually performed by the toshiotoko (年男) of the household (the male who was born on the corresponding animal year on the Chinese zodiac), or else the male head of the household. Roasted soybeans (called "fortune beans" (福豆, fuku mame)) are thrown either out the door or at a member of the family wearing an Oni (demon or ogre) mask, while the
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    Ugadi

    Ugadi

    • Holiday Category: Hindu Holiday
    • Featured in religions: Hinduism
    Yugādi, Ugādi, or Samvatsarādi (Telugu: ఉగాది, ugādi  or సంవత్సరాది samvatsarādi, Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ, yugādi, IPA: [juga:di] , Konkani/Marathi: युगादी yugādi ) is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): "the beginning of a new age". It falls on the different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year. Chaitra is the first month in Panchanga which is the Indian calendar. While the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka use the term Ugadi/Yugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा). Marwari, people of Rajasthan celebrate the same day as their new year day Thapna. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year (Sajibu nongma panba) on the same day. It is observed as Baisakhi in Punjab and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. However, it is not celebrated on the same day as Yugadi in
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    Holi

    Holi

    • Holiday Category: Hindu Holiday
    • Featured in religions: Hinduism
    Holi (Hindi: होली) is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, as a festival of colors. It is primarily observed in India and Nepal. It is discreetly observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well in countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. It is also known as Phagwah and Festival of Colours, or as Doḷajāta (Oriya: ଦୋଳଯାତ) in Orissa and Dol Jatra (Bengali: দোলযাত্রা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") (Bengali: বসন্তোৎসব) in West Bengal. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi. Large parts of South India, however, do not celebrate Holi with the same fervor. In Vaishnavism, Hiranyakashipu is the great king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he not be killed "during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or in
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    International Students' Day

    International Students' Day

    International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17. Taking the day differently than its original meaning, a number of universities mark it, sometimes on a day other than November 17, for a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students. The date commemorates the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague after demonstrations against the killing of Jan Opletal and worker Václav Sedláček as well as against the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and the execution of nine student leaders, over 1,200 students sent to concentration camps, and the closure of all Czech universities and colleges. During late 1939 the Nazi authorities in Czechoslovakia (at that time it called the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) suppressed a demonstration in Prague held by students of the Medical Faculty of Charles University. The demonstration was held on the 28th of October to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the Czechoslovak Republic. During this demonstration the student Jan Opletal was shot and died from wounds on the 11th of November. On the 15th of November his body was
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    Lyndon Baines Johnson Day

    Lyndon Baines Johnson Day

    • Day Of Year: August 27
    Lyndon Baines Johnson Day is a legal state holiday in Texas. It falls every year on August 27, to mark the birthday of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson. After Johnson died in 1973, the Texas State Legislature created a legal state holiday to be observed every year on August 27 to honor the 36th president of the United States, one of their state's native sons. The holiday is optional for state employees and state offices do not close.
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    Sigd

    Sigd

    Mehlella (Ge'ez: ምህልላ, Hebrew: "מֶהֶללַה"‎; "Supplication") also Amata Saww (ዐመተ ሰወ; "עמתה סו"; "Grouping Day") or in its popular name Sigd (ሰግድ, "סיגד"; "Worship") is one of the unique holidays of Beta Israel community. Celebrated on the 29th of [the Hebrew month of]Cheshvan. Previously, Sigd was celebrated on the 29th of Kislev, and after a calendar reform it was moved to is present day, 50 days after Yom Kippur. Originally Sigd was another name for Yom Kippur and after the reform that reunited them, the holiday was called by its present name. There are two oral traditions on the origin of Sigd. One tradition traces it to the 6th century in the time of the Aksumite king Gebre Mesqel when the war between Jews and Christians ended and both communities separated from each other. The second tradition traces it to the 15th Century as a result of persecution by Ethiopian-Christian Emperors. The first mention of Sigd is from the 15th century. Sigd symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah. Kessim have also maintained a tradition of the holiday arising as a result of persecution by Christian kings, during which the Kessim retreated into the wilderness to appeal to God for His mercy.
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    Synaxis

    Synaxis

    In Eastern Christianity (the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite), a Synaxis (Greek: Σύναξις; Slavonic: Собор, Sobor) is an assembly for liturgical purposes, generally through the celebration of Vespers, Matins, Little Hours, and the Divine Liturgy. In Constantinople, the clergy and faithful would often gather together on specific feast days at a church dedicated to the saint of that day for liturgical celebrations. These gatherings were referred to as synaxes. These synaxes came to have services written specifically for them. A Synaxis often occurs on the day following a Major Feast Day and is in honor of saints who participated in the event. For example, services on the Feast of Theophany (the revelation of the Trinity at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan) would be held at Hagia Sophia; then, the next day, a Synaxis was observed in honor of St. John the Forerunner at the church dedicated to him. Over time, the synaxes came into general use and are now celebrated in every church. Synaxis can also refer to a common commemoration of a number of saints in a single service, such as the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles. Each individual
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    Hogmanay

    Hogmanay

    Hogmanay (Scottish English: [ˌhɔɡməˈneː] HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. The etymology of the word is obscure. The three main theories derive it either from a French, Norse or a Goidelic root. The word is first recorded in 1604 in the Elgin Records as hagmonay (delatit to haue been singand hagmonayis on Satirday) and again in 1692 in an entry of the Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence It is ordinary among some plebeians in the South of Scotland to go about from door to door upon New-years Eve, crying Hagmane. Although Hogmanay is currently the predominant spelling and pronunciation, a number of variant spellings and pronunciations have been recorded, including: with the first syllable variously being /hɔg/, /hog/, /hʌg/, /hʌug/ or /haŋ/. It may have been introduced to Middle Scots through the Auld Alliance. The most commonly cited explanation is a derivation from the
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    May Day

    May Day

    • Holiday Category: Communist holiday
    • Day Of Year: May 1
    May Day on May 1 is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations. As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and All Saint's Day. In the twentieth and continuing into the twenty-first century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again. The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic
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    Old New Year

    Old New Year

    The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year (Russian: Старый Новый год, Ukrainian: Старий Новий рік, Belarusian: Стары Новы год, Georgian: ძველით ახალი წელი, Serbian and Montenegrin: Православна Нова година or Pravoslavna Nova godina, Macedonian and Bulgarian: Стара Нова година, Greek: Παλιά νέο έτος, Romanian: Anul Nou pe rit vechi) is an informal traditional Orthodox holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Old New Year falls on January 14 in the Gregorian calendar, 13 days after its New Year. Although the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic officially adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1918, the Russian Orthodox Church continued to use the Julian calendar. The New Year became a holiday which is celebrated by both calendars. As in most countries which use the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Day in Russia is a public holiday celebrated on January 1. On that day, joyous entertainment, fireworks, elaborate and often large meals and other festivities are common. The holiday is interesting as it combines secular traditions of bringing in the New Year with the Christian Orthodox Christmastide customs, such as
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    Shichi-Go-San

    Shichi-Go-San

    Shichi-Go-San (七五三, lit. "Seven-Five-Three") is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15. As Shichi-Go-San is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend. Shichi-Go-San is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with East Asian numerology, which claims that odd numbers are lucky. The practice was set to the fifteenth of the month during the Kamakura Period. Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children—who up until the age of three were required by custom to have shaven heads—were allowed to grow out their hair. Boys of age five could wear hakama for the first time, while girls of age seven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi. By the Meiji Period, the practice was adopted amongst commoners as well, and included the modern ritual of visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long healthy life. The
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    Bonfires of Saint John

