Religious Holy Days


July 2020

July 5 
Dharma Day (Buddhism)
Also known as Asala Puja, it commemorates the historical Buddha's first discourse following his spiritual awakening.

July 6 
Vassa (Buddhism)
This date marks the start of a three-month retreat for monks during the rainy season in Asia. Worshippers often donate candles and other necessary supplies to temples.

July 9
Martyrdom of the Bab (Bahá’í)
Observance of the anniversary of the execution by a firing squad in Tabríz, Persia, of the 30-year-old Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, the Báb, the prophet-herald of the Bahá’í Faith.

July 11
St. Benedict Day (Catholic Christianity)
This day recognizes St. Benedict of Nursia, who lived from 480-547 AD. St. Benedict was the founder of Western Christian monasticism and started twelve communities for monks in his lifetime.

July 12 
Feast of Kalimát (Baha’i)
The Baha’i calendar has nineteen months, all named after attributes of God. Kalimat is the Arabic for words. A Bahá'í Feast consists of three main components: spiritual devotion, administrative consultation, and fellowship. Usually held at a community center or in a local Bahá'ís home, Feasts are restricted to members of the Bahá'í Faith, mainly because of the consultative aspects of the gathering.

July 13–15 
Ullambana/Obon (Buddhism)
Ullambana, a Sanskrit term that means “hanging upside down and suffering,” honors the spirits of past ancestors and strives to relieve aching souls from suffering. Obon, the Japanese transliteration of Ullambana, is only three days and varies from region to region—July in the eastern region and August in the western region.

July 15
Saint Vladimir's Day (Christianity)
Saint Vladimir, celebrated on this day in Orthodox and Catholic traditions, was born an illegitimate prince, who defeated his stepbrothers to become the sole leader of Russia in 980 AD. Known for his barbarism and immorality in his younger years, Vladimir later became interested in the Christian faith and converted himself and the people of Russia. He is the patron saint of Russia.

July 23
Haile Selassi I Birthday (Rastafarianism)
This day celebrates Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, who was believed to be an incarnation of God, or Jah, for Rastafarians. Thus, Haile Selassi is seen as part of the Holy Trinity.

July 24
Pioneer Day (Mormon Christianity)
Pioneer Day commemorates the arrival of the first Mormon wagon train into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Some Latter Day Saints recognize this holiday by walking the Pioneer trail and reenacting the events of '47. Although Pioneer Day started as a celebration for Mormon pioneers, this day is now a state holiday in Utah that recognizes pioneers from all faiths and cultural backgrounds. Celebrations include fireworks, food, rodeos, intertribal powwows, and more.

July 25
St. James the Great Day (Christianity)
July 25th is the feast day for St. James the Great, the patron saint of Spain. One of the twelve apostles, James was also known for being a valiant knight and for preaching the gospel in Spain. He was executed by sword in Jerusalem - by order of Agrippa I and thus became the first martyred saint. His body was returned to Spain, where many make pilgrimages to visit.

July 29
Tisha B’av (Judaism) (Begins at sundown on the 29th) 
Mourning of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in 586 BCE and 70 CE.

Waqf al-Arafa - Hajj Day (Islam) (Begins at sundown on the 29th)
Waqf al-Arafa is the Islamic observance day during Hajj in which pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy. Pilgrims stay awake at night to pray on the hill of Arafat, the site where Muhammad delivered his last sermon.

July 31–August 3 
Eid Al-Adha (Islam)
Commemoration of Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience of a command from God. Marks the end of the annual Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).