2019 Cultural Planner Dates and PDF Download

The Happy Cultural Planner is your guide to the key holidays for the major cultures and faiths, and has now been published by Happy for 25 years. As well as an indicator of upcoming holidays (including those which may prevent people attending your events), it’s a handy way to plan for the year.

We also provide A3 hard copies in our training centre café — do feel free to pick up a copy on your next visit.

Multiple copies are available at a cost of 55p each to cover the cost of printing. Additional hard copies can be sent to you at a cost of 55p each plus postage.

About the Happy Cultural Planner

The Happy Cultural Planner is a free document you can download, print and use. See below for a full list of the 2019 festivals, along with their meanings, to help plan for the year ahead.

Disclaimer: Happy Ltd makes no claim of allegiance to, or expertise in, any particular faith or interest group.

The aim of this Planner is to raise awareness of cultural/religious festivals and awareness days which may have significance to communities represented in your workplace.  By doing this, we hope to foster interest and understanding of each other’s beliefs and encourage respect for different worldviews.

Whilst every effort has been made to cover as many significant events as fairly as possible, space is limited and the list is necessarily abbreviated.  Significant omissions are therefore unintentional.  If you feel an important event has been missed out, misrepresented or is just plain wrong, please contact hello@happy.co.uk and we will correct the online version as soon as possible and the hard copy for next year.

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Secular and International Days

Date Name of Festival
6th January Twelfth Night
The twelfth, and last, day of Christmas. It is considered unlucky to keep decorations up beyond this day.
25th January Burns' Night
Celebration of the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.  Haggis, neeps and tatties are eaten at a 'Burns Supper', with whisky drinking and bagpipe music.
27th January Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in other genocides such as in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.  
14th February Valentine's Day
Based on legends of Saint Valentine, who performed secret marriages while they were banned by Emperor Claudius II. Another legend tells of an imprisoned Valentine signing secret letters to the jailer’s daughter as “your Valentine”.
1st March St David's Day
Celebration of the patron Saint of Wales.
5th March Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day 
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It's also known as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, i.e. the process of confessing and repenting of sins fasting and abstaining from luxuries during Lent. Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar
8th March International Women's Day
A worldwide celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and contributions made by women. The theme for 2019 is #BalanceForBetterInternational Women's Day is a worldwide event with a human rights theme, highlighting the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and contributions made by women. 
17th March St. Patrick's Day
Celebration of the patron saint of Ireland.
18th March Sign Language Week starts
A week of events celebrating 'Pride in BSL' and the culture and achievements of the people who use 'the UK's fourth indigenous language'.
20th March International Day of Happiness
The United Nations International Day of Happiness is coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations, including Happy.co.uk! This year's theme is 'Share Happiness' - focusing on the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other. 
25th March

Deaf Awareness Week
A week of events highlighting the challenges of deafness and increasing awareness of how these can be met

31st March

Mother's Day (UK)
A traditional time for children to celebrate and thank their mothers, giving them cards, gifts and flowers.

1st April

April Fool's Day
A day when many people play tricks on each other or issue hoax stories. In the UK, these tricks cease at Midday, after which anyone playing an April Fool's trick is considered an April Fool themselves. The custom is also is widespread in Europe but there is no definitive theory of its origin.

23rd April

St. George's Day
Celebration of the patron saint of England.

1st May

May Day
The May Day festival, which coincides with the pagan festival of Beltaine, has long been celebrated on May 1st. Traditions include the lighting of fires, the crowning of a May Queen, and dancing around a Maypole.

13th May

Mental Health Awareness Week starts
A week during which events are held to highlight issues around mental health. This year's theme: Body Image

27th May

Late May/Spring Bank Holiday
Originally known as the Whitsun Bank Holiday Holiday, it was a day given in lieu of the major Christian festival of Whitsun (see Pentecost, below)

16th June

Father's Day
A more recent parallel to Mother’s Day for fathers, established in the early 20th Century by a daughter who wanted to express her appreciation for her single father.

7th July

Pride (London)
Pride in London' is the UK’s biggest, most diverse LGBT+ community carnival. It's aim is to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow LGBT+ people to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.

14th July

Bastille Day
The French national holiday, celebrating the uprising of the modern French nation, particularly the storming of the Bastille.

14th August

Pakistan Independence Day
Commemorates the creation of Pakistan when India was partitioned.

