Lists of holidays

Lists of holidays by various categorizations.

Religious holidays

Abrahamic holidays (Middle Eastern)

Jewish holidays
  • Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread – 7 days of consumption of matzo with wine and avoidance of leavened foods)
  • Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication; Also called the Festival of Lights – Commemoration of the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple)
  • Pesach (Passover – Deliverance of Jews from slavery in Egypt)
    • Lag BaOmer (A holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar)
  • Purim (Feast of Lots – Deliverance of Jews in Persia from extermination by Haman)
  • Reishit Katzir (Feast of Firstfruits – Collecting and waving of grain bundles (barley or wheat); Occurs during the 7 days of unleavened bread after the Sabbath)
  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year – First day of Tishrei every year)
  • Shabbat (The 7th Day Sabbath – The day of rest and holiest day of the week, Saturday)
  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks – Wheat harvesting in Israel and the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai)
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles; Also called the Feast of Ingathering – Dwelling within sukkahs for 7 days (in Israel) or 8 days (the diaspora); Considered by some to be a mini-campout)
    • Shemini Atzeret (A holiday sometimes confused as being the 8th day of Sukkot; Beginning of the rainy season in Israel)
      • Simchat Torah (Observed after Shemini Atzeret; Completion of the Sefer Torah)
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement – A day of fasting and repentance of one's sins from the past year)
Christian holidays
Islamic holidays
  • Ashura (Day of Atonement; Tenth day of Muharram. Muharram is the first month of the lunar year)
  • Eid (feast): Date determined by the lunar calendar and observation of the Moon
    • Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice; Tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the lunar year)
    • Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast; First day of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, the fasting month. Part of honoring this occasion is "zakaat ul-fitr" (giving alms to the needy on the day of Eid al-Fitr))
  • Holy Month of Ramadan (First day of Ramadan; A 30-day period of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran)
  • Isra and Mi'raj (Night Journey; Ascension of Muhammad into Heaven)
  • Jumu'ah (More commonly known as the Day of Assembly or the Day of Gathering; Held every Friday of the lunar year as an alternative to the Zuhr prayer)
  • Mawlid (Birth of Muhammad)
  • Mid-Sha'ban (Bara'a Night; Decisions of the fortunes of men in the approaching year)
  • Nuzul Al Quran (First revelation of the Quran)
  • Raʼs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah (Islamic New Year; First day of Muharram every year)
Baháʼí holidays
Mandaean holidays

Dharmic holidays (Indian)

Buddhist holidays
Hindu holidays
Jain holidays
Sikh holidays

Pagan holidays

Ancient Greek/Roman holidays
Celtic, Norse, and Neopagan holidays

In the order of the Wheel of the Year:

Other holidays

East Asian holidays

Messianic interpretations of Jewish holidays for Christians

The following table is a chart based on a Messianic Jewish perspective of the 9 biblical holidays (including the Sabbath), along with their times and days of occurrence, references in the Bible, and how they point to Yeshua (Jesus). All the holidays shown below are major with the exceptions of the Feast of Dedication and the Feast of Lots which are minor festivals.

HolidaySeasonMonthBiblical referencesSymbolic significance
PassoverSpring14 NisanLevites 23:4-8, Words 16:1-8, Matthew 26:17-27, John 6:1-71–11:55He dies.
Feast of Unleavened BreadSpring15-21 NisanLevites 23:5-8, Matthew 27:1-50, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8He is buried and rids His House of sin.
Feast of FirstfruitsSpring16 NisanLevites 23:9-14, Matthew 28:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23He rises from the dead.
Feast of WeeksSpring6-7 SivanLevites 23:15-22, Numbers 28:26-31, Tobit 2:1, Acts 2:1-4He sends the comforter (The Holy Spirit) 7 weeks later.
Feast of TrumpetsAutumn1-2 TishreiLevites 23:23-25, Daniel 7:25, 1 Corinthians 5:8–15:52He returns.
Day of AtonementAutumn10 TishreiLevites 23:26-27, Matthew 24:29-30, Romans 11:25-29, Hebrews 9:7He judges the non-believers.
Feast of TabernaclesAutumn15-21 TishreiLevites 23:33-43, John 7:1–10:21, Ephesians 2:20-22, Revelation 21:3He will gather us for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Feast of DedicationAutumn-Winter25 Kislev-2/3 TevetMaccabees 4:52-59, John 10:22-23He is the Light of the World.
Feast of LotsWinter14 AdarEsther 9:20-31He delivers Israel and brings salvation to His people.
The 7th Day SabbathEvery Saturday of the yearAll months of the yearLevites 23:3, Words 5:12-14, Hebrews 4:9-11He will dwell with us for a perpetual day of rest.

