Forex Bank Holidays Calendar 2020
On this page, you will see the Forex market holiday calendar for 2020.This 2020. bank holidays calendar will describe you each holiday in the year with full description for major countries such as UK bank holidays, USA bank holidays, etc. The below table is the holiday 2020 description.
In this figure below we can see all the famous world holidays. For each holiday you can find full description down in the text.
Holiday World Calendar 2020:
Important National holidays list – bank holidays
New Year Day:
The New Year celebration begins the previous day that is, on December 31st the New Year’s Eve, in almost all the countries. According to the Gregorian calendar, this New Year falls on January 1st and is celebrated by welcoming it with colorful fireworks and heavy entertainments. On the Eve of the New Year, the people gather together to eat, dance, drink beverages, and watch the colorful fireworks in the sky, while few of them make it a tradition to attend the Watch night service. This celebration continues the whole night through to the next day. The New Year festival even though being a global festival is celebrated in different countries in different ways.
In Canada, the New Year also called the Veille Du Jour De L’an is a bank and social holiday. The celebration begins with late-night partying, concerts, sporting, free public transit servicing, and fireworks. In places like Quebec, people enjoy ice fishing and get drunk. The most popular song Auld Lang Syne is sung at the Midnight of December 31st to welcome the New Year.
In Germany the New Year’s Eve called the Silvester, is most popular among individuals and the large municipal displays. Berlin is the largest host of this celebration, where more than one million people gather at Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the great day, their main enjoyment is the midnight fireworks. Germans welcome the New Year with Champagne or German Sparkling wine called the Sekt. Television channels show many comedy shows on this day to make the people laugh out to their heartiest. It is customary for the Germans to foretell the fortunes by Bleigieben (pouring Lead) and following other auspicious actions. The people over here eat the jelly-filled doughnuts and marzipan pig for good luck.
In Italy, the New Year is celebrated on January 1st by following traditional rituals like wearing a red underwear as red is considered a lucky charm for them. The people over here dispose of the old and unused items from their homes. Dinner is prepared in a traditional way, which includes the Cotechino or Zampone and lentils. The people are then greeted by their President at 8:30 pm. The fireworks begin all across the country to welcome the New Year and the people eat twelve lentil stews while the clock strikes twelve bells.
In Switzerland, the New Year is celebrated at home with family members with the dinner menu being the usual desserts and sweets. Fireworks are arranged all over the city and the party begins for each community; in their respective arranged public space.
In Australia, various events and fireworks are arranged to celebrate the New Year on January 1st. Events are held in Gloucester Park, Brisbane, and South Bank. The Brisbane River is covered with more than 50,000 people who gather to watch the display of the fireworks. Major celebrations are held in Sydney and Melbourne in the form of Family fireworks and Midnight Fireworks.
Japanese welcome the New Year on January 1st by worshipping and welcoming their god, Toshigami. The Japanese clean their homes and prepare the traditional Shimenawa or Kadomatsy and the Buddhist temple bell rings 108 times at midnight.
In the United States, the New Year begins with formal parties and other family-oriented activities. The main attraction in the country is to drop or raise an item at the time of countdown. This day is a Public holiday in the US.
Berchtold’s day is celebrated on the 2nd of January to commemorate the Founder Duke Berchtold, who founded the modern capital Bern, of Switzerland in the 12th century. Berchtold had previously announced that he would name the city by the name of the animal he hunted first since he targeted the Bear, the city “Bern” got its name accordingly. This is a national holiday for the Country of Switzerland. Since this day is very next to New Year Day, the celebration still continues for two days in the country with family-orientated celebrations. This day is mostly celebrated in and around the Bern area. The Specialty or the uniqueness of the day is that the people of Switzerland eat nuts and play nut games by singing and dancing to the folk tunes. The early autumn starts with the “nut feast” where the children start to hoard the nut supplies and play the favorite “hocks” game. The favorite pyramidal hocks are built by the boys and girls and they all sing the national song of Switzerland, “O Great Berchtold” together. It is an official holiday in Switzerland and this festival helps the people to improve their multicultural awareness.
Every Second Monday of January is celebrated as the Coming-of-Age day in Japan. This festival actually dates back to 714 A.D, when a young prince changed his dress attire to a new robe and dressed in a new hairstyle featuring like an adult, and so this day is solely dedicated to the males and females who are 20 years of age. This day is of significance for Japanese, as Japanese men/women get into their adulthood. Ceremonies are held all across the local prefectures city offices, with Japanese getting dressed traditionally in their Kimonos costume. Once this celebration is over, young Japanese start to enter their adulthood by drinking alcoholic beverages. The celebration and the ceremonies start in the morning at all the local town halls and other city offices. Young folks who are twenty or will be twenty gathers around the area. Speeches are delivered by the government officials and gifts are distributed to the freshly turned adults. The women can be seen dressed in the Furisode Kimonos, a dress with long sleeves with the Zori sandals. This time is actually a money reaper for all the saloons and parlors in Japan, as the dresses which the women wear on this day can’t be worn by themselves, so they have to get their dress and hair styled in their parlor. In the past years, the men used to wear the traditional Robes, but now the trend has changed and the Japanese men can be seen in a formal suit and tie on this day. The coming-of-age day reflects the rights of the Adults and their new responsibilities as adults.
Martin Luther King Day:
Martin Luther King Day in The United States of America is a national bank holiday and it is celebrated on the 3rd Monday of January, which may probably fall around the Kings Birthday on January 15th. This day is one among the three federal holidays declared in the US, dedicated to honor and give respect to an individual personality. Martin Luther King Jr day bill took nearly 15 years to be passed to celebrate this day. The actual legislation was put in front of the Government when Martin Luther was assassinated during 1964, but since the bill got held up, it took a long time to start celebrating this day as Martin Luther King Jr day. This bill was signed by 6 million people and then submitted to Congress. Then in 1983, finally the third Monday of January was commemorated as the Martin Luther King Jr day by Ronald Regan, the President then. King Luther was a very trustworthy and passionate person and his assassination turned out to be a great loss for the nation. His dream was to unite the Blacks with the Whites one day. On this day in the US, the people greet each other saying “Happy Martin Luther King day” and hug one another. The people celebrate this day in different ways; they attend church mass, while few of them throw a surprise party to celebrate the Birthday of this great person. Since this day is dedicated to a noble cause, there is no heavy drinking or dancing or any of these sorts on this day. People just gather together and have fun, play gospel music, and dinner is the traditional southern food. This day is a respectful day and hence no indecent actions are entertained on this day. Many people in the United States normally avoid shopping on this day.
Family Day in Canada is a statutory holiday that falls on the second Monday of February, in the majority of the places, while in provinces of Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta; it falls on the third Monday in February. This day is also called the Islander day or Louis Riel day respectively. It is a statutory paid holiday for all the employees and staff in the public and private sectors. This holiday is celebrated to lay importance on family bonding and their community lives. On this day, people take part in family activities and the whole family is together on this day. The families visit the exhibitions, watch movies, skate icing, play board games, and indulge in some craft activities. The communities may even organize for a special public event. The museums and the art galleries offer reduced entry fee on this day for their visitors. Since the weather is too chilly during this time, people prefer to relish the most popular snacks like hot chocolates and freshly baked cookies. Few of the families may even make a short trip and visit their families and relatives. Since this day coincides with the National Heritage day (excluding British Columbia), people make a visit and explore their family history and personal heritage.
Lunar New Year Holiday:
The Lunar New year is also known as the Chinese New year in Hong Kong and this is celebrated on the first three days, of the first month from the lunar calendar. This is a public holiday in Hong Kong. Each and every year, this day will differ as this follows the lunar calendar. This day is a big festival and all the major shops and the restaurants will be closed for 3 to 10 days depending on the place. Few of the seafood shops and big dim sum are open during this period; they, however, charge 20% extra as services charges. Many of the major factories and industries stay closed for a longer period, as the workers pay long term visits to their families and relatives. They make trips outside with their family and enjoy eating out. As the restaurants are flooded with people in Hong Kong, many of the families plan and dine out together with their families by taking their own prepared food. This day normally falls in late January or early February, and it is one of the most traditional Chinese holidays. Since the lunar New Year day falls on Sunday in 2013, the 4th day of the Lunar New year will be assigned a holiday as a substitution.