15th August

Indian Independence Day
Commemorates the independence of India, as it left the British Empire.

1st October

Black History Month starts
A month of events celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of great black people in the UK.

31st October

Halloween
All Hallows' Eve is commonly known as Halloween - and means eve of All Saints' (or Hallows') Day. 'Hallow' is an old English word for saint.  Halloween rituals are believed to have evolved from the Celtic festival, Samhain (see below), which was Christianised by the early Church. It is widely accepted that the early Church missionaries held a festival at this time of year to absorb native Pagan practices into Christianity, thereby smoothing the conversion process.

5th November

Bonfire Night
A celebration commemorating the failure of the Gunpowder Plot (1605); an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. 

10th November

Remembrance Sunday
Held in the UK as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". The National Service of Remembrance is held on this day, as well as parades and commemorations at war memorials throughout the UK and Commonwealth. A two-minute silence is observed at 11 oclock am. 

11th November

Armistice Day
Held in the UK as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". The National Service of Remembrance is held on this day, as well as parades and commemorations at war memorials throughout the UK and Commonwealth. A two-minute silence is observed at 11 oclock am. 

30th November

St. Andrew's Day
Celebration of the patron saint of Scotland.

1st December

World AIDS Day
An opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. Wearing the red ribbon has become a widespread way of showing solidarity with the campaign.

3rd December

International Day for People With Disabilities
This UN awareness day promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and increases awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

26th December

Boxing Day
Traditionally, it was a day when employers distributed money,or other valuable goods to their employees. In modern times, it is an important day for sporting events and the start of the post-Christmas sales.

31st December

New Year's Eve / Hogmany

UK Bank Holidays

Date Name of Festival
1st January New Year's Day
2nd January New Year Holiday (Scotland only)
18th March St. Patrick's Day (Northern Ireland only)
19th April Good Friday
22nd April Easter Monday (not Scotland)
6th May May Day
27th May Late May Bank Holiday
12th July Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland only)
5th August August Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
26th August August Bank Holiday (ENG, NIR, WAL)
2nd December St. Andrew's Day (Scotland only)
25th December Christmas Day
26th December Boxing Day

Rastafarian

Date Name of Festival
7th Jan Ethiopian Christmas
Ethiopian Christmas is marked by a large feast. The food eaten is vegetarian or vegan in keeping with Rastafari food laws. During the feast prophecy and readings take place, and a Nyabingi meeting will often follow.
21st April

Groundation Day
Marks the date Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica in 1966. The visit was the only time the Emperor visited Jamaica.  A Nyabingi session, inclusive of music, chanting and prayer is held to mark the occasion.Each spring, Rastafari celebrate Groundation Day, marking Selassie’s triumphant visit to Jamaica

16th July

Ethiopian Constitution Day
Commemorates the implementation of Ethiopia's first constitution by Haile Selassie in 1931. Rastafarians remember the history of Ethiopia and the events that led up to the birth of the Rastafari religion. A Nyabingi session also occurs to honour the importance of Ethiopia.

23rd July Birthday of Haile Selassie
A celebration of the birth of Emperor Haile Selassie I, who Rastafarians recognise as Messiah and God, with music, song and prayer.
17th August Marcus Garvey’s birthday
On this date Rastafarians remember the important role played by Marcus Garvey in the development of Black rights. The occasion reflects on Marcus Garvey's influential prophecy. Poetry is recited recalling the historical importance of Marcus Garvey. African dance is also encouraged.Commemorates the Birthday of Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican politician born in 1887 who predicted the crowning of a King in Africa, and instigated the 'Back to Africa' movement.
11th September Ethiopian New Year
The start of the New Year in Ethiopia is recognised because Rastafarians believe Ethiopia to be their spiritual homeland, and a place to which they want to return. The history of Ethiopia is remembered, and its importance acknowledged through Biblical passages and prayer. A Nyabingi session is also held to mark the occasion.
2nd November Crowning of Emperor Selassie
The high priest reads biblical passages and initiates singing to remember Emperor Selassie.

