The 2021-2022 Interfaith Calendar is a joint project of IFC and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington 

Download the Interfaith Calendar here

View Jewish Calendar developed by the Jewish Community Relations Council here

Holy Day Descriptions

*Indicates holidays that begin at sundown the day before

August 2021

15th Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian): In the Roman Catholic tradition, marks the day when the Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

19th Ashura* (Muslim): Commemorates the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hussain, the 3rd Imam and grandson of the Prophet Muhammed. Marks the day in which the Islamic prophet Musa was saved by Allah when He parted the Sea while leading the children to the land of Israel. 

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day

September 2021

1st Scriptures installed at Darbar Sahib (Sikh): Marking when the fifth Guru of the Sikh’s formally added hymns from past Guru’s, as well as Muslim and Hindu works, into a formal Holy Book.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

3rd Paryushan Parva (Jain): The beginning of an 8 day festival for reflection and asking for forgiveness of sin. Practised mainly by Shwetamabar Jains, they try to minimize their involvement in worldly affairs.

  • Greetings: “Micchami Dukkadam” is said to others, meaning “may all the evil that has been done be in vain.”

7th-8th Rosh Hashana* (Jewish): The New Year; beginning 10 days of penitence concluded on Yom Kippur.

  • Greetings: “Shana tova” meaning “good year” or “Happy New Year.”

10th Ganesh Chaturi (Hindu): A 10 day festival that centers around honoring Lord Ganesh, God of wisdom and prosperity.

  • Greetings: “Wishing you a Happy Ganesh Chaturi.” 

10th Samvatsari (Jain): A day centered around asking for forgiveness for sins committed knowingly or unknowingly throughout the past year.

  • Greetings: “Micchami Dukkadam” is also said to others, meaning “may all the evil that has been done be in vain.” 

11th Das Lakshan Parva (Jain): A festival following Paryushan that lasts 10 days to reflect the 10 main virtues of Jainism. Practised mainly by Digambara Jains.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

16th Yom Kippur* (Jewish): Jewish Day of Atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish Year marked by strict fasting, prayer, and repentance.

  • Greetings: “G’mar chatima tova” is the traditional greeting, meaning “May you be sealed in the Book of Life.” “Have an easy fast” is also a way to greet someone observing. 

21st-22nd Sukkot* (Jewish): Jewish feast of tabernacles or booths, celebrating the fall harvest and the wandering of Israel in the desert wilderness. 

  • Greetings: Chag Sameach (khahg sah-MAY-ach) means ‘happy holiday’ and applies to most Jewish holidays.

28th Shemini Atzeret* (Jewish): Celebration of the 8th and last day of Sukkot. Marks the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings.

  • Greetings: “Good Yom Tov” refers to a festival day when work is forbidden.

29th Simchat Torah* (Jewish): Festival marking the end of the reading cycle of the Torah.

  • Greetings: Chag Sameach (khahg sah-MAY-ach). 

October 2021

2nd Mehrgan (Zoroastrian): One of the most ancient festivals known and a time for love and gratitude for life. The feast of Mehrgan is a community celebration (Jashn), and prayers of thanksgiving and blessings of the community (Afrinagan) figure prominently in the observances.

  • Greetings:  Jashn-e Mehregan Shaad Baad, Mihragan Mubarak.

6th (ends 14th) Navatri (Hindu): A Hindu festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. It is celebrated according to local custom.

  • Greetings: Good wishes/Happy Navatri!

15th Dussehra (Hindu): Festival celebrating good over evil. Specifically, the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, the demon King of Lanka.

  • Greetings: Happy Dussehra to you and your family!

19th Mawlid an-Nabi* (Muslim): Birthday of the Prophet Muhammed, ca. 570 C.E.

  • Greetings:  “Milad an-Nabi Mubarak” meaning, “have a blessed Mawlid an-Nabi.”

November 2021

4th Diwali (Hindu): Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. One of four seasonal celebrations in India. 

  • Greetings: Happy Diwali!

4th Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh): Prisoner liberation day, when the 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind, was freed from Gwalior Fort and brought along 52 others.

  • Greetings: Happy Bandi Chhor Divas!

4th Shree Mahavir/Nirvan Day/Diwali (Jain): Known also as the festival of lights. In Jainism it commemorates the enlightenment and liberation of Mahavira, the most recent of the Jain Tirthankaras, from the cycle of life and death. The lighting of the lamps celebrates the light of Mahavira’s holy knowledge.

  • Greetings: “Happy Diwali” can be used. 

5th Jain New Year (Jain): Begins the day after Diwali, and marks the beginning of a New Year for Jains. 

