Lisa's post reminded me that I wanted to post about various religious holidays. I'll mostly write about them as they are coming up in the year, but first I wanted to write down the holidays we generally celebrate. The interfaith calendar is helpful for this. I'll post links of activities and food to eat as the holidays come up.
One note: I'm no expert on religious holidays. If you have corrections to the list below, or suggestions, please let me know. The only ones I can claim any knowledge in are the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish holidays. I chose the ones I did to spread the holidays out though the year. There are more major holidays in the Spring and Fall, but it was getting too crowded.
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha- Muslim holidays move back about 11 days each year. This year, Eid al-Adha is on January 21st and Eid al-Fitr is November 2nd.
Chinese New Year- February 9, 2005 (not this date every year) - Celebrated around much of the Far East, not just China, and is not just for one religion. We've celebrated Mongolian New Year instead for the last few years.
Noruz- March 21st of every year - Originally the Zoroastrian new year, it is also celebrated all over Central Asia by Muslims too. We've decided to use this holiday to celebrate Spring and life, and do things like coloring eggs that we used to do on Easter.
Pesach- April 24-May 1st 2005 (sometime in April) - Jewish commemoration of their safety during the final plague in Egypt.
Holy Week- We celebrated Holy Week in Jerusalem and I loved how each day led up to Easter Sunday. Mormons don't usually celebrate Holy Week, but we do now.
Vesak (Wesak or Buddha Day) -May 23rd or 24th (I think it's always on the first full moon in May) - Buddhist celebration of the birth, enlightment, and death of Buddha. This is the holiest Buddhist holiday.
Obon- August 13-16- Shinto holiday to commemorate the dead
Paryushana- begins around August 31st this year- Jain holiday
Rosh Hashana, High Holy Days, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah- Beginning October 4th this year, there are a variety of Jewish holidays in the Fall
Diwali- November 1st 2005- We celebrate Hindu Diwali, which is also known as the festival of lights
Guru Nanak's Birthday- November 15th 2005- Sikh holiday to celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak
Hanukkah- December- Jewish festival of lights, commemorating the purification of the temple