Religious & Cultural Observances

In Lexington Public Schools, we all belong, and we do our best to live those values.  In the past, our school calendar exclusively focused on Christian holidays.  Later the school calendar was changed to include religious holidays observed by members of the Jewish and Islamic faith.  In LPS we actively challenge ourselves to disrupt systems and structures that perpetuate inequalities.  In doing so, we are working on revising our school calendar to be more inclusive of the many religions and cultures that exist in our community but are not represented on the school calendar.

Currently, we no longer list the traditionally limited list of religious holidays and cultural events.  We believe this action to be more inclusive of all religions and cultures, not less.

The Anti-Defamation League creates a comprehensive and inclusive calendar of observances, updated annually.  We encourage all members of our community to reference this list regularly.

Below, we are listing the religious holidays and cultural events that are so important to our diverse, multicultural Lexington and Boston communities; many of the dates listed include ideas for supporting students, created in collaboration with LPS community members.

In connection with any of these dates, we encourage families to reach out to building principals and classroom teachers if children need accommodations related to the observance.  It is our goal that everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and safe in our schools.

Community Partnerships

Our strategic plan identifies enhancing community partnerships as a key component of our vision for the Lexington Public Schools: "Learning is a collective endeavor that involves students, educators, families, and the community."  A key component of this vision is that "when there is a concern or unmet need, we collaborate and share perspectives and expertise."  This is the case with our approach to religious and cultural events observed within our community.  Since the school calendar cannot recognize every event, LPS has made a commitment to partner with community members and organizations to increase the readiness of our staff to meet the needs of students and families who are juggling school and religious and/or cultural observances.

Monthly, the Office of Equity and Student Supports provides the following communications to district administrators with the expectation that they incorporate acknowledgement of these observances to their school community and/or department staff.

Students, families, and community members who would like to collaborate with us to create or update these communications should contact the Office of Equity and Student Supports.  Please email the Director of Equity & Student Supports at <jcole@lexingtonma.org>. 

Click on the observances below to learn more!

Day of Arafah

June 15, 2024

The Day of Arafah is an Islamic holiday that falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic Calendar. It is the holiest day in the Islamic calendar, the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage, and the day after is the first day of the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. (Source)


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Resources


Information originally developed in collaboration with Nadine Tassabehji for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Eid al-Adha

June 16 -17, 2024

Eid al-Adha, the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is the latter of the two major holidays celebrated in Islam. It follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, the holiest place for muslims around the world. This Eid (holiday) honors the willingness of Ibrahim, known as Abraham in Christianity and Judaisim, to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God's command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. (Source)


Eid al-Adha Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Resources


Information originally developed in collaboration with Amber Iqbal, Summaiya Iqbal, Abeer Shawer, Nadine Tassabehji and Umme Arusha for the Lexington Public School community.

Juneteenth

June 19, 2024

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. (Source)

Islamic New Year

July 7, 2024

The Islamic New Year, also called the Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic year is observed by most Muslims on the first day of the month of Muharram. (Source)

Muharram

July 7, 2024

Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month after Ramadan. (Source)

Guru Purnima

July 21, 2024

Guru Purnima (gu-ru pour-nee-maa) is a unique festival as it celebrates the teachers in one’s life. It is also called Vyasa Purnima after Maharishi Veda Vyasa who compiled and wrote a lot of Vedic literature, prominent among which is the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. It is celebrated in June-July. Guru is a Sanskrit word where Gu refers to darkness and Ru refers to removal of the darkness of ignorance (Avidyaa). Hence Guru is one who dispels the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge. Besides spiritual teachers, all teachers are also honored during this festival. The festival is also celebrated in other religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. It is a major festival in Buddhism because it was on this day that Gautama Buddha after achieving Enlightenment gave his first teachings to his disciples. In Jainism, Mahavira taught his first disciple on this day. In Sikhism, the festival honors the ten Sikh Gurus and the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of Sikhs.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Raksha Bandhan

August 19, 2024

Raksha Bandhan (ruk-SHA-bun-dhun) is celebrated in August and is a holiday which celebrates sibling bonds. Sisters tie a decorative, sacred thread or amulet called a rakhi on the right wrist of their brothers (often including distant cousins and friends considered honorary brothers) followed by prayers for their protection and well-being while sweets are exchanged. In return, brothers give their sisters small tokens or gifts of appreciation. Today, Raksha Bandhan has evolved into a holiday empowering significant relationships between cousins, same-sex siblings, and friends.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Krishna Janmashtami