    Bonfires of Saint John

    The Bonfires of Saint John (Spanish: Hogueras de San Juan, Catalan: Fogueres de Sant Joan, Galician: Noite de San Xoán) is a popular festival celebrated around Saint John's day's eve (23 June) throughout many cities and towns in Spain; the largest one takes place in Alicante (Alacant), where it is considered the most important festival in the city. The bonfires are particularly popular in many Catalan-speaking areas like Catalonia and the Valencian Community, and for this reason some Catalan nationalists regard 24 June as the Catalan nation day. For this festival, people gather together and create large bonfires from any kind of wood, such as old furniture, and share hot chocolate while teens and children jump over the fires. Before 1928, the bonfires of Saint John had been celebrated in Alacant as it had been elsewhere in Europe: by burning old pieces of furniture on the night of Saint John on June 24. The Bonfires festival was originated in 1928. Jose María Py, the founder of the festival, felt that Alicante needs an important fiesta, and come up with an idea to combine bonfires with a Valencian tradition known as the "fallas". The festival ultimately became the most important
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    Purim

    Purim

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Day Of Year: 14th day of Adar
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Purim (Hebrew:  פּוּרִים (help·info) Pûrîm "lots", from the word pur, related to Akkadian pūru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther). According to the Book of Esther, in the Hebrew Bible, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus (presumed to be Xerxes I of Persia), planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his adopted daughter Queen Esther. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing. Purim is celebrated by giving mutual gifts of food and drink (mishloach manot), giving charity to the poor (mattanot la-evyonim), a celebratory meal (se'udat Purim), and public recitation of the Scroll of Esther (keriat ha-megillah), additions to the prayers and the grace after meals (al hannisim). Other customs include drinking wine, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration. Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (Adar II in leap years), the day following the victory of the Jews over
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    Qingming Festival

    Qingming Festival

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    • Day Of Year: April 5
    • Featured in religions: Buddhism
    The Qingming Festival (simplified Chinese: 清明节; traditional Chinese: 清明節; pinyin: Qīngmíng Jié; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chheng-bêng-cheh or Chhiⁿ-miâ-choeh, Ching Ming Festival in Hong Kong, Vietnamese: Tết Thanh Minh, Ryukyuan:shīmī) Pure Brightness Festival or Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice (or the 15th day from the Spring Equinox), usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar (see Chinese calendar). Astronomically it is also a solar term (See Qingming). The Qingming festival falls on the first day of the fifth solar term, named Qingming. Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery") and tend to the graves of departed ones. Qingming has been regularly observed as a statutory public holiday in Taiwan and in the Chinese jurisdictions of Hong Kong and Macau. Its observance was reinstated as a nation wide public holiday in mainland China in 2008. The transcription of the term Qingming may appear in a number of different forms, some of which are Qingming, Qing Ming, Qing Ming Jie, Ching Ming (official
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    Thai New Year

    Thai New Year

    • Day Of Year: April 13
    • Featured in religions: Buddhism
    The Songkran festival (Thai: สงกรานต์, Khmer: សង្រ្កាន្ត; from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, or literally "astrological passage") is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15 April. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The date of the festival was originally set by astrological calculation, but it is now fixed. If these days fall on a weekend, the missed days off are taken on the weekdays immediately following. Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season. Until 1888 the Thai New Year was the beginning of the year in Thailand; thereafter 1 April was used until 1940. 1 January is now the beginning of the year. The traditional Thai New Year has been a national holiday since then. Songkran has traditionally been celebrated as the New Year for many centuries, and is believed to have been adapted from an Indian festival. It is now observed nationwide, even in the far south. However, the most famous Songkran celebrations are still in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where it continues for six days and even longer. It has also become a party for foreigners and an additional
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    Australia Day

    Australia Day

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    • Day Of Year: January 26
    Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day) is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland. Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. It is presently an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia and is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on Australia Day Eve, announcement of the Honours List for the Order of Australia and addresses from the Governor-General and Prime Minister. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies the day is celebrated in large and small communities and cities around the nation. Australia Day has become the biggest annual civic event in Australia. On 13 May 1787, a fleet of 11 ships, which came to be known as the First Fleet, was sent by the British Admiralty from England to
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    Buddha's Birthday

    Buddha's Birthday

    Buddha's Birthday, the birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism. In all east Asian countries, with the exception of Japan beginning in 1873, Buddha's Birth is held on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, and the day is an official holiday in Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea. The 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar is translated into April or May. Therefore Buddha's Birth is celebrated on April 8 or May 8 in most temples. The primarily solar Gregorian calendar date varies from year to year. When applying the Gregorian formula, the date is varied each year in the Gregorian calendar: As a result of the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in lieu of the Chinese lunar calendar in 1873. In many Japanese temples, Buddha's birth is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar dates, and rarely on the orthodox Chinese calendar dates. The birth of the Buddha is often celebrated by Buddhists in Nepal for an entire month in the Buddhist calendar. The actual day is called Buddha Poornima (or Buddha Purnima), also traditionally known as Vaishakh Poornima. Although the day marks not just
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    179
    Children's Day

    Children's Day

    • Day Of Year: May 5
    Children's Day (こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi) is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of the Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948. The day was originally called Tango no Sekku (端午の節句), and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar. After Japan's switch to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5. The festival is still celebrated in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as the Duanwu Festival or Tuen Ng Festival (Cantonese), in Korea as the Dano Festival, and Vietnam as the Tết Đoan Ngọ on the traditional lunar calendar date. It was originally for boys but has since been changed to include both boys and girls. Sekku means a season's festival (there are five sekku per year). Tango no Sekku marks the beginning of summer or the rainy season. Tan means "edge" or "first" and go means "noon". Although it is not known precisely when this day started to be celebrated, it was probably during the reign of the Empress Suiko (593–628 A.D.).
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    Día Nacional de Galicia

    Día Nacional de Galicia

    Dia Nacional de Galicia ("National Day of Galicia") is when the autonomous community of Galicia in Spain celebrates its national holiday. It falls on the 25th of July. It is also called Día da Patria Galega ("Day of the Galician Fatherland"), or simply Día de Galicia ("Galicia Day"). Yet, the official full denomination is the "National Day of Galicia", as established by the Galician government in 1979 The origins of the celebration can be traced back to 1919, when the Assembly of the Galicianist organization Irmandades da Fala met in the Galician capital, Santiago de Compostela. It was then decided to celebrate the National Day on the 25th of July of the following year. The date was chosen as it is the day dedicated to Saint James, patron saint of both Galicia and the Galician capital city. It was celebrated openly until the Francoist dictatorship (1939-1977), when any display of non-Spanish nationalism was prohibited. During that time the National Day would still be celebrated as such by the Galician emigrant communities abroad. In Galicia, the Galicianists would gather with the pretext of offering a Mass for Galician poetess and literary icon Rosalia de Castro. Curiously enough,
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    181
    Icelandic Independence Day

    Icelandic Independence Day

    Icelandic National Day (Icelandic: Þjóðhátíðardagurinn, the day of the nation's celebration), 17 June, is a holiday in Iceland and celebrates the day in 1944 that The Republic of Iceland (Lýðveldið Ísland) was formed. The date of 17 June was chosen because it is the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a major figure of Icelandic culture and the leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement. The formation of the republic was based on a clause in the 1918 Act of Union with Denmark, which allowed for a revision in 1943, as well as the results of the 1944 plebiscite. German occupation of Denmark meant that the revision could not take place, and thus some Icelandic politicians demanded that Icelanders should wait until after the war. The British and U.S governments, which occupied Iceland at the time, also delayed the declaration by asking the Icelandic parliament to wait until after 1943. Although saddened by the results of the plebiscite, King Christian X sent a letter on 17 June 1944 congratulating Icelanders on forming a Republic. Abolishing the monarchy resulted in little change to the Icelandic constitution, "The President" was merely substituted for "The King". However the
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    International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