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

6th Gurgaddi Diwas (Sikh): Marks the event when the 10th Guru passed on guru-ship to Guru Granth Sahib, where he established the Holy book that would be the further guiding force.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

6th-7th Twin Births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah (Baha’i): celebrating the births of both the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the two prophets associated with Baha’i, in succession. This due to their births following each other on the Muslim calendar of which they were born into, however they were not born on the same year.

  • Greetings: Happy birthday of the Bab!

19th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak (Sikh): Commemorates the birth of the first Sikh Guru.

  • Greetings: Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti!

29th-Dec 6th Hanukkah* (Jewish): Festival of Lights, commemoration of Maccabean recapture and rededication of the second temple in 165 B.C.E.

  • Greetings: “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah) or simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holidays).

December 2021

8th Buddha’s Enlightenment (Buddhist): The day Siddhartha Gautama reached enlightenment and became Buddha.

  • Greetings: Happy Buddha Purnima! 

8th Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (Sikh): Anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Guru.

  • Greetings: “Tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur” could be used but it altogether is a solemn occasion.

21st Chelleh (Zoroastrian): Winter solstice festival also referred to as Shab-e Yalda (Yalda Night) celebrated on the longest night of the year marks “the night opening the initial forty-day period of the three-month winter” from which the name Chelleh, “fortieth”, derives.

  • Greetings: Shab-e Chelleh Shaad Baad, Shab-e Yalda Mubarak.

25th Christmas (Christian): Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • Greetings: Merry Christmas!

26th Zarathushtra’s Commemoration (Zoroastrian): Death anniversary of the prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster). Although this day is an occasion of sadness, there is eternal optimism and no mourning. Only remembrance of the departed. 

  • Greetings: Ravaneh Raftegan Shaad.

January 2022

5th Birth-anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh): Observation of the 10th and last human Guru.

  • Greetings: Happy Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti!

6th Epiphany (Christian): End of the 12 days of Christmas and commemorates the visit of the Three Kings to baby Jesus.  Significant to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

  • Greetings: Happy Epiphany day to you!

7th Orthodox Christmas Day (Chistian): The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ for Orthodox practitioners using the Julian Calendar.

  • Greetings: “Merry Christmas!” (on the correct day for Orthodox Christians).

14th Orthodox New Year (Christian): The start of the new year according to the Julian calendar.

  • Greetings: “Happy New Year!” 

16th Tu Bishvat (Jewish): The 15th of Shevat, a holiday that marks the New Year for Trees, which falls at the midpoint between fall and spring. Once half the winter has passed, its strength is weakened, the cold is not as intense, and the budding process begins.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

30th Sadeh (Zoroastrian): A winter festival that marks the earth starting to warm as well as commemorating when fire was bestowed to people. Similar to Chelleh marking forty days to Sadeh, this observance also marks the remaining fifty days and fifty nights of winter left to Nowruz or spring from which the name Sadeh, “hundredth”, derives.

  • Greetings: Jashn-e Sadeh Shaad Baad, Sadeh Mubarak.

February 2022

15th Buddha’s Death (Buddhist): Also called Parinirvana Day or Nirvana Day. Is the anniversary of Buddha’s death, when he achieved Nirvana after the death of his physical body. 

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day.

March 2022

2nd Ash Wednesday (Christian): Marks the beginning of Lent, is 40 days before Easter (not counting Sundays) and is for repentance, reflection, fasting. This time period is to reflect the 40 days Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day.

14th Sikh Environment Day (Sikh): Day to honor the environment as well as 7th Sikh Guru Har Rai, who was a supporter of conservation. A common practice is planting trees on this day. 

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

17th Purim* (Jewish): Feast of Lots; celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide.

  • Greetings: Happy Purim! Chag Sameach!

19th Holi (Hindu): Spring festival dedicated to the God of pleasure. It is a carnival occasion filled with bright colors, pilgrimages, and bonfires.

  • Greetings: Happy Holi! 

20th at 11:32 am EST Nowruz (Zoroastrian): Persian New Year and the first day of spring. Also known as Jamshedi Navroz it is celebrated by diverse communities for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia.

  • Greetings: Nowruz Piruz, Navroz Mubarak.

21st Naw-Ruz (Baha’i): Baha’i and Iranian New Year. It features readings from Baha’i scriptures, and is a celebration following a month of fasting that looks towards spring and symbolizes the manifestations of God.

  • Greetings: Naw-ruz Mubarak! Happy New Year!

26th Zarathushtra’s Birthday (Zoroastrian): Also known as Zadrooz-e Zartosht or Khordad Sal it is seen as one of the most important festivals in the Zoroastrian calendar. It is celebrated six days after Nowruz honoring prophet Zoroaster with prayers at the fire temple and a feast. 

  • Greetings: Zadrooz Shaad Baad, Khordad Sal Mubarak.

