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K-State Today

March 18, 2024

Weekly global religious, spiritual and nonreligious observance information

Submitted by David Yetter

The President's Committee on Religion, Spirituality and Nonreligious Diversity presents the global observance information for March 18-24. 

Great Lent — Monday, March 18 -Saturday, May 4. Tradition: Christianity-Orthodox. In Orthodox churches, the first day of Lent marks the beginning of the Great Fast, the final six weeks of a 10-week period of spiritual preparation leading up to Holy Week and Pascha, or Easter.

Naw Ruz — Tuesday, March 19. Tradition: Zoroastrianism, Baha'i. The seventh greatest festival, "New Day" is the first day of the Zoroastrian/Persian and Baha'i New Year. It falls on the spring equinox and symbolizes the renewal of the world after the winter. For Zoroastrians, Naw Ruz also celebrates the creation of fire that is symbolic of Asha, or righteousness. It is also the day on which Zarathustra received his revelation.

Ostara — Tuesday, March 19. Tradition: Wicca/Paganism. Vernal Equinox, celebrating the equivalence of light and dark and the arrival of spring.

Purim, Feast of Lots — Saturday, March 23. Tradition: Judaism. Celebrates the rescue of the Jews of ancient Persia from a plot to destroy them as related in the Book of Esther, which is read at this time. Purim is a joyous holiday, celebrated by wearing costumes, giving gifts to friends, giving to the poor and socializing. Preceded by the Fast of Esther, Purim is a day of feasting. Begins at sundown.

Palm Sunday — Sunday, March 24. Tradition: Christianity-Protestant, Christianity-Roman Catholic. Celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, marking the beginning of Holy Week that culminates in Easter, or Pascha. In some churches, Palm Sunday is combined with the anticipation of Christ's death and so is also known as "Passion Sunday."

Ghambar Hamaspathmaedem — March 16-20. Tradition: Zoroastrianism. Celebrates the creation of human beings and honors the souls of the deceased.

Nineteen Day Fast — Feb. 29-March 19. Tradition: Baha'i. A designated 19-day period of fasting each year immediately before the Bahá’í New Year. The fasting is seen as a period of spiritual preparation and regeneration for the new year ahead.

Lent — Feb. 14 to March 30. Tradition: Christianity-Protestant, Christianity-Roman Catholic. Forty-day period — excluding Sundays — of prayer, repentance and self-denial preceding Easter.

Ramadan — March 11-April 10. Tradition: Islam. The Holy Month of Ramadan is the month of fasting during which Muslims who are physically able do not eat or drink from the first sign of dawn until sunset in honor of the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. The evening meal is celebrated with family.

The President's Committee on Religious, Spiritual and Nonreligious Diversity welcomes those of all global religious, spiritual and nonreligious commitments. Further, we welcome any suggestions, questions or other comments. Please contact the committee's chair, David Yetter, at dyetter@k-state.edu.