    International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

    Women's activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women since 1981. On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134). The UN invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on this day as an international observance. Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961). There is more information about the history of this day, and UN publications relating to violence against women, at the UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library. The UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) also has a regular observance of the day, and offers suggestions for others to observe it.
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    Prince Kuhio Day

    Prince Kuhio Day

    Prince Kūhiō Day is an official holiday in the state of Hawaiʻi in the United States. It is celebrated annually on March 26, to mark the birth of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole — heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, prince of the House of Kalākaua, and later territorial delegate to the United States Congress. As Delegate, Kuhio authored the first Hawaii Statehood bill in 1919. He also won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act, creating the Hawaiian Homes Commission and setting aside 200,000 acres (810 km) of land for Hawaiian homesteaders. It is one of only two holidays in the United States dedicated to royalty, the other being Hawaiʻi's King Kamehameha Day June 11.
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    Samhain

    Samhain

    Samhain ( /ˈsɑːwɪn/, /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/, or /ˈsaʊn/),—sometimes englished as Sawin, Sowin, or similar—is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. Most commonly it is held on 31 October–1 November, or halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them, as at Beltane. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Samhain (like Beltane) was
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    Shabbat

    Shabbat

    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Shabbat (Hebrew: שַׁבָּת‎, Ashkenazi pronunciation: Shabbos, Yiddish: שאבּעס, "rest" or "cessation") is the seventh day of the Jewish week and the Jewish day of rest. On Shabbat, Jews recall the Genesis creation narrative in which God creates the Heavens and the Earth in six days and rests on the seventh. Shabbat observance also entails refraining from a range of activities prohibited on Shabbat, such as lighting a fire and cooking. According to halakha, Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing. Traditionally, three festive meals are eaten; on Friday night, Saturday morning, and late Saturday afternoon. Friday night dinner begins with kiddush and a blessing recited over two loaves of challah. Shabbat is a festive day when Jews are freed from the regular labors of everyday life. It offers an opportunity to contemplate the spiritual aspects of life and spend time with family. The word Shabbat derives from the Hebrew verb shavat. Although frequently translated as "rest" (noun or verb), another accurate translation of these
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    Tết

    Tết

    Vietnamese New Year, more commonly known by its shortened name Tết or "Tết Nguyên Đán", is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Chinese calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The name Vietnam New Year is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the First Morning, derived from the Hán nôm characters 節 元 旦. Tết is celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, though exceptions arise due to the one-hour time difference between Hanoi and Beijing resulting in the alternate calculation of the new moon. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning the house. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person's house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestral worshipping, wishing New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop. Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. During Tết, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples, forgetting
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    The Intercession

    The Intercession

    The Intercession of the Theotokos or the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, known in Church Slavonic as Pokrov (Покровъ, "protection"), and in Greek as Sképē (Σκέπη), is a feast of the Mother of God celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. The feast celebrates the protection afforded the faithful through the intercessions of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). In Russia it is celebrated as the most important solemnity after the Twelve Great Feasts. The feast is commemorated in Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole, but by no means as fervently as it is in Russia and Ukraine. The Russian word Pokrov, like the Greek Skepê has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the Intercession of the Theotokos. It is often translated as Feast of the Intercession. According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople
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    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

    The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between 18 January and 25 January. It is actually an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days. The Week of Prayer for began in 1908 as the Octave of Christian Unity, and focused on prayer for church unity. The dates of the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, cofounder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars. He conceived of the week beginning on the Feast of the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant of the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, on 18 January, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on 25 January. Pope Pius X officially blessed the concept, and Benedict XV "encouraged its observance throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church." For a while, the observance was renamed the "Chair of Unity Octave" by Wattson, in order to emphasize the relationship between Christian unity and the Petrine See (i.e., the papacy). Protestant leaders in the mid-1920s also proposed an annual octave of prayer for unity amongst Christians, leading up to Pentecost Sunday (the traditional commemoration of the establishment of the Church). Abbé Paul
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    Shrove Tuesday

    Shrove Tuesday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Featured in religions: Christianity
    Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English-speaking countries, but is also observed in the Philippines and Germany. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter, so its date changes on an annual basis. In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, the consumption of which was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent. The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving that English Christians were expected to do prior to receiving absolution immediately before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of "shrovetide", somewhat analogous to the Carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe. The term "Shrove Tuesday" is no longer widely used in the United States outside of Liturgical Traditions, such as
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    Beltane

    Beltane

    Beltane ( /ˈbɛlteɪn/) is the anglicised spelling of the Goidelic name for either the month of May or the festival held on the first day of May. In Irish it is Bealtaine ([ˈbʲal̪ˠt̪ˠənʲə]), in Scottish Gaelic Bealltainn ([ˈbʲal̪ˠt̪ˠənʲ]) and in Manx Gaelic Boaltinn or Boaldyn. Beltane was an ancient Gaelic festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It marked the beginning of summer and was linked to similar festivals held elsewhere in Europe, such as the Welsh Calan Mai and the Germanic Walpurgis Night. Beltane and Samhain were the leading terminal dates of the civil year in medieval Ireland, though the latter festival was the more important. It is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is nearer to 5 May or 7 May, but this can vary from year to year. Beltane regained popularity during the Celtic Revival and is still observed as a cultural festival by some in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and among their diasporas. Today, Beltane is also observed as a religious festival by Celtic neopagans. Wiccans adopted the name Beltane for their May
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    Evacuation Day

    Evacuation Day

    • Holiday Category: Civic holiday
    • Day Of Year: March 17
    March 17 is Evacuation Day, a holiday observed in Suffolk County (which includes the city of Boston) and also by the public schools in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. The holiday commemorates the evacuation of British forces from the city of Boston following the Siege of Boston, early in the American Revolutionary War. Schools and government offices (including some Massachusetts state government offices located in Suffolk County) are closed. If March 17 falls on a weekend, schools and government offices are closed on the following Monday in observance. It is the same day as Saint Patrick's Day, a coincidence that played a role in the establishment of the holiday. The 11-month siege of Boston ended when the Continental Army, under the command of George Washington, fortified Dorchester Heights in early March 1776 with cannons captured at Ticonderoga. British General William Howe, whose garrison and navy were threatened by these positions, was forced to decide between attack and retreat. To prevent what could have been a repeat of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Howe decided to retreat, withdrawing from Boston to Nova Scotia on March 17. The British evacuation was Washington's
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    Gaudete Sunday

    Gaudete Sunday

    Gaudete Sunday ( /ɡaʊˈdeɪteɪ/) is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church, including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and other mainline Protestant churches. It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December. The day takes its common name from the Latin word Gaudete ("Rejoice"), the first word of the introit of this day's Mass: Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob. This may be translated as "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob." (Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1). On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet, (or in the Anglican tradition and some Lutheran traditions,
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    Lady Day

    Lady Day

    In the western Liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (25 March) in some English-speaking countries. It is the first of the four traditional English quarter days. The "Lady" was the Virgin Mary. The term derives from Middle English, when some nouns lost their genitive inflections. "Lady" would later gain an -s genitive ending, and therefore the name means "Lady's day." In England, Lady Day was New Year's Day up to 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, 1 January became the start of the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom's tax year, which starts on 6 April, i.e. Lady Day adjusted for the lost days of the calendar change (until this change Lady Day had been used as the start of the legal year). (The liturgical and calendar years should be distinguished. It appears that in England and Wales, from at least the late 14th Century, New Year's Day was celebrated on 1 January as part of Yule.) As a year-end and quarter day that conveniently did not fall within or between the seasons for ploughing and harvesting, Lady Day was a traditional day on which year-long
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    Sankranthi