Christian – All traditions unless stated

Date Name of Festival
6th January Epiphany
Epiphany remembers the wise men visiting Jesus.
5th March Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)
6th March Ash Wednesday (Start of Lent)
14th April Palm Sunday, Holy Week Starts
Commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, following his miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.
18th April Maundy Thursday (end of Lent)
Commemorates Jesus’ last supper before his crucifixion
19th April Good Friday
Commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a Bank Holiday Holiday and observant Christians may attend special church services. One of two 'common holidays' linked to major Christian festivals, which predate the introduction of Bank Holiday Holidays.
19th April Lord's Evening Meal (Jehovah's Witness)
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the bread and wine representing Jesus' last supper should be taken by only a few special Witnesses, and only once a year. All the others attend memorial events, but do not partake of the wine and bread. It is the only specific celebration in the Jehovah's Witness calendar.
21st April Easter Sunday
Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion on Good Friday. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday (also called Easter Day, Resurrection Day, Resurrection Sunday, Pascha or simply Easter).
23rd April St Georges Day
St. George is the patron saint of England. However, as a protestant country veneration of the saint is not widespread. Several attempts to revive it as a day to celebrate England's culture have been made over the years, with little success.
30th May Ascension of Jesus (Roman Catholic)
Ascension Day is observed on the 40th day after Easter. It commemorates Jesus' ascension into heaven, following his resurrection. As one of 6 'Holy Days of Obligation', believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
9th June Pentecost/Whitsun
Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter, and commemorates the Holy Spirit coming to earth. It is celebrated as the birthday of the Christian church.
20th June Corpus Christi (Roman Catholic)
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for "Body of Christ") is a Catholic celebration of the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus in the elements of the Eucharist—known as transubstantiation.
15th August Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic)
The feast day of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the Christian belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven following her death
31st October Halloween (All Hallow's Eve)
Amongst observant Catholics and some other Christian denominations, attendance at the masses of All Hallowstide, and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although Halloween is now a more commercial and secular celebration of all things ghoulish, involving fancy dress costumes and traditional games such as apple bobbing.
1st November All Saints Day (Roman Catholic)
Also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is an opportunity for believers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history.As part of this day of obligation, believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work
2nd November All Souls' Day
All Souls' Day is a day when Christians remember and pray for the dead, especially family members. On 1 and 2 November, Mexican Christians celebrate this as the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos).
1st December Advent Sunday
Advent is the four week period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ. It also marks the beginning of the liturgical year for Western Churches.
9th December Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic)
In Roman Catholic Christian theology, the Immaculate Conception is the idea that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her "immaculate". As one of 6 'Holy Days of Obligation', believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
24th December Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is the evening before Christmas Day. Christmas celebrations traditionally start on Christmas Eve with Midnight Mass. Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born at night and Midnight Mass is a commemoration of his birth.
25th December Christmas
Feast day celebrating the birth of Jesus, celebrated by Christians of almost all denominations. A 'common holiday' which predates the introduction of Bank Holiday Holidays. As one of 6 'Holy Days of Obligation', believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
31st December Watch Night (Pentecostal)
Watch Night services originated in the Methodist church, but today is of particular significance in Black churches, because it is a celebration of Emancipation. On New Year’s Eve, 1862, American slaves gathered in churches to await confirmation of their freedom through the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Eastern Orthodox Christian

Date Name of Festival
1st January Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
7th January Nativity of the Lord (Orthodox Christmas)
Many Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth. This date works to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar.  
19th January Theophany
Celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, and the first appearance of the Holy Trinity
15th February Presentation of the Lord
Also known as The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, Presentation commemorates Jesus' visit to the Temple in Jerusalem. 
11th March Start of Great Lent
The last day of "fat eating" before the fasting period of Lent. Clean Monday is the first day of Great Lent, or the Great Fast, the most important fasting season in the church year. It’s a day of strict prayer and fasting. 
7th April Annunciation
Commemoration of the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary to announce to her that she would conceive and bear a son.  Despite falling during the Great Lent, it is still a joyous day and the fast is lessened, with the eating of fish allowed on this day.
21st April Palm Sunday/Start of Holy Week/end of Great Lent
Commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, following his resurrection of Lazarus. It marks the start of Holy Week.
26th April Holy Friday (Great Friday)
Great Friday is traditionally a mourning and fasting day among Orthodox Christians in the United Kingdom, particularly in the Greek Orthodox churches. The day commemorates Jesus’ death by crucifixion. It is a day of serious observance that takes place prior to Easter Sunday
28th April Pascha (Easter Sunday)
The Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest of the feasts of the Orthodox Church. It is not counted among the twelve major feasts of the Church since it is considered by itself as the "Feast of Feasts."
29th April Bright Monday
Bright Monday is a day of reflection on the events that occurred during Holy Week. It is the second day of Bright Week, and as such has its own liturgies. 
6th June Ascension
Observed on the 40th day after Easter. It commemorates Jesus' ascension into heaven, following his resurrection
16th June Pentecost
Also called Trinity Day or Descent of the Holy Spirit. 50 days after Pascha, it celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit . 
19th August Transfiguration of the Lord
This Great Feast commemorates when Jesus was changed into a glorious radiant figure, speaking with earlier prophets, in front of some of his disciples.
28th August Dormition of the Theotokos
Sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of the The Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary. 
21st September Nativity of the Theotokos
The Feast of the Birth of the Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary. Mary was born to elderly parents, in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
27th September Elevation of the Holy Cross
This feast is also referred to as the Exaltation of the Cross. It commemorates two events: The finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen on Golgotha, and the recovery of the relic of the True Cross from the Persians. 
4th December Presentation of the Theotokos
Also called The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, The Presentation celebrates Mary's entry into service in the Temple.

