Holidays and Cultural Observances
New Year's Day
A national holiday celebrated on the first day of the new year, following both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar.
Commonly known as Three Kings’ Day in the United States, it celebrates the three wise men’s visit to the baby Jesus and remembers his baptism, according to the Christian Bible’s events. The United States (US) Virgin Islands observe the day as a public holiday.
A joyous festival on the Hindu calendar, this celebration is dedicated to the deity Surya, the god of the sun, and marks the transition from Capricorn’s time.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
A federal holiday celebrating the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader.
A Christian holiday celebrating three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and the Virgin Mary’s purification.
Chinese New Year
Also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, it marks the first day of the year in the Chinese calendar.
St. Valentine's Day
A festival of romantic love where many people give cards, letters, flowers, or presents to their spouse or partner.
Also known as Washington’s Birthday, this is a federal holiday honoring presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the first president of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president.
Panchami, Saraswati Puja, or Shree Panchami, is a festival to celebrate spring’s first day. It is observed on the fifth day of Magha’s Indian month (late January to early February) by Hindus and Sikhs.
A Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent.
Birthday of Ali ibn Abi Talib
The birthday of Ali ibn Abi Talib is observed by Muslims on the 13th day of the month of Rajab. It is an official public holiday in Iran.
Purim marks the Jewish people’s deliverance from a royal death decree around the fourth century BCE, as told in the Book of Esther.
A commemoration of the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent into heaven.
A predominantly Hindu festival that happens every year in honor of Lord Shiva. The day marks the marriage day of Shiva.
St. Patrick's Day
A Christian commemoration of one of Ireland’s patron saints, St Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States.
A Jewish holiday commemorating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus.
A commemoration of the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday.
A holiday observed by Muslim communities on the night between 14 and 15 Sha’ban, regarded as a night when the fortunes of individuals for the coming year are decided.
A Christian holiday that commemorates the last supper and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist.
Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Christian church. In the bible, it is the day when Mary Magdalene found an empty tomb in the cave in which Jesus had been placed.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is during this month that Muslims fast from sun up to sun down each day.
Hindu New Year
Hindu New Year takes place on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartika. This falls sometime during October or November.
The holiest night of the year for Muslims. The name Laylat al-Qadr translates to “Night of Power.” This night commemorates the night Allah revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
Shavuot commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people and occurs on the 50th day after the 49 days of counting the Omer.
Celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter in Christianity.
A celebration of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in military service for the United States.
The Feast of Corpus Christi is a Catholic festival celebrated on the second Thursday after Whitsun.
Juneteenth commemorates the date in 1865 when news of the emancipation of African American slaves reached Galveston, Texas.
On July 4, 1776 the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England.
A Muslim pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the “House of God”, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
A Utah holiday that commemorates the first entry of Brigham Young and a group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.
A Muslim commemoration of the Event of Mubahalah, a religious debate between the Prophet Muhammad and a group of Christians. The two sides were initially in disagreement on religious matters but met again and made peace.
Islamic New Year
Marks Islamic New Year and the Prophet’s journey from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE.
Ashura is the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Mourning of Muharram.
A Hindu commemoration of the birthday of Lord Krishna, the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu who gave the message of the Bhagwat Gita.
This holiday is most commonly associated with a commemoration of the achievements of the labor movement.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish commemoration of the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement.
Holy Cross Day
Considered the most important holiday in the Jewish faith. According to tradition, it is on Yom Kippur that God decides each person’s fate.
Commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God protected them under difficult desert conditions.
One of the most important ceremonies in the Shiite Muslim calendar. Arbaeen means 40 in Arabic, as 40 days is the traditional mourning length after a family member’s death or loved one in Muslim traditions.
Shemini Atzeret is in effect on the final day of Sukkot. The last portion of the Torah is read on this day. Observant Jews do not work or travel on this Yom Tov or “holy day.”
Marks the end of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle in Judaism.
All Saints' Day
Pope Boniface IV dedicated the day as a Christian holiday to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and all martyrs.
All Souls' Day
A Christian day dedicated to the remembrance of the departed. All Souls’ Day follows All Saints’ Day.
Hindu celebrations that revolve around the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness.
In the United States, this holiday, the fourth Thursday in November, traditionally celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest.
In Judaism, observed for eight days in honor of the historic victory of the Maccabbees against religious oppression.
In Christianity, Christmas Eve marks the culmination of the Advent period before Christmas that started on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve.
Christmas celebrates the Nativity of Jesus, which according to Christian tradition, took place on Dec. 25th, 1 BCE.
Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that is held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu.
New Year's Eve
New Year’s Eve is a holiday in all countries that observe the upcoming Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel.
Indigenous Peoples' Day
A holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October and is an official city and state holiday in various localities.
A celebration observed in many countries on Oct. 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the liturgical year’s time dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
Eid-e-Shuja’ stands for “eid of the brave and courageous companions of Imam Hussain ibn Ali” who fought in the battle of Karbala in Islam.
Mawlid is a special holiday for many in the Muslim faith. It is celebrated to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. On this day, Muslims celebrate by focusing on the life and teachings of Muhammad.