    Sankranthi

    Makar Sankranti (Hindi: & Sanskrit: मकर संक्रान्ति, Bengali: মকর সংক্রান্তি, Kannada: ಮಕರ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಂತಿ, Assamese: মকৰ সংক্রান্তি, Malayalam: മകര സാന്‍ക്രാന്തി, Oriya: ମକର ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି, Tamil: தைப்பொங்கல், Telugu: మకర సంక్రాంతి, Marathi: मकर संक्रान्ति). Sankranti or Sankranthi marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. Traditionally, this has been one of many harvest days in India. Owing to the vast geography and diversity of culture in India, this festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons and in innumerable ways depending on the climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location. Sankranti is the Sanskrit word in Hindu Astrology which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (sign of the zodiac) to another. Hence there are 12 such sankrantis in all. However, the Sankranti festival usually refers to Makara Sankaranti, or the transition of the Sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius) to Makara rashi (Capricorn). For this purpose, the signs and houses of the zodiac are calculated using sidereal time, not tropical. As such it does not account for the Earth's precession. The festival therefore takes place around 21 days
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    Valentine's Day

    Valentine's Day

    • Day Of Year: February 14
    Saint Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, is observed on February 14 each year. Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them. The original "St. Valentine" was a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Modern romantic connotations were added several centuries later by poets. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. This celebration was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced
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    Waitangi Day

    Waitangi Day

    Waitangi Day (wye-TANG-ee) commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee erected in the grounds of James Busby's house (now known as the Treaty house) at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Māori rights to their land and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the Māori and English language versions of the Treaty, and virtually since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Māori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pākehā (the Māori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it. By the early twentieth century, however, some Pākehā were beginning to see the Treaty as their nation's founding document and a symbol of British humanitarianism. Unlike Māori, Pākehā have generally not seen the Treaty as a document with binding power over the country and its
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    Maslenitsa

    Maslenitsa

    Maslenitsa (Ukrainian: Масниця, Russian: Ма́сленица, Belarusian: Масьленіца, Maślenica, also known as Butter Week, Pancake week, or Cheesefare Week), is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent—that is, the seventh week before Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. The Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date. In 2008, for example, Maslenitsa was celebrated from March 2 to March 8 and in 2012 it is celebrated from February 20 to February 26. Maslenitsa has its origins in both pagan and Christian traditions. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a celebrating the imminent end of the winter. On the Christian side, Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. During Maslenitsa week, meat is already forbidden to Orthodox Christians, making it a myasopustnaya nedelya (Russian: мясопостная неделя, English "meat-empty week" or "meat-fast week"). It is the last week during which milk, cheese and other dairy products are permitted, leading to its other name of "Cheese-fare week" or
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    Veterans Day

    Veterans Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: November 11
    Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.) Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." The
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    Yom Ha'atzmaut

    Yom Ha'atzmaut

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    • Day Of Year: 5 Iyar
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Yom Ha'atzmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות‎ Yōm hā-ʿAṣmāʾūṯ   lit. "Independence Day") commemorates the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5th of Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar. Yom Ha'atzmaut is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day. Yom Ha'atzmaut centres around the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel by The Jewish Leadership led by future Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, on 14 May 1948. This was declared 8 hours before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was due to finish on 15 May 1948. The operative paragraph of the Declaration of the Establishment of State of Israel of 14 May 1948 expresses the declaration to be by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. The operative paragraph concludes with the words of Ben-Gurion, where he thereby declares the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. The new state was quickly recognised by the Soviet Union, the United States de facto, and many other countries, but not by the surrounding Arab
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    Easter Saturday

    Easter Saturday

    Easter Saturday, or Bright Saturday, is the Saturday following the Christian festival of Easter. In the liturgy of Western Christianity it is the last day of Easter Week, sometimes referred to as the Saturday of Easter Week or Saturday in Easter Week. In the liturgy of Eastern Christianity it is the last day of Bright Week. Easter Saturday is the day preceding the Octave Day of Easter (also known as St. Thomas Sunday or Divine Mercy Sunday). The phrase "Easter Saturday" is sometimes used, particularly in Australia, to refer to Holy Saturday, the Holy Week observance that falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but this usage is incorrect. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, this day is known as "Bright Saturday", and is the last day of Bright Week. All of the services for Pascha (Easter) are repeated every day of Bright Week (georgi week Catholics and Easter), except for the hymns from the Octoechos. On Bright Friday, the Resurrection hymns from the Octoechos are taken from Tone Eight. Before the dismissal of Matins a crucession (procession headed by the cross) takes place, going three times around the outside of
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    Festivus

    Festivus

    • Holiday Category: Secular Holiday
    • Day Of Year: December 23
    Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as a way to commemorate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. Festivus became part of worldwide popular culture after being featured on an episode of the American TV show Seinfeld in 1997. Festivus was conceived by writer Dan O'Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. The holiday was later introduced into popular culture by O'Keefe's screenwriter son Daniel on an episode of Seinfeld. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, included an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole", practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles". Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us", a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus' non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a parody and as playful consumer resistance. Although the first Festivus took place in February 1966, as a celebration of the elder O'Keefe's first date with his future wife, Deborah, it is now celebrated on
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    Holy Saturday

    Holy Saturday

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Saturday before Easter
    Holy Saturday (Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum), sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ's body laid in the tomb. Holy Saturday is sometimes called Easter Saturday, though this phrase is more correctly applied to the Saturday in Easter Week. In Roman Catholic churches, the chancel remains stripped completely bare (following the Mass on Maundy Thursday) while the administration of the sacraments is severely limited. Holy Communion after the Good Friday service is given only as Viaticum to the dying. Baptism, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick may be administered because they, like Viaticum, are helpful to ensuring salvation for the dying. All Masses are severely limited. No Mass at all appears in the normal liturgy for this day, although Mass can be said on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday for an extremely grave or solemn situation with a dispensation from the Vatican or the local bishop. Many of the churches of the Anglican Communion as well as Lutheran, Methodist, and some other Churches observe most of the same;
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    Lupercalia

    Lupercalia

    Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February its name. The name Lupercalia was believed in antiquity to evince some connection with the Ancient Greek festival of the Arcadian Lykaia (from Ancient Greek: λύκος — lukos, "wolf", Latin lupus) and the worship of Lycaean Pan, assumed to be a Greek equivalent to Faunus, as instituted by Evander. In Roman mythology, Lupercus is a god sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan. Lupercus is the god of shepherds. His festival, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple on February 15, was called the Lupercalia. His priests wore goatskins. The historian Justin mentions an image of "the Lycaean god, whom the Greeks call Pan and the Romans Lupercus," nude save for the girdle of goatskin, which stood in the Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. There, on the Ides of February (in February
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    Mid-Autumn Festival

    Mid-Autumn Festival

    • Day Of Year: August 15
    The Mid-Autumn Festival (simplified Chinese: 中秋节; traditional Chinese: 中秋節; pinyin: zhōngqiū jié), also known as the Moon Festival or Chinese Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. A description of the festival first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty from 3,000 years ago. The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. The Government of the People's Republic of China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Spring Festival and Winter Solstice. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as: Celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is strongly associated with the legend of Houyi, his
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    Naadam