August 26, 2024

Krishna Janmashtami (krish-NAH jun-maash-ta-mee) celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and one of the most endeared deities. It falls between August and September. He played a central role in the Indian epic, Mahabharata where he teaches the Bhagavad Gita which is spiritual and philosophical guidance for humankind. The day after Janmashtami is followed by Dahi handi where earthen pots of yogurt or butter are hung from a height and a human pyramid is formed to break the hanging pots. Krishna is said to have loved butter and yogurt so people celebrate Dahi handi in his remembrance.  Lord Krishna is regarded by many as the embodiment of bhakti or spiritual yoga. Many will sing songs or read scriptures till midnight (the time when he was born) to remember the lessons of his life.

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Onam

September 5 - 17, 2024

Onam is an annual Hindu harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala. A major annual event for Keralites, it is the official festival of the state and includes a spectrum of cultural events. Drawing from Hindu legends, Onam commemorates King Mahabali. (Source)

Ganesh Chathurthi

September 6, 2024

Ganesh Chaturthi (gu-Ne-sh cha-tur-thee) also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh. This 10-day festival usually falls between August or September. Ganesha is the God of wisdom, intellect, prosperity, good fortune, and the remover of obstacles. Born to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, his name derives from ‘gana’ meaning the common people and so his name translates to ‘Lord of the People’ as well as ‘Lord of the Ganas.’ Many recognize that Lord Ganesh brings order in this universe and worship him before embarking on a new endeavor, intellectual journey, or business enterprise. Therefore, it is common to see images or statues of him in these places.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

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Mid-Autumn Festival/Tsukimi/Chuseok

September 17, 2024

The 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar is an important day to celebrate the full moon and harvest by several countries in East and Southeast Asia. In China, it is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. In Japan, it is called Tsukimi meaning moon viewing. In North and South Korea, it is Chuseok meaning “autumn evening” and also known as Hangawi meaning mid-autumn. And in Vietnam, it is Tết Trung Thu.


Information originally developed in collaboration with Yi Yang for the Lexington Public Schools community.

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Rosh Hashanah

October 2 - 4, 2024

Rosh Hashanah, literally meaning "head [of] the year", is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, literally "day of shouting or blasting."  (Source)


Rosh Hashanah Information


Information originally developed in collaboration with Sheldon Baker, Danit Netzer, and Sara Bothwell Allen for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Yom Kippur

October 12, 2024

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast, confession, and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. (Source)


Yom Kippur Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Information originally developed in collaboration with Sheldon Baker and Sara Bothwell Allen for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Columbus Day

October 14, 2024

Columbus Day recognizes the life of Christopher Columbus, an explorer from Genoa, Italy.  This day is a celebration for Italian-Americans across the country. He made four trips from Europe over the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas between 1492 and 1495.  It has often been written that he "discovered" America or that he proved the world was round instead of flat. While these statements are inaccurate and his legacy is source of different interpretations, he connected Europeans with the achievements in technology, agriculture, and wisdom of Indigenous peoples in the Americas, and his voyages began an era of exploration, immigration, enslavement, and exploitation. His plan for his voyage was initially rejected by Portugal, England, and France, but he persisted, and eventually secured funding from the King of Spain. The incomplete view of his experiences has been been brought into sharper focus in recent decades through recognition of the extreme violence and brutality he perpetrated against Indigenous peoples, including the enslavement and murder of thousands of Tainos, among others, which led him to be imprisoned upon his return to Spain after his third voyage.


The following resources provide more information on the complicated history of this historical figure:


Information originally developed in collaboration with David Manuel for the Lexington Public Schools community.


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Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 14, 2024

Like many neighboring communities, Lexington Public Schools recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day each October. Observing this day is a way to center and celebrate the histories, resilience, and contributions of Indigenous peoples.  It is a time to focus on contemporary Native communities, dispel myths and misinformation, and support more accurate and authentic representations of Native Americans. 


