January - February
|January 1||Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God||Roman Catholic|
|January 6||Epiphany or Three Kings Day||Christian|
|January 15||Makar Sankranti||Hindu|
|January 21||World Religion Day||Baha'i|
|January 24 - 25||Tu BiShvat||Judaism|
Haiti Independence Day
Haiti Independence Day is celebrated annually on January 1. Haiti made history by
being the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery on January 1,
1804. Ancestors’ Day and Independence Day are commemorated on the first two days of
the calendar year. January 2 honors the founders of the nation and the people who
sacrificed their lives during the fight for independence. The world was shocked as
the Haitian Revolution happened. They refused to believe that former slaves understood
the depths of freedom any more than they did. Despite both the Americans and the French
proclaiming that all men are created equal, they didn’t arrive at the natural conclusion
that racial discrimination and slavery are gross violations of basic human rights.
Haiti’s independence shattered the world’s understanding of liberty and freedom. The
monumental event holds global historical significance and will continue for centuries
Visit Haiti Independence Day web page for more information.
Sudan Independence Day
We are celebrating Sudan Independence Day on January 1. It is celebrated annually
to commemorate the independence of the nation from Great Britain. Sudan is the third-largest
nation in the African continent. Sudan is an Arab as well as an African nation. The
nation lies between the Red Sea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad, Libya, and
Egypt. The nation is rich in natural resources, arable land, a young workforce, and
agriculture. Until 1956, the nation was under the rule of the British and Egypt. Ismail
al-Azhari was responsible for forming a government as prime minister on January 9,
1954. Sudan formally attained its independence from Britain and Egypt on January 1,
Visit Sudan Independence Day web page for more information.
Cameroon Independence Day
The Germans invaded Cameroon (previously known as Kamerun) in 1884. However, with
Germany’s defeat in the First World War, both Britain and France assumed control of
the nation. As a result, following the Second World War, Cameroon became one of the
U.N. Trust Territories. The United Nations Trust Territory, known as French Cameroun,
won independence from France on January 1, 1960, and British Southern Cameroons transformed
into a federated state within Cameroon on October 1, 1961.
Visit Cameroon Independence Day web page for more information.
Mardi GrasNew Orleans, Louisiana
You probably have an idea of Mardi Gras being an all-out boozefest on Bourbon Street, but locals will tell you this New Orleans celebration is deeply rooted in tradition and is really all about the gathering of family and friends of all ages. Mardi Gras season begins January 6th with the bacchanalian celebrations of Twelfth Night and continues through to the day before Ash Wednesday. The biggest parades of the season, and the biggest parties, are in the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day which brings people of all ages and costumes together at parades, bars, formal balls and more.
Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year)Vietnam
Tết is the biggest annual festival in Vietnam and is celebrated throughout the entire country. Marking the start of the new year according to the Lunar calendar, it’s traditionally a time for family when you pay respect to your ancestors and welcome them in the new year with loved ones. In the lead-up to Tet, it’s traditional to visit the temple and graves of your ancestors, while in the first days of the holiday, it’s customary to wear new clothes and eat special foods such as Banh Chung (sticky rice cake).
|February 1||Imbolc||Pagan and Wiccan|
|February 6-7||Lailat al Miraj||Islam|
|February 10||Lunar New Year||Buddhist|
|February 14||Ash Wednesday||Christian|
|Feb 14 - March 28||Lent||Christian|
|February 15||Nirvana Day||Buddhist|
|February 24||Magha Puja||Buddhist|
|February 26 - 29||Festival of Ayyam-i-Ha||Baha'i|
CarnivalRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gathering something like two million revelers per day, Rio’s Carnival is hands-down the world’s largest Carnival festival preceding Ash Wednesday. The streets vibrate with music, dance, costume and chaos of the best kind.
Toronto International Film FestivalToronto
The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually. Since its founding in 1976, TIFF has grown to become a permanent destination for film culture operating out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in Downtown Toronto.
Sri Lanka Independence Day
Sri Lanka commemorates 75 years of political independence in 1948 at a time when the
country is riven by an unprecedented crisis of four dimensions — economic, social,
political and governmental. There is hardly any doubt in the minds of ordinary people
that it is the harvest of what the political class as a whole has sown in the name
of self-government for a full 75 years.
Visit Sri Lanka Independence Day web page for more information.
Gambia Independence Day
Gambia Independence Day is celebrated on February 18 to mark the anniversary of The
Gambia’s liberation from the British Empire. After centuries of colonization and exploitation,
The Gambia finally gained the right to self-governance on February 18, 1965. The day
also marks the end of the British colonization of West Africa and a new dawn for the
subcontinent. The day is a public holiday and celebrations are observed across the
nation. Marches are held in McCarthy Square in Banjul, and civil dignitaries offer
their salutations in front of the President.
Visit Gambia Independence Day web page for more information.
Dominican Republic Independence Day
Dominican Republic Independence Day is celebrated every year on February 27. The first
celebration was observed in 1844 and it has been almost two centuries since. The Dominican
Republic was under Haitian rule for 22 years before the independence war finally set
them free. After they gained autonomy, the island of Hispaniola was divided into Haiti
and Dominican Republic. Today, the Dominican Republic is the most visited destination
in the Caribbean which has the largest economy in the region. The country’s citizens
are mainly of mixed African and European descent.
Visit Dominican Republic Independence Day web page for more information.
Holi Festival of ColorIndia
A Hindu celebration of the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring, Holi is catching on as a colored-powder-throwing party in many cultures beyond India. In fact, if you live in Boston, Houston, Chicago or a number of other major cities in the States, there may be a Holi Fest near you.