    Naadam

    Naadam (Mongolian: Наадам, lit. "games") is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" (эрийн гурван наадам) "the three games of men". The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling. In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO. The biggest festival (Naadam of the Country) is held in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar during the National Holiday from July 11 – 13, in the National Sports Stadium. Other cities and towns across Mongolia and those with significant Mongolian populations in China, have their own, smaller scale Naadam celebrations, often taking place a few days before the national celebration. Naadam begins with an elaborate introduction ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians. After the ceremony, the competitions begin. Naadam is the most widely watched festival among Mongols, and is believed to have existed for centuries in
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    Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

    Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: February 2
    The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which falls on 2 February, celebrates an early episode in the life of Jesus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches, it is one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (lit., 'Meeting' in Greek). Other traditional names include Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord. In the Roman Catholic Church the "Feast of the Presentation of the Lord" is a Feast Day, the major feast between the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle on 25 January and the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle on 22 February. In some Western liturgical churches, Vespers (or Compline) on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season. In the Church of England, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast celebrated either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February. In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. It was also reflected in the former practice of the "churching" of new mothers, forty days after the birth of a child. The
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    Walpurgis Night

    Walpurgis Night

    Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is often celebrated with dancing and with bonfires. It is exactly six months from All Hallows' Eve. The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga (ca. 710–777/9). As Walpurga was canonized on 1 May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. The eve of May day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht ("Walpurga's night"). The name of the holiday is Walpurgisnacht in German and Dutch, Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö, (Walpurgi öö) in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, čarodějnice or Valpuržina noc in Czech, chódotypalenje Lower Sorbian and chodojtypalenje in Upper Sorbian. The German term is recorded in 1668 by Johannes Praetorius as S. Walpurgis Nacht or S. Walpurgis Abend. An earlier mention of Walpurgis and S. Walpurgis Abend is in the 1603 edition of the Calendarium perpetuum of Johann Coler, who also refers to the
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    Canada Day

    Canada Day

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    • Day Of Year: July 1
    Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867, in Canada), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the name was changed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as by Canadians internationally. Frequently referred to as "Canada's birthday", particularly in the popular press, the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date, but the British Parliament kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982 when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian
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    Patriots' Day

    Patriots' Day

    • Holiday Category: American Revolution
    • Day Of Year: April 19
    Patriots' Day (officially Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Patriot's Day in Maine) is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is observed on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts and Maine (once part of Massachusetts), and is a public school observance day in Wisconsin. Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts, (around 6:00 am) and The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, (around 9:00 am). In the morning, mounted re-enactors with state police escorts retrace the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings the whole way. Since 1969, the holiday has been observed on the third Monday in April, providing a three-day long weekend, as well as being the first day of public school vacation week in Maine and Massachusetts. Previously, it had been designated as April 19 in observance of the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is also a school holiday for many local colleges and
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    All Saints

    All Saints

    All Saints' Day (in the Roman Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. In the Western calendar it is the day after Halloween and the day before All Souls' Day. In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Catholic Church and many Anglican churches, the next day specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. Christians who celebrate All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day do so in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between those in purgatory (the 'Church Suffering'), those in heaven (the 'church triumphant'), and the living (the 'church militant'). Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways; for example, in the Methodist Church, the word "saints" refers to
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    Good Shepherd Sunday

    Good Shepherd Sunday

    Good Shepherd Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter in the new Catholic liturgical calendar; that is, the Sunday three weeks after Easter Sunday. The name derives from the gospel readings on this day which are taken from the 10th chapter of John. In this reading Christ is described as the Good Shepherd who, by dying on the Cross, lays down his life for his sheep. In the Traditional (pre-1970) Latin Liturgy (see Tridentine Mass), this Mass is said on the Second Sunday after Easter, i.e., the Sunday after the Octave of Easter (Quasimodo or "Low" Sunday). In recent times the feast day has also become known as Vocations Sunday, a day on which prayers should be said for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Those Protestants that follow the Revised Common Lectionary, such as Lutherans, United Methodists, Anglicans, and others also read the "Good Shepherd" passage from John chapter 10 on the Fourth Sunday of Easter and some also call this day "Good Shepherd Sunday."
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    Gudi Padwa

    Gudi Padwa

    Gudhi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा, often mis-pronounced as guDi padwa because ढी sounds like डी when spoken), is the Marathi name for Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This day is also the first day of Chaitra Navratri and Ghatasthapana also known as Kalash Sthapana is done on this day. The word पाडवा(pāḍavā) or पाडवो(pāḍavo) comes from the Prakrit word पड्ड्वा/पाड्ड्वो(pāḍḍavā/pāḍḍavo), which stands for the first day of the bright phase of the moon called प्रतिपदा (pratipadā) in Sanskrit. In the south of India, first day of the bright phase of the moon is called pāḍya(Tamil: பாட்ய or பாட்டமி , Kannada: ಪಾಡ್ಯ, Telugu: పాడ్యమి, paadyami,Konkani: पाड्यॆ). Konkani Hindus variously refer to the day as संसर पाडवो or संसर पाड्यॆ (saṁsāra 'pāḍavo/ saṁsāra pāḍye),संसार (saṁsāra) being a corruption of the word संवत्सर (saṁvatsara). Konkani Hindus in Karnataka also refer to it as उगादि (ugādi). Known as Gudhi Padwa ("Gudhee Paadavaa") in Maharashtra, this festival is also known as In other parts of India this festival is celebrated during The word padwa is derived
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    Saints Cyril and Methodius Day

    Saints Cyril and Methodius Day

    Saints Cyril and Methodius Day is a holiday, usually celebrated on 24 May in countries which observe Eastern Orthodox tradition, and on 5 July in countries that observe Roman Catholic tradition. It commemorates the creation of the Slavic Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets by the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius. They are considered Byzantine Greek by most of the western scholarship , however there are some historical references which describe them as partly Slavic Bulgarian by origin. (There is evidence that the Cyrillic alphabet was not created by Cyril and Methodius but by their pupil, Clement of Ohrid, but the alphabet bears Cyril's name nonetheless, and the evidence is still not enough to disprove that.) The celebration also commemorates the introduction of literacy and the preaching of the gospels in the Slavonic language by the brothers. According to old Bulgarian chronicles, the day of the holy brothers used to be celebrated ecclesiastically as early as XI Century. The first recorded secular celebration of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Day as the "Day of the Bulgarian script", as it is traditionally accepted by Bulgarian science, was held in the town of Plovdiv on May
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    Tashlikh

    Tashlikh

    Tashlikh (Hebrew: תשליך‎, meaning "casting off") is a long-standing Jewish practice usually performed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, however it can be said up until Hoshana Rabbah. The previous year's sins are symbolically "cast off" by reciting a section from Micah that makes allusions to the symbolic casting off of sins, into a large, natural body of flowing water (such as a river, lake, sea or ocean). The name "Tashlikh" and the practice itself are derived from the Biblical passage (Micah 7:18-20) recited at the ceremony: "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Most Jewish sources trace the custom back to Rabbi Jacob Mölin (Germany, d. 1425) in his Sefer Maharil. Some clues as to an earlier origin are: The first direct reference to tashlikh is by Rabbi Jacob Mölin in Sefer Maharil where he explains the minhag ("custom") as a reminder of the binding of Isaac. He recounts a rabbinic midrash about the binding in which Satan, by throwing himself across Abraham's path in the form of a deep stream, endeavored to prevent him from sacrificing Isaac on Mount Moriah. Abraham and Isaac nevertheless plunged into the river up to their necks and
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    Victory Day