Pagan

Date Name of Festival
1st February Imbolc
Pagan midwinter festival. Celebrates the land’s awakening and the growing power of the sun.
20th March Ostara (Spring Equinox)
Celebrates the renewed life of the Earth. Ostara occurs at the time of the spring equinox and is celebrated as the start of Spring. Similar to those observed at Easter, symbols for Ostara include eggs, rabbits, flowers and seeds. 
1st May Beltane
Beltane means 'fires of Bel' – after the Celtic deity Belenus. Fires were lit to celebrate the return of life and the burning away of winter. These fires were thought to cleanse, purify and increase fertility. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year. The largest fire festival in the UK takes place in Edinburgh.
24th June Litha
1st August Lughnasadh-Lammas
Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the time of the corn harvest when Pagans give thanks to the Goddess for her gifts. Lughnasadh is still celebrated as a harvest festival by modern Pagans.A favourite day for 'Handfasting' (pagan weddings). Celebrations vary widely. The Lunase festivals celebrated in Ireland and parts of Scotland are folk traditions and not part of the neopagan faith.
21st September Mabon - September Equinox
A modern Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970.in
31st October Samhain/Halloween
Samhain marks the Celtic New Year and the beginning of what Pagans call the Wheel of the Year.   . For Pagans, death is part of the natural life cycle and not to be feared. Samhain is considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have died. some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the festival of Beltane, which is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility
22nd December-2nd January Yule
Yuletide celebrates the birth of the Sun and also celebrates the Mother at the height of her Greatness. Pagans celebrate Yuletide in many ways, most will decorate a "Yuletide" tree, keep it in their homes until most of the leaves fall off then burn the Yule log. Yule marks the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year - when Pagans celebrate the rebirth of the sun

Hindu

Date Name of Festival
14th January Makar Sankranti
This winter festival celebrates the Sun-God’s entry into the Northern Hemisphere.
10th February Vasant Panchami - Saraswati Puja
Spring festival
4th March Maha Shivarati
Maha Shivaratri is a festival also known as Great Night of Shiva. Devotees observe a day and night fast.
21st March Holi
Holi is one of the major festivals of India celebrating the end of Winter and start of Spring. Also known as the ‘Festival of Colours’ due to the practice of throwing and applying coloured water and powders on friends and family.
22nd March Varsha Pratipada
Spring festival
14th April Rama Navami
A public holiday in India.  Celebrates the birth of Lord Rama and is one of the most important Hindu festivals.
19th April Hanuman Jayanti
At Hanuman Jayanti, Hindus celebrate the birth of the god Hanuman. Devotees visit the temple and apply sindoor (red powder) to their foreheads, as Hanuman’s image is always coloured red.
4th July Rath Yatra
Ratha Yatra means 'chariot festival' . Statues of the god Jagannathaare taken from the Temples and pulled on chariots through the streets, accompanied by crowds of people and loud music. The English word juggernaut comes from Jagannatha and the huge chariots made in his honour.
15th August Raksha Bandhan
Celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters.
23rd August Janamashtami/Krishna Jayanti
The birth of Lord Krishna. Krishna is one of the most powerful incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Hindus believe he came to free the Earth from evil. Many Hindus forego sleep for the 48 hours, and some fast.
2nd September Ganesh Chaturthi
The birth of Ganesh, god of wisdom and prosperity.Ganesh Chaturthi lasts for 10 - 11 days, with the biggest celebrations taking place on the last day, Ananta Chaturdasi.
29th September-8th October Navaratri/Durga Puja/Dusserah
Navaratri is a nine day festival of music and dance when Hindus worship the female expression of the divine. During Navaratri the creative power of the Goddess is celebrated, personified in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The festival culminates on the 10th day, known as Dussehra, when Hindus celebrate the God Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana, symbolising the triumph of good over evil. In the state of West Bengal Navaratri culminates in the Durga Puja, when Durga idols are carried in procession and immersed in a river or other water bodies.
7th October Dussehra
Celebrating the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama, it is part of Navaratri and is celebrated all over India but in different ways.
27th October Diwali (Deepvali)
Diwali, the festival of light, extends over five days and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Buddhist – All traditions unless stated

