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January 2012 OPSEU is committed to the principle of freedom of religion and upholding the right to equal treatment on the basis of creed. In recognition of these rights and principles, which include respect for religious beliefs, practices and observances, we have compiled a calendar of religious observances in 2012. While the list is not exhaustive, it does provide guidelines to assist in planning and scheduling OPSEU meetings, activities and events.

Click here for definitions about the most significant observance(s):

Religious Observances 2012

(Major Religious Observances Denoted in Bold)


January 1 Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Christian)

Feast of St Basil (Orthodox Christian)

Gantan-sai (New Years- Shinto)

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)

January 4 Gahambar Maldyoshem (Zoroastrian)

January 5 Twelfth Night (Christian)

Guru Gobindh Singh birthday (Sikh)

January 6 Epiphany (Christian)

Feast of the Theophany (Orthodox Christian)

Dia de los Reyes -Three Kings Day (Hispanic Christian)

January 7 Nativity of Christ (Orthodox Christian)

January 8 Baptism of the Lord Jesus (Christian)

January 9-12 Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)

January 13 Maghi (Sikh)

January 14 Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

January 15 World Religion Day (Baha'i)

January 17 Blessing of the Animals (Hispanic Catholic Christian)

January 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Christian)

January 20 Timkat (Ethiopian Orthodox Christian)

January 23 Chinese New Year (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist)

January 25 Conversion of St. Paul (Christian)

January 28 Vasant Panchami (Hindu)


February 2 Candlemas (Christian)

Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Anglican Christian)

Triodion begins (Orthodox Christian)

Imbolc (Wicca)

February 3 Maha Shavartri (Hindu)

Setsubun-sai (Shinto)

February 4 Mawlid an Nabi (Islam)

February 5 Four Chaplains Sunday (Interfaith)

February 8 Tu BiShvat (Judaism)

February 14 Saint Valentine's Day (Christian)

February 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhist)

February 19 Meatfare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

Transfiguration (Christian)

February 21 Shrove Tuesday (Christian)

February 22 Ash Wednesday – Lent Begins (Christian)

February 26 - March 1 Cheesefare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

Intercalary Days (Baha'i)

February 27 Clean Monday (Orthodox Christian)

Great Lent Begins (Coptic and Eastern Orthodox Christian)


March 1 Saint David of Wales (Christian)

March 2-20 Nineteen Day Fast (Baha’i)

March 4 Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

March 8 Purim (Judaism)

Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)

Holi (Hindu)

March 9 Hola Mohalla (Sikh)

March 17 St Patrick's Day (Christian)

March 19 Saint Joseph’s Day (Christian)

March 20 Ostara (Wicca)

Mabon (Wicca)

March 21 Naw Ruz - New Year (Baha'i)

Norouz -New Year (Persian/Zoroastrian)

March 23 New Year (Hindu)

Prophet Zarathustra birth (Zoroastrian)

March 23-April 1 Ramayana (Hindu)

March 25 Passion Sunday (Christian)

Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Catholic Christian)

March 28 Khordad Sal - Birth of Prophet Zaranhushtra (Zoroastrian)


April 1 Palm Sunday (Christian)

Ramanavami (Hindu)

April 4 Ch’ing Ming Festival (China/Taiwan)

April 5 Maundy/Holy Thursday (Christian)

April 6-9 Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)

April 6 Good Friday (Christian)

Lord’s Evening Meal (Jehovah’s Witness Christians)

Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)

Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)

April 7-8 Pesach (Passover) First two days (Judaism)

April 7 Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)

April 8 Easter (Christian)

Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)

April 9 Easter Monday (Christian)

April 13-14 Pesach (Passover) Final two days (Judaism)

April 13 Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)

April 14 Baisakhi New Year (Sikh)

April 15 Easter/Pascha (Orthodox Christian)

April 18 Yom HaShoah (Judaism)

April 21 First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

April 23 Saint George's Day (Christian)

April 26 Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Judaism)

April 29 Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)

April 30 Saint James the Great Day (Orthodox Christian)

Lazarus Saturday (Orthodox Christian)


May 1 Beltane - Samhain (Wicca)

May 2 Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha'i)

National Day of Prayer (Interfaith)

May 5 Buddha Day - Visakha Puja (Buddhist)

May 10 Lag B’Omer (Judaism)

May 17 Ascension Day (Christian)

May 23 Declaration of the Bab (Baha'i)

May 24 All Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)

May 27 Pentecost (Christian)

