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Religious Holy Days for April 2021

1st   Maundy Thursday – Christian:
Christian observance of the first Lord’s Supper during Holy Week. This commemorates the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his death. This meal is considered as the establishment of the Holy Eucharist by Jesus himself, giving of his body and his blood in the elements of bread and wine.

2nd  Good Friday – Christian:
Remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus. On this somber occasion, Christians celebrate the first full day of the Easter Triduum, which began the night before on Maundy Thursday. The Christian church remembers the death of Jesus on the cross this day.

4th   Easter Sunday * – Christian:
The most holy of Christian sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion, thus completing his mission and procuring eternal salvation for humanity. Observances include worship services beginning at sunrise, special music, feasting, and parades.

8th   Yom HaShoah * – Jewish
Jewish Holocaust Day. The day has been established to remember the six million Jews killed by the Nazis from 1933 to 45. It is observed in most parts of the world by Jews and by many non-Jews as well.

13th Hindi New Year ** – Hindu

13th -21st Ramayana ** – Hindu
With the birthday of Lord Rama on the horizon, millions of Hindus begin Ramayana Week to prepare for the occasion. During these days, devotees read the timeless epic, witness narrations of the exciting events in Rama’s life and fast for the deity. Though some fast only on the birthday of Lord Rama, many fast during the entirety of Ramayana Week. During Ramayana Week, it is common for temples to hold a non-stop recital of the epic Ramayana.

13th   Ramadan begins * – Islam
The 9th  month on the Islamic calendar is devoted to the commemoration of Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation recorded in the Qur’an. The event begins when authorities in Saudi Arabia sight the new moon of the 9th month. It is the holiest period of the Islamic Year. There is strict fasting from sunrise to sunset.

14th   Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) also Bakrami Samvat – Sikh
Hindu start of the New Year. Greetings that wish good life in coming days are exchanged. In Sikhi the day commemorates the founding of the Khalsa, a distinctive Sikh brotherhood.

16th First Day of Ridvan * – Baha’i
Commemoration of the twelve-day period in 1863 when Baha’u’llah declared that he was God’s messenger for this age. Work is to be suspended on days 1, 9, and 12 of the festival.

21st Ramanavami ** – Hindu
Celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana. The day involves telling of stories and going to the temple.

25th Palm Sunday – Orthodox Christian
Christian celebration of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The day begins Holy Week. It is observed by worship celebrations and parades using palm branches. In Orthodox Christianity the dates are different because Orthodox Christian follow a different lunar calendar than Western Christianity. While the celebrations have the exact same roots, there are ritual and liturgical nuances to the holy day.

27th Hanuman Jayanti ** – Hindu
Celebration of Hanuman who was an embodiment of Lord Rama. Devotion and selfless work are encouraged.

Mahavir Jayanti (Janma Kalyänak) ** Jain
Festival honoring Lord Mahavira on the founder’s birthday. Shrines are visited. Teachings are reviewed and reflected upon.

30th Holy Friday – Orthodox Christian
– See Good Friday above.

Lag B’Omer * – Jewish
Observation of the counting of the day – the link – between Pesach (Passover) and Shavout (Feast of Weeks, the harvest in the Land of Israel, as well as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah by God to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. This day also marks the conclusion of the Counting of Omer).

* Holy days usually begin at sundown the day before this date.
** Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.
BOLD  – Most important holy dates for religions.

Adapted from