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May
1
Sat
Labour Day
May 1 all-day
Labour Day

May Day is now most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labour movement. The holiday may also be known as Labour Day or International Worker’s Day and is marked with a public holiday in over 80 countries.
The 1 May date is used because in 1884 the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, to come in effect as of 1 May 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.
1 May is celebrated as May Day in most countries around the world. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the bank holiday isn’t fixed on May 1st, but instead is observed on the first Monday of May.
In the 20th century, the holiday received the official endorsement of the Soviet Union, and it is also celebrated as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers, especially in some Communist states. Celebrations in communist countries during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades with the latest weaponry being exhibited as well as shows of common people in support of the government.
Curiously (given the origin of the 1 May date), the United States celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September (1 May is Loyalty Day, a legal but not widely recognized holiday in the United States). There is some suggestion that the reason for this was to avoid the commemoration of riots that had occurred in 1886. The adoption of May Day by communists and socialists as their primary holiday have been as a another reason as they further inceased official resistance to May Day labor celebrations in America.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands also celebrate Labour Day on different dates; though that has to do with how the holiday originated in those countries.
May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various communist, socialist, and anarchist groups.
The first day of May was also a pagan holiday in many parts of Europe, Its roots as a holiday stretch back to the Gaelic Beltane. It was considered the last day of winter when the beginning of summer was celebrated.
During Roman times, 1 May was seen as a key period to celebrate fertility and the arrival of spring. The Roman festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring, was held between 28 April and 3 May.

May
3
Mon
Constitution Day
May 3 all-day
Constitution Day

Constitution day marks the declaration and adoption of Poland’s first constitution on 3 May 1791.
This was the first constitution to be adopted in Europe and second only in the world – the American constitution of 1789, being the oldest. The first draft of the Polish constitution dates back to 1788.
The Polish constitution was based on principles influenced by the French revolution and introduced a constitutional monarchy.
The constitution itself applied to the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and the implementation of the constitution led to the ‘War of the defense of the constitution’ between the commonwealth and conservative nobility backed by the Russia empire.
This led to the annulment of the constitution just 19 months later, but the 3 May constitution is still regarded as a key event in the history of Poland.

Nov
1
Mon
All Saints Day
Nov 1 all-day
All Saints Day

All Saints’ Day is celebrated on 1 November as a commemoration day for all Christian saints. It may also be known as All Hallows’ Day, Solemnity of All Saints, Hallowmas, or Feast of Saints.
Traditions of All Saints’ Day
The origin of All Saints’ Day may date back to a Greek Christian tradition from the 4th century, when a festival was held to honor saints and martyrs on the Sunday following Pentecost.
The first recorded All Saints’ Day occurred on 13 May 609 CE when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon in Rome as a gift from the Emperor Phocas. The Pope dedicated the day as a holiday to honour the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs.
In 835 CE, during the reign of Pope Gregory III, the festival was moved to 1 November and was expanded to include the honouring of all saints. It is likely that 1 November was intentionally chosen to replace the pagan feast of the dead, Samhain. The night before Samhain was a time when evil spirits roamed the land looking for humans. To confuse the spirits, people would dress up as creatures. This tradition carried on after 1 November became a Christian festival, hence the name of Halloween – which is a shortened version of All Hallows’ Eve.
The day survived the Reformation, though the Protestants combined it with All Souls’ Day, which was on 2 November.
The day was abolished as a church festival in 1770, but may be celebrated by many churches on the first Sunday in November.
In Roman Catholicism, All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. This means Catholics must go to Mass on the date unless there is a good reason not to attend, such as illness. The holiday is typically observed with a reading of the Beatitudes, eight blessings given in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew.
In recent years, it has become common in many churches to commemorate those who died during the year on the day itself.
The tradition of placing candles on the graves the evening before All Saints’ Eve is becoming more common.

Dec
25
Sat
Christmas Day
Dec 25 all-day
Christmas Day

History of Christmas Day
Whilst the holiday has a strong grounding in the story of the birth of Jesus, many of the traditions we associate with Christmas have evolved from pre-christian beliefs and certainly the traditions have evolved beyond purely a Christian holiday to have a wider secular significance.
The celebration of Christmas in late December is certainly as a result of pre-existing celebrations happening at that time, marking the Winter Solstice.
Most notable of these is Yule (meaning ‘Feast’), a winter pagan festival that was originally celebrated by Germanic people. The exact date of Yule depends on the lunar cycle but it falls from late December to early January. In some Northern Europe countries, the local word for Christmas has a closer linguistic tie to ‘Yule’ than ‘Christmas’, and it is still a term that may be used for Christmas in some English-speaking countries. Several Yule traditions are familiar to the modern celebration of Christmas, such as Yule Log, the custom of burning a large wooden log on the fire at Christmas; or indeed carol singing, which is surprisingly a very ancient tradition.

Dec
26
Sun
St. Stephen’s Day
Dec 26 all-day
St. Stephen's Day

Saint Stephen’s Day, 26 December is the Feast of St. Stephen in Western Christianity.
In Spain, this is a regional holiday celebrated in Catalonia only.
In France this is a regional holiday celebrated in Alsace and Moselle only.
In commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas day is a holiday, but known as Boxing Day. In some countries the day after Christmas Day may also be known as the ‘Second Day of Christmas’ or the ‘Day after Christmas’.

History of St. Stephen’s Day
In non Commonwealth countries, the day is more commonly referred to as St Stephen’s Day or the feast of Stephen as mentioned in the carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’.
There are two Saints called Stephen. St. Stephen’s Day on 26 December commemorates St. Stephen who was the first Christian Martyr.
Stephen was a Greek Jew who had converted to Christianity. He was appointed as one of seven deacons to help with organizing the early Christian church.
Due to his preaching about Christianity, he was accused of blasphemy and stood trial at a Jewish court in about 34 CE.
During the trial he made a long speech, saying that Christianity supported the teachings of Moses. This so enraged the crowd at the trial, that he was dragged away and stoned to death by an mob. It is said that the mob was encouraged on by Saul of Tarsus, who later became Saint Paul.
The other St. Stephen was St. Stephen of Hungary, who was the first king of Hungary and is noted for converting the Magyar people to Christianity.

Jan
1
Sat
New Year’s Day
Jan 1 all-day
New Year's Day

New Year’s Day is 1st January, the first day of the year, in the Gregorian calendar, and falls exactly one week after the Christmas Day of the previous year.
New Year’s Day is a public holiday in all countries that observe the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel. This makes it the most widely observed public holiday in the year.
Some countries may also observe an additional day’s holiday for New Year.
Countries who still use the Julian Calendar observe New Year’s Day on January 14th.
It is traditionally celebrated with firework displays across the globe at 00:00 in the local time zones.
History of New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day was originally observed on 15th March in the old Roman Calendar.
It was fixed at 1st January in 153 BCE, by two Roman consuls. The month was named Janus after the name of the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one facing forward and one looking back, a fitting name for the month at the start of the year.
During the Middle Ages, a number of different Christian feast dates were used to mark the New Year, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December in the Roman fashion.

Jan
6
Thu
Epiphany
Jan 6 all-day
Epiphany

Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter.
It is always celebrated on 6 January and commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi, or three wise men. In some countries, it may be known as ‘Three Kings Day’.
Interestingly, the bible doesn’t mention how many wise men there were – just that three gifts were given and that they came from the east.
The common consensus is that there were between two and twenty wise men. They were likely to have been Zoroastrian Priests. It wasn’t until about 500AD that three was accepted to be the standard number of wise men – the reasoning simply due to the number of gifts.
To further complicate matters, the wise men may not even have been men or wise. In 2004, a report by the general synod of the church of England concluded that ‘magi’ gives no indication as to number, or gender, or even to the level of wisdom.
Epiphany is derived from the Greek word ‘epiphaneia’ and means manifestation. In religious use, the term means the appearance of an invisible divine being in a visible form.
The celebration of the Epiphany began in the Eastern Church and included a celebration of Christ’s birth. However, by the 4th century AD, the various calendar reforms had moved the birth of Christ to 25 December and the church in Rome began celebrating 6 January as Epiphany. Armenian Christians still celebrate the birth of Christ on 6 January

May
1
Sun
Labour Day
May 1 all-day
Labour Day

May Day is now most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labour movement. The holiday may also be known as Labour Day or International Worker’s Day and is marked with a public holiday in over 80 countries.
The 1 May date is used because in 1884 the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, to come in effect as of 1 May 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.
1 May is celebrated as May Day in most countries around the world. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the bank holiday isn’t fixed on May 1st, but instead is observed on the first Monday of May.
In the 20th century, the holiday received the official endorsement of the Soviet Union, and it is also celebrated as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers, especially in some Communist states. Celebrations in communist countries during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades with the latest weaponry being exhibited as well as shows of common people in support of the government.
Curiously (given the origin of the 1 May date), the United States celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September (1 May is Loyalty Day, a legal but not widely recognized holiday in the United States). There is some suggestion that the reason for this was to avoid the commemoration of riots that had occurred in 1886. The adoption of May Day by communists and socialists as their primary holiday have been as a another reason as they further inceased official resistance to May Day labor celebrations in America.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands also celebrate Labour Day on different dates; though that has to do with how the holiday originated in those countries.
May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various communist, socialist, and anarchist groups.
The first day of May was also a pagan holiday in many parts of Europe, Its roots as a holiday stretch back to the Gaelic Beltane. It was considered the last day of winter when the beginning of summer was celebrated.
During Roman times, 1 May was seen as a key period to celebrate fertility and the arrival of spring. The Roman festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring, was held between 28 April and 3 May.

May
3
Tue
Constitution Day
May 3 all-day
Constitution Day

Constitution day marks the declaration and adoption of Poland’s first constitution on 3 May 1791.
This was the first constitution to be adopted in Europe and second only in the world – the American constitution of 1789, being the oldest. The first draft of the Polish constitution dates back to 1788.
The Polish constitution was based on principles influenced by the French revolution and introduced a constitutional monarchy.
The constitution itself applied to the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and the implementation of the constitution led to the ‘War of the defense of the constitution’ between the commonwealth and conservative nobility backed by the Russia empire.
This led to the annulment of the constitution just 19 months later, but the 3 May constitution is still regarded as a key event in the history of Poland.

Nov
1
Tue
All Saints Day
Nov 1 all-day
All Saints Day

All Saints’ Day is celebrated on 1 November as a commemoration day for all Christian saints. It may also be known as All Hallows’ Day, Solemnity of All Saints, Hallowmas, or Feast of Saints.
Traditions of All Saints’ Day
The origin of All Saints’ Day may date back to a Greek Christian tradition from the 4th century, when a festival was held to honor saints and martyrs on the Sunday following Pentecost.
The first recorded All Saints’ Day occurred on 13 May 609 CE when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon in Rome as a gift from the Emperor Phocas. The Pope dedicated the day as a holiday to honour the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs.
In 835 CE, during the reign of Pope Gregory III, the festival was moved to 1 November and was expanded to include the honouring of all saints. It is likely that 1 November was intentionally chosen to replace the pagan feast of the dead, Samhain. The night before Samhain was a time when evil spirits roamed the land looking for humans. To confuse the spirits, people would dress up as creatures. This tradition carried on after 1 November became a Christian festival, hence the name of Halloween – which is a shortened version of All Hallows’ Eve.
The day survived the Reformation, though the Protestants combined it with All Souls’ Day, which was on 2 November.
The day was abolished as a church festival in 1770, but may be celebrated by many churches on the first Sunday in November.
In Roman Catholicism, All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation. This means Catholics must go to Mass on the date unless there is a good reason not to attend, such as illness. The holiday is typically observed with a reading of the Beatitudes, eight blessings given in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew.
In recent years, it has become common in many churches to commemorate those who died during the year on the day itself.
The tradition of placing candles on the graves the evening before All Saints’ Eve is becoming more common.