With Ash Wednesday just days away, it’s a good time to make sure your calendar is complete with this year’s major religious holidays. Here, we provide a cheat sheet for Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu holidays.
Ash Wednesday: Feb. 17.
This marks the first day of Lent leading up to Easter.
Palm Sunday: March 28.
The day celebrates Jesus’ return to Jerusalem.
Maundy Thursday: April 1.
This commemorates the night of the Last Supper with Jesus.
Good Friday: April 2.
The day set aside to honor Jesus’ crucifixion.
Easter: April 4.
Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. This year, Easter falls of the same day for Western and Orthodox churches.
Orthodox Easter (Pascha): May 2.
Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection; it falls on a later day, with Orthodox churches following the Julian calendar.
Ascension Day: May 13.
This marks the day Jesus ascended into heaven.
Pentecost: May 23.
This honors the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ followers.
All Saints’ Day: Nov. 1.
The holiday celebrates the spiritual connection of all saints between the living and the dead.
Christmas Day: Dec. 25.
Purim: Feb. 25-26.
Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia.
Passover: March 27-April 4.
Passover (Pesach) celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
Shavuot: May 16-18.
Shavuot marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are read in synagogues, just as they were in the desert on Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago.
Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 6-8.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of God as king.
Yom Kippur: Sept. 15-16.
Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
Sukkot: Sept. 20-27.
This festival is held to commemorate the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness.
All Jewish holidays begin at sunset.
Isra and Mi’raj: March 10-11.
Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ramadan: April 12-May 12.
The month of fasting commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. It ends with the holiday Eid Al Fitr (May 12-13).
Laylat al-Qadr: May 9.
This celebrates the night that the first verses of Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
Eid al-Adha: July 19-20.
The Feast of the Sacrifice honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command.
Islamic New Year: Aug. 9-10.
Prophet’s Birthday: Oct. 18-19.
Celebrates birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
Holi: March 28-29.
The festival of colors to pray and wish for evil to be destroyed.
Navratri: Oct. 7-15.
This nine-day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
Diwali: Nov. 4.
The holiday celebrates the victory of light over darkness.