Interfaith Calendar: Religious and Cultural Observances 2023


A Global Source for More than a Decade

Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton is internationally known for her reporting on major holidays, festivals and milestones that shape community life around the world. There are many other calendars that claim to provide this information at the click of a link or an app, but Stephanie is the leading journalist focused every week of the year on actively reporting about these milestones. That’s important, because dates and times and even the names of these observances vary—as well as the meaning of these observances in various countries and cultures. In her columns, Stephanie explains the fascinating stories behind these events, advises readers on newsy updates—and always provides an array of links to learn more about everything from the history of the holiday to DIY holiday-related crafts and tasty traditional recipes.

It’s simple to find these columns. Just go to the master year-long calendar via

Got a question? Perhaps you’re questioning one of the listed dates—or you wish we would list an observance that particularly interests you. Please, contact us at [email protected]

Holidays and Festivals January 2023

JANUARY is named for Janus, the Roman god associated with beginnings and transitions. The many month-long observances in various parts of the world include a special focus on Alzheimer’s disease (Canada) and on combatting human trafficking and slavery (U.S.). Over the past two decades in the U.S., January also has been designated National Mentoring Month.

1—Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Christian)

1—Feast of St. Basil (Orthodox Christian)

5—Birthday of Guru Gobindh Singh (Sikh)

5—Twelfth Night (Christian)

6—Epiphany (Christian)

(Note: Observed in some denominations on nearest Sunday, January 8, in 2023)

6—Theophany (Feast of the Epiphany) (Orthodox Christian)

6—Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) (Christian)

7—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian, Julian calendar)

7—New Year (Buddhist, Mahayana)

9—Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Christian)

13—Maghi Lohri (Sikh)

15—Makar Sankranti / Pongal (Hindu)

15—World Religion Day (Baha’i)

16—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (U.S.)

18—Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins (Christian)

19—Timkat (Ethiopian Orthodox Christian)

22—Chinese New Year

25—Conversion of St. Paul (Christian)

26—Vasant Panchami (Hindu)

27—World Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day

28—St. Thomas Aquinas (Christian)


Holidays and Festivals February 2023

FEBRUARY is another echo of ancient Rome, where februum meant “purification.” Among February’s month-long observances are Library Lovers Month and Black History Month in Canada and the U.S. (October in the UK).

1—Feast of St. Brighid of Kildare (Celtic Christian)

1—Sundown, Imbolc (Lughnassadh) (Northern/Southern hemisphere) (Wicca, pagan)

2—Candlemas (Presentation of Christ in the Temple) (Christian)

2—Groundhog Day

3—Four Chaplains Day (Interfaith)

5—Triodion begins (Orthodox Christian)

5—Sundown, Tu B’Shvat (Jewish)

11—Our Lady of Lourdes (Catholic Christian)

14—St. Valentine’s Day (Christian, international holiday)

15—Parinirvana Day (Nirvana Day) (Buddhist, Jain)

17—Sundown, Lailat al Miraj (Isra Mi’raj) (Islam)

18—Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)

19—Meatfare Sunday (Judgment Sunday) (Orthodox Christian)

20—Presidents’ Day (U.S.)

21—Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) (Christian)

22—Ash Wednesday / Lent begins (Christian)

25—Ayyam-i-Ha (Intercalary Days) begins (Baha’i)

26—Cheesefare Sunday (Forgiveness Sunday) (Orthodox Christian)

27—Clean Monday / Great Lent begins (Orthodox Christian)


Holidays and Festivals March 2023

MARCH‘s name recalls Mars, yet another Roman deity. This year, the moveable season of Lent begins in March for the majority of Christians around the world. Among March’s month-long observances are National Social Work Month and Women’s History Month, which includes International Women’s Day.

1—St. David of Wales (Christian)

2—Nineteen-Day Fast begins (Baha’i)

5—Feast of Orthodoxy / Sunday of Orthodoxy / Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

6—Magha Puja Day / Sangha Day (Buddhist)

6—Fast of Esther (Jewish)

6—Sundown, Purim (Jewish)

7—Sundown, Lailat al Bara’ah (Mid-Sha’ban) (Islam)

7—Holika Dahan (Hindu)

8—Hola Mohalla (Sikh)

8—Holi (Hindu)

12—Daylight Saving Time begins

13—Birthday of L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology)

17—St. Patrick’s Day (Christian, international holiday)

19—Mothering Sunday (UK)

20—St. Joseph’s Day (Christian)

(Note: Since March 19 is the Fourth Sunday of Lent this year, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is transferred to Monday, March 20.)