Australia Day was previously known as the Anniversary day, ANA day, and Foundation day and this is the official national day for Australia. This day is celebrated on the 26th of January and according to history, it dates back to the day when the first fleet landed in Port Jackson in 1788, and it is also the proclamation of the British Sovereignty upon the Eastern seaboard in New Holland. It was previously celebrated in 1818 during the formation of New South Wales. Now, in Australia, this day is called the Australia Day, and it is marked by honoring the greatest reward “Australian of the Year” to a deserving person on the Australian eve day. There will be community festivals and concerts on this day and many celebrations take place on this day in all the small and big communities of the nation. This day has become the greatest annual Civic event for the Country. The other activities that take place are the parades, family meetings, barbecues, and picnics. Citizenship ceremonies are common on this day. In Sydney, the main focus is on the harbor and many races like the ferry race and the tall ship racing are conducted. The day may also include many music festivals like the “Big day out and Triple J hottest 100”. The international cricket matches like the one-day internationals and the Test matches normally begin on the Australia Day. The people enjoy this day by eating roasted lamb on the barbecue.
National Foundation Day:
National Foundation Day is observed on the 11th of February in Japan. It is a day dedicated by the Japanese for their nation and a way to foster their love for their country. This day is also dedicated to the establishment of an imperial line by Jimmu (The first ruler of Japan). The Japanese initially followed the traditional calendar of Japan, and this day was called the Empire day then, but later on, the people started to follow the Gregorian calendar and so in 1873, this day was newly named as the National Foundation Day. This day is also believed to be a day where the ruler Jimmu stepped on the throne. On this day, the Japanese raise their national flag and the Prime Minister delivers a Speech to his fellowmen and country people. All the schools and colleges are closed on this day, and people prefer to stay indoors. There will be no grand ceremony or parade, but the Japanese can still be seen around on the streets waving their national flag as a token of love and affection to their country. This day seems to be of political significance in the Country, as the modern constitution of Japan was approved then by General McArthur.
Presidents’ Day is also called Washington’s Birthday and this day falls on the third Monday in February. This day is dedicated to honoring the USA’s first president George Washington, who worked and spent his life for the people of the United States. This is a state holiday for the country of America. Few of the states pay their tribute to Abraham Lincoln also during this day, as it is Lincoln’s birthday during Mid February. The celebration starts in the colleges and schools prior to the day itself, and they organize lessons and events for the students and the celebration continues till the Presidents day. It is also customary to start or inaugurate a new store or annexure on this day. Shops are open on this day and some special sales are kept for the public, however, the postal service doesn’t function on this day. It is also said to be a great day for selling and buying cars. It is a day where many people learn and know about their countries culture, geography, and civic responsibilities. Even though George Washington was born on the 22nd of February, the third Monday is dedicated to the Former president specifically.
Vernal Equinox Day:
Vernal Equinox day which is usually on the 20th or 21st of March, is a public holiday for Japan. This is a national day for Japanese and this day is of significance as it embarks the vernal equinox according to the Japanese standard time, the equinox date may, however, differ with the varying time zones. This day is observed as a public holiday ever since 1948. Vernal Equinox is called the Shunbun no hi In Japan, a spring vernal equinox. This day is a part of the seven day time period “Haru no higan”, and on this day the lightness equals the darkness and is also the time for a change of seasons. Japanese head back to their homes on this day and spend some time at their ancestors’ graves. As the Japanese follow Buddhism, they believe that there is a river in between life and it’s next, so people visit the cemetery, weed the graves, wash the tombstones, place flowers, keep incensed, and pray. The traditional food botamochi and that is prepared and kept on the graves on this day so that their ancestors can step into their next world. This day is also significant to the Japanese farmers, as they believe that this day will bring them abundant and healthy crops.
Ching Ming Festival:
The Ching Ming festival that is celebrated in Hong Kong falls during the period of the third lunar month. This is the 104th day subsequent to the winter solstice or the 15th day of the spring equinox. The day normally falls on the 4th or 5th of April as per the Gregorian calendar. This is also called Qingming (The 5th solar term), or “Grave sweeping day”, this is the time while the people go out and enjoy the green pastures of the spring season, and pay homage to their ancestors by visiting their graves. In fact, this day is so significant that the Hong Kong Government has put down extra transport services to the various hilly graveyards so that people can visit them without any discomfort. The literal meaning of Ching Ming means clean bright, and so it is natural that the people sweep their ancestor’s graveyard and tidy up the place. On this day, traditionally the people burn the papers and offer this at the graveyards as a part of the festival. The Hong Kong people actually burn the imitations of the laptops, air conditioners, mobiles, and even luxurious cars. After the prayer is over, the people dine with the traditional roasted suckling pig, fruit wine and steamed chicken. It is also superstitious to hang the willow branches on the front door of the homes, as it is believed that the willows will wade off the evil spirits and allow peace at home.
Good Friday is a religious day all across the globe that is commemorated to the Crucifixion of Lord Jesus and of his death at the Calvary. This day is also known as The Great Friday, Holy Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday. Good Friday falls during the Holy Week of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday prior to the Easter Sunday. This day is a fast day and people have just one meal in the day and abstain from eating meat. All the people gather during the forenoon of Good Friday and offer prayers at the churches.
In Hong Kong, all the government offices and businesses are closed and it is a public holiday as the Christian population in the country is more. In Canada too this is a public holiday, with major of the offices and government building remaining closed, and the Government has banned the opening of wine and beer shops on this day.
In France, this day is observed in the Bas Rhin, Moselle, Haut Rhin, and Reunion, Guyane, Martinique, and Guadeloupe departments. In Germany, the comedic theatre events and performance, public dancing is regarded as illegal on this day and the people are even restricted from watching cinemas and TV shows. No entertainment or sports activities should be watched. Even the non-Christians in Germany follow this rule and abide.
In the UK, the traditional hot cross buns are toasted and dined on Good Friday. It is an official public holiday in England and Wales and all the schools and business sectors are closed. Horse racing is prohibited on this day and BBC will broadcast the verses from Isaac Watts hymns at 7 AM.
In the United States of America, the individual states, municipalities, and countries observe this day as a public holiday, all the local government offices and states are closed including the financial stock market.
In Australia, Good Friday is a religious and national holiday. People offer their prayers at the church and eat the hot cross buns. Many of the churches in Australia hold special prayers and services. Some sporting event like the three peaks race begins on this day afternoon. There is a restriction on public transport and many of them run as they do usually. In Switzerland and Italy, people prefer to pray and stay indoors.
Easter Monday is the succeeding day of Easter Sunday. It is also known as the “Egg Nyte” and is celebrated according to Roman Catholic and Cultures of Eastern Orthodox. This is the second day in the octave of the Easter week and also the 2nd day of the bright week. In Australia, this day is a holiday for the public. Australians will enjoy all sorts of sporting events like the Oak bank Easter racing carnival and Stawell Gi. Easter Monday is a public holiday for Canadians. The people of Canada will take a break on this day and finish the 4 day weekend, by traveling to their family and friends. The people eat the Traditional Easter eggs and bask the weather as the Easter falls.
In France, Easter Monday is a public holiday with people spending their time quietly. There will be numerous local events and customs. People visit their relatives and relax. They enjoy the spring weather. The children, however, participate in the various activities and are allowed to decide the family food. Some families even hold the Easter egg hunt in the garden or park on Easter Monday. The island of Corsica holds a colorful parade on this special day, where Catholic churches and Greek orthodox also take part.
In Germany, Easter Monday starts with the candlelit parades on the countrysides and the traditional egg races. This day is observed in the country with various customs. People of South Germany walk with candles in their hands and remember the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Lord. Churches hold special services. The people walk along the field symbolically to end winter and welcome the spring season. Children participate in various events like placing the egg on the spoon and running.
In the United States of America even though it is not a federal holiday, the tradition and the customs are followed like the egg rolling races that take place in the White House. A big race is held in the White House in Washington and at times even the President participates in this race, this was initially hosted by the First Lady in 2007.
ANZAC day is the country’s Remembrance Day of Australians and Kiwis (New Zealand). This day is celebrated on the 25th of April every year as a token of remembrance of Australian and New Zealand army members, who had then fought during the World War 1 in the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli. But now, this day commemorates all military officers who had served and died for their nation. On this day there will be memorial parades, memorial services and it is a public holiday. The most significant aspect of this day is the Dawn prayer or the Church services. The people have the customary gunfire breakfast after the service. This breakfast is a coffee with rum in it. The 4th stanza or any verse from the poem “The Ode” is read aloud during the ceremony. In most of the places, marches, reunions, parades, current, past military personnel or memorial services will be conducted.