Ideas for All Ages

Watch Videos*

Learn more about Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  Here is one video, specifically produced for children, with age-appropriate content.  However, this video, and other media like it, also includes images that may reinforce dominant stereotypes about Indigenous people as "primitive," so these videos should be coupled with contemporary representations of Native people; here is a second video from Indigenous people in Canada that details how they celebrate.  As with learning about any identities, it's important to reinforce that there is no one way to describe an entire group of people!

Read Stories by Native Authors


Land Acknowledgement

Which Native nation(s) lived on the land where I now live, go to school, visit?  Find out more about the traditional homelands of North American Native nations on this map.


Ideas for Grades 3+

Build Your Background Knowledge

American way of life today? Read about some of those contributions.

Virtual Exhibits

Sing a Song


Ideas for Adolescents & Adults

Virtual Event

Movie Screening

Statewide Activism


Tips for Talking and Teaching About Indigenous People

This information was originally compiled by K-5 Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator Alex Kuschel.

Dussehra

October 12, 2024

Dashain, is a major religious festival in Nepal and India. Dashain called Dussehra in India is celebrated by the Hindus of India and Nepal as well as elsewhere in the world and among the Lhotshampa of Bhutan and the Burmese Gurkhas of Myanmar.

Navaratri, Vijayadashami, and Durga Puja

October 12-21, 2024

Navaratri (na-va-raa-tree) is a nine-night celebration of the Feminine Divine that occurs four times a year (the spring and fall celebrations being amongst the more widely celebrated). The most popularly worshiped manifestations of the Feminine Divine include Durga (the Mother Goddess), Saraswati (The Goddess of Knowledge, Speech, and the Arts) and Lakshmi (the Goddess of Health, Wealth, and Prosperity). Some traditions honor the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, while others celebrate the three goddesses (Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati) with three days dedicated to each. This is a time to recognize the role in which the loving, compassionate, and gentle — yet sometimes powerful and fierce — feminine energy plays in our lives. The tenth night is known as Dussehra and is marked by many festivities.

Durga Pooja is a celebration of the Goddess Durga — who represents the embodiment of Shakti, the powerful feminine force that governs all cosmic creation, existence, and change — and her victory over a demon named Mahishasura. She is said to have descended from her home in Kailash with Lord Shiva to her maternal home on Earth. Durga Puja starts after the completion of Pitru Paksh and is celebrated during Navratri. During this time, people will recite prayers, perform rituals, and sing songs dedicated to her. This celebration is especially significant in the Indian state of Bengal and Nepal.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Diwali

November 1, 2024

Many members of our community observe the festival of Diwali, also known as the Deepawali, Festival of Lights, and Hindu New Year.  Here is some information as well as suggestions on how we can support those who celebrate in our schools.

Diwali Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Resources


Information originally developed in collaboration with Devangi Bhargava (LPS ‘28), Aditya Hanchinamani (LPS ‘31), Purvi Mavchi, Dhwani Swamy, Dhvani Doshi, Nanditha Yelamanchi, Vibha Bardia, Mona Roy, Bindu Setty, and Savitha Yalanadu Shivaiah for the Lexington Public School community.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

November 15, 2024

Guru Nanak Jayanti is a Sikh festival which celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism. Sikhism shares Hindu concepts of karma, dharma, maya, and samsara (reincarnation). Nanak Jayanti is celebrated by Sikhs as well as Sindhi, Punjabi, and Afghan Hindus. Festivities include processions, food donation, and community service. Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated in the month of November. Guru Nanak was the first among 10 Sikh gurus who is considered sacred to Sikhs. His teachings are compiled in a sacred book, Guru Granth Sahib which promotes service to humanity. On this day, Sikh Gurudwaras organize readings of the Guru Granth Sahib, sing songs, perform martial arts. Devotees prepare community meals called langar and offer it to all visitors in the Gurudwara.

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Thanksgiving

November 24, 2024

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. (Source)

National Day of Mourning

November 28, 2024

The National Day of Mourning is an annual protest organized since 1970 by the United American Indians of New England on the fourth Thursday of November, the same day as Thanksgiving in the United States. It coincides with an unrelated similar protest and counter-celebration, Unthanksgiving Day, held on the West Coast. (Source)


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International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and the Prevention of this Crime

December 9, 2024

On December 9 each year, the United Nations marks the adoption of the Genocide Convention.  Read more here.