Western winter holidays in the Northern Hemisphere

The following holidays are observed to some extent at the same time during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, with the exception of Winter Solstice.

  • Winter Solstice (the longest night and shortest day of the year) or Yule (Winter solstice, around 21–22 December in the Northern Hemisphere and 21–22 June in the Southern Hemisphere) – The solstice celebrations are traditionally marked with anything that symbolizes or encourages life. Decorating evergreens with bright objects and lights, singing songs, giving gifts, feasting and romantic events are often included. For Neopagans this is the celebration of the death and rebirth of the Sun and is one of the eight sabbats on the Wheel of the Year.
  • Christmas Eve (24 December) – Day before Christmas. Traditions usually include big feasts at night to celebrate the day to come. It is the night when Santa Claus delivers presents to all the good children of the world.
  • Christmas Day (25 December) – Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus. Traditions include gift-giving, the decoration of trees and houses, and Santa Claus folktales.
  • Hanukkah (25 Kislev–2 Tevet – almost always in December) – Jewish holiday celebrating the defeat of Seleucid forces who had tried to prevent Israel from practicing the Jewish faith, and also celebrating the miracle of the Menorah lights burning for eight days with only enough olive oil for one day supply. In Hebrew, "Hanukkah" means "dedication" or "to dedicate".
  • Saint Stephen's Day or Second Day of Christmas (26 December) – Holiday observed in many European countries.
  • Boxing Day (26 December or 27 December) – Holiday observed in many Commonwealth countries on the first non-Sunday after Christmas.
  • New Year's Eve (31 December) – Night before New Year's Day. Usually observed with celebrations and festivities in anticipation of the new year.
  • New Year's Day (1 January) – Holiday observing the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

Secular holidays

Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, around the world, but are not strictly holidays as time off work is rarely given.

International

  • All Hallows' Day – (1 November in the United States, Canada, Mexico (where it is known as the Day of the Dead), and other countries). A day of remembrance and honour of all the Faithful Believers who have passed, been canonized, and gone to Heaven.
  • Asteroid Day – (30 June, global). Founded in 2014 (initiated after the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor air burst) and recognized in 2016 by the United Nations to mark the June 30, 1908 Tunguska event and raise awareness about the hazards of asteroid impacts.
  • Halloween – (31 October, especially in the UK and former British colonies, including the United States, Canada, and Australia). Also called All Hallows' Eve, it is a highly secularized outgrowth of Christian All Hallows' Day on 1 November, and pagan Celtic Samhain (halfway point between autumn equinox and winter solstice).
  • International Men's Day – (19 November in Canada, Australia, India, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Singapore, South Africa, and Malta)
  • International Women's Day – (8 March, particularly in Australia, former Soviet bloc countries and mainland China)
  • May Day, Labor/Labour Day, or International Workers' Day – (1 May in many European and South American countries. The United States and Canada both celebrate on the first Monday in September)
  • Saint Nicholas Day – (5 or 6 December in the Netherlands, Belgium, Lebanon, and other countries)
  • Saint Patrick's Day – (17 March in Ireland, the United States, Canada, and other countries by people of Irish descent or heritage)
  • Saint Valentine's Day – (14 February in the United States, Canada, and many other countries as a day to celebrate love and affection)
  • Thanksgiving Day – (4th Thursday in November in the United States, 2nd Monday in October in Canada). Generally observed as an expression of gratitude, traditionally to God, for the autumn harvest. It is traditionally celebrated with a meal shared among friends and family in which turkey is eaten. In Canada, since the climate is colder than in the US, the harvest season begins and ends earlier.