    Victory Day

    Victory Day or 9 May marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War (also known as the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union and most post-Soviet states). It was first inaugurated in the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the surrender document late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May, by Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Though the official inauguration happened in 1945 (which means it has been celebrated since 1946), the holiday became a non-labour day only in 1965 and only in some of the countries. Now, regardless of faith, political affiliation or nationality in the former Soviet Union, this festival is celebrated to commemorate the 28 000 000 (according to various estimates) children, parents, spouses and friends killed in Soviet Union during World War ΙΙ for independence from Nazi Germany. In communist East Germany, a Soviet-style "Victory Day" on 9 May was an official holiday from 1975 until the end of the republic in 1990. Prior to that, "Liberation Day" was celebrated on 8 May, between 1950 and 1966, and
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    Columbus Day

    Columbus Day

    • Holiday Category: US Federal holiday
    • Day Of Year: Second monday in October
    Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday. The event is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza in many countries in Latin America, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina and as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various areas since the early 20th century. Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937, though people have celebrated Columbus' voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the four hundredth anniversary in 1892, teachers,
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    Black Friday

    Black Friday

    Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but some non-retail employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are "in the black". For many years, it was common for
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    Christmas Eve

    Christmas Eve

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day — the widely celebrated annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It occurs on December 24 in the Western Christian Church and the secular world at large, and is one of the most culturally significant celebrations of the Western world and Christendom. One reason celebrations occur on Christmas Eve is because the traditional Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, an inheritance from Jewish tradition, which in turn is based in the story of creation in Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day." This liturgical day is followed for all days in the Eastern rite and the custom of beginning Christmas celebration (as well as Sunday and the other major festivals) in the preceding evening is preserved in western Churches that have altered the liturgical day to start at midnight, for example the Roman Catholic Church. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening before holidays; for example the Nordic Lutheran churches. In some languages, such as the Scandinavian, Christmas Eve is simply referred to as "Christmas Evening". Since Christian tradition
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    Eid ul-Adha

    Eid ul-Adha

    • Holiday Category: Islamic holiday
    • Featured in religions: Islam
    Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎ ‘Īd al-’Aḍḥá, IPA: [ʕiːd al ʔadˁˈħaː], "feast of sacrifice"), or Feast of the Sacrifice or Greater Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead. In the Indian Sub continent, the festival is known as Bakr-Id because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat which is called "bakri" in Urdu. The festival is also known as Id-ul-Zuha. The word "id" derived from the Arabic "iwd" means "festival" and "zuha" comes from "uzhaiyya" which translates to "sacrifice". Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Sunni and Shia Muslims. The basis for the Eid al-Adha comes from the 196th verse of sura 2 (Al-Baqara) of the Quran. The days of Eid al Adha are the 10th of Dhul Hijjah upto the 12th of Dhul Hijjah (3 days and 2 nights) sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th Day. The days of Eid have been singled out in the Hadith as days of remembrance." The days of Tashriq are from the [Fajr] of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah upto the Asr of the 13th of Dhul Hijjah
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    Feast of the Cross

    Feast of the Cross

    In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are several different Feasts of the Cross, all of which commemorate the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus. While Good Friday is dedicated to the Passion of Christ and the Crucifixion, these days celebrate the cross itself, as the instrument of salvation. This feast is called in Greek Ὕψωσις τοῦ Τιμίου καὶ Ζωοποιοῦ Σταυροῦ (Raising Aloft of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross) and in Latin Exaltatio Sanctae Crucis. In English, it is called The Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the official translation of the Roman Missal, while the 1973 translation called it The Triumph of the Cross. In some parts of the Anglican Communion the feast is called Holy Cross Day, a name also used by Lutherans. The celebration is also sometimes called Feast of the Glorious Cross. According to legends that spread widely, the True Cross was discovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, with a portion of the cross placed
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    Holy Wednesday

    Holy Wednesday

    In Christianity, Holy Wednesday (also called Spy Wednesday, and in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Holy and Great Wednesday, Greek: Μεγάλη Τετάρτη, Megale Tetarte) is the Wednesday of the Holy Week, the week before Easter. It is followed by Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday). In Western Christianity, the Wednesday before Easter is sometimes known as "Spy Wednesday", as a reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot., indicating that it is the day that Judas Iscariot first conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for thirty silver coins. This event is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-12, Luke 22:3-6. The Sanhedrin was gathered together and it decided to kill Jesus, even before Pesach if possible. In the meantime, Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper. Here he was anointed on his head by a woman with very expensive ointment of spikenard. In John's Gospel, this woman is identified as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Some of the disciples, particularly Judas, were indignant about this; the oil could have been sold to support the poor. Judas went to the Sanhedrin and offered them his support in exchange for
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    Ólavsøka

    Ólavsøka

    Ólavsøka is a national holiday of the Faroe Islands, celebrated on July 29. It is the day when Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, opens its session. Ólavsøka is also a cultural and sports festival with boat races, football matches and other . The literal meaning is "Saint Olaf's Wake" (vigilia sancti Olavi in Latin), from Saint Olaf's death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (see Olsok), but the Løgting predates this event. Like several other Faroese holidays, the vøka begins the evening before, so Ólavsøka always starts on July 28 with an opening ceremony. Some events start even before that, i.e. there has been a Ólavsøka Concert held on 27 July for several years. Ólavsøka is the day of the year when many Faroese crowd into the capital Tórshavn. There the national rowing competition finals are held, which is one of the highlights in Faroese sports. In addition, there are art exhibitions, folk music, and Faroese chaindance. The chaindance is for everyone, normally it is held in Sjónleikarhúsið, which is a theatre in Tórshavn. The salute for Ólavsøka in Faroese is Góða Ólavsøku! (Good St. Olaf's Wake!). The stamps shown on the right were issued by Postverk Føroya on 18 May 1998, and
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    Pi Day

    Pi Day

    • Holiday Category: Humorous Holiday
    • Day Of Year: March 14
    Pi Day is an unofficial holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in month/day date format), since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in day/month date format), since the fraction ⁄7 is a common approximation of π. The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day. For Pi Day 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols. Pi Day is observed on March 14 because of the date's representation as 3/14 in month/day date format. This representation adheres to the
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    Solemnity of Saint Joseph

    Solemnity of Saint Joseph

    • Holiday Category: Western Christian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: March 19
    • Featured in religions: Anglican Communion
    Saint Joseph's Day, March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Roman Catholic Church; Catholics who follow the Missal of 1962 celebrate it as a first class feast. Previous to 1962 it was celebrated as a feast of the rank of double of the first class. It is a feast in the provinces of the Anglican Communion, and a feast or festival in the Lutheran Church. Saint Joseph's Day is the Patronal Feast day for Poland as well as for Canada, persons named Joseph, Josephine, etc., for religious institutes, schools and parishes bearing his name, and for carpenters. It is also Father's Day in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy. March 19 was dedicated to Saint Joseph in several Western calendars by the tenth century, and this custom was established in Rome by 1479. Pope St. Pius V extended its use to the entire Roman Rite by his Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum (July 14, 1570). Since 1969, Episcopal Conferences may, if they wish, transfer it to a date outside Lent. Between 1870 and 1955, a feast was celebrated in honor of St. Joseph as
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    St. Lucia Day

    St. Lucia Day

    Saint Lucia's Day (sometimes Lucy for short) is the Church feast day dedicated to Saint Lucy and is observed on the 13th of December. Its modern day celebration is generally associated with Sweden and Norway but is also observed in Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Bosnia, Bavaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Spain and St. Lucia, West Indies. In the United States it is celebrated with cookies on the mantel in states for a large number of people of Scandinavian ancestry, often centered around church events. In traditional celebrations, Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each. In Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, Lucy (called Lucia) is venerated on December 13 in a ceremony where a girl is elected to portray Lucia. Wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, she walks at the head of a procession of women, each holding a candle. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she
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    St. John's Eve