Date Name of Festival
13th January Bodhi Day
2nd February Buddha Day (South Korea)
5th-7th February Losar (Tibetan New Year)
15th February Nirvana Day (Mahayana)
The Buddha’s death, celebrated because he attained total Enlightenment, or Nirvana.
13th-16th February Songkran/Bun Pi Mai (SE Asia)
19th February Magha Puja/Sangha (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos)
20th February Chunga Choepa (Tibetan)
21st March Higan-e 
Reminder of impermanence (Mahayana)
19th May Vaishaka Puja/Vesak
A celebration of the Buddha’s birthday, celebrated with much colour. In some countries there are special Vesak lanterns made, and caged birds are released.
16th July Dharma Day
A celebration of the first time the Buddha gave his teachings, Dharma.
17th November Sangha Day
Sangha Day is the second most important Buddhist festival. It is a celebration in honour of the Sangha, the Buddhist community.

Bahá’í

Date Name of Festival
20th January World Religion Day
Observed to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.
26th February-1st March Ayyám-i-Há (Intercalary Days)
Beginning of 4 or 5 Intercalary Days which balance out the calendar (of 19 months of 19 days). A time for extra focus on hospitality, charity, giving gifts and preparing for the month of fasting.
2nd March Nineteen Day Fast/Feast of Ala (Loftiness)
‘Ala, the last month of the Bahá’í year, is also known as the Nineteen Day Fast. During this time, Bahá’ís do not eat or drink for 19 days , between sunrise to sunset, making time for extra prayer and meditation.
21st March Feast of Bahá’íá (Splendour) (New Year)
Bahá’í New Year. It is the first of the Nineteen Day Feasts.
21st March Naw Rúz
Naw Rúz is the ancient Persian festival marking the beginning of spring and the start of a new year.  It coincides with the Feast of Bahá’ía and the end of the Nineteen Day Fast. 
21st April Festival of Ridvan (First Day)
The Festival of Ridván, also called the Most Great Festival or King of Festivals, is the most important festival for Bahá’ís, when they celebrate when their founder, Bahá’íá'u'lláh, declared his mission as God’s messenger, and founded the faith.
29th April Ninth Day of Ridván
The ninth day of the Festival of Ridván , and is one of the nine Holy Days on which Bahá’ís do not attend work or school.
2nd May Twelfth Day of Ridván
The twelfth and final day of the Festival of Ridván and is one of the nine Holy Days on which Bahá’ís do not attend work or school.
24th May Declaration of the Bab
Commemorates the Báb foretelling the coming of a new messenger from God. It is one of nine Holy Days on which Bahá’ís do not attend work or school.
29th May Ascension of Baha’u’llah
Day of Rememrance of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’íá, the son of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. He became well known for helping the poor and needy. 
10th July Martyrdom of the Bab
The anniversary of the execution of the Báb, the herald of the Bahá’í faith. It is one of nine Holy Days on which Bahá’ís do not attend work or school.
28th November Ascension of Abdu’l Baha
Commemoration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’íá, the son of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, on the anniversary of his death.  
29th November Birth of The Báb (first of the Twin Holy Birthdays)
The Báb was the forerunner of Bahá’íá’u’lláh, prophet founder of the Bahá’í Faith.  Celebrations are held in local communities to mark this and the following special day. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘twin Holy Birthdays’.
30th November Birth of Bahá’íá’u’lláh (second of the Twin Holy Birthdays) Anniversary of the birth of Bahá’íá'u'lláh, the founder of Bahá’í faith.