Regional

Other secular holidays not observed internationally
NameDatePlaceDetails
Chosŏn'gŭl Day or Hangeul Day15 JanuaryNorth Korea
9 OctoberSouth Korea
Martin Luther King Jr. Day3rd Monday in JanuaryUnited StatesHonors Civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Groundhog Day2 FebruaryUnited States and Canada
Darwin Day12 FebruaryBirthday of Charles Darwin to highlight his contribution to science.
Family Day3rd Monday in FebruaryVarious regions of Canada
Washington's Birthday3rd Monday in FebruaryUnited StatesFederal holiday. Honors Founding Father George Washington.
Confederate Memorial DayCelebrated by the original Confederate States at various times during the year; still celebrated on the fourth Monday in April in Alabama.Parts of the United States
Siblings Day10 AprilOriginally celebrated only in the United States. Can now be celebrated in various countries around the world.
Patriots' Day3rd Monday in AprilMassachusetts and Maine, United States
Earth Day22 AprilCelebrated in many countries as a day to cherish nature.
King's Day27 AprilNetherlands
Constitution Day3 MayPolandOne of the two most important national holidays (the other is National Independence Day on 11 November). It commemorates the proclamation of the Constitution of May 3, 1791 (the first modern constitution in Europe) by the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Youth Day4 MayPeople's Republic of ChinaCommemorates Beijing students who protested against Western imperialism on this day.
Cinco de Mayo5 MayMexico
Parents' Day8 MaySouth Korea
4th Sunday in JulyUnited StatesProclaimed by Bill Clinton in 1994.
Victoria DayLast Monday before 25 MayCanada, also Edinburgh and Dundee in ScotlandBirthday of Queen Victoria.
Children's Day2nd Sunday in JuneVarious
Flag Day14 JuneUnited States
2 MayPoland
Juneteenth19 JuneUnited StatesFederal holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas.
Canada Day1 JulyCanadaCelebration of the date of the Confederation of Canada. Formerly known as Dominion Day, as this was the day on which Canada became a self-governing Dominion within the British Empire.
Independence DayVarious days; 4 July in the United States and other dates in many other nations
Indian Arrival DayVarious daysOfficial holiday in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Mauritius, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesCelebrated on the day when Indians arrived in various European colonies; Celebrated with parades re-enacting when indentured Indian immigrants landed in their respective colonies.
Pioneer Day24 JulyUtah, United States
People's Liberation Army Day1 AugustMainland territory of the People's Republic of China
Grandparents' DaySunday after Labor DayUnited StatesProclaimed by Jimmy Carter in 1978.
Columbus Day2nd Monday in OctoberUnited StatesHonors explorer Christopher Columbus.
Indigenous Peoples' Day2nd Monday in OctoberUnited StatesCelebrates the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
NanomonestotseStarts 3rd Monday in OctoberCelebration of peace, observed within some Native American families.
Guy Fawkes Night5 NovemberGreat Britain and other countries of the CommonwealthIn memory of the failed Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes.
Melbourne Cup Day1st Tuesday in NovemberMelbourne metropolitan areaThe day of the Melbourne Cup.
Remembrance Day or Veterans Day11 NovemberUnited States, Canada and other Commonwealth nations
Kwanzaa26 December to 1 JanuaryUnited StatesCelebration of African heritage created in 1966 by African-American activist Maulana Karenga. Holiday's name comes from "matunda ya kwanza" ("first fruits" in Swahili). Kinara, a seven-branched candleholder, means seven main concepts of Kwanzaa.[citation needed]

Consecutive holidays

  • In the People's Republic of China, the Spring Festival and National Day are week-long holidays in the mainland territory known as Golden Weeks.
  • In Colombia, in the holy week there are consecutive holidays Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday) and Viernes Santo (Holy Friday) with variable dates in March or April.
  • In The Netherlands, Remembrance of the Dead is celebrated on 4 May from 19:00 and Liberation Day on the 5th. This way Remembrance of the Dead and Liberation Day constitute one remembrance: for both Victims and Liberation.
  • In Ireland, Saint Patrick's Day can occasionally occur in Holy Week, the week before Easter; in this case the three holidays (Saint Patrick's Day, Good Friday, and Easter Monday) plus three days' leave can result in a 10-day break. See Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In Poland during holidays on 1 May and 3 May, when taking a few days of leave can result in 9-day-long holidays; this is called The Picnic (or Majówka).
  • In Japan, golden-week lasts roughly a full week. Then, in 2007, the law was amended so that if any 2 public holidays occur both on a weekday and are separated by a day, then that intermediate day shall also be a public holiday, thus creating a 3-day-long public holiday.
  • In Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Russia and the UK, a public holiday otherwise falling on a Sunday will result in observance of the public holiday on the next available weekday (generally Monday). This arrangement results in a long weekend.
  • The United States Congress changed the observance of Memorial Day and Washington's Birthday from fixed dates to certain Mondays in 1968 (effective 1971). Several states had passed similar laws earlier.

Unofficial holidays, awareness days, and other observances

These are holidays that are not traditionally marked on calendars. These holidays are celebrated by various groups and individuals. Some are designed to promote a cause, others recognize historical events not recognized officially, and others are generally intended as humorous distractions.

See also

References


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