List of multinational festivals and holidays

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A wide variety of multinational festivals and holidays are celebrated around the world, whether within particular religions, cultures, or otherwise. Celebrations listed here are celebrated in at least two or more countries; for a list of national holidays, see List of holidays by country.

January[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Secular[edit]

  • New Year's Day: 1 January — First day of the Gregorian year
  • Freezingman: 11 January — A Burning Man inspired event held in Colorado as a Winter Arts and Music Festival.[1]
  • Old New Year: 14 January: New Year's Day according to the "old" Julian calendar. Includes a winter ritual of strolling and singing that was later incorporated into the Christmas carol

February[edit]

Christianity[edit]

  • Candlemas: 2 February — Feast of the Presentation of the Lord; 40 days after Christmas; end of Christmas/Epiphany Season
  • Valentine's Day: 14 February

Historical[edit]

  • Lupercalia: 15 February — the Roman end-of-winter festival

Paganism[edit]

  • Imbolc: 1 February — first day of spring in the Celtic calendar

Secular[edit]

  • Groundhog Day: 2 February
  • International Condom Day: 14 February

March[edit]

Christianity[edit]

  • Saint Patrick's Day: 17 March — the fixed date to honor Saint Patrick has sometimes been moved by Church if it coincides with Holy Week, but the secular world usually always celebrates it on 17 March

Secular[edit]

April[edit]

Secular[edit]

May[edit]

Paganism[edit]

  • May Day: 1 May — a traditional spring holiday in many cultures.

Secular[edit]

June[edit]

  • Inti Raymi: late June — festival of the Sun in Quechua, winter solstice festival in areas of the former Inca empire, still celebrated every June in Cusco.

July[edit]

  • Yulefest/Midwinter Christmas: late June or July — Australian New Zealand winter 'Christmas/Yuletide' (Although this is sometimes celebrated in the USA, where celebrations generally begin on 4th July.

August[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Secular[edit]

September[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Secular[edit]

October[edit]

Christianity[edit]

  • All Hallows' Eve (Halloween): 31 October – a Christian-titled holiday that is often celebrated with traditions originating from a mixture of secular and Celtic pagan influences.

Hinduism[edit]

  • Diwali: mid-October–mid-November — known as the Festival of Lights, this Hindu holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil. The five-day festival is marked by ceremonies, fireworks and sweets.

Paganism[edit]

  • Samhain: 31 October–1 November — first day of winter in the Celtic calendar (and Celtic New Year's Day)

Secular[edit]

November[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Secular[edit]

December[edit]

Buddhism[edit]

  • Bodhi Day: 8 December — Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).

Christianity[edit]

  • Advent: fourth Sunday preceding 25 December
  • Saint Nicholas' Day: 6 December
  • Krampusnacht: 6 December — The Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated in parts of Europe on 6 December. In Alpine countries, Saint Nicholas has a devilish companion named Krampus
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe: 12 December — An important honor of Mexico's Patron Saint before Christmas officially begins on December 16[2]
  • Saint Lucia's Day: 13 December — Church Feast Day. Saint Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets.
  • Christmas Eve: 24 December
  • Christmas Day: 25 December — one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, increasingly celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.[3][4][5][6]
  • Anastasia of Sirmium feast day: 25 December
  • Twelve Days of Christmas: 25 December–6 January
  • Las Posadas: 16–24 December — procession to various family lodgings for celebration & prayer and to re-enact Mary & Joseph's journey to Bethlehem[7]
  • Saint Stephen's Day: 26 December
  • Saint John the Evangelist's Day: 27 December
  • Holy Innocents' Day: 28 December
  • Saint Sylvester's Day: 31 December

Fictional or parody[edit]

  • Feast of Winter Veil: 15 December–2 January — A holiday in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. This holiday is based on Christmas. Cities are decorated with lights and a tree with presents. Special quests, items and snowballs are available to players during this time. The character of "Greatfather Winter", who is modeled after Santa Claus, appears.[8][9]
  • Feast of Alvis: in the TV series Sealab 2021.[10] "Believer, you have forgotten the true meaning of Alvis Day. Neither is it ham, nor pomp. Nay, the true meaning of Alvis day is drinking. Drinking and revenge."—Alvis[11]
  • Hogswatch: a holiday celebrated on the fictional world of Discworld. It is very similar to the Christian celebration of Christmas.
  • Festivus: 23 December — a parody holiday introduced in Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas.
  • Decemberween: 25 December — a parody of Christmas that features gift-giving, carol-singing and decorated trees. The fact that it takes place on December 25, the same day as Christmas, has been presented as just a coincidence, and it has been stated that Decemberween traditionally takes place "55 days after Halloween". The holiday has been featured in the Homestar Runner series.

Hinduism[edit]

  • Pancha Ganapati: 21–25 December — modern five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha, celebrated by Hindus in USA.

Historical[edit]

Paganism[edit]

  • Yule: Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January.
  • Yalda: 21 December — The turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. Shabe yalda means 'birthday eve.' According to Persian mythology, Mithra was born at dawn on the 22nd of December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate Yalda by staying up late or all night, a practice known as Shab Chera meaning 'night gazing'. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons, whose red color invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolize Mithra.

Secular[edit]

  • Zamenhof Day: 15 December — Birthday of Ludwig Zamenhof, inventor of Esperanto; holiday reunion for Esperantists
  • Soyal: 21 December — Zuni and Hopi
  • HumanLight: 23 December — Humanist holiday originated by the New Jersey Humanist Network in celebration of "a Humanist's vision of a good future."[12]
  • Newtonmas: 25 December — As an alternative to celebrating the religious holiday Christmas, some atheists, skeptics, and other non-believers have chosen to celebrate December 25 as Newtonmas, due to it being Isaac Newton's birthday on the old style date.
  • Quaid-e-Azam's Day: 25 December
  • Boxing Day: 26 December — Day after Christmas.
  • Kwanzaa: 26 December–1 JanuaryPan-African festival celebrated in the US
  • Watch Night: 31 December
  • New Year's Eve: 31 December — last day of the Gregorian year
  • Hogmanay: night of 31 December–before dawn of 1 January — Scottish New Year's Eve celebration
  • Dongzhi Festival — a celebration of Winter

Unitarian Universalism[edit]

Movable date[edit]

The following festivals have no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar, and may be aligned with moon cycles or other calendars.

Chinese[edit]

Persian[edit]

Main article: Iranian calendars
  • Sadeh: A mid-winter feast to honor fire and to "defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold". Sadé or Sada is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before Nowruz. Sadeh in Persian means "hundred" and refers to one hundred days and nights left to the beginning of the new year celebrated at the first day of spring on March 21 each year. Sadeh is a midwinter festival that was celebrated with grandeur and magnificence in ancient Iran. It was a festivity to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold.
  • Chahar Shanbeh Suri: Festival of Fire, Last Wednesday of the Iranian Calendar year. It marks the importance of the light over the darkness, and arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahārshanbe—Sūri (Persian: چهارشنبه‌سوری), pronounced Chārshanbe—Sūri (Persian: چارشنبه‌سوری) is the ancient Iranian festival dating at least back to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[1] The festival of fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahrshanbeh Soori, is celebrated the last Tuesday night of the year.

Slavic[edit]

Main article: Julian calendar

Religion[edit]

Many religions whose holidays were formulated before the worldwide spread of the Gregorian calendar have been assigned to dates according to either their own internal religious calendar, moon cycles, or otherwise. Even within Christianity, Easter is a movable feast and Christmas is celebrated according to the older Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian by some sects of the religion.

See also[edit]

References[edit]