Yaldã Night

December 20, 2024

Yaldā Night or Chelleh Night is an Iranian Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice festival celebrated on the "longest and darkest night of the year.” According to the calendar, this corresponds to the night of December 20/21 (±1) in the Gregorian calendar, and to the night between the last day of the ninth month (Azar) and the first day of the tenth month (Dey) of the Iranian solar calendar. (Source)


Information


Additional Resources


Information originally developed in collaboration with Mehrnoush Hakimi for the Lexington Public School community.


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Christmas

December 25, 2024

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration by billions of people around the world. (Source)

Hanukkah

December 25, 2024 - January 2, 2025

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. (Source)


Hanukkah Information


Information originally developed in collaboration with Danit Netzer and Jason Prentice for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Kwanzaa

December 26, 2024 - January 1, 2025

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture, heritage and traditional values that is held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, usually held on the 6th day. (Source)

New Year's Day

January 1, 2025

New Year's Day, also simply called New Year or New Year's, is observed on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar. (Source)

For some members of our community of Japanese heritage, the day is for reflection, as well as making New Year's resolutions.  Companies in Japan close the week prior to New Year's Day, and many Japanese people spend the time away from work cleaning their homes thoroughly to welcome the New Year God.  It is a quiet holiday many use to visit temples and shrines as well.  


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Makara Sankranti

January 14, 2025

Makara Sankranti is a multi-day festival dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. It marks the day the Sun enters Capricorn (Makara) constellation in the month of January (between Jan 13 and 16). India is a big country where each region has its own cultural practices and variations of the same festival. The Makara Sankranti harvest festival is celebrated in various States of India and coincides with harvest festivals celebrated under different names such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Maghi/Lohri in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Magh Bihu in Assam, Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan, Poush Sankranti in West Bengal. It marks the new year for many to pursue new goals and ventures. The International Kite Festival is organized in Gujarat during this time and kites are flown across the country. The festival is also celebrated in places influenced by Indian culture as Maghe Sankranti in Nepal, Shakrain in Bangladesh, Thingyan in Myanmar, Songkran in Thailand, and Moha Songkran in Cambodia.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Pongal

January 14-17, 2025

Pongal, is also referred to as Thai Pongal, is a multi-day harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamil community. It is observed at the start of the month Thai according to Tamil solar calendar, and this is typically about January 14. (Source)

Some who observe Pongal identify it as a festival for giving thanks, similar to the US holiday of Thanksgiving.


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Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2025

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day, or the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, is an international memorial day on 27 January that commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities between 1933 and 1945 by Nazi Germany, an attempt to implement their "final solution" to the Jewish question. 27 January was chosen to commemorate the date that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army in 1945. (Source)

Lunar New Year

January 29, 2025

Many members of our community observe Lunar New Year, particularly those with Asian ethnicity and ancestry.

Here is some information as well as suggestions on how we can support the Chinese community in our schools.


Lunar New Year Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Resources



Information originally developed in collaboration with Kan Chai, May Liu, Wenlong Yang, Yu Wu, and Seri Latiff for the Lexington Public School community.

Vasant Panchami

February 14, 2025

Vasant Panchami (vuh-sunth punch-uh-mee) is a festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. It is also celebrated as Saraswati Pooja in Eastern parts of India. In other parts of India, Saraswati Pooja is celebrated during the Sharad Navratri festival in September. Saraswati is the Goddess of education, music, and arts. People worship her to achieve wisdom and excellence in academic and creative pursuits. Celebrations include a shade of yellow to recognize the mustard crops that are in full bloom during this season. Academic institutions hold rituals and prayers in honor of Saraswati for her blessings for a smooth academic year. People refrain from reading academic materials such as books for a day.

Information:

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information was developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Maha Shivaratri

February 26, 2025

Maha Shivaratri (Ma-Haa Shi-va-raa-three) also known as “The Great Night of Shiva” is a significant spiritual festival of India celebrated in the month of February or March. There is a deep spiritual meaning to Shiva who represents the energy of the Cosmos. Shivaratri is the night of that transcendental divine consciousness. On this day, devotees fast, meditate, stay up all night, and chant the powerful mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. The mantras and rituals help devotees transform their negative emotions and their environment into positive energy. Shiva is a symbol of bliss, ethereal calm, and peace. As the Adi-Yogi (first Yogi), he gifted the world with the knowledge of Yoga which allows one to expand one’s consciousness. Ultimately, he protects and transforms the universe by destroying the ignorance of humanity.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources

Significance of MahaShivratri | MahaShivratri 2021 | Importance of Shivratri | The Art Of Living Global 

Maha Shivratri: Here's why the world's largest particle physics lab CERN has Shiva's 'Nataraj' statue


Information was developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Ramadan

March 2 -  31, 2025

As many in our community know, Ramadan is a month-long holiday.   This is an important month/holiday for Muslims around the world.  Here is some information as well as suggestions on how we can support the Muslim and fasting community in our schools.

