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HOLIDAYS

WORLDWIDE HOLIDAYS

Calendars: A Guide to Locating Events for Each Day of the Year - Directory of online resources pertaining to current and historical worldwide calendars which allow users to identify astronomical events, famous historical events, and the birthdays of famous individuals by date and subject. Provides information on holidays and festivals. Offers the current date in Hebrew, Mayan, Islamic and Julian years....

The Christian Ecclesiastical Calendar - Infoplease gives brief histories of this and other calendars.

Christian Feast Days Dependent on Easter Sunday - For a really confusing time, check out this calculator for Easter and other moveable feast days.

Holidays - A fun site which lists all the holidays we look forward to, plus many unknown holidays. Samples: November 18, Teddy Bears Day and New Buffalo on the Block Day.

St. Stephen's Day - St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, and it was surprising to me how many countries honor his day. According to Wikipedia, "It is an official public holiday in Alsace-Moselle, Austria, the Balearic Islands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, and Switzerland. The date is also a public holiday in those countries that celebrate Boxing Day on the day in addition to or instead of St. Stephen's Day, such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom."

About Mardi Gras - To be precise, Mardi Gras is just one day - Mardi Gras Day - and is always the day before Ash Wednesday. The exact date changes each year, based on the date of Easter. When folks say they are coming to New Orleans for Mardi Gras though, they don't usually mean they are coming for one day but for many days to see the parades and party. Lots of ads on this site, though.

First Thanksgiving: What Really Happened - We should really be celebrating with venison, wild duck, wild geese, eels, clams, squash, corn bread, berries and nuts. Think I'll stick to turkey.

Fourth of July Celebrations Database - James R. Heintze highlights examples of Fourth of July celebrations throughout the history of the United States. The examples are arranged chronologically and there is one celebration highlighted each year from 1776-2002.

History of Labor Day - From the U.S. Department of Labor, the history of Labor Day, from its inception in the late 1800's to today.

History of Veterans Day - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) highlights the history of Veterans' Day, a holiday observed in the United States on the second Monday in November. The holiday was first known as Armistice Day, but changed to Veterans' Day in order to honor all veterans. VA notes that Veteran's Day has been celebrated on several different dates and provides the full text of several proclamations regarding the observance of the holiday

Martin Luther King Day in United States - From the site: "Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States."

Memorial Day - As part of Patriotism.org, Miami-Dade County Public Schools provides a brief history of Memorial Day, a U.S. national holiday commemorating members of the armed forces who died serving their country. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and officially began in 1868 as a way to honor members of the armed forces who were killed during the Civil War.

Memorial Day Every Day - From a business site peddling urns, comes an interesting history of Memorial Day throughout American war remembrances. It also includes the origins of taps, plus poems and songs.

Mothers Day History - Surprised to find that Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide? Wherever a mother cooks, cleans, encourages, and/or brings home the dough, there is a day in her honor. Anxious gift-givers may consult the countdown clock to the American Mother's Day on this home page.

Native American or Indian Celebrations - Listing by month of various dances, ceremonies, and rituals.

Official Kwanzaa Web Site - Features information on and by Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa. Discusses the roots and branches, the seven principles, symbols, gifts, and decorations of Kwanzaa, the African American holiday that celebrates African family, community, and culture, provided by RABERWEB.

Presidents' Day - The Miami-Dade Public School system in Florida highlights the history of the celebration of Presidents' Day, which is now observed on the third Monday in February. Although the holiday is meant to honor all men who have served as president, it is usually observed in honor of U.S. Presidents George Washington (1732-1799) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

Story of the Fourth of July - Concise history of America's Independence Day.

Thanksgiving History - InfoPlease lists links from fall feast to national holiday.

TEXAN HOLIDAYS

Official Texas State Holidays - Interesting fact, the holiday after Confederate Heroes Day is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That's Texas for you!

San Antonio's Holiday Highlights - An article by Kathleen Scott for the San Antonio Express-News. Party!

Boxing Day - This holiday has nothing to do with a pugilistic competition. It probably began in England during the Middle Ages as at time to gift servants, who had to work Christmas Day, but were given the following day off. More gifts! Yay!

Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night - Sonja Hyde presents information on Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day. This British holiday involves the lighting of bonfires and is celebrated on November 5th in commemoration of the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot--an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in retaliation for the harsh treatment of the Catholics....

St. George's Day in United Kingdom - This used to be a national holiday in England, but is now an observance. St. George is the patron saint of England and other countries, including the Gorani people who were converted to Islam centuries ago, but still observe the day.