Zoroastrian / Persian

Date Name of Festival
30th January Jashn-e-Sadeh 
(Jashn-e) Sadeh is a Persian midwinter fire festival, celebrate 50 days before the Spring equinox to celebrate the lengthening days.
20th March Nowruz
Celebration of the first day of spring. Gifts are exchanged and offerings made at the Fire Temple. 
16th-20th March Frawardigan
A festival during which the immortal souls and the guardian spirits of departed ancestors, come down into the temple.    Many Zoroastrians take time off to pray, and eat sacred food. 
27th March Khordad Sal
Khordad Sal is celebrated by Zoroastrians and Parsis as the birthday of their founder, Zoroaster. The date is symbolic as the actual date of Zoroaster's birth cannot be accurately identified. The festival is one of the most important in the Zoroastrian and Parsi calendar, when they gather in fire temples for prayer and celebrate with feasting.
22nd April Adar Mah Parab
The birthday of fire. Traditionally no food is cooked on ths day to give fire a rest. Zoroastrians vist the temple to burn incense and give thanks. 
24th May Zaratosht-no Diso
Anniversary of the death of Zarathustra. 
22nd December Shab e Yalda
Winter solstice celebration. "The Night of Birth" of the angel Mithra, angel of Light and Truth, at dawn after the longest night of the year. 
26th December Zartosht No Diso
On this day Zoroastrians remember the death of their prophet, Zoroaster.

Chinese / Taoist

Date Name of Festival
5th February Yuan Tuan (New Year - Pig)
Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig). Chinese New year is one of the most important traditional holidays in China, and the most widely celebrated by the Chinese diaspora.
19th February Yuan Xiao (Lantern Festival)
This celebrates the first full moon of the year and the birthday of Tianguan, a Taoist god of good fortune.  
8th March Zhonghe (Blue Dragon Festival)
The celebration of the waking of the dragon that brings rain.
5th April Qing Ming Jie (Tomb Sweeping Day)
Start of Spring. Tombs of ancestors are swept and tidied.
7th June Duanwu (Dragon Boat Festival)
A celebration of masculine energy as dragons are regarded as masculine symbols. A time of respect for elders; or a commemoration of death of the poet  Qu Yuan
7th July Qixi (Double 7th or Chinese Valentine’s Day)
Traditionally the family tomb is cleaned and swept on Qing Ming day with fresh offerings laid out for the ancestors. This festival is anchored to the solar yearrather than lunar year and so always falls between April 4th to 6th. It marks the start of Spring and is associated with kite flying. It has similarities to the Christian Easter Spring festival in that eggs are prepared and eaten. In some areas boys used to wear willow wreathes on their heads to summon rain for the growing season
15th August Zhongyuan (Hungry Ghost Festival)
Buddhist/Taoist Ghost Festival also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, when it is believed the dead viist their living descendants.
13th September Taoist Mid-Autumn Festival
Harvest festival
7th October Chonyang (Double Ninth) Festival
This is a day of respect for ancestors, held on the ninth day of the ninth month in lunar calendar.
22nd December Dongzhi Festival
Winter solstice festival

Japanese / Shinto

Date Name of Festival
1st January Gantan sai
New Years Day
13th January Rohatsu
Held on the second Monday in January each year, when young people who have turned 20 go to a shrine for their "coming of age" ceremony.
14th January Seijin-no-hi
Held on the second Monday in January each year, when young people who have turned 20 go to a shrine for their "coming of age" ceremony.
3rd February Setsuban (Bean Scattering)
People nationwide throw beans outside their home to banish misfortune and invite happiness 
3rd March Hina Matsuri
 "Girls' Festival' Dolls are set out for display to symbolize the family's wish that their daughter will be healthyand happy. Today called the Peach festival, as March is the season when peach flowers are in bloom.
29th April-5th May Shōwa no Hi
Start of 'Golden Week' when several festivals fall in quick succession
12th May Hana Matsuri
Buddha's birthday
13th - 15th August Obon
Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori. Dates may vary slightly by region.
16th September Keirō no Hi
Celebrates the nation's elderly
14th November Daijōsai
The Great Food Festival. An elaborate variation of the annual rice-tasting ceremony known as Niinamesai
29th December-3rd January Hatsumode
First shrine visit of the New Year
31st December Ōmisoka
New Year's Eve. Homes and workplaces are thoroughly cleaned in prepartio for the New Year. Family gatherings are popular. 