Please see this slideshow created by the LHS Muslim Student Association for more information, including ways to support students.

Ramadan Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Information originally developed by Nadine Tassabehji, PhD, RD, LDN, for the Fiske School Community; updated and revised with contributions from Sara Sheikh,  Nadine Tassabehji, Seri Latiff, and Amber Iqbal.

International Women's Day

March 8, 2025

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.] Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement, IWD originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. (Source)



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Purim

March 13-14, 2025

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of an official of the Achaemenid Empire named Haman, as it is recounted in the Book of Esther (usually dated to the 5th century BCE). (Source)


Learn more with these videos:

Holi

March 14, 2025

Holi (HO-lee) is a colorful festival which welcomes the arrival of spring and the harvests it brings. Holi also celebrates triumph over divisiveness and negativity. While Hindu legends connected to the origin of Holi vary, the messages of goodness, renewal, and love are always the same. Many celebrate by tossing colored powders and dyed water to color each other. Some Hindus celebrate by lighting bonfires and eating festive foods. One of the largest festivals in the world, Holi is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists.


Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Information



Information originally developed in collaboration with Kinnari Kher and Indian Americans of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

St. Patricks' Day

March 17, 2025

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. (Source)


Many local residents celebrate Irish culture on St. Patrick's Day.  It is an important day for those of Irish-American heritage.  People celebrate by wearing green, eating traditional foods (such as corned beef and cabbage), and listening to/performing Irish folk music. 


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Norouz

March 20, 2025

Norouz (Persian New Year), a major celebration for many who observe, signifies the start of spring. You will find different ways of spelling Norouz on the internet, including Nowruz, Norooz, and No-Rooz.  The word, regardless of how it is spelled, means New Day in Farsi. 

This day signifies the beginning of Spring. It usually occurs on March 20th or 21st, depending on the occurrence of the vernal equinox. The United Nations officially recognized this day as the International Day of Nowruz.

Persian New Year Information



Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Information



Information was originally developed in collaboration with Devangi Bhargava (LPS ‘28), Mahsa Rohani, and Laleh Firouzabadian for the Lexington Public School community.

Day of Silence

March 29, 2025

Day of Silence is GLSEN's annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. In the United States, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students. (Source)


Additional Information



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Ugadi

March 30, 2025

Ugadi or Yugadi, also known as Samvatsarādi (meaning "beginning of the year"), is New Year's Day according to the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Goa in India. It is festively observed in these regions on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra. This typically falls in late March or early April of the Gregorian calendar. It also falls during the Tamil month of either Panguni or Chithrai, sometimes on the day after Amavasya with 27th Nakshatra Revati. Ugadi day is pivoted on the first New Moon after March Equinox. (Source)


Eid al-Fitr

March 31, 2025

Eid al-Fitr (or Eid ul-Fitr) marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.  For more information on Ramadan, please see this section


Eid al-Fitr Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Additional Resources


Information originally developed in collaboration with Seri Latiff, Putik Burhanudin, Sara Sheikh, Syed Rizvi, Abeer Shawer, Nadine Tassabehji, ​​and Alice Verticelli for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31, 2025

International Transgender Day of Visibility (also called TDOV, Transgender Day of Visibility) is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society. (Source)


Additional Information



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Ram Navami

April 5-6, 2025

Ram Navami (Raa-um na-va-mee) is the celebration of the birth of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu who is depicted in the Indian Epic, Ramayana. It is celebrated during the month of March or April. Rama is considered the embodiment of dharma (righteousness). Some Hindus choose to fast for nine days leading up to this day, and celebrate by depicting the Ramayana through song, dance, and dramas. People also sing songs dedicated to Rama and read his stories from the Ramayana during this time.

