April

Rama Navami

Rama Navami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, observed with devotional readings, temple rituals, and cultural performances.

Passover

Passover is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian slavery and their exodus led by Moses, celebrated with a ritual meal called the Seder and the avoidance of leavened foods.

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May

Buddha Day

Buddha Day, also known as Vesak or Wesak, commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha, observed by Buddhists with prayer, meditation, and various ceremonial events.

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International Day of Families

This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.

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June

Shavuot (Pentecost)

Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and is celebrated with religious observances, studying of scriptures, and eating dairy foods.

Guru Arjan Dev Martyrdom Day

Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day commemorates the day when the fifth Sikh Guru was tortured and executed by the Mughal emperor Jahangir, marking a pivotal event in Sikh history and strengthening the community’s resolve.

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Eid-ul-Adha

Eid al-Adha is the second and the largest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam.

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Refugee Week

Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts & culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

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Windrush Day

Windrush Day is a commemoration in the United Kingdom held on 22 June to honour the contributions of migrants to the post-war economy.

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July

Islamic New Year (Al-Hijra)

Al-Hijra marks the Islamic New Year, commemorating the migration (Hijra) of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE.

Ashura

Ashura is a significant religious observance for both Sunni and Shia Muslims, marking the tenth day of Muharram; Sunnis commemorate it as a day of atonement, while Shias mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala.

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Asalha Puja (Sharma Day)

Asalha Puja is a Theravada Buddhist festival that commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon and the inception of the Buddhist sangha (monastic community), observed with meditation, chanting, and religious ceremonies.

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August

World Breast Feeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is an annual campaign to promote the benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers, emphasising its importance for global health and wellbeing.

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International Youth Day

International Youth Day is an annual observance dedicated to celebrating the potential of young people, raising awareness of challenges they face, and promoting their active engagement in socio-economic and political processes.

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Fast of Tisha B’av

Tisha B’Av is a solemn Jewish fast day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other tragedies in Jewish history, observed with fasting, prayer, and the reading of the Book of Lamentations.

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Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, with devotional singing, fasting, re-enactments of episodes from Krishna’s life, and visits to temples.

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September

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is an annual observance on September 10th aimed at raising awareness about suicide prevention, reducing the stigma around the topic, and encouraging global action to reduce instances of suicide.

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October

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance dedicated to celebrating the achievements, contributions, and history of Black individuals and communities, while also reflecting on the struggles they’ve faced throughout history.

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International Day of Older Persons

International Day of Older Persons is dedicated to honouring the contributions of senior citizens and addressing challenges they face, emphasising the importance of ensuring their well-being and participation in society.

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Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, often referred to as the Jewish New Year, is a two-day celebration marking the beginning of the High Holy Days, characterized by introspection, prayer, and the blowing of the shofar (a ram’s horn).

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Navaratri

Navaratri is a nine-night Hindu festival dedicated to the goddess Durga, celebrated with fasting, dancing, and devotional practices, culminating in the festival of Dussehra on the tenth day.

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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness about mental health issues globally, promote open dialogue, and mobilise efforts in support of mental wellbeing.

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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, observed with fasting, intensive prayer, and reflection, seeking forgiveness for sins and reconciliation with God.

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November

Diwali

Diwali, often called the “Festival of Lights,” is a major Hindu festival celebrating the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, marked by illuminating homes with lamps, exchanging gifts, feasting, and offering prayers to deities, especially Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

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Birthday of Guru Nanak

The birthday of Guru Nanak, also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab, celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism, observed with hymns, prayers, and processions, and is one of the most sacred festivals in Sikh tradition.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.

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December

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

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Human Rights Day

In the decades since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, human rights have become more recognised and more guaranteed across the globe.

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Christmas Day

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is widely observed with religious ceremonies, gift-giving, festive meals, and decorations, serving as a central holiday in the Christian calendar.

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