FESTIVALS OF THE WORLD
Remaining Festivals for March 2018
03/18 – Ugadi / Gudi Pada
03/21 – Navroz – Bhai
03/25 – Ram Navami – birth celebrations of Lord Ram
03/25 – Palm Sunday
03/26 – Zoroastrian New Year
03/29 – Mahavir Jayanthi –
03/30 – Good Friday
03/31 – Pesach – Jewish
03/31 – Holy Saturday – Easter Eve
03/31 – Hanuman Jayanthi
UGADI / GUDI PADA
is the New Year’s Day for the people South India. It is festively observed in these regions on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra. This typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. Gudi Padawa is the same festival celebrated in NW India.
Naw-Ruz is the Baha’i New Year’s Day and coincides with the spring equinox. It is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the ‘New Day’ and it marks the end of the annual nineteen day fast that concludes the old year.
RAMA NAVAMI Hindu
The birthday of Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, is celebrated at noon in the aarti ceremony, performed in front of a doll or of a picture depicting Rama swinging in a cradle.
Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, when Christians remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where later he would be arrested and crucified. Many churches commemorate the day by processions, with the congregation carrying symbolic palm leaves folded in the form of a cross, or branches of palm trees.
KHORDAD SAL Zoroastrian
On the birthday of Prophet Zarathushtra there are visits to the Fire Temple to give thanks to Ahura Mazda for his gift of the Prophet; to participate in a jashan or thanksgiving ceremony; to listen to stories of the miraculous birth and life of the Prophet; and to share in a happy community meal, a drink and a dance
MAHAVIRA JAYANTI (599 BCE) Jain
The birthday of the last Tirthankara, or great teacher and model of the Jainas. His birth and the events surrounding it are re-enacted. Monks or nuns read from the scriptures and teach about the rest of Mahavira’s life. Lay people then return home to a celebratory feast.
GOOD FRIDAY Christian (Western Churches)
This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Meditative services are held in church to mark the time that Jesus spent on the cross.
PASSOVER / PESACH Jewish
This major Jewish festival lasts eight days and commemorates the liberation of the Children of Israel and their Exodus from slavery in Egypt. The highlight is the Seder meal, held in each family’s home at the beginning of the festival, when the story of their deliverance is recounted, as narrated in the Haggadah (the Telling, or the Story). Matzah, (unleavened bread) is eaten throughout the festival, as are other foods that contain no leaven (yeast). There is a major spring cleaning in the home shortly before the festival to ensure that no trace of leaven is left in the house during Pesach. Coconut pyramids and matza balls (which are put in soups) are foods that might be eaten at this time.
HOLY SATURDAY (Easter Eve) Christian
This is the last day of Lent. Special services involving the lighting of the Paschal Candle and the renewal of baptismal vows take place in the evening in preparation for Easter.
HANUMAN JAYANTI Hindu
This Hindu festival recalls the birth of Lord Rama’s supreme devotee, the monkey-headed Hanuman, whose feats figure in the Ramayana epic. Hanuman’s birth is celebrated at sunrise on the full-moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra.