The beginning of a forty-day vegetarian fast in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) commences at sundown. For Orthodox Christians who follow the old calendar, this fast begins two weeks later.
The beginning of the fourteenth month of the Bahá’í year, meaning “speech.”
This day commemorates the martyrdom of the ninth of the Ten Sikh Gurūs (1621-1675 C.E.). He is remembered for defending the Sikh faith, as well as the rights of Hindus and the cause of religious liberty.
This feast day commemorates Jesus’ teaching that he will return at the end of time to judge humanity. In the Western Christian liturgical year, this is the last Sunday; the following Sunday (i.e., the first Sunday of Advent) marks the beginning of a new year.
A celebration of the appointment of ’Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh, as the Center of the Covenant in New York City in 1912 C.E. Devout followers begin their remembrance the preceding evening and do not suspend work on this day.
The commemoration of the death of the Center of the Covenant in Haifa, Palestine, in 1921 C.E. Devout followers begin their remembrance the preceding evening and are allowed to work on this day.
This national holiday was first officially observed after a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, in 1863 C.E. Establishing the fourth Thursday of November for the observance, Lincoln wrote that “[The blessings enjoyed in this country] are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.”
While not a religious festival, this day marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, including Article 18 which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
The beginning of the fifteenth month of the Bahá’í year; its name means “questions.”
A celebration of the discovery of fire by King Hashang of the Peshdadian dynasty; it is a festival in which a large bonfire is built as an act of defiance to drive back the winter.
A celebration of the birth of the seventh of the Sikh gurūs [1630 – 1661 C.E.], according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
The celebration of Jesus’ birth begins at sundown on this day, according to the Julian calendar used in some Orthodox churches.