    St. John's Eve

    The evening of June 23, St John's Eve, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:36, 56–57) states that John was born about six months before Jesus, therefore the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on June 21~24, six months before Christmas. This feast day is one of the very few saints' days to mark the supposed anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint commemorated. The Feast of St John coincides with the June solstice also referred to as Midsummer. The Christian holy day is fixed at June 24, but, in some countries, festivities are celebrated the night before, on St John's Eve. The feast is celebrated in various countries. There are St John's street parties in many cities, towns and villages, mainly between the evening on the 23rd and the actual St.John's Day on the 24th of June. St John's night in Porto (noite de São João) is considered by several guides as one of the best parties in the world. People make bonmfires, release hot air balloons, rub long garlic plants on each others' faces and hit each other on the head with soft hammers, among other traditions. The feast day of Saint John the Baptist was a
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    Day of the Dead

    Day of the Dead

    Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and
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    Double Ten Day

    Double Ten Day

    The National Day of the Republic of China (traditional Chinese: 國慶日; simplified Chinese: 国庆日; pinyin: Guóqìng Rì), also referred to as Double Ten Day or Double Tenth Day (traditional Chinese: 雙十節; simplified Chinese: 双十节; pinyin: Shuāngshíjié), is the national day of the Republic of China (ROC). It commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China and establishment of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912. As a result of the Chinese Civil War, the Government of the Republic of China lost control of mainland China and relocated to Taiwan in 1949. The National Day is now mainly celebrated in Taiwan, but is also celebrated by some Overseas Chinese. In Taiwan, the official celebration starts with the raising of the flag of the Republic of China in front of the Presidential Building, followed by public singing of the National Anthem of the Republic of China. It is then followed by celebrations in front of the Presidential Building, including a military parade. Festivities displayed also include many aspects of traditional Chinese culture, like the lion dance and drum teams. Later in the day, the President of the
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    Islamic New Year

    Islamic New Year

    The Hijri New Year, also known as Islamic new year (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية‎ Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah) is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The event also commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein who, along with his family and followers, was martyred by Umayyad Caliph Yazid I in the Battle of Karbala in 680 on the tenth day of Muharram. This is celebrated by Shi'a Muslims with public enactments of grief. Sunni Muslims celebrate the day according to the Sunnah of Muhammad. Finding some Jews fasting on this day, the Prophet enquired of them why they fasted. They replied that it was in honour of Moses. Muhammad then declared that Islam honoured Moses more highly and established a two-day fast for Muharram. This fast was already practised before the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. Since the Islamic year is eleven to twelve days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Islamic new year does not come on the same day of the Gregorian calendar every year. While some Islamic
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    Kamehameha Day

    Kamehameha Day

    Kamehameha Day on June 11 is a public holiday of the state of Hawaii in the United States. It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaiʻi — comprising the Hawaiian Islands of Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and Hawaiʻi. While he was king, Hawaii was a center of the fur and sandalwood trade. Pineapples were brought to Hawaii from Spain in 1813 and coffee was first planted in 1818, a year before he died. In 1883 a statue of King Kamehameha I was dedicated in Honolulu by King David Kalākaua (this was a duplicate, because the original statue was lost at sea). There is another duplicate of this statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. The holiday was first established by young Son Goku of the ruling great grandson Kamehameha V on 1871. The first observance of the holiday happened the following year. Late 19th century celebrations of Kamehameha Day featured carnivals and fairs, foot races, horse races and velocipede races. Kamehameha Day was one of the first holidays proclaimed by the Governor of Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature when Hawaiʻi achieved statehood in
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    Saturnalia

    Saturnalia

    • Featured in religions: Roman mythology
    Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn originally held December 17 and later expanded with unofficial festivities through December 23. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." In Roman mythology, Saturn was an agricultural deity who reigned over the world in the Golden Age, when humans enjoyed the spontaneous bounty of the earth without labor in a state of social egalitarianism. The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost mythical age, not all of them desirable. The Greek equivalent was the Kronia. Although probably the best-known Roman holiday, Saturnalia as a whole is not described from beginning to end in any single ancient source. Modern understanding of the festival is pieced together from several accounts dealing with various aspects. The Saturnalia was the dramatic setting of the multivolume work of that
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    Simeon the Righteous

    Simeon the Righteous

    Simeon at the temple is the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who, according to Luke 2:25-35, met Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus' birth at the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered a prayer,which is still used liturgically as the Latin Nunc dimittis in many Christian churches, and gave a prophecy alluding to the crucifixion. In some Christian traditions this meeting is commemorated on February 2 as Candlemas or more formally, the Presentation of the Lord, the Meeting of the Lord, or the Purification of the Virgin. His prophecy is used in the context of Our Lady of Sorrows. Simeon is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions. His feast day is February 3. The sole mention in the New Testament of Simeon is as follows: Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of
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    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (25 December). This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed. Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. In some traditions, the first day of Epiphany (6 January) and the twelfth day of Christmas overlap. Over the centuries, differing churches and sects of Christianity have changed the actual traditions, time frame and their interpretations. St. Stephen's Day (or Boxing Day), for example, is 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Boxing Day, on December 26, is observed as a legal holiday in parts of the Commonwealth of Nations. 28 December is Childermas or the Feast of the Innocents. Currently, the twelve days and nights are celebrated in widely varying ways around the world. For example, some give gifts only on Christmas Day, some only on Twelfth Night, and some each of the twelve nights. In Eastern Christianity (the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox
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    ANZAC Day

    ANZAC Day

    • Holiday Category: Australian Holiday
    • Day Of Year: April 25
    Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, originally commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who served and died in military operations for their countries. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn, and Tonga. It is no longer observed as a national holiday in Papua New Guinea or Samoa. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name. When war broke out in 1914, Australia and New Zealand had been dominions of the British Empire for thirteen and seven years respectively. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers
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    Boxing Day

    Boxing Day

    • Holiday Category: Secular Holiday
    • Day Of Year: December 26
    Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts from their superiors or employers. Today, Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations. In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland it is recognized as St. Stephen's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín). In the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Catalonia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day. In Canada, Boxing Day takes place on 26 December and is a federal public holiday. In Ontario, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday where all full-time workers receive time off with pay. The exact etymology of the term "boxing" is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive. The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts
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    Daylight saving time

    Daylight saving time

    Daylight saving time (DST)—also summer time in several countries in British English, and European official terminology (see Terminology)—is the practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. Though mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then. The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory. DST clock shifts present other challenges. They complicate timekeeping, and can
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    Election Day (US)

    Election Day (US)

    • Day Of Year: First Tuesday following the first Monday in November
    Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The earliest possible date is November 2 and the latest possible date is November 8. The next election will be held on November 6, 2012. For federal offices (President, Vice President, and United States Congress), Election Day occurs only in even-numbered years. Presidential elections are held every four years, in years divisible by four, in which electors for President and Vice President are chosen according to the method determined by each state. Elections to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate are held every two years; all Representatives serve two-year terms and are up for election every two years, while Senators serve six-year terms, staggered so that one-third of Senators are elected in any given general election. General elections in which presidential candidates are not on the ballot are referred to as midterm elections. Terms for those elected begin in January the following year; the President and Vice President are inaugurated ("sworn in") on Inauguration Day, usually January
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    Ghost Festival

    Ghost Festival

    • Holiday Category: Traditional Chinese holidays
    The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, or Yu Lan is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month (14th in southern China). In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in spring) and Chung Yeung Festival (in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living. On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing
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    Jerusalem Day