May 27-28 Shavuot (Judaism)

May 29 Ascension of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)


June 3 Trinity Sunday (Christian)

Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)

June 7 Corpus Christi (Catholic Christian)

June 9 Saint Columba of Iona (Celtic Christian)

June 10 All Saints (Orthodox Christian)

June 15 Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic Christian)

June 16 Lailat al Miraj (Islam)

Guru Arjan Dev martyrdom (Sikh)

June 19 New Church Day (Swedenborgian Christian)

June 20 Litha (Wicca)

Yule (Wicca)

June 21 National Aboriginal Day

June 29 Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul (Christian)


July 3 Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)

July 4 Lailat at Bara’ah (Islam)

July 9 Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha'i)

July 11 St Benedict Day (Catholic Christian)

Imamat Day (Ismaili)

July 13-16 Ulambana (Obon) (Buddhist, Shinto)

July 15 Saint Vladimir (Christian)

July 20 Ramadan Begins (Islam)

July 23 Emperoro Haile Selassie I Birth (Rastafari)

July 24 Pioneer Day (Mormon Christian)

July 25 St. James the Great Day (Christian)

July 29 Tisha B’Av (Judaism) 


August 1 Fast in Honour of Holy Mother of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)

Lammas (Christian)

August 2 Lughnassad (Lammas) (Wicca/Neo Pagan)

Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)

August 6 Transfiguration of the Lord (Orthodox Christian)

August 10 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)

August 14 Lailat al Kadr (Islam)

August 15 Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary (Catholic Christian)

Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian)

August 19-21 Eid al Fitr (Islam)

August 29 Beheading of John the Baptist (Christian)


September 1 Ecclesiastical Year begins (Orthodox Christian)

September 8 Nativity of Mary (Christian)

September 14 Elevation of the Life Giving Cross – Holy Cross Day (Christian)

September 17-18 Rosh HaShanah (Judaism)

September 19 Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu)

September 20-29 Paryushana Parva (Jain)

September 22 Mabon (Wicca)

Ostata (Wicca)

September 26 Yom Kippur (Judaism)

September 27 Meskel (Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox Christian)

September 29 Michael and All Angels (Christian)

September 30 Parvarana (Buddhist)


October 1-7 Sukkot (Judaism)

October 4 St Francis Day (Catholic Christian)

October 8 Shemini Atzeret (Judaism)

Thanksgiving (Interfaith – Canada)

October 9 Simhat Torah (Judaism)

October 16-23 Navaratri (Hindu)

October 18 Saint Luke – Apostle and Evangelist (Christian)

October 20 Birth of the Báb (Baha'i)

Installation of the Scriptures of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh)

October 24 Dasera (Hindu)

October 25 Waqf al Arafa – Hajj (Islam)

October 26-29 Eid al Adha (Islam)

October 28 Milvian Bridge Day (Christian)

Reformation Day (Protestant Christian)

October 31 All Hallows Eve (Christian)


November 1 All Saints' Day (Christian)

Samhain - Beltane (Wicca)

November 2 All Souls' Day (Catholic Christian)

November 11 Jain New Year (Jain)

November 11-15 Deepavali (Hindu)

November 12 Birth of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)

November 13 Diwali – Deepavali (Hindu, Jain, Sikh)

November 15 Hijra/Muharram - New Year (Islam)

Nativity Fast through December 24 (Orthodox Christian)

November 16 Louis Riel Day

November 21 Yule (Christian)

November 22 Thanksgiving (Interfaith – USA)

November 24 Ashura (Islam)

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom (Sikh)

November 25 Christ the King (Christian)

November 26 Day of Covenant (Baha'i)

November 28 Ascension of Abdu’l Baha’i (Baha’i)

Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Birthday (Sikh)

November 30 Saint Andrew's Day (Christian)


December 2 First Sunday of Advent (Christian)

December 6 Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)

December 8 Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christian)

Rohatsu – Bodhi Day (Buddhist)

December 9-16 Hanukkah (Judaism)

December 12 Feast Day - Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Christian)

December 16-25 Posadas Navidenas t(Hispanic Christian)

December 21 St. Thomas The Apostle Day (Catholic Christian)

Yule (Wicca/Christian)

Litha (Wicca)

December 25 Christmas (Christian)

Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)

December 26 Zarathushtra Diso - Death of Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroastrian)

December 28 Holy Innocents (Christian)

December 30 Feast of the Holy Family (Catholic Christian)

December 31 Watch Night (Christian)

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