Calendar of Important Dates

January 2016
1st New Years Day Secular  
1st Oshogatsu (or Shogatsu) Shinto Shinto New Year.
6th Epiphany Christian Commemoration of the visit of the three Wise Men to the infant Jesus.
7th Theophany (Orthodox) Christian Orthodox churches mark the baptism of Jesus on this day.
7th Christmas Day (Orthodox) Christian Most Orthodox churches use the Julian rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar. As a result, they celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches.
7th Christmas Day (Ethiopian) Rastafari Ethiopian Christmas.
10th Baptism of the Lord Christian Commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.
14th Makar Sankranti Hindu Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and celebrates the sun's journey into the northern hemisphere.
15th Seijin Shiki (Adults' Day) Shinto On this day those Japanese who have had their 20th birthday in the previous year attend a shrine to give thanks. 20 is the age of legal adulthood in Japan.
16th Religious Freedom Day Event Religious Freedom day is officially proclaimed on January 16 each year by an annual statement by the President of the United States. This day is commemorated by the First Freedom Center in Richmond, Viginia by an annual First Freedom Award banquet.
24th Tu B'Shevat Jewish Jewish 'New Year for Trees'. It is one of the four Jewish new years (Rosh Hashanahs).
25th St Paul's Day Christian Commemorative of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus.
28th St Thomas Aquinas Christian Doctor of the Church and patron saint of students and theologians.

February 2016
1st-28th Lesbian Gay Bisexual
Transgender History Month
Event To encourage everyone to see diversity and cultural pluralism as the positive forces.
1st Imbolc Pagan Imbolc (pronounced 'im'olk' also known as Oimelc) is a special time for Pagans in recognition of the natural.
2nd Candlemas Christian Candlemas commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, 40 days after the birth of her son Jesus.
3rd Rissun (Setsubun) Shinto Marks the beginning of spring.
8th Chinese New Year Chinese Year of the monkey.
9th Shrove Tuesday Christian The day before Ash Wednesday when Lent starts.
10th Ash Wednesday Christian The start of Lent, a time of abstinence and reflection. Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar.
11th Our Lady of Lourdes Christian Marks the day in 1858 when St Bernadette had her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
14th St Valentine's Day Christian Saint Valentine's Day embraces a time of year that is historically associated with love and fertility.
15th Parinirvana - Nirvana day Buddhist Marks the death of the Buddha. It is also known as Nirvana Day.
15th Nirvana day (alternative date) Buddhist Marks the death of the Buddha. Celebrated by some Buddhists on February 8.
17th Mahashivratri (also known as Shivaratri) Hindu Festival dedicated to Shiva, one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity. Devotees of Shiva observe a fast during Mahashivratri and stay up all night at a place of worship.
Student Volunteering Week Event This national all-sector-engaging campaign raises awareness of student volunteering and the infrastructure that supports it.

March 2016
1st St. David's Day Christian Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he's called in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales.
2nd Nineteen Day Fast (start) Bahá'í A 19-day period of fasting immediately before the Bahá'í New Year.
3rd-9th Climate Week Event Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.
6th Mothering Sunday Christian The fourth Sunday of Lent, traditionally a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family.
8th International Women’s Day Event Events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.
14th Hola Mohalla (Lunar
Sikh Guru Gobind Singh started this festival as a day for Sikhs to practise their military exercises and hold mock battles.
17th St Patrick's Day Christian The Patron Saint of Ireland.
20th Spring Equinox - Easter Pagan Spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with the Spring.
20th Naw-Ruz Bahá'í Bahá'í new year festival.
20th Palm Sunday Christian The beginning of the most solemn week of the Christian year, Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, and is the week during which Christians particularly remember the last week of Jesus’ life.
21st Jamshedi Noruz (Fasli) Zoroastrian Zoroastrian New Year celebration.
21st Shubun-sai - Equinox day Shinto A day for visiting graves. Also associated with Buddhism in Japan.
23rd Purim Jewish Festival celebrating Queen Esther who saved the Jews of Persia from a massacre. Starts at sunset of the night beforehand. Concludes at sunset the following day.
23rd Holi Hindu ‘The Festival of Colours’ Holi welcomes the Spring and celebrates the new life and energy of the season.
23rd Lord’s Evening Meal Jehovah’s
The Lord’s Evening Meal is the most important day of the year for Jehovah’s Witness Christians. It is an evening of observance in the memorial of Jesus’ Last Supper and death.
24th Maundy Thursday Christian The Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper.
25th Annunciation Christian Marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
25th Good Friday Christian Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the Passion: the execution of Jesus by crucifixion.
26th Khordad Sal (Fasli) Zoroastrian The birthday of Zoroaster. This festival is considered one of the most important in the Zoroastrian calendar.
27th Easter Sunday Christian Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival.
28th Easter Monday Christian The Monday after Easter

