February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora.
National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States in 1865
St. Brigid of Kildare, feast day for St. Brigid celebrated by some Christian denominations
FEBRUARY 1 - 2
Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring
Candlemas, a Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and Virgin Mary’s purification
St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some Eastern Catholic Churches
Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated annually as part of the Spring Festival
Four Chaplains Day commemorates the fifty-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the US Army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.
Maghi-Purnima, a Hindu festival especially for worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Devotees take a holy bath on this day and also carry out charity work.
Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year; participants enjoy watching paper lanterns illuminate the sky on the night of the event
FEBRUARY 5 - 6
Tu B’shevat a Jewish holiday recognizing “The New Year of the Trees.” It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In Israel, the flowering of the almond tree usually coincides with this holiday, which is celebrated by planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts.
St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. This holiday is typically associated with romantic love and celebrated by people expressing their love with gifts.
Parinirvana Day (or Nirvana Day), the commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana; February 8 is an alternative date of observance
FEBRUARY 17 - 18
Lailat al Miraj, a Muslim holiday that commemorates the prophet Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) nighttime journey from Mecca to the “Farthest Mosque” in Jerusalem, where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily. Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Lailat al Miraj starting at sundown on February 17.
Maha Shivaratri, a Hindu festival celebrated each year to honor Lord Shiva. It is celebrated just before the arrival of spring. It is also known as the Great Night of Shiva or Shivaratri and is one of the largest and most significant among the sacred festival nights of India.
Meatfare Sunday (The Sunday of the Last Judgment), traditionally the last day of eating meat before Easter for Orthodox Christians.
FEBRUARY 19 - 21
Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, is a time of renewal through sacred and secular practices.
Presidents Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States that honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as those of every US president.
Mardi Gras, the last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that accompany Lent. The term “Mardi Gras” is particularly associated with the carnival celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Although named for its former religious significance, it is chiefly marked by feasting and celebration, which traditionally preceded the observance of the Lenten fast. It is observed by various Christian denominations.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent on the Christian calendar. Its name is derived from the symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence. It follows immediately after the excesses of the two days of Carnival that take place in Northern Europe and parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
FEBRUARY 25 - MARCH 1
Intercalary Days or Ayyám-i-Há, celebrated by people of the Bahá’í faith. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar. Intercalary days are observed with gift-giving, special acts of charity, and preparation for the fasting that precedes the New Year
Cheesefare Sunday or Forgiveness Sunday, the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians
Beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian faith is also known as Clean Monday.
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