Date varies. Begins March 19, 2011.
It’s the day that puts the ‘holi’ in holiday. Holi literally translates to “burning”, but fire isn’t the most prominent image of the festival. Holi is all about color. Colored powders, colored waters fly through the air as celebrants young and old ‘colorize’ the world around them—by flinging powders and streams at their friends, neighbors, and any passersby.
Holi is a joyous celebration, though somehow the editor of the piece below has spliced it into a Bollywood horror film. (Are …Read more
It’s Hina Matsuri, or Doll Day in Japan.
But no, your old “Tickle Me Elmo” and Molly McIntire won’t cut it. These dolls are often handed down from generation to generation, and are displayed in a very ritualized manner once a year.
A full set of “Hina Ningyo” dolls can cost anywhere from $400 to $10,000, and consists of roughly 15 pieces—”figurines” may be a more accurate term. The main two dolls are the O-Dairi-sama and …Read more
March 2 is the first day of the last month of the Baha’i calendar. The calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days each for a total of 361 days. Between the 18th and 19th months are 4 “intercalary days” from February 26 to March 1.
Each 19-day month begins with a “Feast.” It’s not the kind of feast we think of where folks pig out on big fat chicken legs, guzzle wine, and someone …Read more
Answer: only during Leap Year…
The great-grand-daddy of our February 29th Leap Day goes back to the ancient Romans. I know what you’re thinking: Don’t we have anything that doesn’t go back to them? Uh, yes: numbers, and thank god for that, or taxes would be an even bigger drag. Also the dates of the month aren’t Roman—for which you’ll be …Read more
February 26-March 1
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” —Tablets of Baha’u’llah
From February 26th (technically sunset on February 25th) until March 1st millions of Baha’i throughout the world celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha, literally “Days of Ha.”
“It behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, …Read more
February 22, 2012
Ash Wednesday, by Carl Spitzweg, ca. 1855
Don’t tell your co-worker he has dirt on his face; he’s been told this a dozen times already today, and it’s not dirt.
The ashes on his forehead, resembling the shape of a cross, most likely come from palms that were burned last year after Palm Sunday and were blessed by a priest. On the morning of Ash Wednesday, Catholic priests and some Protestant ministers mark their parishioners foreheads …Read more
Date varies. February 20-26, 2012
There’s no Mardi Gras or Carnival in Russia. Lent doesn’t descend on Orthodox Christians in one big swoop as in Catholicism, but in a series of events with increasingly strict regulations.
Triodion begins a full month before Lent.
Two weeks later, Meatfare Sunday marks the last day Orthodox Christians can eat meat until after Easter, aka Pascha.
The Sunday after Meatfare is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day for eating dairy products.
In Catholic …Read more
Date varies. New moon (13th) of Phalgun.
February 20, 2012
March 10, 2013
Give it up to Shiva today. The new moon of Phalgun (that’s today) is known as Maha Shivaratri in the Hindu religion. To the adherents of Shaivism, who worship Shiva as their primary god, today is the holiest day of the year.
Shiva gets a misleading rap as The Destroyer. It sounds cool and daunting, but is only half accurate. …Read more