12th Day of Ridvan (Baha'i)
Beginning on April 21 and concluding on May 2, Baha'is celebrate the period when the religion's founder, Baha'u'llah, resided in a garden in Baghdad. Baha'u'llah called it the Garden of Ridvan, as Ridvan translates to paradise. It was during his time in the garden that Baha'iuíllah proclaimed that he was the messenger of God for this age.
Visakha Puja (Buddhism)
Also known as Vesak or Buddha Day, it marks the birth, spiritual awakening and death (nirvana) of the historical Buddha. (This date may vary based on region or sect.)
Lag B’Omer (Judaism) (Begins at sundown on the 11th)
Celebrates the end of a divine-sent plague and/or Roman occupation during Rabbi Akiva’s lifetime (died c. 135 CE). Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day between the second day of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot. There is altogether a span of 49 days between the two holidays; a time that is traditionally a period of mourning the death of Rabbi Akiba’s 24,000 students over 2,000 years ago. By contrast, however, Lag B’Omer is a break in the mourning period and is therefore a time for celebration.
Midfeast (Eastern Orthodox Church)
A feast day which occurs during the Paschal season in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. Mid-Pentecost celebrates the midpoint between the Feasts of Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost. Specifically, it falls on the 25th day of Pascha. At the feast of Mid-Pentecost, a Small Blessing of the Waters is traditionally performed after the liturgy of the feast.
Laila Al-Qadr (Islam)
Commemorates the night that the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is known as the “Night of Power.” Often set on the 27th day of Ramadan, Sunnis may observe it on the 21st, 23rd, 25th or 29th and Shīʿite (Shiite) observe it on the 19th, 21st or 23rd day of Ramadan.
Ascension Day (Christianity)
Celebrated 40 days after Easter/Pascha, it commemorates the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
A traditional ancient Iranian festival celebrating the first day of Spring and the Iranian New Year. Also celebrated as New Year’s Day in Baha’i tradition (Naw-Ruz). (This date may vary based on region or sect.)
Declaration of the Bab (Bahá’í)
Commemoration of May 23, 1844, when the Báb, the prophet-herald of the Bahá’í Faith, announced in Shíráz, Persia, that he was the herald of a new messenger of God. The Baha'i Faith is considered to have begun on May 23, 1844, which was the day that the individual known as “The Bab” declared his mission. The world's 5 million Baha'is have basic principles that include belief in the oneness of the human race, the unity of religions, equality of the sexes, and universal peace. Baha’is are followers of Baha'u'llah, who was born in Persia in 1817.
May 23 (Begins at sundown on the 23rd)
Eid al-Fitr (Islam)
The “Feast of the Breaking of the Fast” marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting from dawn until dusk. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan recognizes Muhammad's revelation from God, as recorded in the Qur'an. During this period, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and time is focused on prayer, charity and self-reflection. On Eid al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate the end of fasting, and thank God for giving them the strength to practice self-control during Ramadan.
Ascension of Christ (Orthodox Christianity)
Falling forty days after Easter, this date marks the conclusion of Jesus's time on earth. Acts 1:9-11 state that the disciples witnessed Jesus's ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives. The day is celebrated with prayer and special church services, and is often marked with music. It is one of the oldest celebrations of the tradition.
Ascension of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)
Baha'is believe in the oneness of the human race, the unity of religions, equality of the sexes, and universal peace; they abstain from alcohol, gambling, and gossip. Baha’is are followers of Baha'u'llah, who was born in Persia in 1817. This day, which commemorates Baha'u'llah's death and ascension to heaven, is one of nine holy days in the year. Baha'is do not work on their holy days, which for many is considered a sacrifice. Celebrations on such days are generally quiet observances. Baha'u'llah's ascension may be celebrated by a picnic, or a gathering at which prayers are said, or songs are sung from Baha'u'llah’s writings.
Shavuot (Begins at sundown on the 28th) (Judaism)
The “Feast of Weeks” celebrates the covenant established at Sinai between God and Israel, and the revelation of the Ten Commandments.
Also known as Whitsunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter/Pascha commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and women followers of Jesus. Marks the birth of the Christian Church.