Every year, the 25th of April is the Liberation day of Italy. This is a day that marks the end of the regime of Mussolini, while the 2nd world war ended in 1945. This day is of historical importance to Italians as it is a day commemorated to all those people who had laid down their lives struggling for their fascist leaders. Italy saw many of the women voluntarily fighting for the nation and dedicated this day to them also. This public holiday in Italy will be celebrated with a robust performance of processions and marches taking place all around the country. The streets will be covered with concerts and band marches, and political rallies are also held to respect the people who died fighting for the nation. To celebrate the liberation of Italy, the most popular song Bella ciao is also sung on this day, this song is the farmers most popular folk song, and is dedicated to the local farmers who sacrificed their lives for the nation’s freedom. There will be a feeling of bonhomie all across the nation. The liberation day witnessed a chief reform in the political structure of the nation on this day.
The Birthday of Gautama Buddha is traditionally regarded as the “Mahayana Buddhism”. The birthday of Buddha differs from country to country as it falls on the 4th lunar month, 8th day. This is an official holiday in Hong Kong, this day may vary anywhere between the end of April to the first week of May. In 2012, the birthday fell on the 28th of April. This day was declared a holiday since 1998 in Hong Kong, while the nation was handed over to China by the United Kingdom in 1997. On this day, the people of Hong Kong customarily clean the statue of Buddha and give it a bath in water, this ritual actually dates back to the birth of the Lord Buddha, who was then sprayed 9 drops of water by the 9 dragons and gave him a bath. This bath meant a way of purification of the person’s soul and so it is still in practice every year. The various ways of celebrating Buddha’s birthday are to eat a lot of green bitter cookies that are prepared especially on this day. By eating this, people think that their hardship is passed away and they will enjoy the future. The other ritual followed in Hong Kong is that the Po Lin Monastery is adorned fully and given a festive look, for the grand celebrations and special ceremonies, which will be held there. All the restaurants will be hosting the green vegetarian feast during this time.
The annual holiday of the Japanese on the 29th of April is known as the Showa Day. This day is a remembrance day of the 1926-1989 show eras. This was the period when the Japanese people worked extremely hard to reconstruct their nation. It is also a day to wish for the betterment of the nation in the future. Ever since 2007, the Showa day is celebrated on April 29th in Japan, as a commemoration of the Emperor Showa’s birthday. Apart from being a public holiday in Japan, this day is also one of the Golden Week of Japan. As King Hirohito was a great lover of nature, after his death the day was dedicated to the environment and nature, and this day also became the Greenery day. This is a time for the Japanese to respect the ones who gave their lives during the 2nd world war. There will be a lot of travel and tourists visiting the city for this occasion, and hence all the hotels are flooded with visitors and the fares will be spiking up on this day. It is also a tradition to visit the famous Hirohito’s tomb during this period.
May 1st, May Day is also known as Labor Day, and it is a celebration for the labor movement globally. This is a national holiday for more than 80 nations. This day is observed for workers and for their workers/labor unions. In Hong Kong ever since the year 1999, this day is regarded as the country’s public holiday. In Japan, this day is a day off for the workers of Japan and it is paid leave. This day also coincides with the Golden Week of the Japanese and so they have a lot of holidays at a stretch to enjoy. Workers will be off this day and will be seen taking an active part in the rallies and marches that are conducted by the labor unions. Various Major unions organize special demonstrations and rallies in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo.
In France, this May Day or Labor Day holds equal importance and it is a day of the campaign to celebrate the rights of the workers. On this day, in France, the loved ones are gifted with the dog rose flower bouquet or the lily of the valley flower. This is customary practice in Paris and is also called as the Île-de-France. The children and people wake up during the early hours and go deep into the woods to pick up this flower. The various labor organizations also sell this flower on this May Day. People hold campaigns for their human rights, abolish racism and they also highlight the existing social issues.
For the Germans, this is a prehistoric festival, and a way to welcome spring season, by driving away from the evil spirits. In Berlin, the worker’s unions gather by the roadside to organize rallies and celebrate their rights. The 30th of April midnight to the early hours of May 1st is the May Day celebration time for the Germans, who observe this day as the Witches night. People make a bonfire and spend the whole night outside by playing pranks and moving some furniture or ornaments from other’s property. May Day starts with the traditional Maypoles.
In Italy, it is a springtime and flower festival, wine and food festival, events and medieval reenactments embark on this day to start the spring season. There are big crowds hanging around to visit the most popular destinations in Italy on this day.
In Switzerland and in Singapore, May Day stems from the prehistoric customs that are related to the spring celebration. This is a national day for the nation.
The Japan Constitution came to force on the 3rd of May 1947; hence this day is called Japan’s Constitution day. It is a division of the Golden Week of Japanese. This day signifies the power of democracy and its Government. On this day, in the country, there will be many ceremonies all across to celebrate the anniversary of the constitution. Many people attend special lectures that are organized on this day which marks the importance of the constitution that has been enforced for over fifty years. The visitors visit the Diet building and take photos of the building on this day.
May 4th is the Greenery Day of the Japanese, and this falls in the four days among the Golden week in Japan. This is one of the busiest days in Japan and all the sightseeing spots are crowded heavily. Till 2006, the Greenery day was celebrated on the 29th of April that is on the Emperor Showa’s birthday as he was a great lover of nature, but this day was later shifted to May 4th. The Greenery day is celebrated to commune with Mother Nature and to thank God for the blessings.
Vesak poya Day: (14th May 2014)
This Vesak Poya Day in Singapore is a religious holiday that is celebrated by Buddhists as a holy day. It is of much significance, as it is a day that commemorates the birth of Buddha, his enlightenment and his death. The day will fall on the fifth or sixth of the lunar month known as Uposatha Day. The day begins with the traditional sutra chants by the saffron-clad monks and the other devotees make a visit to the temple and offer their prayers, meditate and make their offerings. The other thing that is peculiar on this day is that the caged birds or animals are set free and the poor or needy are given alms. Buddhist youngsters even organize a camp for blood donations. The celebration of the day gets completed with the candlelight procession, marched throughout the streets. The Buddhist temples are crowded with observers and devotees who join the celebration.
Early May Bank Day:
The Early May Bank day or the May Day in the United Kingdom is a bank holiday, which falls on the 1st Monday of the May month. This day is called May Day in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England, whereas in Scotland it is referred to as the Early May bank day. This originally was started as a festival of Rome, which honored the start of the summer season. But of late, this day is celebrated as a day to protect the workers’ rights. This day marks the beginning of the summer month, and various events are conducted to conclude the wintertime. The day is also a day to pray for the fertility and betterment of the forthcoming summer. Maypole dancing is the traditional dance held all across the country, the girls mainly dance around the tall pole which is suspended with colorful ribbons. The girls make a decorative shape with those ribbons, and all the schools mainly in the rural places organize this dance. Morris is another dance that is traditionally followed in this period, this is a dance specifically for the boys who are dressed with white bells all-around their costumes, carry the scarves and wooden sticks. Huge accordion music is accompanied for this dance and the Morris dancers hold big displays. On the first Monday in May, the houses are decorated with flower garlands and leaves, the living image of May Queen is crowned and decorated. The girls believe that if they wash the faces with the morning dew, they will look beautiful and so this is also traditionally followed mainly in the rural areas. There is a festival of the chimney sweeps in Rochester. Apart from all this, there is a large march on the streets mainly in London, demanding the Worker’ rights. These marches are organized through the workers union. Previously, these marches lead to violence but of late there is a complete peace march all over the country. All the schools, businesses and organizations remain closed on this day.
Victory day of France is a day dedicated to celebrating the end of the 2nd world war and the freedom of the French people. This is the anniversary day while Charles de Gaulle declared the end of the war on the 8th of May 1945. So 8th May in France is the Victory day. Prior to this day, all the schools and educational institutions focus on the history subject and teach the 2nd world war and Nazi oppression. The history is imputed to the students to make sure that the present generation should know the value of their country and their ancestor’s role in the freedom fighting. This knowledge is preserved by them so that they can respect the modern society. On May 8th there will be church services, Parades, and other regional processions. People sign the patriotic songs and fly high their National Flag. All the homes and Government buildings hoist the National flag; this is a joyous moment for each and every citizen as they remember the people who gave their lives for the nation. The veterans attend the Champs-Elysees and are also honored on this day for their dedication and service to the nation.
