Plan Your EDI Calendar Part 5: Religion & Belief

It’s World Religion Day this week (January 21st), so as we continue our series highlighting the important dates on the EDI calendar, we’re looking here at Religion & Belief.

Remember that the Empower Up list of important dates and events is constantly updated and can help you with month-by-month planning, as it covers the key dates associated with all groups and communities.

January 15th – Makar Sankranti (Hindu)
A festival marking the sun’s shift into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), celebrated with kite flying and marks the beginning of longer days.

January 21st – World Religion Day
Initiated by the Baháʼí Faith to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.

January 25th – Mahayana New Year (Buddhism)
Celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhist sect, marking the first full moon day of the year.

February 14th-28th – Lent (Christian)
A period of 40 days leading up to Easter, observed through fasting, repentance, and spiritual discipline.

February 15th – Nirvana Day (Buddhism)
Observes the death of the Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana or complete enlightenment.

February 26th – Makha Bucha (Buddhism)
Celebrates Buddha’s teaching on the full moon of the third lunar month.

March 8th – Maha Shivratri (Hindu)
A night dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva, marking his marital union with Parvati.

March 10th-April 8th – Ramadan (Islam)
A month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community observed by Muslims.

March 24th – Palm Sunday
Marks Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, beginning Holy Week in Christianity.

March 25th – Holi (Hindu)
Known as the Festival of Colours, celebrating the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring.

March 25th – Hola Mohalla (Sikh)
A Sikh festival showcasing martial arts, poetry, and music, celebrated after Holi.

March 29th – Good Friday
Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.

March 31st – Easter Sunday
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

April 1st – Easter Monday
Continues the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

April 10th – Eid al Fitr (Islam)
Marks the end of Ramadan, celebrated with prayers, feasts, and charity.

April 13th – Vaisakhi (Sikh)
Marks the Sikh New Year and commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh.

April 17th – Ram Navami (Hindu)
Celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu.

April 22nd-30th – Passover (Judaism)
Commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.

May 23rd – Visakha Bucha (Buddhism)
Marks the birth, enlightenment, and death (Nirvana) of Gautama Buddha.

June 11th-June 13th – Pentecost (Judaism)
Known as Shavuot, celebrating the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

June 16th-20th – Eid ul-Adha (Islam)
The ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, commemorating Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to God.

July 20th – Asahna Bucha (Buddhism)
Commemorates Buddha’s first sermon and the founding of the Buddhist sangha.

August 19th – Raksha Bandhan (Hindu):
A festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters, where sisters tie a rakhi (a sacred thread) on their brothers’ wrists.

August 26th – Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)
Marks the birth of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, celebrated with devotional songs and dances.

October 2nd-4th – Rosh Hashanah (Judaism)
The Jewish New Year, marked by prayer, reflection, and sounding the shofar (ram’s horn).

October 4th-13th – Navaratri (Hindu)
A festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga, celebrated over nine nights.

October 11th-12th – Yom Kippur (Judaism)
The Day of Atonement, observed with fasting and prayer, the holiest day in Judaism.

October 16th-18th – Sukkot (Judaism)
Celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness.

October 23rd – Shmini Atzeret (Judaism)
Marks the end of Sukkot, observed with prayer for rain and a good harvest.

October 24th – Simchat Torah (Judaism)
Celebrates the conclusion and restart of the annual cycle of reading the Torah.

October 31st – Diwali (Hindu)
Known as the Festival of Lights, symbolising the victory of light over darkness, good over evil.

November – Islamophobia Awareness Month
Raises awareness about the impact of Islamophobia and promotes understanding of Islam.

November 1st – Diwali (Sikh)
Coincides with the Hindu festival of Diwali, but also marks the release of Guru Hargobind from prison.

November 1st – Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh)
Sikh celebration of the day Guru Hargobind Sahib was released from Gwalior Fort along with 52 kings.

November 15th – Birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Sikh)
Celebrates the birth of the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.

December 25th – Christmas Day
Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, central to Christian belief.

December 25th-January 2nd – Hanukkah (Judaism)
The Festival of Lights, commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil.

To ensure that you’re on top of all the important dates in the EDI calendar, bookmark the Empower Up Events page here.

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

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