Jain

Date Name of Festival
17th April Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir Jayanti celebrates the birth of Mahavira, a contemporary of the Buddha. Mahavira was last Tirthankara (great sage) and the most important prophet of the Jain faith. Mahavir Jayanti is marked with prayer and fasting
27th August Paryushana Parvarambha
Paryushan means ‘coming together’ and is said to have been initiated by the founder of Jainism. It’s a 10 day festival, and for the first 9 days Jains follow a strict regime of fasting and meditating. The final day of Payushan is celebrated with a community banquet.
27th October Diwali
Jains celebrate the day when, in 527BC, the sage Mahavira gave his last teachings and achieved nirvana.
12th November Kartak Purnima
This is considered to be an auspicious time for pilgrimage to the sacred sites associated with the Jain religion.

Sikh

Date Name of Festival
5th January Birthday of Guru Gobindh Singh
The tenth and last Guru, who created the order of Khalsa and instituted the Five ‘Ks’.
14th February Maghi
Midwinter festival. Sikhs visit gurdwaras to commemorate the martyrdom of the Forty Immortals
14th April Baisakhi (Vaisakhi)
The Sikh New Year festival, which also commemorates Sikhism being born as a collective faith in 1699.
16th June Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth of the ten Sikh Gurus and the first Sikh martyr.
1st September Guru Granth Sahib
On 1 September Sikhs celebrate the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scripture) in the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1604.
27th October Bandi Chhorh Divas (Prisoners Release Day)
On this day Sikhs celebrate the safe return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind, from detention in the Gwalior Gaol in 1619.
12th November Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Jayanti
Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh faith and the first of its 10 ten Gurus. He was born in the Punjab in 1469. Sikhs celebrate with prayers, the singing of religious songs and readings from the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book). Free sweets and community meals are offered to everyone at the temples. Houses and temples are lit up for the festivities
24th November Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahá’íadur was the ninth of the Ten Sikh Gurus. He was martyred in 1675. Among Guru Tegh Bahá’íadur's achievements was the building of the city of Anandpur Sahib, now known by Sikhs as the 'City of Spiritual Bliss'. He was arrested and executed in 1675 on the orders of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, who tried to impose Islam on Indian Hindus and Sikhs.

Jewish

Date Name of Festival
21st January Tu B’Shevat
New Year of the Trees. One of four Jewish new years, it is dedicated to fruits and trees.Some Jewish organizations may be closed or offer a limited service to allow for festivities to occur on this day. 
21st March Purim
Purim is one of the most joyous holidays of the Jewish calendar,it celebrates the events told in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. Purim is a time of praise and thanksgiving, and almsgiving is an important Purim tradition. The Book of Esther is read aloud in the synagogue and the congregation use rattles, cymbals and boos to drown out Haman's name whenever it appears.
20th-27th April Passover (Pesach)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread. (No work permitted on 20/21, or 26/27, Work permitted April 22-25 with restrictions) Passover commemorates the escape of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. It is also a celebration of spring, and of taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world.Passover lasts for eight days.
1st - 2nd May Yom HaShoah
Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day (Secular)
7th May - 8th May Pesach Sheni
Second Passover- an opportunity for those unable to take part in Pesach at the correst time to make their sacrifice. 'Second chances' are a common theme of this festival. 
23rd May Lag B’Omer
Lag B'Omer celebrates the death and life of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who who first publically taught the Kabbalah in the 2nd century. Worldwide practicing Jews will hold parties, dance, listen to music and get haircuts on this day. It is celebrated with outings (on which children traditionally play with bows and arrows), bonfires, parades and other joyous events.  
8th-10th June Shavuot
Marks the time when the Jews received the Torah. Prayers are said, especially at dawn, to thank God for the five books of Moses.
10th - 11th August Tish’a B’Av
Tisha B'Av is a fast that commemorates the destruction of the two holy and sacred Temples of the Jews destroyed by the Babylonians (in 586 B.C.E) and the Romans (in 70 C.E.) and other tragedies of Jewish history.
30th September Rosh Hashana
New Year festival and commemorates the creation of the world. Also a judgement day, when Jews believe that God balances a person's good deeds over the last year against their bad deeds.
9th October Yom Kippur
The Day of Atonement is the holiest day of the year, for nearly 26 hours, Jewish people abstain from food and drink, do not wash or apply lotions or creams, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from sex and spend the day in synagogue, praying for forgiveness.Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or sometimes 'the Days of Awe', which begin with Rosh Hashanah.
14th October Sukkot
Feast of Tabernacles. (No work permitted Oct 13-15. Work permitted Oct 16-Oct 20 with restrictions) Sukkot celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. At Sukkot Jews remember the Israelites' 40 years of exile in the desert, living in makeshift dwellings, before they reached the promised land.  Sukkot is intended to be a joyful festival that lets Jews live close to nature and know that God is taking care of them.
19th October Hoshana Rabbah
Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashanah. According to Jewish tradition, God's judgment determines the fortune of the coming year. It is the final day of Sukkot, which is both an agricultural festival marking the end of the harvest in Israel and a religious observance commemorating God's protection of the Israelites during their escape from Egypt.Jewish businesses, organizations, and schools may be closed during the seven days of the Sukkot festival.
20th October Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret is a Jewish holiday marking the day after the end of Sukkot and is an extra day of celebration. Many religious Jews observe a rota of weekly readings from the Torah which allows them to read it through from Genesis to Deuteronomy on a yearly basis. Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah" and is the day when this annual cycle of rereading the Torah ends and starts anew.
22nd October Simchat Torah
Day of Celebrating the Torah. this day is reserved for the celebration of the conclusion of the cycle of reading from the Torah. The highlight is the hakafot held both on the eve and morning of Simchat Torah, in which the Jewish congregation marches and dances with Torah scrolls around the reading table in the synagogue.
22nd-30th December Hanukkah
The Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrated for eight days. It commemorates the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom. During Hanukkah, Jews light one more candle each night.