Ascension Day is a great day for the Christians of France and Switzerland, as they believe that this was the day when Lord Jesus Ascended to heaven subsequent to his Crucifixion and renaissance. The 39th day after Easter is called the Ascension Day. Christians attend the special prayer meeting in the churches and mark the ascension of Christ to heaven, while for the other people this is a day where they can spend some time with their family, friends, and relatives and relish the spring season. This day falls on the 5th day of the week that is on Thursday so this day is also referred to as the Ascension Thursday.
Ascension Day in Germany is also called the “Fathers day” or the “Men’s Day”. Apart from attending the special prayer services, people take out religious processions with banners all across the villages. During the procession, 4 different verses from the Bible are read out at 4 different halting points. In Aachen, the International Charlemagne award is presented on this day. This prize goes to the person, who had contributed to humanitarian and world peace. Since this is also Father’s day and Men’s day, all the men folks gather together and spend time by riding the horses and carts, later they finish the day with the communal meal.
Victoria Day is a federal holiday for Canadians. This day falls on the last Monday of May, prior to May 25th. This day is a day for honoring Queen Victoria on her birthday. This day is of significance for the country both historically and culturally. It is also called the May two-four day. The cities can be seen with parades and fireworks to mark Victoria Day. All the people gather at parks and enjoy the Hamilton/Toronto fireworks. This day also marks the day of the finish of the wintertime.
Whit Monday is also called the Pentecost Monday, and it is a religious day of the Christians in France. Pentecost day, is the immediate day succeeding the Whitsunday that commemorates the Holy Ghost’s descent upon the Lord Jesus’ disciples. The day is movable and differs every year, as the day depends upon Easter. Various customs are actually associated with this day like the throwing competitions and cheese rolling that takes place in England, while in other parts, there are parades that are led by the clergies, brass bands, dignitaries and various other local associations. The day gets completed by conducting different activities like dancing and eating competitions. Few people spend some silent time with their family, while few may take part in the cultural and sporting events. France has a quiet ambiance on this day, as all the stores, schools and business houses stay closed.
In Germany, Whit Monday is termed as Pentecost Monday. This public holiday differs year to year depending upon the fall of Easter. The churches in Germany will conduct the Pentecost celebrations the whole week and the 2nd day of the Pentecost begins with various regional customs and local customs. The midnight that is the day between the Whitsunday and the Whit Monday is known as the “unrest night”, where the people used to think that the evil spirits keep wandering on this night and will steal away the things that are not locked. In rural areas, the young men nail the branches to the house walls of the women they wish to marry. In few areas of Germany, the celebration continues even after the Pentecost day, like the succeeding Tuesday is called the Forest day, and on this day the fun fairs are held inside the park wooden areas. Historical events and related plays are also dramatized. The next day that is Wednesday is the Garlic Wednesday, where people eat traditional garlic.
In Switzerland, the residents take the Monday off by celebrating in the churches the ancient feasts. This Holy Spirit day is a federal holiday for the Swiss and they take part in the various religious events that are conducted by the local organizations. Horse Racing is one traditional event that is conducted mainly on this occasion. But all areas or cantons celebrate this day in Switzerland, like for instance, Canton Valais, will not observe this holiday but will instead commemorate the Corpus Christi on the 23rd of June.
This is one of the Federal holidays of the Americans and falls on the last Monday in May. On this day, all Americans who died in the war are remembered and honored by the People of the United States. The Memorial Day was previously known as the “Decoration Day”. It is the beginning of summer vacation and the end of Labor Day. The Americans visit the graves and cemeteries and place wreath, flowers and honor the dead ones by placing the National flag. It fell on the 28th of May 2012 and will fall on the 27th of May in 2013. People visit the graves even if the deceased were not from the military side. Family gatherings, long weekend picnics, and other trips are mostly the activities of the public these days. The religious service in the churches ends with the dinner served on the grounds, called the potluck meal. Memorial Day is not Veterans Day, as the veterans day is for all the living and dead veterans of the US military team, while the Memorial day is for all the people who died serving for the nation. In Mississippi, the Memorial Day clubs with the birthday of Jefferson Davis. People start to wear white garments and white shoe from this Day till Labor Day.
Republic Day in Italy:
2nd June is the Republic day of Italians. This is called the Festa Della Repubblica and commemorates the 1946 institutional referendum, where Italians were called to select the Government form (republic or monarchy) which they wanted after the 2nd world war finishes succeeding the fascism fall. Italian people got their Republic, after surfacing 85 years of stiff monarchy, and hence this day is of great importance to the nation and its people. Central Rome holds a magnificent military parade on this day, to celebrate the nation’s birth.
Spring Bank Holiday:
In the United Kingdom, the spring Bank holiday falls on the last Monday in May yearly or on the immediate Monday succeeding the Pentecost. It is alternatively also called as the late May bank holiday. As this falls during spring, the people have a pleasant off from their schools and workplace. Many people make a short vacation or trip. But still, in many parts of the United Kingdom, various customs are associated on this day. In places like Gloucestershire and Brock’s worth, the residents will have the steep racing upon the steep hills followed by the traditional cheese race. This tradition was started by the Ancient Britons and Romans. Previously the cheeses were rolled on the hills and people used to chase it, but since this was dangerous, the cheese is just rolled down these days but not chased. In Endon, the village girls get dressed well and take part in the crowning competition, while the boys compete for the Toss the Sheaf race. Local festivals, Morris dances, and boating are the other activities that mark this day.
Queens Diamond Jubilee: (The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee does not occur in 2014)
The Queen’s diamond jubilee in the United Kingdom is on the 5th of June. In the United Kingdom, this day is the Bank’s special holiday for celebrating the Diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II on the 5th of June 2012. This day is for the special honoring of the queen for her 60 years of reign. Celebrations all over the country mark the day and the events will have a special medal commissioned, a wide competition for the towns so that they can bid to get the city status, and the Greenwich being granted the Royal borough status. Many events are conducted in the Buckingham Palace.
Corpus Christi Day:
The Thursday which falls after the 60 days of Easter Sunday is called the Corpus Christi day in Germany. It is a very significant day at the Catholic Church, and the Eucharist is honored on this day. This sacred day is marked by the parades that take place all across the country to get the Blessed Sacrament. Even the Anglo-catholic Parishes celebrate this feast of Corpus Christi. On this day Catholics and some of the Protestants attend the special church services, where exceptional attention is paid for the Sacrament blessing. This sacrament consists of the traditional bread and wafer which is said to represent the body of Jesus. At some of the places, this Blessed Sacrament gets paraded on the streets after the church service. Small villages celebrate this feast by having a colorful celebration. Ever since 1435, it is traditional to have the ship procession on the Rhine banks, and this has continued till now. Even though the origin of this feast is not certain, people believe that a thief will not be allowed to pass through the river, as some unforeseen force will restrain him from crossing, this force is said to be the form of God, which is punishing the thief for the sins.
Queen’s Birthday Holiday:
Except in Queensland and Western Australia, all the other places in Australia observe the 2nd Monday of June as their Queens Birthday. This public holiday is also special as it marks the opening of the Australia winter snow sporting. Western Australians celebrate this on the 1st Monday of June. Ever since 1788, this day is being celebrated in Australia. In South Australia, this day is called the Volunteers day. Since Australia is one of the members of the Commonwealth and is a constitutional monarchy, this day is a public holiday. All the Australians have a day off from their schools and offices and enjoy some sporting events and weekend trips. Many of the areas start the famous sporting events like the Melbourne cricket on this day. This day is the weekend opening of the snow season too. Fireworks and various displays are also some interesting things that people enjoy especially on this occasion. It is also customary and legal to set the fireworks off mainly between Saturday to Monday on the Queen’s birthday and it is not legal on all other days.
