Religious & Cultural Holidays

Holiday Name Religion Date Description
New Year's Day U.S. Holiday 1/1/18


New Year’s Day is a holiday that marks the first day of the year, as per the Gregorian calendar. Cultures around the world have always marked the first day of the year in some way. Obviously, this day differed depending on how each culture defined the first day of the year. In ancient times New Year’s Day was a time for religious celebration, showing thanks and continued devotion to their gods. For others it was a time to elect or re-elect leaders. In modern times this holiday is celebrated around the world by throwing parties, releasing fireworks and, commonly in the US, making New Year’s Resolutions. Find out more at


Orthodox Christmas


Orthodox Christian




Orthodox Christmas, much like Christmas, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The main difference comes in the dates. These holidays were once the same, but the change came about when Pope Gregory XIII adopted the Gregorian calendar, which most countries use today. Before, Christians used the Julian calendar, established by Julius Caesar. However, some Christians opted to keep using the Julian calendar, on which Christmas falls on the 7th of January in the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox Christmas is celebrated in a several Eastern European countries such as: Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia. It also celebrated by orthodox Christians in the United States. To find out more visit Independent & The Oakland Press.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day


U.S. Holiday




Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday is held on his birthday. The holiday first came about in 1968, when John Conyers attempted to pass legislation in the House of Representatives that would make the 15th of January a national holiday. It was not well received initially and was only written into law 1983. John Conyers had hoped the day would be marked out in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr’s ideals and goals. Find out more from The New Yorker, The King Center, and National Geographic.


Maha Shivatri









Maha Shivatri is a Hindu holiday that honors the god Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is recognized as the supreme being responsible for creating and taking care of the universe.



Ash Wednesday









Ash Wednesday is the day Christians mark as the first day of Lent; a religious observance that involves self-reflection, prayer and sacrifice in the name of faith.



President's Day


 U.S. Holiday




President’s day is an American holiday that was originally established in 1885 in honor of George Washington, the first president. It was originally celebrated on Washington’s birthday, on the 22nd, but is now more commonly moved each year to the nearest Monday to create 3-day weekends.