26th Adinath Swami Jayanti (Jain): Festival honoring the first Tirthankara, one who conquered the cycle of death and rebirth. 

  • Greetings: Happy Mahavir Jayanti!

April 2022

3rd First Day of Ramadan (Muslim): The 9th month in the Islamic calendar; 30 days of strict fasting from sunup to sundown. In honor of the first revelations of the prophet Muhammed.

  • Greetings: “Ramadan Kareem” meaning “Have a generous Ramadan” or “Ramadam Mubarak” meaning “Happy Ramadan.”

8th Farvardingan (Zoroastrian): The first festival of the new year also known as Furudog is the remembrance day for the Fravahars and the souls of the departed. It is not to be confused with Frawardigan also known as Panjeh or Moktad which is also an important festival honoring the spirits of the dead during the last ten days of the year.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

8th Buddha’s Birthday (Buddhist): Commemorating the birth of Buddha. Day of celebration and reflection that is based on nationality and ethnicity, but usually marked by hanging lanterns and visiting temples.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

14th Vaisakhi (Sikh): Commemorates the founding of Sikhism. There are usually parades and special processions as well as many baptisms occurring during this festival.

  • Greetings: Happy Vaisakhi!

14th Mahavir Swami Jayanti (Jain): Celebrates the birth of the 24th and last Tirthankara. The idol of Lord Mahavir is carried on chariots and most Jains engage in charitable acts.

  • Greetings: Happy Mahavir Jayanti!

15th Good Friday (Christian): Commemorating the day Jesus was crucified on the Friday before Easter.

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day.

16th-22nd Passover* (Jewish): An 8 day commemoration of the deliverance of Jews from slavery in Egypt.

  • Greetings: “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holidays), “Chag Pesach Sameach!” (Happy Passover Holiday), or Happy Passover!

17th Easter (Christian): Commemoration when Jesus rose from the dead. Family gatherings take place and thanks are given to Jesus Christ for dying for people’s sins and rising again.

  • Greetings: Happy Easter!

21st First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i): Commemoration of the declaration of Baha’u’llah to his followers in 1863. Work is to be suspended for the 1st, 9th, and 12th days.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

24th Orthodox Easter (Christian): When the Julian calendar observes the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

  • Greetings: Nothing specified that one could not say “Happy Easter” on the Orthodox date.

29th Ninth Day of Ridvan* (Baha’i): Work is suspended and also commemorates when Baha’u’llah discovered he was formally banned from the Ottoman empire due to fear of the Baha’i faith. When fleeing he was separated from his family, but the Tigris river parted and allowed them to be reunified. 

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

May 2022

2nd 12th day of Rivdan* (Baha’i): Last day of Rivdan, work is suspended. Commemorates the last day Baha’u’llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad and when he declared his prophetic vision to his followers.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

3rd Eid al-Fatr (Muslim): A 3 day Islamic fast marking the end of Ramadan. 

  • Greetings: Eid Mubarak! Or “Happy Eid!” 

23rd Declaration of the Bab* (Baha’i): Commemorates when the Bab declared he was the new messenger of God.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

29th Ascension of the Baha’u’llah* (Baha’i): The holiday commemorates the anniversary of the death of Bahá’u’lláh.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

June 2022

4-7th Shavuot* (Jewish): Festival of Weeks; celebrates harvest of first fruits and commemorates Moses’ descent from Mt. Sinai with the Torah and Commandments.

  • Greetings: Happy Shavuot! Gut Yontiff (GOOT YON-tiff), meaning “good day” can also be used as well as on other Jewish holidays.

5th Pentecost (Christian): Observation of the day when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, following the ascension of Jesus. The name indicates 50 days after Easter.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

July 2022

1st Tirgan (Zorastrian): Summer rain festival and one of the three most widely celebrated feasts (along with Mehrgan and Nowruz) of ancient Iran.

  • Greetings: Jashn-e Trigan Shaad Baad, Tirgan Mubarak.

7th Hajj* (Muslim): The pilgrimage Muslims take at least once in their lives to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

  • Greetings: If you know someone undergoing the Hajj can say, “Congratulations on your Hajj!” or “Hajj Mubarak to you!”

8th Day of Arafat* (Muslim): Day of repentance and second day of the Hajj pilgrimage.

  • Greetings: Happy day of Arafat!

9th Eid-al-Adha* (Muslim): Commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s absolute dedication to Allah.

  • Greetings: Eid-al-Adha Mubarak!

10th Martyrdom of the Bab* (Baha’i): Ali Mohammed was executed in 1850 by Persian political and religious powers. Observed by abstaining from commerce and work.

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day. 

30th Muharram* (Muslim): The Islamic New Year. It is a period of prayer and reflection and is one of the most holy months in Islam, second to Ramadan.

  • Greetings: No, a solemn day.