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RELIGIOUS DAYS OF CELEBRATION & HOLY DAYS
for the Baha'i Faith and Wicca

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Baha'i Faith:

Baha'i's in the Middle East time their yearly celebrations by a lunar and solar calendar. In other places of the world, their holy days have fixed dates in the Gregorian calendar:

bullet Naw-Rz is an ancient Iranian New Years day festival which occurs near the Spring Equinox. It is now a world holiday of the Baha'i faith. If the equinox occurs before sunset, then New Year's Day is celebrated on that day in the Middle East; otherwise it is delayed until the following day. In the rest of the world, it is on Mar-21. It is celebrated with many symbols indicating regrowth and renewal - much like the Christian Easter. Some members follow the ancient Iranian "haft-sin" custom on this day involves arranging seven objects whose name begin with the letter S in Persian; e.g. hyacinths, apples, lilies, silver coins, garlic, vinegar and rue.
bullet Ridvan (also known as the Most Great Festival and King of Festivals) is celebrated on April 21. It is a 12 day celebration which recalls the time when Baha'u'llah declared  that he was the prophet predicted by the Bab. It is the most holy days of the Baha'i year.
bullet Declaration of the Bab occurs on May-23 each year. It recalls the day in 1844 CE when the Bab declared that he was the individual to make way for Baha'u'llah.
bullet Ascension of Baha'u'llah is celebrated on May 29, the anniversary of Baha'u'llah's death.
bullet Martyrdom of the Bab is on July 9, the date when the Bab was executed.
bullet Birth of the Bab is recognized on October 20, the birthday of the Bab.
bullet Birth of Baha'u'llah is on November 12, the birthday of Baha'u'llah.
bullet Day of the Covenant is on November 26; it recognizes the day that Baha'u'llah's son Abdul-Baha became the Center of the Covenant.
bullet Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha is on November 28; it recalls the death of Abdul-Baha.

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Wicca:

Wicca is the most common Neopagan religion in North America. It is a reconstruction of an ancient Pagan religion of the ancient Celtic people. Wiccans tend to keep a very low profile, because of persecution by the dominant religion. Their seasonal days of celebration are called Sabbats. There are a total of 8 Sabbats: 4 minor and 4 major. Each is spaced about 45 days apart throughout the year:

4 Minor Sabbats are timed to the beginning of each season:

bullet the two Equinoxes of March 21 and September 21st when the daytime and nighttime are each 12 hours long.
bullet the two Solstices, added by the Saxons, of December 21, (the longest night/shortest day of the year) and June 21 (the shortest night/longest day of the year).
bullet Actually, the exact date of these Sabbats vary from year to year and may occur from the 20th to 23rd of the month. Wiccans may celebrate the Sabbat on the evening before, at sunrise on the morning of the equinox or solstice, or at the time of the astronomical event. 1
Year Spring equinox Summer solstice Fall equinox Winter solstice
1999 MAR-21 @ 1:46 JUN-21 @ 19:49 SEP-23 @ 11:32 DEC-22 @ 7:44
2000 MAR-20 @ 7:35 JUN-21 @ 1:47 SEP-22 @ 17:27 DEC-21 @ 13:37
2001 MAR-20 @ 13:30 JUN-21 @ 7:37 SEP-22 @ 23:04 DEC-21 @ 19:21
2002 MAR-20 @ 19:16 JUN-21 @ 13:24 SEP-23 @ 4:55 DEC-22 @ 1:14
2003 MAR-21 @ 00:60 JUN-21 @19:10 SEP-23 @10:46 DEC-22 @ 07:03
2004 MAR-20 @ 06:48 JUN-21 at 00:56 SEP-22 @ 16.29 DEC-21 @ 12:41
2005 MAR-20 @ 12:33 JUN-21 @ 06:45 SEP-22 @ 22:22 [email protected] 18:35
2006 MAR-20 @ 18:25 [email protected] 12:25 SEP-23 @ 04:03 [email protected] 00:21
2007 [email protected] 00:07 [email protected] 18:05 SEP-23 @ 09:50 DEC-22 @ 06:07
2008 MAR-20 @ 05:48 [email protected] 23:59 SEP-22 @ 15:44 DEC-21 @ 12:03
2009 MAR-20 @ 11:43 JUN-21 @ 05:45 SEP-22 @ 21:18 DEC-21 @ 17:46
2010 MAR-20 @ 17:31 JUN-21 @ 11:28 SEP-23 @ 03:09 DEC-21 @ 23:38

The above dates and times are as accurate as the astronomical calculations on The Dome of the Sky web site. 1 Times are in UT (Universal Time). This used to be called Greenwich Mean Time or GMT. In North America, you can find the local time by subtracting:

bullet 4 hours for EDT
bullet 5 hours for EST and CDT
bullet 6 hours for CST and MDT
bullet 7 hours for MST and PDT
bullet 8 hours for PST

4 Major Sabbats are approximately half-way between an equinox and solstice. Different Wiccan traditions assign various names and dates to these festivals. Perhaps the most common names are Celtic:

bullet Samhain on OCT-31. This is the Wiccan New Year's Eve.
bullet Imbolc on FEB-2
bullet Beltane on APR-30
bullet Lammas on AUG- 1

Dates of the major Sabbats are approximate. Their origins are believed to be related to hunting, farming, and animal fertility. They occur roughly midway between the minor Sabbats, typically near the start of a month.

Many Wiccans also hold special celebrations at or near the time of each full moon; some also celebrate the new moons.

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Reasonable care has been taken to prepare this list. Sources often differ, so check elsewhere if the precise date is important.

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References:

  1. "Find the equinoxes and solstices for a particular year," at  http://domeofthesky.com/  

Copyright 1996 to 2002 incl. by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last update: 2002-NOV-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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