Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 2016 Multifaith Holidays & Festivals

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Humber Interfaith Calendar - Multifaith Holy Days & Festivals
February 2016

In the spirit of diversity and inclusion, we provide the following Multifaith Holy Days & Festivals realizing that it is not exhaustive. Should you wish your faith’s days to be included, please contact the Chaplain at 416.675.6622 x4427 or for due consideration.

01 Monday
World Interfaith Harmony Week to February 07 (UN)
Proclaimed in Oct-Nov 2010 and started in Feb 2011 to promote interfaith dialogue and a culture and climate of peace.
February = Mkwa Geezis / Buxwlaks (Aboriginal)
Mkwa Geezis is the time of the Bear Moon when the Bear turns in her den to block the doorway to the winter lodge; a time of renewal and new beginnings (Ojibwe).
Buxwlaks is a season of blowing needles when the wind shakes loose the foliage of frozen evergreens and a New Year approaches (Other).
Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony / Hopi Holy Cycle (Aboriginal)
Occurs in January & February. In the Iroquois Ceremony, various communities each have 8-day celebrations with each day commemorating an event. In the Hopi Cycle, various communities each hold Buffalo dances on tribal reserves.

02 Tuesday
Imbolc (Wicca)
Also called Imbolg, Candlemas, Brigantia, The Feast of the Waxing Light, and Oimelc, this day celebrates the increasing strength of the God as the first and greatest gift of the Goddess and honours the Goddess as the source of fire, poetry, arts, crafts, agriculture and smithing and to reflect on the generative power of the gods for later material and spiritual harvests.
Candlemas Day (Christianity)
Marks the baby Jesus being presented in the Temple 40 days after his birth.
Groundhog Day (Canada)
A folk tradition in which, if a groundhog sees its shadow after coming out of its hole, there is to be 6 more weeks of winter.

03 Wednesday
Setsubun-sai (Shinto)
A family time, also called the Bean-throwing Festival, to mark winter’s end and the beginning of spring by the ancient East Asian solar calendar known in Japan. Beans are thrown into each room of the house, and then through the outer doors, with the shout, “Devils out, Fortune in!”

07 Sunday
Mulk (Baha’i)
Mulk, meaning Dominion, is the 18th month of the Baha’i year.

08 Monday
New Moon The moon is at its least visibility.
Chinese New Year (The Year of the Monkey) to Feb 10
“Kung Hei Fat Choi” is a 3-day festival to start the Year 4713 by the lunar calendar. The Chinese decorate their homes and buy new clothes and shoes to celebrate. Some may celebrate from February 19 to 21.

09 Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday (Christianity)
The day prior to Lent that focuses on one seeking forgiveness and forgiving others.

10 Tuesday
Lent to March 27 / Ash Wednesday (Christianity-Western)
A 40 day period (except Sundays) before Easter when Christians fast and sacrifice in behaviour or gifts to honour Jesus’ overcoming temptation in the wilderness. Some mark a cross on their foreheads with ashes to show sorrow and penitence.

11 Thursday
Great Prayer Festival (Buddhism)
Monks from Tibet gather to pray and hold philosophical debates.

12 Friday
Vasant Panchami (Hinduism)
Celebrated particularly in North India and one of many spring festivals, this celebration is associated with Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, and with Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth (celebrations may vary by community).

14 Sunday
Valentine’s Day (Christianity-Western)
Includes various stories of martyrdom but mainly one of a priest named Valentine put to death in 269 A.D. for secretly marrying couples prior to Lupercalia, a fertility festival, against the orders of the Roman Emperor.

15 Monday
National Flag Day (Canada)
Commemorates the Canadian flag with a red maple leaf on a white background and 2 red bars, flown since 1965.
Family Day (Canada)
A day marking the importance of families is recognized in some provinces, including Ontario.
Louis Riel Day (Aboriginal-Canada)
Recognizes the Metis leader who fought against the loss of Metis lands to settlers.

22 Monday
Full Moon The moon is at its greatest visibility.

26 Friday to March 01
Intercalary Days (Baha’i)
Resets the Baha’i calendar with the solar calendar accompanied by gift exchanges, public sharing of faith activities and celebrations.

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