Tuen Ng (Dragon Boats Festival):
The Tuen Ng or the Dragon boat festival in Hong Kong is celebrated during the 5th day in the 5th lunar month. This traditional and ancient festival of the Chinese is one of the Worlds boat carnivals. Thousands and thousands of revelers and spectators grace this stunning experience at the Victoria Harbor. It is a colorful and boisterous feast with many clubs and countries actively taking part in the weeklong event. The legendary boat races like the Hong Kong International boat race and the Lee Kum Kee championships are a part of this feast. This day is not only for the serious boating action, but also for the whole ambiance in Hong Kong covers food, beers, and music. Since this is a serious sporting event, all the participants practice for these days ahead and prepare to meet the stiff competition. The biggest race is normally held at the Stanley and YAu Ma tei. This carnival also attracts a lot of tourists and spectators from all across the globe for shopping and to witness the greatest and international Dragon boat race. All the contestants of the event have great fun and joy, as they get dressed up in their team uniforms and get into the water race.
It is a federal statutory holiday for the Canadians on July 1st, as it is Canada Day. In case the Day falls on a Sunday the succeeding day is considered and declared a holiday, and so in 2012, the 2nd of July was Canada Day. This was previously known as Dominion Day. The day is of traditional, cultural, and national importance for Canadians. All the communities of the country will organize the special celebration which includes much of the outdoor public parades and events, air shows, maritime shows, barbecues, firework displays, and various musical concerts. There are citizenship ceremonies too for the new citizens of Canada. There are no laid or standard rules to celebrate this day, but still, in the capital city of Ottawa, there will be huge concerts and different cultural displays, at the parliament hill. In Quebec, the parks are mounted with small events. The Municipal Government holds ranges of events like the carnivals, pancake breakfast, and concerts in their respective areas. The whole population of Canada has a festive and patriotic mood; the Canadian flag can be seen flying proudly high on the poles, while the Canadians can be seen with painted white and red faces (symbolically their national flag). It is an exuberant time in Ottawa. In Quebec, this day is also referred to as the Moving day, and hence many people can be seen moving their possessions from a place to the other as a traditional practice. It is a memorial day for the province of Labrador and Newfoundland, as this day is commemorated for the huge loss of lives of the Newfoundland regiments who died during the 1st world war. Half mast flag with commemorating services are held at the war memorials.
HKSAR Establishment day holiday:
HKSAR is celebrated on the 1st of July since 1997. This Hong Kong special administrative region establishment day is for the commemoration of the transfer of the Hong Kong Sovereignty from the hands of the UK to the Republic of China. This day is a great day for the people and they organize the customary fireworks display in the evenings. Various political rallies and demos are conducted to demand universal suffrage. For the 10th anniversary of this day, the Government of Hong Kong published the song “Just because you are here”.
4th July is the Independence Day of the United States of America. The declaration was made on 4th July 1776, as the country got its independence from the clutches of the kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is the country’s federal holiday. If the 4th of July falls on a Sunday, the immediate day will be celebrated as the Independence Day. Various patriotic and family events will be organized on this day to celebrate the country’s independence. All the buildings and homes in the American country can be seen with hoisted flags. This day is a great day of celebration for the people of USA, as they have deep-rooted tradition for political freedom. Since it is a day of celebration, the people visit their family, friends, and relatives and have a great time together apart from the barbecues and picnics. Americans show a lot of interest in the country’s political freedom. Various games like the hotdog, water melon eating competitions will be conducted in the country. Sporting events like the 3 legged race, swimming, baseball, tug of war are few games that are conducted traditionally on this day. Americans enjoy the fireworks on the streets mainly at the Washington Monument, which is then followed by some patriotic songs. The television will broadcast the best impressive fireworks. On this patriotic day, many of the politicians will appear at public meetings and render their support towards the nation’s heritage, history and people. The main aspect on this day is that the people will express their thanks for their liberties and freedom struggled by the 1st generation of the present Americans. All the schools and Government offices will remain closed on this day. Family reunions, parades and concerts are few other celebrations that are associated with the day.
National Day – Bastille Day:
Bastille Day also called as the National day is the celebration day of the French culture. Bastille Day is so named for the English speaking countries and is celebrated on the 14th July of every year. This day was formally called the La Fete Nationale. The day begins with the traditional military parade with the cadets from many troops. There are many motorized troops, aircraft aerobatics and other interesting shows on this day at different places of the country. The French allies are also called traditionally on this day for the parade, which will then be followed by the march past of the British Royal marines. Large scale public activities including the communal meals, parties, fireworks,, and dances are few of the events that are embarked upon. Italians will attend musical concerts, balls and watch the military/civil parades. At Paris, the day begins with the large parade, all the French navy, French foreign legions, military cadets will participate in this parade. The spectacular Fire brigade completes the parade, with the flying of the military aircraft all over the parade route. The President then begins the parade, by reviewing the troops while the other people follow the line and route. The Eiffel tower can be seen with the national flag and the people paint their faces with shapes and colors of their national flag.
The Marine day is also referred to as the Sea day or Ocean Day in Japan. This national holiday of the Japanese falls on Monday, July 3rd, every year. The chief purpose of this day is that it is a thanksgiving day. Oceans play a very important role in the life of the Japanese and hence the ocean is thanked for its bounty and unlimited resources. Japanese take this opportunity to have a break from the summer weather and enjoy the beach trips. Other water-related and ocean-related activities are also observed during this day. This day of gratitude is mainly to bless the ocean for its abundant economic resources and to expect the same economic prosperity in the days ahead. Ever since 1996, this day has become a national holiday for the Japanese. Prior to this, this day was not a holiday and was known as the Marine Memorial Day. Various Fish shows and exhibitions will be organized during this phase, thereby drawing in more visitors and spectators.
National Day Switzerland:
The National day of Switzerland is around the 1st of August. This date was set as the Federal charter 1291, dated the “Beginning of August month”, this document is regarded as the country’s chief founding document. This is officially a national holiday since 1994. The people of Switzerland celebrate this day with the parades of paper lantern, hanging strips, fireworks, Swiss flags, and bonfires. This day of independence is celebrated at the municipality and local level with nationwide events and activities. Various special events like the 25-meter rainfall in Rhine falls have been in practice ever since mid 19’s. Basel is known for its fireworks. Official ceremonies, prayers, singing of the National Anthem are the community’s celebration at the stroke of the church bell at 8 pm.
August Bank Holiday:
The August bank holiday or the New South Wales bank holiday is on the first Monday in August every year. This is a day mainly for the bank employees and hence all the banks in Australia will be closed. In 2012, the August bank holiday in Australia fell on the 6th of August. People have a day off and celebrate the weekend with family, friends, and relatives by visiting the Blue Mountains, relish the fresh air or go for shopping. All the beaches across the north coast are flooded with local and international tourists. Byron Bay is the most popular attraction. People visit the snowy mountains and ski fields and enjoy the snowboarding, skiing and other sporting activities. Since this isn’t a statewide holiday, this holiday is only for few of the employees and so all the banks will remain closed for the day. Few of the restaurants are also closed to give a day off to their employees.
The first Monday of August is the Civic Holiday in Canada, and it is popularly known by the term “Nunavut”, in that country. This day is a statutory holiday for many of the provinces and territories in the country but has no legal status. This is otherwise also known as the Provincial day or the civic Monday or August holiday. Few other territories also term in various other local names. This is a holiday for celebrating some of the aspects of history and culture of the nation on this first August Monday. In 2012 it fell on the 6th of August but in 2013 it is on the 5th of August. Throughout the country, there are various events and celebrations that are attributed to the country’s history, culture, and achievement. Even though the celebrations are at a key level, various communities are customarily practicing it. The event may be by preparing and distributing the birthday cake for their province, making communal meals, lunches, barbecues, and supper. The country also conducts large events that consist of road races, fireworks, and various cultural festivals. All the business houses, schools, and other institutions remain closed on this day and much of the transport services are also affected to some extent. For Yukon and Quebec, it is not a public holiday, however. There isn’t any symbol which symbolizes this civic holiday, but through the country, the province has their coat of arms and flags. Tartars, flowers, birds, trees, gemstones, minerals are some of the symbols of the province.
