Religious Holy Days



May 2017

May and June mark the season of the Hopi Kachina Dances, in which Arizona Hopi celebrants represent various spirit-powers and perform ritual dances in open pueblo areas.  It is also the time of Yansa’altt, the season of berry blossoms—anticipating the berry harvest in summer, which is essential for survival in winter.

Monday, May 1  

Beltane [also called Beltain or May Day] – Wicca
Celebration of the sacred marriage of the divine forces—and the conception of the sun-child—that are the basis of all creation.
Twelfth Day of Ridván – Bahá’í 
The conclusion of the Bahá’í festival that commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s exile in Baghdad leading up to his declaration as the one announced by the Báb in 1863 C.E.

Tuesday, May 2
Birthday of Gurū Arjan Dev – Sikhism
Gurū Arjan Dev (1563 – 1606 C.E.) was the fifth of the Sikh Gurūs.

Thursday, May 4
Ghambar Maidyozarem ends  – Zoroastrianism
The end of the celebration of the creation of the sky and the harvesting of the winter crops.
National Day of Prayer – Multi-faith, USA

Tuesday, May 9
Laylat al-Bara’at or Nisf Sha‘bān – Islam
According to Muslim tradition, Allah approaches the earth on this night (the middle day of the eighth month in the Islamic calendar) to call humanity to repentance and grant forgiveness of sins. 

Wednesday, May 10
Visakha Puja [Buddha Day] – Buddhism 
Celebrated by Theravdin Buddhists on the full moon of the sixth lunar month, this is a triple commemoration of the historical Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death and entrance into nirvana.

Sunday, May 14
Lag B’Omer –  Judaism
The 33rd day in the counting of the period between Pesach [Passover] and Shavuot [the giving of the Law]; the festival begins at sundown.

Monday, May 15
Restoration of the Aaronic priesthood – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Marking the restoration of this order by John the Baptist and conferred upon the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on this date in 1829 C.E

Tuesday, May 16
‘Azamat – Bahá’í
The beginning of the fourth month of the Bahá’í year, ‘Azamat means “grandeur.”
 

Tuesday, May 23
Declaration of the Báb – Bahá’í
The celebration of the day in 1844 C.E. when he announced his identity as the Gate or herald of the new age in Shiraz, Persia (modern-day Iran).
Birthday of Gurū Amar Das – Sikhism
Gurū Amar Das (1479 – 1574 C.E.) was the third of the Sikh Gurūs.

Thursday, May 25
Ascension Day – Christianity (Western and Eastern churches)
The anniversary of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, celebrated forty days after Easter.  In the Roman Catholic Church, this day is celebrated on Sunday, May 28th.    

Friday, May 26
Ramadān begins – Islam
A holy month of fasting and prayer, in which all adult and physically competent Muslims abstain from food, water, and sexual relations from dawn to sunset.  Ramadān ends on June 24th. 

Sunday, May 28   
Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh – Bahá’í
The anniversary of the death of the founder of the Bahá’í faith in Palestine in 1892 C.E.  Adherents suspend work on this day.

Monday, May 29  Memorial Day
 
Tuesday, May 30
Shavuot [Feast of Weeks] – Judaism
A two-day festival, beginning at sundown, that celebrates the harvest of first fruits and the giving of the Law (or Torah) to Moses at Mt. Sinai.  The name Shavuot derives from the Hebrew words for “seven” and “week,” because it marks seven weeks following Pesach or Passover.



Thank you

Thank you to ACPE Supervisor Rev. Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark at UCSF Medical Center Spiritual Care Services, San Francisco, CA, for compiling this list each month. Email him for more information.  

Also our thanks to the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, the Multifaith Action Society of British Columbia (Canada), BBC’s Religion Website, Peel Schools District Board (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), the Arizona State University Provost’s Office, the NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad, the Anti-Defamation League, Project Interfaith (Omaha, NE), the University of Victoria Faculty of Law (British Columbia, Canada), and www.interfaithcalendar.org

To subscribe to this calendar and sync it with your Google, Outlook, or iCal calendars, visit ucsfspiritcare.org and select the “Resources” menu.