Sri Ramakrishna Jayanti (Hinduism)
A celebration of the birth of the teacher of Swami Vivekananda, who introduced Hinduism to the United States at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Beginning of Lent/Clean Monday (Orthodox Christianity)
Beginning of Great Lent. Lent is a period of Christian preparation for Holy Week and Easter. Usually 40 days in length, it is marked by vegetarian fasting, intensified prayer and almsgiving.
March 16 - 20
Ghambar Hamaspathmaeden (Zoroastrianism)
This is the last of the six Ghambar festivals in the Zoroastrian calendar. Ghambars are joyous occasions when communities gather to share a feast. Food is contributed anonymously, and participants give according to their means and ability to contribute. This particular five-day Ghambar celebrates the creation of humans and is a time to remember souls who have passed away.
St. Patrick’s Day (Christianity)
St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, was credited for spreading Christianity in Ireland and abolishing pagan practices in the fourth century. The symbol of the shamrock is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, as St. Patrick used the three leaves to explain the mystery of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
Higan, or Ohigan, is celebrated twice a year, during the spring and fall equinoxes. This is an important date for Jodo Shinshu Buddhists in particular. On this date, the day and night are the same length, symbolizing equality and harmony. Buddha appears on earth during this week to save stray souls, thus many Buddhists visit cemeteries and pay respects to their ancestors.
Saint Joseph's Day (Christianity)
This feast day celebrates Saint Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. One Italian tradition recalls a draught, where the peasants prayed to St. Joseph for rain. When the rains came, crops were planted and then a large harvest feast was given in St. Joseph's honor. Some cultures celebrate this day by creating St. Joseph Tables: a table full of elaborate foods, though all free of meat, as this day typically falls during the fasting period of Lent.
Ostara celebrates the coming of spring, the time when the days are getting longer. It is a time to celebrate the abundance of nature and the abundance of life, and to plant crops.
Spring Feast (American Indian)
A day to honor planting and the coming and going of seasons, includes prayer song and storytelling
Spring O-Higan (Buddhism)
Symbolic of crossing from shore of illusion to the other shore of enlightenment to overcome one’s ignorance and honoring the 6 Paramitas of generosity, morality, patience, endeavor, meditation and wisdom
Shunbun no Hi (Shinto)
A day for visiting graves held in timing with the Spring Equinox
Feast of Naw-Ruz (Baha’i)
Naw Ruz is the celebration of the New Year as adopted by Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith. The equinox is believed to be a symbol of the manifestations of God, and springtime to be the carrier of new life and new beginnings.
Nowruz is the Zoroastrian New Year. The arrival of spring on the day of the vernal equinox, heralds a rebirth and renewal, a symbolic victory of light over darkness. Nowruz is the most important festival in the Zoroastrian tradition, a time for thanksgiving and celebration, for family and friends to come together, to thank Ahura Mazda for His bounty, to reflect on their lives, and make new beginnings.
Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christianity)
Celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent, Orthodox Sunday recognizes the victory and restoration of icons for use in church services and private devotional life.