National Day in Singapore:
National day is also termed as NDP 2012 in Singapore. This national ceremony was conducted on the 9th of August 2012. The day represents the commemoration of the 47th birthday of the country. The day was celebrated with great pomp in The Float@Marina Bay. The event was initially organized and held in 2007. For the second time, the combined school choir got introduced on the Float. The country held the National day parade and was attended by more than a million citizens and cabinet ministers. The first national day was celebrated in Singapore in 1966, one year from its separation from Malaysia. The parade of the day starts as early as 9 am. The parade begins with the team comprising of six military contingents SIR’s mobile column, civil contingents, and other schools. The fire brigade is also a highlight on this day which is rounded by mass lion dance and dragon performance. The declaration of the independence of the country takes place at the parade ground Padang. A unique logo was selected for the NDP for all fonts which began in 1998. 1997 used the logo “Our Singapore, Our future” for celebrating the National day. The parades, ceremonies, march past, and mobile column which lasts for nearly 45 minutes highlight this occasion. The Fly past of the Air force of the Singapore Republic has been followed regularly and is the favorite. The Fly past and military aircraft of the parade show the countries’ defensive capabilities and military air offensives.
The Assumption of Mary’s Feast Day or the Assumption day is the day of fetes, where Christians believe that the Virgin Mary went to Heaven after her death. This is a chief day of the feast of the Mother Mary. The Assumption day is celebrated every year or on august 15th in many countries across South America and Europe, while few of the countries celebrate this during other times. It is as well the day of dormition (Feeling asleep) of all the Holy Mothers in Eastern nations. This day in France is a day for excursions and parties for all the people. In Brittany, there is a special Feast of soul, mainly dedicated to Mother Mary, being a great consoler. This day is also special for the French people, as they consider this occasion as a special one for betrothals, and Christians pray at the church asking the blessings for their life partners and good future. The Mother Virgin’s image is kept in the church the whole day and at night this is carried as a procession all around the streets and brought back again to the shrine. This is then followed by bonfires, musical bagpipes, and dances. The shrimp with Béchamel Sauce is the specialty of this day. All around the country, there is colorful processions on the streets and display of fireworks to denounce the Feast of Assumption of Mother Virgin in Italy. In the rural areas of Rome and Sicily, there will be a great bowing procession, being the main event of the day. The statue is carried out on the roads, bending the God at three locations, three times, followed by the figure of Christ preceding the Mary God, to the community church for conducting a special benediction. Pageants will be conducted on the decorated canoes, each of them holding a captain, three musicians, purser, and 2 rowers. They then travel all across the village for feast and Entertainment. The processions with the musicians are decorated in the costumes depicting the Bibles’ three wise men. Citizens of Italy make temporary flooding of water and carry the bowls of the rose-scented water, sprinkling this holy water upon everyone. This ritual is followed as they believe that the country will have adequate rainfall for their crops, attributing this to the Isis goddess of the sea. Many of the Catholics visit Lourdes on this day to attend the celebration.
In Italy, the statue of the Lady is carried in procession, around the church or cathedral. In Siena, the most popular race Palio is held to honor the Virgin god. The race is conducted at the great public square in the city which is scallop-shaped and surrounded by the beautiful and ancient buildings that are especially draped for the occasion. The special dish for the day is the Scaloppine al Marsala. Major parts of the country will remain closed for the day and the public life is silent and quiet. Virgin May is regarded to have become Patron saint ever since 1638.
Hari Raya Puasa:
Hari Raya Puasa is the Eid Al Fitr of Muslims, which marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan. This day is a holiday for the country of Singapore and the Muslims fast the whole day during the month of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan is the beginning of the Shawwal in the Islamic month. All the Muslims fast and pray during the whole day of this month and attend the communal prayers, listen to the Sermon, and donate food as charity during this phase. In Singapore, Hari Raya Puasa or the Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the Eid festival that falls on the tenth day month in the Islamic calendar. This is celebrated after finishing the one month of full fasting by the Muslims. Hari Raya means a grand day for the rejoicing of the Muslims. This is the most prominent festival of Muslims in Singapore. This day is a time for forgiveness for the Muslim community and a time for strengthening the bonds in their community. On Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims decorate the houses, wear new cloths, invite friends and relatives and celebrate the festival as a group. Muslims visit the Mosque and recite the special prayers to complete the month-long fasting period, and welcome the festival, Ramadan. It is customary for the Muslims, to seek for forgiveness from their elders on this day for all their wrong deeds during the past and to start a new life after that. Many of the Muslims even make a visit to the cemetery and seek their ancestor’s blessings. On this Special day for the Muslims, there will be a lavish food table for dining, with varieties like the beef dish, ketupat, lontong and many other treats. Cookies, pineapple tarts, and cakes are the other delicacies. At some of the houses, the traditional kerosene lantern, Lampu coloc, is lit for decorating the homes; the decorative lamps have however replaced the old ones in modern homes.
Summer Bank Holiday:
The first Monday of August in Scotland is the summer bank holiday and for Wales and Northern Ireland, the last Monday of August is the summer bank holiday. This day is the end of the summer vacations for many of the people in United Kingdom, as they return back from their homes to join their school or work in autumn. This day is the end of the summer vacations and many people take a short break during this 3 day weekend. For some people, it is a break to clean up their homes, get the repairs done, and improve them. The famous Notting hill is the special carnival is held in London on this day, the streets are flooded with people playing music, dancing to the tunes of the play lists, and it is exuberating over and around the streets with the drum beats. This festival is being celebrated since 1965 and this was actually organized by the Caribbean immigrants. They originally started to fight against racism and poor working conditions and for the poverty, the people suffered. But of late, this carnival is modified and it has become a multi cultural festival that attracts millions and millions of the people from all across the globe. This is regarded as one of the largest street carnivals in the world. All the schools, corporate offices remain closed for the day. This Summer Bank holiday was initially introduced in 1871. The day was given a holiday basically for the employees of the bank so that they could take part or attend the cricket matches. Slowly this day was moved to the last Monday/first Monday in UK and a public holiday was declared.
Turkish Bank Holiday:
The Turkish bank holiday in Turkey in 2012 was for the Victory Day of the Turkey. This is an annual day celebration on the 30th August for the victory of the Turkish over the Greeks in 1922. The military parading and the monumental ceremonies at the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk mark the day’s importance. This is a Victory day and a day of celebration for the Turkish. On this day, the shops, offices, schools and all houses are decorated with the Turkish flag and the people celebrate this day by attending the parades which take place all across the country. The Air force carry our special flight demonstrations on this day. The jets which fly on this day pass out the red whit trail, which symbolizes the country’s Flag. People decorate the houses with their countries flag and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s images. The officials even attend the ceremony at Ankara. This day is special for the Air force, as all the Armed forces promotions are conducted on this day, and in fact, all the graduation ceremonies for the students take place on this day only. Public life is disturbed for some time on this day due to the rallies and military parades.
In Canada, Labor Day is on the first Monday of September. This day was basically given for the workers as a holiday so that they can campaign for good working conditions and pay. But of late, this day has become a long week break for the Canadians. This day was an occasion for campaigning, for getting the workers’ rights in the picnics and parades organized by the workers union. While for the others, the day is a day of enjoyment as they make trips and enjoy with family. On this day, Canadians enjoy the football match that is played majorly throughout the country. All the streets and public places remain disturbed due to the parades and people’s movements. All the offices and schools are closed on this day and public transport is affected to some extent.
In the United States of America, the 1st Monday of the September month is Labor Day. This day is celebrated in the country to strengthen the worker’s relationship and their contribution for the nation’s economy. Barbecues, public events, and display of fireworks are some common scenarios on this day.
Respect for the aged day (16th September 2013):
In Japan, Respect for the aged day is celebrated yearly to honor the elderly citizen of the nation. This day is celebrated yearly on the 3rd Monday of September. In 2013, respect for the aged day falls on the 16th of September. The respect for the aged day dates back to the year 1947, in a place called Hyogo Prefecture that declared the 15th September 1947 as the Toshiyori or the Old folk’s day. This concept then gradually started to spread throughout the country and then the government declared it officially a holiday on the 15th of September. After adhering to the Monday system, the country then shifted the respect for the aged day to the 3rd Monday of September from 2003. This day is celebrated with huge pomp and gaiety and Japanese who are above 60 years of age wear red colored dress. Japanese also prepare the lunch box and give this to the other known or neighboring elderly people. In some of the communities, the small children organize dance shows, musical concerts for their elders and all the elderly people of the village or community join together on this day and enjoy the night as a group. As this day falls on Monday, the Japanese get a long weekend and hence can move about to various places with their family and relatives. The roads and all public places are usually over crowded on this day. Events in the Media like the TV shows and audio broadcastings focus on programs that are mainly dedicated to elderly people.
