Calendar of Holidays & Festivals - January 2005

Calendar of Holidays & Festivals - January 2005

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January 1

U.S./Western Hemisphere
New Year
Non-religious and traditional celebration of the new calendar year.
Resource: Prayers for the New Year
Advice: Resolutions for a Peaceful New Year
Essay: A Fresh Start for the New Year
eCards: Send a New Year's Greeting

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Oldest and most important of the major feasts of Mary; a second celebration of the birth of Jesus with special focus on Mary as the Mother of God.
Essay: Something About Mary

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Commemorates the naming of Jesus at his circumcision (Luke 2:21).
Link: About the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

 Orthodox Christian
Feast of St. Basil
Commemoration of St. Basil the Great, father of Eastern monasticism.
Links: Activities for the Feast of St. Basil and St. Gregory, St. Basil the

New Year festival; day to visit a shrine in order to thank the kami, ask the kami for good fortune, and make resolutions for the year ahead.
Links: Shinto Holy Days, About the Japanese New Year

January 5

Guru Gobind Singh's Birthday
Celebrates the birth of Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the ten Gurus.
Link: The Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh

January 6

Epiphany/Three Kings Day
Culmination of the Christmas season when the Magi arrive in Bethlehem; 'Epiphany' means the "dawning of light."
Explore: Who Were the Magi?
Recipe: How to Make Three Kings Cake
Link: About Epiphany

 Orthodox Christian
Feast of Theophany
Feast to recall the revelation of the Trinity in Christ's baptism.
Resource: The Theophany of Jesus Christ

January 13

Commemoration of a battle in which forty Sikhs died for Guru Gobindh Singh Ji.
Link: About Maghi

January 14

Makar Sankrat
Festival marking the day the sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makar. Celebrants traditionally bathe at the Prayag and Ganga Sagar.
Link: About Makar Sankrat

January 16

World Religion Day
Observance to create unity, ease suffering, and bring peace. Observed every third Sunday of January.

January 17

Feast of Mithra (Feast of Mehregan/Mihregan)
Festival with a focus on Mithra as the angel of light. Prayers of thanks and the blessing of the community play important roles in the observance.
Link: The Festival of Mehregan

January 19

Kumbha Mela
Festival held every 12 years in India (next in 2013); pilgrims erase their sins by bathing at the convergence of three sacred rivers.
Explore: Fun Facts About Kumbha Mela
Basics: Kumbha Mela Questions and Answers

Waqf al Arafa
Observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy.
Explore: Editor's Picks: Hajj and Ramadan
Resource: The Hajj

January 19-22

Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that must be performed by every Muslim man and woman at least once in their lifetime.
Explore: Editor's Picks: Hajj and Ramadan
Resource: The Hajj

January 20-24

Eid ul-Adha
"Festival of the Sacrifice," commemoration of Abraham (begins at sundown).
Explore: Editor's Picks: Hajj and Ramadan
Resource: The Hajj
Link: About Eid ul-Adha

January 24

Tu B'Shevat
Also known as New Year for Trees; Israel's celebration of trees (begins at sundown).
Essay: Trees and Justice
Excerpt: Sharing God's Fruitfulness
Link: About Tu B'Shevat

January 25

 Mahayana Buddhist
Mahayana Buddhist New Year
Observance of the new year; falls on the first full moon of January.
Basics: What Mahayana Buddhists Believe
Link: Buddhist Festivals and Holidays

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