Major Holidays: World Religions & Cultures: March 2013

By, Mrs. Gammons

Women’s History Month: In 1987, March was declared the Women’s History Month, recognizing women from all walks of life regardless of their caste, color, creed, culture and age for their valuable contributions towards our shared history.

Irish American Heritage Month: Because many Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick’s Day, March was selected as Irish-American Heritage Month. The month was first proclaimed in 1995 by Congress. Each year, the U.S. president also issues an Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation.

Youth Art Month: Youth Art Month is a month of promoting art and art education in the United States. It is observed in March, with thousands of American schools participating, often with the involvement of local art museums and civic organizations.

Deaf History Month: …Covering the period of March 13 to April 15, and celebrating deaf history, particularly key events in deaf heritage.

Mental Retardation Awareness Month:
An annual observance that focuses on increasing public awareness and understanding of the issues affecting people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities, sponsored since 1979 by the charitable organization “Arc of the United States.”

Plus: American Red Cross Month, National Nutrition Month, and Colorectal Cancer Month
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March 1: Women’s World Day of Prayers (Multi-faith): World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a worldwide ecumenical movement of women of many faith traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March. Each year a different country (Malaysia this year; with the theme “Let Justice Prevail”) serves as the writer of the World Day of Prayer worship service. Founded in 1887 by American Mary Ellen James. Over 170 countries participate.

March 2: Start of Nineteen Day Fast (Baha’i); March 2 – 20: The Fast is a time for reflecting on one’s spiritual progress and making an effort to detach from material desires.

March 2: Read Across America Day (Secular): In 1997 the National Education Association (NEA), pushed for a special day to celebrate reading throughout the United States. This idea proved to be a popular one so it was not long before the first Read Across America Day was held on March 2, 1998. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), an American writer best known for writing children’s books.
March 8: International Women’s Day (Secular): A global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD was in 1911.

March 10: Daylight savings time!! Spring isn’t far behind!

March 13: L. Ron Hubbard Day (Scientology): In a tradition that dates back to the 1970’s, Scientologists in churches and missions around the world commemorate the March 13th birthday of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the way he himself asked it to be celebrated—by greatly expanding their service to the communities in which they live.

March 17: St Patrick’s Day (Christian): Observance for St. Patrick’s is the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to Ireland in the early days of the faith.

March 20: Vernal Equinox (Wiccan “Ostara”): The date when night and day are nearly the same length. It marks the first day of the season of SPRING.

March 21: Naw Ruz (Baha’i /Persian): Baha’i New Year which falls on/near the vernal equinox symbolizing spiritual growth and renewal, and begins with a festival that marks the end of a nineteen-day fast

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Secular): Worldwide call to action to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

March 24: Palm/Passion Sunday (Christian): Commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

March 26- April 2: Pesach– Passover (Jewish): Eight day pilgrimage festival celebrating the ancient Exodus of the Hebrews from slavery to freedom.

March 27: Lord’s Evening Meal (Jehovah’s Witness): Primary annual celebration for Jehovah’s Witnesses, taking place in the evening.

March 27: Magha Puja Day (Buddhist): Celebration of the presentation of teachings by Lord Buddha to and assembly of holy men.

March 27: Holi; Festival of Colours (Hindu): Spring festival, celebrated with great fun and fervor and involves showering each other with color and merry making.

March 28: Maundy Thursday (Christian): Observance of the first Lord’s Supper (“The Last Supper,”) the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples and established the ceremony known as Eucharist.

March 28: Hola Mohalla (Sikh): A weeklong Festival which revolves around daytime demonstrations of the Sikh martial arts and other military sports, and evening events including Sikh worship services and the singing of hymns.

March 29: Good Friday (Christian): Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

March 30: Holy Saturday (Christian): It is the last day before Easter and a time of meditation on the mystery of Jesus.

March 31: Easter (Christian): The most holy of Christian sacred days. The day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion. Observances include worship services beginning at sunrise, special music, feasting, and parades.
March 31: Cesar Chavez Day (Secular): César Chávez’s birthday, March 31, is a state holiday in eight US states., intended to promote service to the community in honor of Mexican American farm worker, labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) who was a nationally respected voice for social justice.

April 1: Easter Monday /“Dyngus Day” in some Polish cultures (Christian): The day after Easter Sunday is an official holiday in some Christian countries and in the state of North Carolina.

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