CHINESE HOLIDAYS

Traditional Festivals in China - From the site: A close relationship exists between many of the traditional festivals and chronology, mathematics, the Chinese Calendar and the twenty-four solar terms. Many of the customs connected with the traditional festivals have links with religious devotions, superstitions and myths. The form which most of the festivals take today was established around the time of the Han Dynasty (206BC - 220) and for many years, various eminent poets have written countless masterpieces describing the festivals and are still recited regularly today. See New York below for Chinese New York observances.

FRENCH HOLIDAYS

French Holidays and Festivals - The French celebrate 11 national jours feriés (holidays) annually. They also celebrate le poisson d'avril, April 1st, when many unsuspecting victims spend the day with a paper fish taped to their back.

Bastille Day - Features information about the Bastille, a notorious prison in Paris, which the people stormed and seized in 1789, starting the French Revolution that toppled the French king and the aristocracy. Lists tips on how to celebrate this day, wherever you may reside.

Calendar of German Holiday Calendars and Customs, German-English - Don't forget April 30, Walpurgisnacht; you don't want to be the only witch not meeting on the eve of St. Walpurga's feast.

Holidays and Celebrations - Holiday and Festivities Calendar for Austria, Germany, Switzerland.

Indian Festivals - Festivals listed include Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, National, and General, plus Recipes!

IRISH HOLIDAYS

St. Patrick's Day - A global celebration of Irish culture on Saint Patrick's Day, celebrated on March 17th. Recounts the legend of Saint Patrick (385-461), an apostle and the patron saint of Ireland and examines the significance of the shamrock. Describes parades held to honor the holiday in Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United States.

Japan Annual Events - List of Japanese holidays and their significance from Japan-Guide.com.

Korean Holidays - Life in Korea presents Solar and Lunar holidays.

MEXICAN HOLIDAYS                                                            

Days of the Dead - Describes the Days of the Dead, a traditional holiday honoring the dead, observed in Mexico from October 31 to November 2. Includes photographs, descriptions of customs, and audio files of music, compiled by Studio Melizo as part of the Holidays on the Internet resource. Beware, though, a very 'ad-heavy' site.

Cinco de Mayo, the Basics - Offers information on Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday celebrated on the 5th of May. The holiday commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the battle of Puebla. The battle took place near Puebla, a city in Mexico on May 5, 1862 and this victory is celebrated every year. Not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day.

Mexican Independence Day - Every year in September, Mexicans celebrate independence from Spain. Also known as el Dieciseis de Septiembre, September 16th.

Mexico Connect: Day of the Dead - Day of the Dead articles from the Mexican point of view.

Official and Religious Mexican Holidays - Mexico Online highlights the official and religious holidays of Mexico. These holidays include the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Carnival, Holy Week, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo, and Flag Day.

Celebrating Christmas in Mexico--Las Posadas - Presents a discussion of the celebration on Christmas in Mexico, prepared by Marvin H. Perton, and provided online by Mexico Online. Discusses the regional differences in the festivities. Explains the posada, a traditional procession, with regional differences.

SCOTTISH HOLIDAYS

Bring on Burns Night - January 25 marks the annual celebration of Scotlands' national poet, Robert Burns. This site has links to traditional food served at Burns Night's dinners: cullen skink, neeps and tatties, clooties, shortbread, and the ever popular haggis. There is even a recipe for vegetarian haggis--and if you've ever seen what is actually in haggis, this is the version to choose!

Feast of Saint Andrew - The November 30th is the day Scots celebrate their patron saint, the first disciple of Jesus, the younger brother of St. Peter. He is also the patron saint of Russia and Greece. The flag of Scotland is the cross of St. Andrew.

Holidays in Taiwan - Presents holidays in Taiwan, including names in other languages.

WELSH HOLIDAYS

24 of the Best Welsh Recipes for St. David's Day - Okay, some of these recipes look rather ... strange, but who are we to judge? After all, chicken fried anything must look rather ... strange to some peoples.

St David, Patron Saint of Wales - Also knowns as Dewi Sant, Welsh people around the world mark the day on March 1 but wearing one or both of their national emblems, a daffodil or leek. As the site notes, "On St David’s Day we wear the leek to celebrate winning a battle against the Saxons in a field of leeks. Lucky it wasn’t a field of cows!"