The fall equinox or the Autumn Equinox in Japan is a public holiday and it falls on the 22nd or 23rd of September every year, depending upon the Japan Standard time. This day might differ every year due to the different time zone of the country. This day is established as a national holiday ever since 1948, to honor the people who have died. Before 1948 the autumn equinox or the fall equinox was called the shuki korei sai, dedicated for the ancestors. This day will occur while the sun rays cross the equator line from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. In the present-day Gregorian calendar, the fall equinox will fall on September 23rd. The sun on this day will rise right from the east and will set exactly towards the west, the day and night are equal on this day, but after this day, in the northern hemisphere, the days will get shorter and nights longer. The people of Japan will call this phase as the autumnal equinox higan. This is called a phase, because it lasts for 7 days totally, 3 days prior to the equinox, and 3 days after the equinox. Visiting the cemeteries, cleaning the tomb stone, offering food and flowers, and praying are some of the day’s activities of the Japanese. The ohagi is served on this day as it is traditional and even all the bakeries in the country are rather busy preparing for this day as there is a great demand for this dish.
National Day in Hong Kong: (1st October 2014)
Hong Kong celebrates its national day on the 1st October every year, and this is a day to show patriotism for the country by their people. The day begins with parades, fireworks, shows, cultural events all across the country. The day is full of parties and dining as all the people gather at the Victoria harbor to witness the fireworks at 9 pm.
The Labor Day is celebrated on the 1st Monday of October in the capital territory, South Australia and New South Wales. The Labor Day is otherwise called in Tasmania as the 8 hours day and in Northern territory, whereas this is celebrated as May Day in Northern territory. This day is for the commemoration and for granting the working hours to 8 hours per day to the workers in Australia. It is a way to recognize the contribution of the workers for the country’s economy. It is a public holiday all across the country, even though the dates may differ from territory to territory or area to area. Australians enjoy this day by relaxing and spending their time with friends and relatives watching sports and barbecues, while few of them will prefer to go on a trip to the mountains or picnics or bush walking or countryside or camping. This day is a special day for the workers community, groups and the general public to participate in the celebration that takes place all over the nation. The capital city Queensland organizes parades and marches on this day and many of the chief political leaders lead these marches, while the other union members also participate in this march. The symbol eight is of great importance to Australians and hence many of the union buildings in Australia can witness the symbol 8 in their buildings. This is to symbolize that the working hours is granted as eight for the workers community. In fact, the symbol 888 at the Spring Street of Melbourne was erected in 1903 to feature this occasion only.
Day of German unity :
This is a national day for the Germans and is celebrated on the 3rd of October every year; this day is for the commemoration of the German reunification anniversary of 1990. It is a day of remembrance which is held annually to enjoy the unity of the Federal Republic of Germany with the Democratic Republic of Germany which was then united in 1990 on the 3rd of October. The Germans have a day off and they organize huge events and celebrations like speeches of the leaders, politicians, concerts, food and communal meals, cultural presentations, and fireworks. The whole nation has a festive mood and the different cities of the nation host different celebrations. The mosques of Germany will be kept open on this day, as it is a way to motivate a contact between non-Muslim groups and Muslim groups. Muslims played a major role in forming modern Germany, and hence on this day, the Muslim community is also honored. It is a public holiday for the nation and many of the traffic is disrupted on this day as there will be huge celebrations that take place all across the streets and flooded with people taking part in the marches and parades. The main symbols to symbolize this day for the country are the Berlin wall and the Brandenburg Gate.
Thanks giving Day :
In Canada, the Thanks giving day is celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October. This day is celebrated in the year 1957. This day, as the name suggests, is a day for thanking and blessing an individual. It is also a day to pray for a future fortune for Canadians. On this day, the country has a very silent look as all the people are off from their work and the families will have a great get together. The people prepare special dishes on this day which includes the traditional roasted turkey, seasonal produce, like the corn ears, pumpkin and pecan nuts. This day is a prolonged weekend holiday to take a small autumn vacation. The other activities on this day are Canadian Football matches, fishing, hiking and other matches. All the people gather together and enjoy the spectacular autumn colors of their country. This day of Thanksgiving of Canada is associated with the Traditional harvest festival of Europe and hence common symbols like the horn or the Cornucopia filled with the seasonal vegetables and fruits are in fact used as the symbols for this day. Horn of plenty means a bounty symbol from the Ancient Greece, and so this symbol is used for this day to thank Mother Nature for providing their country with such a bountiful agriculture.
Health Sports day: :
The Health-sports day is also called as the sports day in Japan and this is a national holiday throughout the country on the 2nd Monday of October every year. This event is held in the country to commemorate the opening of the Summer Olympics of 1964. This celebration is still in practice in the country to promote sports and healthy lifestyle of the people of Japan. This Health and Sports day initially began during 1966 on the 10th of October, just two years subsequent to the Summer Olympics 1964. This day is one among the fairest day of the Japanese. This day was moved to the 2nd Monday of October since 2000. All the schools and communities in Japan celebrate their sports day on this occasion and conduct an event just like the mini Olympics. The event will have games like the sprinting, long jump, sack race, rugby, tug of war, field events, various relays, exciting relay, 3 legged race and various other popular games. This festival starts with parading at 8:30 in the morning and features other games with the traditional musical marching band. After raising high the Japanese Flag, the various games commences and this event will be broadcasted on the Television sets and Radio. Each of the events has a winner and prize will be given to the winners. The prizes are normally different like the detergents, soaps, cooking oil, hand soap etc. The traditional lunch and dancing competition is held on this day.
The Columbus Day in the Unites States of America is celebrated on the 2nd Monday during the month of October to remember the Arrival of Christopher Columbus to the nation. He had arrived to the US in 1942 on the 12th of October. Even though this holiday is still in controversy, the People of US celebrate this day as it is the discovery of their nation. People attend churches and take part in the services and various other activities. The towns and some cities in the nation conduct special services, events, parades and other programs on this special occasion. All the celebrations that are conducted on this day are focused on the Italian – US community. The events that take place in San Francisco and New York are mainly noteworthy. This day is called the Discoverer’s day or the Landing day in Hawaii. All the schools and Government offices remain closed on this day and the Government buildings can be seen with highly raised flags.
Chung Yeung Festival:
The festival Chung Yeung comes on the 9th day in the 9th lunar month. This is just as similar to the Ching Ming festival of the spring. This festival is a day of great importance as the people of Hong Kong celebrate it with their entire family. All the people gathered together at the cemetery and follow the age-old practices and rituals to worship their ancestors. The people believe that this day will shower them with good luck and prosperity. The day roots back to the age old Han dynasty, where a Soothsayer had advised a person to go out with his kith and kin on the 9th day in the 9th lunar month. The man had listened then and went out with his people and while he returned back to his city, he found that all the people of his neighborhood were slaughtered, only he and his family were spared since they didn’t stay in the village that night since then this practice has been continuously followed by the people of Hong Kong to protect themselves and to get good rewards. The people in Hong Kong go out on this day and eat the traditional KO cake.
Hari Raya Haji :
This festival is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice which has been celebrated by Muslims ever since. This is a three day festival for the Muslims and commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham who had decided to sacrifice his son in God’s name. The festival called as Hijrah begins on the 10th day from the Dhul Hijja month, exactly 70 days succeeding the Ramadan month. The day is the Completion day of Hajj, which is a yearly pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca. Thousands of people visit Mecca during this period and perform the various rituals. Muslims believe that the 5th pillar (Islam) will bring them financial success. The mosque on this day is congregated with male volunteers, who will recite prayers and reflect on the read sermons. After the prayers are over, it is customary to sacrifice goat or sheep or cow. The flesh is then packed and given among the community mainly to the poor Muslims. The practice behind this ritual is to share the wealth among every Muslim on this day, so that even the less fortunate people will be happy on this day. Muslims will visit their families and enjoy the day. Dazzling decorations and lively markets are a few of the scenarios in the country.
The Culture day of the Japanese falls on the 3rd of November 2013 and this is a holiday to commemorate the birth of Meiji Emperor and also this is a day for the Country’s first constitution in 1946. This day was originally started in the Past to celebrate the birth of the Meiji emperor, but after his death, the day was renamed as the Culture day to honor the culture and arts of the Country. It is a tradition in Japan to honor the birthdays of the Imperials. On this day, many festivals and celebrations take place all across the country to celebrate Japanese art. There will be a long parade at Hokone city where the people will wear the traditional cloths of the Edo era. Different martial arts will be demonstrated on this day as a part of the event. The cultural awards will also be distributed at the Imperial palace, to the person who had contributed a lot to the Japanese culture.
