April 11, 2022
Weekly global religious, spiritual and nonreligious observance information
The President's Committee on Religion, Spirituality and Nonreligious Diversity presents the global observance information for April 11-17.
April 14, Baisakhi/Vaisakhi, Sikh. The origins of Vaisakhi stem from a spring harvest festival native to the Punjab region of South Asia, a very joyous occasion, and a time for celebration with the harvesting of the wheat crop. Vaisakhi has a very special significance for the Sikh community. It was the Vaisakhi of 1699 when the 10th of the Sikh Guru-Prophets, Guru Gobind Singh, invited his disciples and formally established the Khalsa Panth, a community of committed Sikhs, and standardized a core of discipline, practice and identity around which the Sikh community continues to be centered.
April 10-16, Holy Week, Christianity — Western churches.
April 17–23, The week preceding Easter for Eastern Christian churches.
April 14, Maundy (Holy) Thursday, Christian. Remembrance of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’ or ‘command.’ This is a very important holiday in the Christian calendar and marks the end of Lent.
April 15, Good Friday, Western; April 22, Eastern. Good Friday commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus.
April 15-23, Passover, Judaism. Also referred to as Pesach, this holiday celebrates the exodus of the Israelites, or Jewish people, from Egypt. It occurs on the 15th day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, also the first day of spring. Passover begins at sunset and ends at sundown on April 23.
On the first evening, the faithful prepare and eat a special supper, Seder, which is composed of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, bitter lettuce, a roasted goat or lamb, a condiment made of fruit, nuts, wine and cinnamon bone, a roasted egg and other items. There are also prayers, songs and a recounting of the Exodus.
Passover commences a 49-day period called the Omer, which recalls the count between offerings brought to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. This count culminates in the holiday of Shavuot, the anniversary of the receiving of the Torah at Sinai.
April 16, the end of Lent, Christian, Western. Marks the end of 40 days of fasting and other self-restraint Christians observe in remembrance of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and preparing for his ministry.
April 16, Lazarus Saturday, Orthodox Christian. Celebration of the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus and described in the Gospel of John 11:1-44.
April 16-18, Theravadin New Year, Buddhist. The Buddhist New Year is celebrated over 3 days. The celebrations have evolved in many different communities and are celebrated on different days depending on location and tradition and the full moon. Activities usually include visiting the temple, visiting family and friends and exchanging presents.
April 17, Easter, Christian, Western. Holy day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are variations in celebrations, but they typically include church services, ringing of bells, a special meal and other joyous festivities. In some countries, the celebrations begin at the stroke of midnight when a priest exits the church and announces that Jesus has risen. At that point, people honk their car horns and, in some cases, break colored boiled eggs with others.
The easter bunny symbol and egg hunting have their roots in pagan festivals honoring the goddess of rebirth, Eostera.
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 chair, Bev Earles.