The 2023-2024 Interfaith Calendar is a joint project of IFC and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington 

Download the Interfaith Calendar here

Holy Day Descriptions

*Indicates holidays that begin at sundown the day before

August 2023

8/15 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

September 2023

9/1 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

9/12-9/19 Paryushan Parva (Jain): The beginning of an 8 day festival for reflection and asking for forgiveness of sin. Practiced 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.”

9/15-9/17 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.”

9/18 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.” 

9/19-9/28 Das Lakshan Parva (Jain): A festival following Paryushan that lasts 10 days to reflect the 10 main virtues of Jainism. Practiced mainly by Digambara Jains.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

9/19 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.” 

9/25* Yom Kippur (Jewish): Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is known as the holiest day of the Jewish year. Leading up to and on that day, Jews traditionally ask for forgiveness for wrongdoings from God and from fellow human beings.

  • Greetings: “G’mar chatima tovah” meaning “a good final sealing [in the book of life]. Or “have an easy fast.”

9/27 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.”

9/30-10/6 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.

October 2023

10/2 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.

10/7 Shemini Atzeret* (Jewish): Celebration of the 8th and last day of Sukkot. Marks the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings.

10/8 Simchat Torah* (Jewish): Festival marking the end of the reading cycle of the Torah.

  • Greetings: Chag Sameach (khahg sah-MAY-ach). 
  • Greetings: “Good Yom Tov” refers to a festival day when work is forbidden.

10/15-10/23 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!

10/16-10/17 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!

10/23 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.

November 2023

11/3 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

11/12 Diwali (Hindu): Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. One of four seasonal celebrations in India. 

  • Greetings: Happy Diwali!

11/12 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!

11/12 Diwali (Hindu): A festival of lights, with variations celebrated in other religions. It symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”

  • Greetings: “Happy Diwali” can be used. 

11/13 Mahavir Nirvana (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. 

11/14 Jain New Year (Jain): Begins the day after Diwali, and marks the beginning of a New Year for Jains. 

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

11/24 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.

11/27 Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak (Sikh): Commemorates the birth of the first Sikh Guru.

  • Greetings: Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti!

December 2023

12/8 Bodhi Day (Buddhist): The day Siddhartha Gautama reached enlightenment and became Buddha.

  • Greetings: Happy Bodhi Day! 

12/8-12/15 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).

12/21 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.

12/25 Christmas (Christian): Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • Greetings: Merry Christmas!

12/26 Zarathustra’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 2024

1/6 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!

1/7 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).

1/14 Orthodox New Year (Christian): The start of the new year according to the Julian calendar.

  • Greetings: “Happy New Year!” 

1/17 Birth-anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh): Observation of the 10th and last human Guru.

  • Greetings: Happy Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti!

1/25 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

1/30 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 2024

2/14 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 specific greeting, a solemn day.

March 2024

3/11 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.”

3/14 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

3/19 at 11:06pm 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.

3/20 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!

3/24 Purim* (Jewish): Feast of Lots; celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide.

  • Greetings: Happy Purim! Chag Sameach!

3/25 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! 

3/25 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.

3/26 Adinath Swami Jayanti (Jain): Festival honoring the first Tirthankara, one who conquered the cycle of death and rebirth. 

  • Greetings: Happy Mahavir Jayanti!

3/29 Good Friday (Christian): Commemorating the day Jesus was crucified on the Friday before Easter.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting, a solemn day.

3/31 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!

April 2024

4/7 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

4/10 Eid al-Fitr* (Muslim): A 3 day Islamic fast marking the end of Ramadan. 

  • Greetings: Eid Mubarak! 

4/13 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!

4/21 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!

4/21 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

4/23-4/30 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!

4/29th 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 2024

5/2 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

5/5 Orthodox Easter (Christian): When the Julian calendar observes the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

  • Greetings: Happy Easter! 

5/19 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

5/23 Vesak (Buddhist): Commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama.

  • Greetings: Happy Vesak!

5/23 Declaration of the Bab* (Baha’i): Commemorates when the Bab declared he was the new messenger of God.

  • Greetings: No specific greeting

5/28 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 2024

6/12-6/13 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.

6/15 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!”

6/16 Day of Arafat* (Muslim): Day of repentance and second day of the Hajj pilgrimage.

  • Greetings: Happy day of Arafat!

6/17 Eid-al-Adha* (Muslim): Commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s absolute dedication to Allah.

  • Greetings: Eid-al-Adha Mubarak!

6/30 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.

July 2024

7/7 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 specific greeting, a solemn day.

7/9 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 specific greeting, a solemn day

7/16-7/17 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 specific greeting, a solemn day.