Summary of Bahá'í Holy Days - Features a summary of the nine holy days of the Baha'i Faith. Includes brief descriptions of the Feast of Naw-Ruz, the Festival of Ridvan, the declaration of the Bab, the ascension of Baha'u'llah, the martyrdom of the Bab, the birth of the Bab, the birth of Baha'u'llah, the ascension of Abdul'Baha, Ayyam-i-Ha, and the Period of Fasting.

BUDDHIST HOLIDAY

BUDDHIST FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS - Many special or holys celebrate the birthdays of Bodhisattvas and the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha over 2,500 years ago.

CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY

Christmas Traditions Around the World - Features information about the celebration of Christmas in different countries around the world, presented by Net Ezy. Discusses customs and religious observances.

Christmas Traditions in France and Canada - Presents information on Christmas traditions of France and Canada. Describes various family celebrations, communal festivities, and religious ceremonies. Examines the origins of the nativity. Details Christmas in the Middle Ages. Highlights midnight mass, carols, the 12 days of Christmas, and other traditions. Offers access to a bibliography and a French version of the site.

Holiday Traditions of Spain - Offers information on the Christmas holiday season in Spain, provided by California Mall. Discusses the traditions of Christmas and Christmas Eve in Spain, Christmas dinner, and the Three Wise Men. Highlights recipes for traditional dishes from Spain.

Welcome to Christmas on the Net - Features information on Christmas provided by Studio Melizo. Includes the story of Christmas, the religious meaning of Christmas, the many faces of Santa Claus, the legend of the Christmas stocking, the Christmas tree, and recipes. Links to other sites on Christmas. Lots of ads, however.

EASTER

Easter Traditions - Traditions from the gastronomical point of view, that is, including Easter Peeps trivia and recipes!

Easter Symbols and Traditions - Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter cards, and Easter parades.

Hoppy Easter - Presents resources on the Easter holiday, part of the Holidays on the Net site published by Studio Melizo. Features a history of the holiday and discusses the symbolism behind Easter eggs and the Easter rabbit.

HALLOWEEN

Halloween in the United States - Celebrated October 31 by watching horror films, holding costume parties or creating haunted houses or graveyards. And of course, the infamous trick-or-treating.

Halloween: Origins, Customs and Traditions - Great summaries of the Halloween history, beginning with Celtic Samhain.

Halloween Traditions and Celebrations Around the World - The history begins in Ireland, then other countries. Except America. What's up with that?

HINDU HOLIDAYS

Hindu Holidays and Festivals - One scholar claims Hinduism has more than a thousand different festivals. The most famous is "Diwali, from the Sanskrit word Dīpãvali, meaning "row of lights" is a Hindu festival of lights lasting five days. For many Hindus, Diwali is also New Year's Eve. Diwali is held on the final day of the Vikram calendar, a type of Hindu calendar followed by North Indians."

JEWISH HOLIDAYS

Chanukah - Chanukah Basics, Chanukah How To, the Chanukah Story, Insights and Stories, and Chanukah Videos.

Chanukkah - From Judaism 101 this site gives the Chanukkah story, traditions, music, and a recipe for latkes (potato pancakes).

Jewish Calendar - A fascinating account of the Jewish Calendar, which does not correspond to the solar year represented by the Gregorian calendar.

NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year - This marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. A link is available for Chinese Zodiac signs, both animals and elements.

Happy New Year - Presents information on the New Year's Day holiday, including a history of the holiday, examining its celebration from ancient Babylon to modern times.

Home of Hogmanay - Hogmanay.net provides information on Hogmanay, the traditional Scottish celebration of the New Year. The information includes a FAQ and details on Hogmanay celebrations throughout Scotland.

Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year - Discusses taboos and superstitions of the Chinese New Year. Includes information on superstitions on topics, such as house cleaning, New Year activities set precedent for the rest of the year, personal appearance and cleanliness, and other new year superstitions.

MUSLIM

Ramadan - Studio Melizo presents information on Ramadan as part of Holidays on the Net. Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. For the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours. In the evening, the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. Muslims believe that the Holy Koran was sent from Allah during the month of Ramadan.

Amore on the Net - Offers information on Saint Valentine's Day, provided by Studio Melizo. Includes the story of Saint Valentine, Cupid, the history of the Valentine's Day card, and Valentine's Day recipes.

St. Valentine - Fun facts, Extended biography, Video, and Comments. Claims, yes, Virginia, there really was a St. Valentine!

Valentine's Day - Contains articles and videos 

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