The Armistice Day is the anniversary day to mark the end of World War I. This is a public holiday for the French. People will attend the special services and pay homage to all the people who died during World War I and accompanying wars. Parades of the military till the tomb of the soldiers and to the war memorials will be organized mainly on this day and various political figures along with the President will place wreath at the memorials. People can be seen wearing black cloths and the whole country will be in a solemn mood. Since this is a public holiday all the banks, stores, offices and schools are closed. Even public tourist spots and restaurants are shut down on this day. The French Tri color national flag can be seen majorly on all the Government buildings. This flag plays a major role on this day, and it is traditional that this flag will be displayed on the poles. An eternal light was lit in Paris at the tomb Arc de Triomphe three years back and this light is still burning now.
Remembrance Day: :
This day is also called the Armistice Day or the Poppy day in Canada. This day is for remembering the military personnel and all the civilians who were killed in the conflicts. All the people wear artificial Poppy upon their dress on this day or week and pay their respect to the civilians who had lost their lives. The Poppy is a symbol of memory for those who died in the various conflicts. There will be special services and prayers on this day and the Last Post will be played which is the 4th verse of the Ode of Remembrance. The people will be silent for 2 minutes exactly at 11 pm. Wreaths will be kept and all the people will visit the war memorials. Ceremonies will be held at the Ottawa (National War memorial) adhering to the stringent protocol. People will lay poppies, photographs, and letters upon the tomb and there will be a special sessions of lessons, tutorials and presentations on this day.
Veterans Day in the United States of America is observed on the 11th of November every year. Veterans Day is the anniversary for signing the armistice that ended the enmities in-between the German and the allied countries during the 1918 (first World war). All the veterans are being thanked on this day for their valuable services towards their nation. This day is intended to honor and be thankful for all the military people who had served USA in all their wars. The day begins with the parades and March past, visiting the churches and visiting the cemeteries. The American flag is hung at half and two-minute silence is observed at exactly 11 am. All the schools, office establishments are closed for the day and special activities or assemblies will be conducted during this day. The day falls on November 11th every year, but if the day happens to be in the middle of the week, the celebrations are postponed till the weekend.
Deepavali is one of the major festivals of the Hindus in Singapore. This is the most enjoyable festival that is celebrated with full gaiety almost all across the globe as it marks the victory of goodness upon the evil. It brings lightness in the darkness. The day differs every year according to the Hindu calendar. On this day, the oil lights can be seen lit almost in all the houses and it is for thanking god for providing health, wealth, and knowledge. On this day the temples are dazzling with color lit lamps and even the streets are glowing with shining lamps. The main temples can be seen decorated with the striking displays of lights that keep dazzling to invite the festival of Deepavali. Campbell Street is completely changed to a festive atmosphere and lots of stalls are kept for shopping purposes. The shopping will comprise of the intricate jewels, Indian outfitting dresses, arts, costumes, and craft. All the shops will be selling Indian delicacies and it is a night to relish the taste buds completely. There will be the traditional street parade for Deepavali that is “Utsav”. This is the celebration for music, dance, tradition, and culture.
Thanks giving day of the United States of America falls on the 4th Thursday during the November month and it is just before Black Friday. On this day, Americans traditionally spend their time with their family and relatives. They assemble together and have a special meal which includes traditional foods like the Potato, cranberry, turkey stuffing, sauce, pumpkin pie, gravy and fresh veggies. This is a day to thank God for His blessings upon the people. In the US it is a day to thank God for the food collected from the harvest. The day begins with parades almost in all the towns and cities.
Labor Thanksgiving Day:
The labor thanksgiving day in Japan is celebrated on the 23rd of November every year. This is a national holiday for Japanese and this is a day for commemorating the labor group and to thank each other for their productivity. The country holds various events all across the country and the major festivals of the country are Nagano labor, which is for the peace and human right of the people. The festival encourages thinking of the environment, human rights, and peace. This is also a harvest festival and a festival to thank each other.
Christians observe the “Feast of Conception” on the 8th December every year in Italy. This is another holy day for Christians mainly for the Catholics. The people attend church mass and offer their prayers on this special day. This is a public holiday and the main focus of the feast is the Virgin Mary, who had conceived then without any sin. Different pictures and the statues of artwork are made on this day to depict the concept of Immaculate. The symbol for this day is a young woman who is dressed in white and blue.
Christmas holiday :
Christmas holiday in Italy is the most famous and traditional festival for Italians and it is celebrated on the 24th of January every year or it is the Eve of Christmas through Epiphany. The Christmas season in Italy starts from December 8th; that is on the day of Immaculate Conception. Giving of gifts is the traditional practice of the Christians and this starts from the 12th day (Epiphany). Previously on this day, 3 wise men had given baby Jesus gifts. Christmas light decorations and colorfully decorated Christmas trees are made to welcome Lord Jesus. The traditional meal for the dinner that is the meatless meal is prepared and dined by the Christians followed by the midnight mass and living Virgin Birth scene. In some parts of the country, the dinner will comprise of the traditional seven fishes accompanied by the bonfire at the main square.
Emperor’s Birthday: )
The emperor’s birthday in Japan as per the Japanese calendar falls on the 23rd of December and is the country’s national holiday. The date will, however, differ as per the reigning of the emperor’s birth date. Now it is celebrated as the birthday of the existing emperor. This celebration dates back to the year 1933 when Emperor Akihito was born on the 23rd of December. On this day there will be public ceremonies and celebrations around the Imperial Palace. On these two days, the palace will be kept open for the public. The Emperor/ Empress along with the other members from the royal family stand on the palace balcony and welcome the people who have come to participate in the celebrations. All the people will greet the Emperor with the country’s flag and banzai cheers. It is a day of total enjoyment and pleasure for the Japanese.
The Christmas day or the birth of Lord Jesus is celebrated all over the world on the 25th of December every year. This is a statutory holiday in all the countries. It is a chief religious festival of Christians and all the people follow the traditions attached to their religion. The Christmas day is a day to decorate the homes and Christmas tree with glowing lights, balloons, toys, stars and various other gifts. This is a day to celebrate the Lord Jesus’ birthday. In Canada the people follow the tradition since 700 AD of decorating the Christmas tree. Carols and the Nativity scene can also be traced in France.
Christmas Day in Australia falls on the 25th of December and is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus to the world. People give gifts to each other and a special meal is prepared in all the Christian homes. The climatic condition and the wildlife of the country influence a lot of festivals in Australia. The children get gifts in the form of Stockings or beneath the Christmas tree. Santa Claus with a thick red-furred suit can be seen traveling across the country upon the reindeer. While in some places, the sleigh may be dragged by the 6 white kangaroos.
In France, the day is made graceful with a decorated Christmas tree and visiting the church to attend the special prayers. The special meals for the day include the Omelet of truffles, rabbit terrine, roasted capon, garlic soup, salads, green beans, peas, potatoes, carrot, and the papillotes. Other activities like the countryside walking and park strolling are some famous sights of the country.
It is a public holiday for the Germans, and the family members will spend time, some silent time with their people by preparing the special and traditional dishes. These foods and the decorations are displayed; the decorations will have the pyramids, nutcrackers mostly the cribs. People attend the carol meeting and eat the typical dishes like the Roasted goose, stuffed ducks, prunes, red cabbage, dumplings and boiled potatoes.
In the United States of America, the day is celebrated with the customs from pre Christian winter season celebrations. All the Christians erect the Christmas tree and decorate the homes apart from exchanging gifts. Various concerts and performances will be conducted on this day.
Boxing Day is celebrated on the 26th of December every year in Australia except in the places of South Australia. In South Australia, the day is celebrated as the Proclamation day and not as Boxing Day. The main sporting event will start on this day and the most famous Melbourne cricket match begins this day. Almost all the countries like Canada, France, Italy and Switzerland will celebrate this day with much gay and pride.
St. Stephens’ Day:
December 26th is for celebrating the Santo Stefano day in the catholic churches of Italy. People give gifts to each other and donate to poor people too. The tradition varies from place to place in the country. The biggest event of the Carnival is followed ever since 616 years.