This festival marks the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary of Nazareth and Mary’s faithful response to God’s plan by consenting to be Jesus’ mother.
The remembrance of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, when crowds spread palm fronds on the ground as Jesus rode into the city. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Eastern churches will begin their commemoration of Palm Sunday at sundown on Saturday, March 31.
A celebration in honor of the birth of Rama, the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu. Hindus read the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, and religious dances called Ramalila are performed to depict scenes from his life. This is the culmination of a week-long observance.
The birth anniversary of the prophet Zarathustra.
Celebrating the birthday of Lord Mahavir (Great Hero), the 24th Tirthankara (and last of this time cycle). Jains remember their most important prophet by decorating their temples with flags, with prayers and fasting, and by making offerings of rice, fruit, milk, and other items.
The remembrance of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and his institution of the “love commandment” (the term “Maundy” comes from the Latin word for “commandment”) while he washed their feet as a servant.
The beginning of an eight-day festival celebrating God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The story is told during a Seder meal at sundown, including readings from a book known as the Haggadah. Some Jews refrain from work and other activities on the first two and last two days of the the holiday.
A commemoration of the passion of Jesus of Nazareth, i.e., his death by crucifixion. At sundown some Western churches begin the Easter vigil either this evening or on Holy Saturday (March 31).
Usually celebrated on or near the full moon day, this day marks the occasion when the enlightened being known as Avalokiteśvara (in the Mahāyāna traditions of Tibet and China) or as Kuan Yin or Kannon (the feminine embodiment of this bodhisattva in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese Buddhism) vowed to attain final, supreme enlightenment and thereby save all suffering sentient beings.
A celebration of the birth of Hanuman the monkey, the faithful servant of the god Rama who can assume any form in order to conquer evil. Believers visit temples and apply sindoor (red powder) to their foreheads, since Hanuman is often portrayed as a red half-monkey, half-human.
A commemoration of Jesus’ miracle of raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, celebrated on the eve before Palm Sunday.
In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, this full moon day of the third lunar month marks the historical Buddha’s sermon at Veruvana Monastery in the city of Rajagaha, where he spoke to 1250 enlightened monks who were ordained by him.
Celebrating the creation of sky and the harvesting of the winter crops.