Al-Hijra - start of the Islamic New Year. Commemorates the migration of the Prophet Muhammad.
All Saints Day - All Hallows, All Martyrs. This day provides a chance to offer thanks for the work and witness of all saints.
All Souls Day - On this day the departed are remembered and prayed for.
Ascension - The day marks 40 days since Easter and commemorates the last appearance of the risen Christ who ascends into heaven.
Ash Wednesday - First day of the Lenten Fast, name gained from ancient customs of sprinkling ashes over penitents head.
The Assumption - Feast where the Virgin Mary is accepted into heaven to sit by Christ.
Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh - The tenth and last human Guru who established the order of Khalsa (Sikh religion)
Birthday of Guru Nanak - Birthday of founder of Sikhism. This is the holiest festival of the Sikhs which is celebrated over a three day period.
Birthday of Haile Selassie - Holy day celebrated with Nyahbinghi drumming hymns and prayers.
Bodhi Day - Celebrates Gautama’s attainment of Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya.
Christmas - Celebrates the birth of Jesus, who Christians believe to be the Son of God. Christians focus on the incarnation of God becoming a man in this major festival.
Corpus Christi - Feast to celebrate the Body of Christ. Bread and wine are significant on this feast.
Divali - (Hindu/Sikh). Festival of Lights. Celebration of good over evil. Victory of Lord Rama over demon Ravana and end of over 14 years of exile of Lord Rama. Also prayers for Goddess Laxom for prosperity and beginning of financial year. For Sikhs special significance because sixth Guru was released from prison on Diwali.
Durga Puja - On the 8th day of Navarati with prayers for the Goddess Durga.
Dusserah - Special day where the demon Rasana is burnt on large bonfires - his destruction is celebrated with fireworks and parties.
Easter - Resurrection of Christ. Easter is joyous with Easter eggs and spring symbols to represent new life.
Easter Sunday - Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated. Easter eggs are given as a celebration of new life.
Eid-ul-Adha - This festival marks the end of Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and also commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s offer to sacrifice his own son Ishmael. An animal is sacrificed. Third is distributed to the poor, the remainder to relatives.
Eid-ul-Fitr - This day marks the end of the month of fasting for Muslims (Ramadan). The day is marked with prayers and festivity and presents for children.
Epiphany - this is the twelfth day of Christmas and celebrates the coming of the Wise Men (Magi) to the infant Jesus.
Ethiopian New Year’s Day - Rastafarian have a four year cycle, each year named after an apostle.
Good Friday - This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
Holi - Spring Festival of Colours for Hindus. Coloured powder and water are scattered on each other, also dances.
Holy Saturday - The last day of Lent. Special services are held which include the lighting of the Paschal Candle and baptismal vows are renewed.
Jamshedi Noruz - New Year’s Day with the focus being on the feasting. Eggs and evergreens feature on this day symbolising life, continuity and eternity.
Lent - A period of 40 days of fasting in preparation for Easter. Christians traditionally give up something to remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness which ends on Easter Day.
Navarati - 9 days of dance (Garba) and celebration when the Goddess Laxmi is worshipped.
Palm Sunday - The first day of Holy Week which remembers Jesus’ last week of earthly life. The day is commemorated with processions with congregations carrying palm fronds or tree branches to remember Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem where he would be crucified.
Passover - Recalls the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and celebrating the barley harvest . Unleavened bread is eaten with a special meal (Sedar), with food, prayers, games and song.
Pentecost - Birthday of the Church. Followers of Jesus Christ first received the Holy Spirit and produced the Gospel.
The Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday - Milad-un-Nabi. The day is celebrated with presents, stories and lectures on the life of Muhammad.
Raksha Bandhan - Sisters tie holy thread onto brothers wrists for protection. Brothers in return give sisters presents.
Ramadan - The Islamic month for fasting from dawn to sunset every day, normally 30 days with the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Rosh Hashana - Creation of the world - begins 10 days of repentance and self examination during which God sits in judgement.
Shavuot - Celebrates the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai, a wheat harvest.
Shrove Tuesday - Day set aside to go to church for confession, repentance and to be absolved of all sins.
Sukkot - Harvest festival which commemorates the 40 years in the wilderness on the way from Egypt to Israel.
Vaisakha/Puja/Wesak - Theravadin celebrate the birth of enlightenment and final passing away of Gautama Buddha,
Vaisakha (Baisakhi) - Founding of Khalsa (Sikhism) order of the Guru by Guru Gobind Singh - he baptised 5 disciples known as the Five Beloved Ones.
Yom Kipper - Day of Atonement. The last day of 10 days of repentance and the holiest day of the year with fasting and prayer.
Yuan Tan - New Year’s Day, the most important day in the traditional Chinese calendar and marks the beginning of the first Lunar month.