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Religious Observances

Religious Observances 2022

Please note that individual practices may vary.
“*” denotes holidays that start sundown the day before

August 8*: Ashura (Islam) – For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala

August 11: Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) – A celebration harmony. The tying of the rakhi (woven bracelet) signifies a special bond of unity and affection between two individuals.

August 18: Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu) – Birthday of Lord Krishna. An incarnation of the God Vishnu, Krishna represents love and bravery. Krishna reveals His true Self while counseling Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.

August 23: Paryushana Parva (Jain) – Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline

August 30: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu) – Birthday of Lord Ganesha, god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and the remover of obstacles

September 23: Mabon (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates the autumnal equinox through a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth

September 26- October 4: Navratri (Hindu) – Festival of 9 nights celebrating the Goddess in her various forms, most typically as Ma Durga

September 26*-27: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) – Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. (Work is prohibited)

October 5*: Yom Kippur (Jewish) – Day of Atonement (Fasting and work prohibited)

October 5: Dussehra (Hindu) – Celebrates Lord Rama’s triumph over evil King Ravana, also celebrates the conquest by the Goddess Chamundeshwari over demon King Mahishasura

October 8*: Mawlid al-Nabi (Islam) – Commemorates birthday of Prophet Muhammad

October 8: Birth of Guru Nanak (Sikh) – Celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Sikh Gurus

October 10-16*: Sukkot (Jewish) – The Feast of the Tabernacles and Harvest festival (work is prohibited the first two days)

October 17*: Shemini Atzeret (Jewish) – marks the end of Sukkot (work prohibited)

October 18*: Simchat Torah (Jewish) – Celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle (work is prohibited)

October 21-26: Diwali (Hindu, Jain, Sikh) – Festival of Lights.

October 26*: Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the birth of the Báb, one of the founders of the Bahá’í Faith.

October 27*: Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith

October 31: Samhain (Pagan/Wiccan) – Festival honoring endings, beginnings and the dead

October 31: Reformation Day (Protestant Christianity) – Celebration in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation

November 1: All Saint’s Day (Christianity) – Honors all the saints known and unknown

November 2: All Soul’s Day (Christianity) – Day of prayer for the dead, particularly but not exclusively one’s relatives

November 15: Buddha’s Descent (Buddhist) – Lhabab Duchen is a festival observing the descent of Buddha from heaven to earth

November 15: Shichi-go-san (Shinto) – Celebrates the growth and well-being of young children

November 23: Niinamesai (Shinto) – Harvest festival that gives thanks for a good crop yield

November 26*: Day of the Covenant (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant

November 27: First Sunday of Advent (Christianity) – Season of expectant waiting and preparation of the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas

December 3: Srīmad Bhagavad Gītā Jayantī – Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagvad Gītā to Prince Arjuna while on the Kurukshetra battlefield.

December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) – Celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 8: Bodhi Day (Buddhist) – Commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma (Shakyamuni), attained enlightenment

December 19-26*: Hanukkah (Jewish) – Festival of Lights commemorating rededication of Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem at time of Maccabean Revolt

December 21: Yule (Pagan/Wiccan) – Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, time to meditate on cycle of life, death and rebirth

December 25: Christmas (Christian) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

December 26: Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian) – Commemorates death of Zarathustra


January 1: Oshogatsu (Shinto) – Celebration of New Year, commemorated by going to shrine, thanking the kami (spirits), asking for good fortune and letting resolutions known in presence of kami

January 5: Birth of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh) – Birthday of tenth and last Guru

January 6: Epiphany (Christian) – Feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ

January 7: Christmas (Orthodox Christian) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Orthodox Churches

January 14: Makara Sankranthi (Hindu) – Celebration of the Sun god

January 25: Vasant Panchami (Hindu) – Holy day dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, patron Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology

February 2: Imbolc (Pagan/Wiccan) – Marks the beginning of Spring

February 6*: Tu B’shevat (Jewish) – New Year of the Trees

February 15: Buddha’s Passing (Buddhist) – Mahayana festival commemorating the death of the Buddha at the age of 80 and his attainment of parinirvana

February 18: Maha Shivaratri (Hindu) – Celebration of the wedding night of Lord Shiva and his Consort Goddess Parvati

February 18*: Lailat al Miraj (Islam) – Commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray 5 times daily

February 22: Ash Wednesday (Christian) – Day of fasting that commemorates first day of Lent

February 25-28*: Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í) – days of preparation for the Fast, marked by hospitality and charity to poor and sick

March 2-20*: Nineteen Day Fast (Bahá’í) – Sunrise to sunset fast also marked with prayer to reinvigorate soul and bring closer to God (fasting)

March 6: Sangha Day (Buddhist) – Celebration in honor of the Buddhist community, especially regarding monastics

March 6-7: Holi (Hindu) – Holiday associated with exuberant flinging of colored powders, celebrates the advent of spring and the enduring message that good will always be victorious over evil; light will always overcome darkness

March 7*: Purim (Jewish) – Commemorates the story of Esther

March 21*: Nowruz (Bahá’í, Zoroastrian) – Marks the first day of spring

March 21*: Ostara (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates Spring, also known as the vernal equinox

March 23-April 21*: Ramadan (Islam) – Month of fasting to commemorate first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad

March 30: Rama Navami (Hindu) – Celebration of birth of Prince Rama, avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu, to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya

April 2: Palm Sunday (Christian) – Feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem

April 4: Mahavir Jayanthi (Jain) – Celebrates birth of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism

April 4: Memorial of Jesus’ Death (Jehovah’s Witness) – Commemorates the death of Jesus Christ

April 5: Hanuman Jayantï (Hindu) – Celebration of birthday of Hanuman, foremost devotee of Sri Rama and Sita

April 6: Holy Thursday (Christian) – Commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. Washing of feet is a traditional component

April 6-13*: Passover (Jewish) – Commemorates liberation of Israelites by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under leadership of Moses (work is prohibited on first and last two days)

April 7: Good Friday (Christian) – Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary

April 9: Easter (Christian) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

April 14: Vaisakhi (Sikh) – Marks the establishment of the Khalsa (religious community of Sikhs) by Guru Gobind Singh

April 16: Pascha (Orthodox Christianity) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

April 18: Yom Ha’shoah (Jewish) – Holocaust Memorial Day

April 21-May 2*: Ridván (Bahá’í) – Twelve-day festival when founder Bahá’u’lláh declared his mission

April 22*: Eid al-Fitr (Islam) – Marks the end of Ramadan, holy month of fasting

May 1: Beltane (Wiccan/Pagan) – Honors life and fertility

May 9*: Lag B’Omer (Jewish) – Celebrates anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar (text of Jewish mysticism)

May 18: Ascension Day (Christianity) – Celebrates the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God

May 24: Declaration of the Báb (Bahá’í) – Commemorates declaration of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh the founder of the Bahá’í Faith

May 26: Buddha’s Birthday (Buddhist) – Holiday that commemorates the birth of the Buddha

May 26-27*: Shavuot (Jewish) – Festival commemorating giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (work restrictions)

May 28: Pentecost (Christian) – Celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension\

May 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) – Anniversary of death of founder\

June 29*: Eid al-Adha (Islam) – Commemorates Ibrahim’s sacrifice of his son to God

July 10: Martyrdom of the Báb (Bahá’í) – date the Báb was executed

July 27*: Tisha B’Av (Jewish) – Day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen Jewish people, many occurring on the ninth of Av (fasting and work restrictions)

July 28*: Ashura (Islam) – For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala