April 5

Ch'ing Ming (Chinese)

Festival of Pure Brightness: an important festival in China, when families decorate the graves of their ancestors. Many Chinese people who live elsewhere, including the UK, try to go to their home village for this festival.

April 8

Hanamatsuri (Buddhist)

A spring festival, especially celebrated in Japan, in honour of the birth of the Buddha. Images of the infant Buddha are decorated with flowers and anointed with perfumed water.

April 9

Yom Ha-Shoah (Jewish)

Holocaust day in Israel, commemorating the victims of Nazi atrocities and also, in a wider sense, affirming opposition to racism and tyranny in all its forms.

April 14

Vaisakhi (Baisakhi) (Sikh)

An important festival, marking the Sikh New Year and commemorating the action of Guru Gobind Singh, who ordered Sikhs to proclaim their identity through their names and their dress.

April 21

Rama Navami (Hindu)

Named for the god whose birthday this is. Songs are sung in the temple while rocking a cradle containing an image of the infant Rama.

April 22

St George's Day (Christian)

The truth about George, the patron saint of England, is lost in the mists of time and his story is blurred by popular legend, but he was probably a Roman soldier martyred for his faith.

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