Muslim

Date Name of Festival
20th April Lailat-Al-Bara’ah
Lailat al Bara'a - the Night of Forgiveness - takes place two weeks before the beginning of Ramadan. On this night, Muslims pray and ask God for forgiveness for their sins. They believe that on this night one’s destiny is fixed for the year ahead. Visiting the graves of relatives and giving to charity is traditional at this time.Prayers are held through the night so that worshippers can ask for forgiveness for themselves and for their dead ancestors. Lamps are lit outside mosques.
5th May-4th June Ramadan
Ramadan is a time of fasting and spiritual renewal. According to the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Koran during Ramadan. Therefore Ramadan is considered the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims fast from early morning (before dawn) through to sunset.Fasting means no food or drink and also refraining from smoking, sex and 'sinful behaviour'.
31st May Lailat-Ul-Qadr
Night of power (Laylat-al-Qadr in Arabic) is the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It commemorates the night that the Quran was first started to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This holiday begins the evening prior to the first full day of activities
5th June Eid-Ul-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Eid ul Fitr means Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. It marks the end of Ramadan. It's one of the two major holidays in the Islamic year and is celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving to God, as well as feasting and gift giving.
12th-15th August Eid-Ul-Adha
This is the second Eid celebration in the Muslim year. The name means Festival of the Sacrifice. It is one of the most important Islamic holidays of the year and commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son to God. Eid-al-Adha also marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, which begins 9 September.
30th - 31st AUgust Al-Hijra
The first day of the Islamic New Year. The Islamic calendar began with the migration of the prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, to escape persecution.
9th - 10th September Ashura
Ashura is marked by all Muslims, but it’s most important for Shia Muslims for whom it’s a solemn day of mourning, marking the anniversary of the death of the prophet’s grandson, Husain. For Sunni Muslims, Ashura marks the exodus of Moses from Egypt, and is usually observed by completing an optional fast.
20th October Arba’een
This means 'forty' and is a Shia Muslim religious observance that takes place 40 days after Ashura. It commemorates the martyrdom of the grandson of Muhammad in the Battle of Karbala. Arba'een sees one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings in the world, with millions of Muslims marching on foot to Karbala in Iraq. Sunni Muslims also undertake the pilgrimage.  
9th - 10th November Mawlid an Nabi
Mawlid (or Milad) un-Nabi means 'birth of the prophet' and refers to observance of the birthday of Muhammad. It is observed by praising Allah, fasting, public processions, poetry, family gatherings and the decoration of streets and homes

Other

Date Name of Festival
24th July Pioneer Day (Mormon)
25th December

Kwanzaa (African American, African Diaspora)