20—Vernal (spring) equinox (Northern Hemisphere)

20—Ostara (Mabon) (Wicca, pagan) (Northern/Southern hemisphere)

20—Sundown, Naw-Ruz (Baha’i)

21—International Day of Nowruz, Nowruz (Zoroastrian)

22—Sundown, Ramadan begins (Islam)

22—Ugadi / Gudi Padwa (Hindu)

25—The Annunciation of the Lord (Christian)

30—Rama Navami (Hindu)

(Note: Some Hindus begin reading the Ramayana nine days prior to the start of Rama Navami)

30—Swaminarayan Jayanti (Hindu)


Holidays and Festivals April 2023

APRIL‘s origin is debated by scholars but its name may reflect aperire, which means “to open.” Among April’s month-long observances are Arab American Heritage Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

2—Palm Sunday (Christian)

4—Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)

4—Lord’s Evening Meal (Jehovah’s Witness Christian)

5—Fast of the Firstborn (Jewish)

5—Sundown, Pesach (Passover) begins (Jewish)

6—Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)

6—New Year (Buddhist, Theravada)

6—Maundy Thursday (Christian)

7—Good Friday (Christian)

8—Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)

8—Black (Holy) Saturday (Christian)

9—Easter Sunday (Christian)

9—Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

10—Easter Monday (Christian)

14—Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) (Sikh)

14—Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)

15—Holy Saturday (Orthodox Christian)

16—Great and Holy Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)

17—Sundown, Yom HaShoah (Jewish)

17—Sundown, Lailat al-Qadr (27th night of Ramadan) (Islam)

20—Sundown, First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

20—Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan ends) (Islam)

22—Earth Day

22—Akshaya Tritiya (Hindu, Jain)

24—Sundown, Yom HaZikaron (Jewish)

25—Sundown, Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)

28—Sundown, Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)


Holidays and Festivals May 2023

MAY‘s name also comes from an ancient deity, in this case associated with fertility. Among May’s month-long observances are special devotions to Mary in Catholic communities, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and Military Appreciation Month.

1—Beltane (Samhain) (Wicca, pagan) (Northern/Southern hemisphere)

1—Sundown, Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

4—National Day of Prayer (U.S.)

5—Cinco de Mayo

5—Vesak (Buddha Day) (Buddhist)

8—Sundown, Lag B’Omer (Jewish)

14—Mother’s Day (U.S.)

18—Ascension of the Lord (Ascension of Jesus) (Christian)

(Note: Observed in some denominations on nearest Sunday, May 21, in 2023)

23—Sundown, Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)

25—Sundown, Shavuot (Jewish)

28—Pentecost (Christian)

28—Sundown, Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)

29—Whit Monday (Christian)

29—Memorial Day (U.S.)


Holidays and Festivals June 2023

JUNE brings a wide range of festivals and summer-themed observances in communities around the Northern Hemisphere. In the U.S., Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 and the birth of the gay-rights movement.

1—Holy Ascension / Feast of the Ascension (Orthodox Christian)

4—Trinity Sunday (Christian)

4—Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)

8—Corpus Christi (Catholic Christian)

(Note: Observed in some denominations on nearest Sunday, June 11, in 2023)

9—St. Columba of Iona (Christian)

11—The Sunday of All Saints (Orthodox Christian)

14—Flag Day (U.S.)

16—Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic Christian)

16—Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib (Sikh)

18—Father’s Day (U.S.)

19—New Church Day (Swedenborgian Christian)


21—Summer solstice (Northern Hemisphere)

21—Litha (Yule) (Wicca, pagan) (Northern/Southern hemisphere); Midsummer

24—St. John the Baptist (Christian)

26—Sundown, Hajj begins (Islam)

27—Sundown, Waqf al Arafa (Day of Arafat) (Islam)

28—Sundown, Eid al-Adha (Islam)

29—Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (Christian)



Holidays and Festivals July 2023

JULY‘s name honors Julius Caesar, who was born in this month. More summer-time festivals are sprinkled around the Northern Hemisphere, including National Hog Dog Month and National Ice Cream Month in the U.S. That’s appropriate since this is the month of American Independence Day.

3—Asalha Puja Day (Dharma Day) (Buddhist)

4—Independence Day (U.S.)

6—Fast of Tammuz 17; The Three Weeks begins (Jewish)

9—Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)

15—Obon (Ullambana) (Buddhist)

(Note: This observance is Shichigatsu Bon; Hachigatsu Bon / Kyu Bon, or “Old Bon,” commences in August)

19—Sundown, Hijri (New Year) (Islam)

23—Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafari)

24—Pioneer Day (Mormon)

26—Sundown, Tisha B’Av (Jewish)

27—Sundown, Ashura (Islam)


Holidays and Festivals August 2023

AUGUST was named after another Roman emperor, Augustus. Among the month-long observances are Happiness Happens (no kidding!) and National Immunization Awareness Month, which is promoted by the CDC in the U.S.

