Make a special date for assembly - 1997

6th December 1996 at 00:00
Schools trying to link religious, moral and spiritual education into the wider framework of group assemblies will find here a calendar listing the main religious festivals of the six main faiths, the United Nation's designated days of concern, profile-raising days of the main British charities, anniversaries of major figures whose lives embodied important values and days of special interest to those dealing with children

JANUARY

1 Hogmanay

6 Epiphany - feast of Three Kings (Christian) Launch of Mencap Spellathon competition for schools

10 Ramadan begins (fast of repentance - Islam)

15 Martin Luther King Day, commemorating US civil rights leader, assassinated in 1968

Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh teacher)

29 Birth of Thomas Paine, 18th- century radical and author of The Rights of Man (British Humanist Association)

FEBRUARY

7 Chinese New Year

8-9 Id al-Fitr (end of Ramadan - Islam)

12 Birth of Charles Darwin, proponent of theory of evolution and author of The Origin of Species (British Humanist Association)

Ash Wednesday beginning of Lent (Christian)

15 Paranirvana (celebrates understanding of infinite - Buddhist)

Birth of Jeremy Bentham, 19th-century thinker who developed the idea of Utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number, and founded University College London

22 European Victims Day (Victim Support)

MARCH

1 St David's Day (Wales)

3-9 Shelter week, focusing on housing and homelessness

8 International Women's Day (United Nations)

12 No Smoking Day

17 St Patrick's Day (Ireland)

21 Vernal Equinox

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, followed by Week of Solidarity with the peoples Struggling against racism and Racial Discrimination (UN)

22 World Day for Water (UN)

23 Purim (Jewish festival of lots)

Palm Sunday (Christian)

27 Maundy Thursday (Christian)

28 Good Friday (Christian)

Holi (Hindu spring festival)

30 Easter Day (Christian)

APRIL

1 All Fools Day

7 World Health Day (UN)

13 Baisakhi (Sikh festival)

17-18 Id al-Adha (Pilgrimage Festival - Islam)

16 Rama's birthday (Hindu)

18-27 National Spring Cleaning Week (Tidy Britain Group)

22-29 Pesach (Jewish Passover)

23 St George's Day (England)

Defeat Depression Action Day (Royal College of Psychiatrists)

27 Easter (Greek Orthodox)

29 National Hand Day (British Society for Surgery of the Hand)

MAY

3 World Press Freedom Day (UN)

4-10 Red Cross Week

8 International Red Cross and Crescent day (British Red Cross)

Ascension Day (Christian)

Muharram (Islam New Year 1418)

9 Europe Day (EC or European Movement)

12-16 National School Meals Week (Local Education Caterers Association)

12-18 National Smile Week (British Dental Health Foundation)

17-24 Samaritans' Week, theme of youth (Samaritans)

15 International Day of Families (UN)

18 Birth of Bertrand Russell, renowned philosopher and worker for world peace

18-25 National Epilepsy Week (National Society for Epilepsy)

18 Pentecost (Christian)

22 Vaisakha (Buddha's birthday - Buddhism)

24 International Women's Day for Disarmanent (Christian Aid)

28 Forget Me Not Day (Amnesty International) founded -1961)

JUNE

4 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day, commemorating victims of the Second World War - Jewish)

4 International day for Children as Victims of War (Christian CND)

5 World Environment Day (UN). 9 Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Sikh leader)

11 Shavuot (Jewish festival of weeks, or giving of the law)

15 World Children's Day (British Humanist Association)

17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (UN)

21 Midsummer's Day International Humanist Day

23 National Mencap Week

26 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (UN)

23-29 Child Safety Week (Child Accident Prevention Trust)

28 Birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 18th-century French philosopher and author of Emile and the Social Contract, which declared the natural goodness of human beings and the advocated creation of a just society based on this understanding. Hence, forerunner of the French Revolution

28- July 6 British Heart Week (British Heart Fund)

JULY

11 World Population Day (UN)

18 Asala (Theravada Buddhist - turning of the Wheel of Law)

26 Birth of George Bernard Shaw, 19th-century playwright and author, socialist, vegetarian, pacifist and feminist

AUGUST

6 Hiroshima Day

9 Nagasaki Day (anniversary of dropping of nuclear bombs on twin cities of Japan (Christian CND)

18 Raksha Bandhan Festival of brotherly protection, Hindu)

SEPTEMBER

14 Racial Justice Sunday (Churches Commission for Racial Justice)

16 International day for the preservation of the ozone layer (UN)

18 Day for Children in Servitude in South East Asia (Anti-Slavery International)

19 International Day of Peace

21 Autumnal Equinox

OCTOBER

1 International Day for the Elderly (UN)

2-3 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

2-11 Durgapuja or Dussehra, Navatri (Hindu)

4 Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Christian saint of peace to all creatures

6-10 Children's Book Week

9 National Poetry Day : poetry out loud (Poetry Society)

11 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)

12-19 Week of Prayer for World Peace, theme 'stretching the limits' (One World Week)

16 Sukkot (Jewish Festival of Tabernacles) World Food Day (UN)

17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN)

19-26 One World Week 24 Simchat Torah (Jewish) United Nations Day (UN)

31 Halloween

NOVEMBER

2 Samaritans' 44th birthday

Founded by Revd Chad Varah, after burying a 14-year-old girl who had killed herself because she had no one to confide in

3-9 Youth Work Week (National Youth Agency)

4 UNESCO Day

11 International Week of Science and Peace (UN)

Armistice Day (end of the First World War)

14 Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev (Sikh founder)

20 Universal Children's Day (UN)

21 Birth of Francois Voltaire, 18th-century French radical thinker and advocate of civil rights, especially free speech: 'I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.'

24 Evolution Day (Humanist - publication of Origin of Species)

27 Animal Blessing Sunday

30 Advent Sunday (Christian)

St Andrew's Day (Scotland)

30 - 3 December Diwali (festival of lights - Hindu)

DECEMBER

1 World Aids Day (National Aids Trust)

Prisoners for Peace Day (Christian CND)

2 International Day of the Abolition of Slavery (Anti-Slavery International)

4 Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (Sikh)

8 Bodhi Day (Buddhist)

10 Human Rights Day (UN)

21 Midwinter Day

24-31 Chanukah (Jewish)

25 Christmas (Christian)

29 International day for Biological Diversity (UN)

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