Religious Holy Days


June 2019

For Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, June marks Miso’o, the season of Sockeye salmon, which is the most important food source for the coming year.  In Arizona, this is also the season of the Hopi Kachina Dances, in which long lines of dancers (representing various spirit-powers) perform in the open plazas of Hopi pueblos.


Friday, May 31
Jum’at al-Wadā [Farewell Friday] – Islam
As the last Friday in the month of Ramadān and the Friday immediately preceding Eid al-Fitr, this day is not a festival day, but it is still considered special by many Muslims.

Monday, June 3
Eid al-Fitr – Islam
This is the Breaking of the Fast that celebrates the end of the month of Ramadān.  Usually lasting three days, this festival begins at sundown with communal prayer and may also include charitable acts, visiting family and friends, preparing special foods, dressing in new clothes, and giving gifts.

Wednesday, June 5
Ascension Day – Christianity (Eastern churches)
The anniversary of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, celebrated forty days after Easter with services beginning at sundown.    
Núr – Bahá’í 
The beginning of the fifth month of the Bahá’í year, meaning “light.”

Saturday, June 8
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.

Sunday, June 9
Pentecost Sunday – Christianity (Western churches)
A celebration of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Apostles following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Pentecost [which derives from the Latin for “fifty,” because it occurred fifty days after Easter] is often known as “the birthday of the Christian Church.

Saturday, June 15
Pentecost – Christianity (Eastern churches)
A celebration of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Apostles following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Pentecost [which derives from the Latin for “fifty,” because it occurred fifty days after Easter] is often known as “the birthday of the Christian Church.  Services begin at sunset.

Sunday, June 16
Trinity Sunday – Christianity (Western churches)
Marking the celebration of God manifested in three Persons: as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Martyrdom of Gurū Arjan Dev Ji – Sikhism [Nanakshahi tradition]
The first Sikh martyr and the fifth gurū, Arjan (1563 – 1606 C.E.) built the Harimandir (Temple of God) in the town of Amritsar with door facing all four directions, in order to emphasize that the Sikh way was open to all regardless of their socio-economic status.  He also compiled the Sikh scriptures known as the Gurū Granth Sahib.   

Wednesday, June 19
Enlightenment of Kwan Yin Bodhisattva – Buddhism [Mahāyāna Pure Land tradition]
A celebration of the enlightenment of the bodhisattva of compassion—an enlightened being who vows to attain final, supreme enlightenment in order to save all sentient beings from suffering.  In the Pure Land tradition, this bodhisattva frequently accompanies Amida Buddha in icons and other depictions.
New Church Day – Swedenborgian Christianity (Church of the New Jerusalem) 
Annual commemoration of the visionary document The True Christian Religion, written by Emanuel Swedenborg in 1770 C.E.

Friday, June 21  Summer solstice
Summer Feast – Native American spirituality
A day to honor the coming and going of the seasons, celebrated with songs, prayers, and story-telling.
Litha [Midsummer’s Eve] – Wicca
A celebration of the consummation of the sacred marriage, in which the male divine energy is poured out in the service of life.

Saturday, June 22
All Saints – Christianity (Eastern churches)
Celebrating the lives of those saints, known and unknown, whose prayers and exemplary lives have a positive influence on the lives and Christian faith of others.  Western Christian churches celebrate this festival on November 1st.

Sunday, June 23
Corpus Christi – Christianity [Roman Catholic]
Named for the Latin phrase “Body of Christ,” this festival is a time when Catholic Christians express their faith in Christ’s real presence in the elements of Holy Communion.

Monday, June 24
Rahmat – Bahá’í
The beginning of the sixth month of the Bahá’í year, Rahmat means “mercy.”
Birthday of St. John the Baptizer [Baptist] – Christianity (Eastern churches)
Celebrates the prophet who foretold of the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, whom he later baptized in the Jordan River.

Thursday, June 27
Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Recalling the assassination of the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum while they were incarcerated in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844 C.E.

Friday, June 28
Sacred Heart – Christianity [Roman Catholic]
A devotional feast during which Catholic Christians reflect on God’s compassionate love, symbolized by Christ’s heart.

Saturday, June 29
Ghambar Maidyoshem begins – Zoroastrianism
A celebration of the creation of water, the sowing of the summer crops, and the harvesting of grain.  This festival continues through Wednesday, July 3rd.
Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul – Christianity (Western churches)
Celebrates the two apostles who preached the Christian gospel in Rome.  In Eastern churches this festival begins at sundown on June 24th.

Thank you

Thank you to ACPE Certified Educator 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.