    Jerusalem Day

    • Holiday Category: Israeli National Holiday
    • Day Of Year: Iyar 28
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים‎, Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem". The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades through downtown Jerusalem, reciting the Hallel prayer with blessings in synagogues, and saying the Pesukei Dezimra of Sabbath and High Holidays. There are also lectures on Jerusalem-related topics, singing and dancing, and special television programming. Schoolchildren throughout the country learn about the significance of Jerusalem, and schools in Jerusalem hold festive assemblies. The day is also marked in Jewish schools around the world. Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the establishment of two states in the British Mandate of Palestine—a Jewish state and an Arab state—Jerusalem was to be an international city, neither exclusively Arab nor Jewish for a
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    Juneteenth

    Juneteenth

    Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 41 states of the United States. The state of Texas is widely considered the first U.S. state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century; it has been an official state holiday since 1980. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday", meaning that state offices do not close, but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Schools are not closed, but most public schools in Texas are already into summer vacation by June 19th. Its observance has spread to many other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries. As of June 2012, 41 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois,
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    Losar

    Losar

    Losar (Tibetan: ལོ་གསར་, Wylie: lo-gsar is the Tibetan word for "new year." lo holds the semantic field "year, age"; sar holds the semantic field "new, fresh". Losar is the most important holiday in Tibet. Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. On the first day of Losar, a beverage called changkol is made from chhaang (a Tibetan cousin of beer). The second day of Losar is known as King's Losar (gyalpo losar). Losar is traditionally preceded by the five day practice of Vajrakilaya. Because the Uyghurs adopted the Chinese calendar, and the Mongols and Tibetans adopted the Uyghur calendar, Losar occurs near or on the same day as the Chinese New Year and the Mongolian New Year, but the traditions of Losar are unique to Tibet, and predates both Indian and Chinese influences. Originally, ancient celebrations of Losar occurred solely on the winter solstice, and was only moved to coincide with the Chinese and Mongolian New Year by a leader of the Gelug school of Buddhism. Losar is also celebrated by Yolmo, Sherpa, Tamang, Bhutia and also in Bhutan, although different regions in the country have their own respective new year. Losar is also
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    Maryland Day

    Maryland Day

    Maryland Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is observed on the anniversary of the March 25, 1634, landing of settlers in the Province of Maryland. On this day settlers from The Ark and The Dove first stepped foot onto Maryland soil, at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River. The colony was granted to Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore two years prior by Charles I of England. In thanksgiving for the safe landing, Jesuit Father Andrew White celebrated mass for the colonists, perhaps for the first time ever in this part of the world. The landing coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation, a holy day honoring Mary, and the start of the new year in England's legal calendar (prior to 1752). The holiday began in 1903, the date chosen by the state board of education to honor Maryland history. In 1916, the legislature authorized Maryland Day as a legal holiday (Chapter 633, Acts of 1916).
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    New Year's Eve

    New Year's Eve

    • Holiday Category: International holiday
    • Day Of Year: December 31
    In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. Some people attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1 (New Year's Day). New Year traditions and celebrations in Canada vary regionally. New Year's Eve (also called New Year's Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l'An in French) is generally a social holiday. In many cities there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times in most major cities. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish and drink alcoholic beverages with their friends until the early hours of January 1. From 1956 to 1976, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians serenaded Canada on the CBC, via a feed from CBS, from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. After Lombardo's death in 1977, the Royal Canadians continued on CBC and CBS until 1978. The
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    Passover

    Passover

    • Holiday Category: Jewish holiday
    • Featured in religions: Judaism
    Passover (Hebrew, Yiddish: פֶּסַח Pesach, Tiberian: [pɛsaħ] ( listen), Modern Hebrew: /ˈpesaχ/ Pesah, Pesakh, Yiddish: Peysekh, Paysakh, Paysokh) is a Jewish festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays. In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-borns in these homes, hence the name of the holiday.Exodus 12:11-13 There is some debate over where the term is actually derived from. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait
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    Pentecost

    Pentecost

    Pentecost (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], "the Fiftieth [day]") is a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Apostles of Christ. In the Eastern churches, Pentecost can also refer to the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, hence the book containing the liturgical texts for Paschaltide is called the Pentecostarion. The feast is also called Whit Sunday, Whitsun, or Whit, especially in England, where the following Monday was traditionally a holiday. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1–31. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church." The Pentecostal movement of Christianity derives its name from the New Testament event. Pentecost is the old Greek and Latin name for the Jewish harvest
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    Pongal

    Pongal

    Thai Pongal (Tamil: தைப்பொங்கல்) is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamilians in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Union Territory of Pondicherry. and Sri Lanka. This South Indian festival, Thai Pongal, is timed by an astronomical event - the winter solstice. Pongal is traditionally dedicated to the Sun God Surya, and marks the beginning of the northward journey of the Sun from its southernmost-limit, a movement traditionally referred to as uttarayana. It coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India as the winter harvest, and is usually held from January 13–15 in the Gregorian calendar i.e. from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Thai. This also represents the Indic solstice when the sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makaram or Capricorn. The saying "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum" (தை பிறந்தால் வழி பிறக்கும்) meaning "the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities" is often quoted regarding the Pongal festival. Tamils thank the Sun god (கதிரவன்) for the good harvest and consecrate the first grain to him on this 'Surya Mangalyam'. Tamilians decorate their homes with banana
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    Saint Patrick's Day

    Saint Patrick's Day

    • Holiday Category: National Day
    • Day Of Year: March 17
    • Featured in religions: Catholicism
    Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March, the anniversary of his death. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general. The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire, public parades and processions, and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New
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    St. Martin's Day

    St. Martin's Day

    St. Martin's Day, also known as the Feast of St. Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas, the Feast of St Martin of Tours or Martin le Miséricordieux, is a time for feasting celebrations. This is the time when autumn wheat seeding was completed, and the annual slaughter of fattened cattle produced "Martinmas beef". Historically, hiring fairs were held where farm laborers would seek new posts. November 11 is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me." From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages, much of Western Europe, including Great Britain, engaged in a period of fasting beginning on the day after St. Martin's Day, November 11. This fast period lasted 40 days, and was, therefore,
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    Tartan Day

    Tartan Day

    Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish heritage on April 6, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. An ad hoc event was held in New York City in 1982, but the current format originated in Canada in the mid 1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australasia the similar International Tartan Day is held on July 1, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan. Tartan Days typically have parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and other Scottish-themed events. In 1982, under the auspices of the New York Caledonian Club, New York State Governor Hugh Carey, and New York City Mayor Ed Koch declared July 1, 1982, as Tartan Day, a one-time celebration of the 200th anniversary of the repeal of the Act of Proscription of August 12, 1747, the law forbidding Scots to wear tartan. On March 9, 1986, a 'Tartan Day' to promote Scottish heritage in Canada, was proposed at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia. Jean Watson, President of Clan Lamont, petitioned provincial legislatures to recognize April 6 as Tartan Day. The first such proclamation was by Nova
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    Trinity Sunday

    Trinity Sunday

    Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian dogma of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Trinity Sunday is celebrated in all the Western liturgical churches: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, (most) Presbyterians, Methodists, and many churches within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The Sundays following Pentecost, until Advent, are numbered from this day. In traditional Roman Catholic usage, the First Sunday After Pentecost is on the same day as Trinity Sunday. In the revised Roman rite, Ordinary Time resumes one week earlier, on the Monday after Pentecost, with the Sundays that would otherwise fall on Pentecost and Trinity Sunday omitted that year. In the Church of England, following the pre-Reformation Sarum use, the following Sunday is the "First Sunday after Trinity", while the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) now follows the Catholic usage, calling it the Second Sunday after Pentecost. The liturgical colour used on Trinity Sunday is white. In the Roman
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