1—Lammas (Christian)

1—Lughnassadh (Imbolc) (Wicca, pagan) (Northern/Southern hemisphere)

1—Dormition Fast begins (Orthodox Christian)

1—Sundown, Tu B’Av (Jewish)

6—Feast of the Transfiguration, Transfiguration of Our Lord (Catholic Christian, Anglican Christian, Orthodox Christian)

13—Obon (Ullambana) (Buddhist) (See note in July Obon entry)

15—Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Catholic Christian, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican Communion)

15—Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)

30—Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)


Holidays and Festivals September 2023

SEPTEMBER‘s name is a remnant of the fact that Romans once had 10 months and this was the seventh, hence “sept.” A whole series of cancer-awareness observances have been clustered in September, including special efforts to highlight childhood cancers, gynecologic cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, ovarian cancer and thyroid cancer.

1—Ecclesiastical New Year (Orthodox Christian)

4—Labor Day (U.S.)

6—Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)

8—Nativity of the Virgin Mary/Theotokos (Christian)

11—Patriot Day (U.S.)

12—Enkutatasch (Ethiopian New Year) (Rastafari, Ethiopian Orthodox)

12—Paryushan Parvarambha begins (Jain)

15—Sundown, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)

19—Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu)

20—Samvatsari Parva begins (Jain)

21—Mabon (Imbolc) (Wicca, pagan) (Northern/Southern hemisphere)

23—Autumnal (fall) equinox (Northern Hemisphere)

24—Sundown, Yom Kippur (Jewish)

26—Sundown, Mawlid an-Nabi (Islam)

28—Meskel (Ethiopian Eritrean Orthodox Christian)

29—Michael and All Angels (Christian)

29—Sundown, Sukkot (Jewish)


Holidays and Festivals October 2023

OCTOBER retains its old reference to this being the eighth month in the old Roman system, thus “oct.” One of the biggest cancer-awareness campaigns—Breast Cancer Awareness Month—takes place each October. This also is National Bullying Prevention Month.

4—St. Francis Day (Blessing of the Animals) (Catholic Christian)

6—Sundown, Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)

7—Sundown, Simchat Torah (Jewish)

9—Indigenous Peoples Day

9—Columbus Day (U.S.)

9—Thanksgiving (Canada)

15—Navaratri (Hindu)

16—Birth of the Bab (Baha’i)

17—Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)

18—St. Luke, Apostle and Evangelist (Christian)

24—Daesara, Dussehra (Hindu)

31—Reformation Day (Protestant Christian)

31—All Hallows Eve (Christian)

31—Samhain (Wicca, pagan)


Holidays and Festivals November 2023

NOVEMBER was named for novem or “ninth,” continuing the ancient Roman custom of numbering months. This is Native American History Month, We’ve got books: Dancing My Dream as well as The Flavors of Faith, among others. November also is National Family Caregivers Month and National Hospice Month.

1—All Saints (Christian)

2—All Souls’ Day (Catholic Christian)

5—Daylight Saving Time ends

11—Veterans Day (U.S.)

12—Diwali (Deepavali) (Hindu, Jain, Sikh)

15—Nativity Fast begins (Orthodox Christian)

23—Thanksgiving (U.S.)

24—Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib (Sikh)

25—Sundown, Day of the Covenant (Baha’i)

26—Christ the King (Christian)

27—Sundown, Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha (Baha’i)

30—St. Andrew’s Day (Christian)


Holidays and Festivals December 2023

DECEMBER, with dec for “ten,” wraps up the old Roman system of numbering months.

3—First Sunday of Advent (Advent begins) (Christian)

6—St. Nicholas Day (Christian)

7—Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (U.S.)

7—Sundown, Hanukkah (Chanukah) begins (Jewish)

8—Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) (Buddhism)

8—Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christian)

12—Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Hispanic Catholic Christian)

16—Posadas Navidenas begins (Hispanic Christian)

21—Yule (Christian, Wicca, pagan)

21—Winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere)

25—Christmas (Christian)

25—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)

26—Kwanzaa begins

26—Feast of St. Stephen (Christian)

28—Holy Innocents (Christian)

31—Feast of the Holy Family (Catholic Christian)

31—Watch Night (Christian)




We continue to update this list, month by month. As you read the list, you may discover we have missed a fascinating observance or detail. If so, please email us at [email protected].

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