April 2016
14th Vaisakhi Sikh One of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar, it is the Sikh New Year festival.
16th World Voice Day Event Celebrates healthy voices and highlights the importance of voice at work and in society.
20th Ridvan Bahá'í Bahá'u'lláh ordained this festival 'Most Great Festival'.
21st Anniversary of Haile
Selassie's visit to Jamaica
Rastafari Marks the date Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica in 1966. The visit was the only time the Emperor visited Jamaica.
22nd Hanuman Jayanti Hindu Commemorates the birth of Hanuman Ji, the monkey God.
23rd-29th Passover (Pesach) Jewish Jews celebrate the Feast of Passover to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. Work is not permitted on the first two and the last two days of Passover.
23rd St George's Day Christian Patron saint of England.
29th Ridvan - ninth day Bahá'í The 1st, 9th and 12th days of The Ridván Festival are especially holy days. They commemorate the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh at the Ridván Garden, the arrival of his family and his departure.

May 2016
1st Easter (Pascha) (Orthodox) Christian Orthodox Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - his return from death after the Crucifixion. The most important Christian festival.
1st Beltane Pagan Celtic fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.
2nd Ridvan - twelfth day Bahá'í The 1st, 9th and 12th days of The Ridván Festival are especially holy days. They commemorate the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh at the Ridván Garden, the arrival of his family and his departure.
4th Yom Hashoah Jewish The Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day.
5th Ascension Day Christian Marks the last earthly appearance of Christ after his resurrection.
17th Ascension Day (Catholic
Church in England and
Christian Ascension Day is normally celebrated 40 days after Easter. The Catholic Church in England and Wales celebrates it on the following Sunday instead.
17th International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) Day Event This is an annual day dedicated to the fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. May 17th is regarded as a symbolic day for the lesbian and gay communities as it commemorates the removal of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
20th Wesak / Buddha day Buddhist The most important of the Buddhist festivals, it celebrates the Buddha's birthday.
21st Nisf Shabaan Muslim The 15th day of the eigth month (shaaban) of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the night of records, the night of assignment, the night of deliverance or the night of salvation, and the observance involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers.
22nd Declaration of the Báb Bahá'í The Báb’s declaration of the coming of Bahá'u'lláh.
24th Pentecost - Whitsun Christian The feast commemorating the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ.
26th Corpus Christi Christian Roman Catholic festival celebrating the "real presence of Christ in the Eucharist".
28th Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh Bahá'í It commemorates the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Bahá'í faith, Bahá'u'lláh, and his teachings.
31st Trinity Sunday Christian The first Sunday after Pentecost. Christians meditate on the nature of God as "Three in one".

June 2016
6th Ramadan (start) Muslim Ramadan is the Muslim month of fasting.
11th Shavuot Jewish One of the Jewish harvest festivals, also known as the festival or feast of 'Weeks' which takes place seven weeks (fifty days) after the first day of the spring festival of Passover.
16th Martyrdom of Guru Arjan
Dev (Nanakshahi calendar)
Sikh Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh Guru and the first Sikh martyr. He also compiled the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.
21st Summer Solstice - Litha Pagan Longest day of the year.
26th All Saints' Day (Orthodox) Christian This day honours all saints, known and unknown, of the Christian church. Western churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1.
29th St Peter and St Paul's Day Christian The martyrdoms of both these saints are observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutheran churches. One of the oldest saints' days.

July 2016
2nd Asala - Dharma Day Buddhist Dharma Day marks the beginning of the Buddha's teaching.
2nd Lailat al Qadr Muslim Marks one of the 10 nights in which on one of those days, the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah. It is a time that Muslims spend in study and prayer. Some will spend the whole night in prayer or in reciting the Qur'an.
6th Eid-Al-Fitr Muslim Celebrating the end of fasting and thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control. * This date is variable as the festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.
8th Martyrdom of the Báb Bahá'í This major holy day commemorates the events surrounding the death of the Báb. This is also a day of rest, when Bahá'ís should not work.
15th St Swithin's Day Christian Swithin (or Swithun) was a Saxon bishop in the 9th century. Legend has it that the weather on his feast day, 15 July, will determine the weather for the next 40 days.
21st St Mary Magdalene Christian Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox churches consider the first person to see Jesus at his resurrection a saint. She is also important in the Bahá'í faith.
23rd Birthday of Haile Selassie Rastafari Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia. Rastas believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile.
24th Pioneer Day Mormon Pioneer Day on July 24th is a major Mormon occasion in Utah, USA. It is also known as Covered Wagon Days and Days of '47. It honours the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th 1847.