Information

Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Mahavir Jayanti

April 10, 2025

Mahavir Jayanti (Maha-veer Ja-yan-ti) or Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is one of the most important festivals of Jainism. On this day the birth of Mahavira, the 24th and final spiritual teacher is celebrated.  It is celebrated in the month of March or April. Born as Vardhamana into a royal Jain family, he became known as Mahavira as he attained spiritual awakening and became an ascetic. He preached the observance of ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-attachment) and brahmacharya (chastity) as the requirements for spiritual liberation. During Mahavir Jayanti, the five auspicious events of Mahavira's life are re-enacted. Jains visit his temples and pray for blessings.


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students

Additional Resources


Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Passover

April 13-24, 2025

Passover, also called Pesach, is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month of Aviv, or spring. (Source)


Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students



Information originally developed in collaboration with Danit Netzer, Rebecca Smerling, and Sara Bothwell Allen for the Lexington Public Schools community.


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Vaisakhi - Khalsa Sajna Divas

April 14, 2025

Vaisakhi, also pronounced Baisakhi as well as Basoa (among Dogras), marks the first day of the month of Vaisakh and is traditionally celebrated annually on 13 April and sometimes 14 April. It is seen as a celebration of spring harvest primarily in Northern India. Further, other Indian cultures and diaspora celebrate this festival too. Whilst it is culturally significant as a festival of harvest, in many parts of India, Vaisakhi is also the date for the Indian Solar New Year. Some 5297 year ago, on this day Raja Shaktikaran Dogra, also known as Raja Shastri, started the Shastri Calendar alias Dogra-Pahari Calendar on this day, so this day has special historical relationship with the Dogras. (Source)


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Good Friday

April 18, 2025

Good Friday is a holiday observed by many Christians in our community.


Good Friday Information


Suggestions for Supporting Our Students


Information originally developed in collaboration with David Manuel and Lindsay Hardy for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Orthodox Holy Friday

April 18, 2025

Byzantine Christians (Eastern Christians who follow the Rite of Constantinople: Orthodox Christians and Greek-Catholics) call this day "Great and Holy Friday," or simply "Great Friday." Because the sacrifice of Jesus through his crucifixion is recalled on this day, the Divine Liturgy (the sacrifice of bread and wine) is never celebrated on Great Friday, except when this day coincides with the Great Feast of the Annunciation, which falls on the fixed date of 25 March (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 25 March currently falls on 7 April of the modern Gregorian Calendar). Also on Great Friday, the clergy no longer wear the purple or red that is customary throughout Great Lent, but instead don black vestments. There is no "stripping of the altar" on Holy and Great Thursday as in the West; instead, all of the church hangings are changed to black, and will remain so until the Divine Liturgy on Great Saturday. (Source)



Easter

April 20, 2025

Easter, also called Pascha, Zatik or Resurrection Sunday is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. (Source) The supernatural resurrection from the dead of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is one of the chief tenets of the Christian faith. 

Orthodox Easter

April 20, 2025

Both Orthodox Easter and Easter Sunday are Christian observances where believers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus; it's the most important event in the Christian Calendar. Orthodox churches in some countries including Greece, Cyprus and Romania base their Easter date on the Julian calendar. (Source)


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Information originally developed in collaboration with Anastasia Sarantos-Le for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Patriots' Day

April 21, 2025

Patriots' Day is an annual event, formalized as a legal holiday or a special observance day in six states, commemorating the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy, some of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. (Source)

Armenian Remembrance Day

April 24, 2025

April 24 is Armenian Remembrance Day in observance of those who died in the Armenian Genocide.  President Biden issued this statement in 2021, which includes a detailed history of the observance.  

National Day of Reason

May 1, 2025

The National Day of Reason is observed by some atheists in our community on the first Thursday in May.  Atheism is a moral and ethical equal to faiths that believe in god(s) or spirit(s).  Many atheists believe in their strong moral and ethical compass, and see their identities as strong and compassionate as those of deistic faiths.  Atheists often define this aspect of their identity as one in which lacks a belief in god(s).


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Information originally developed in collaboration with Brian Hammond and Christian Valencia for the Lexington Public Schools community.

Vesak

May 12, 2025

Vesak also known as Buddha Jayanti is celebrated by Buddhists. It is celebrated as the birth, death and enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama also known as Buddha. It is believed that all 3 events happened on the same day during his lifetime. It is celebrated in May or June. It is a day of celebration and giving. People donate money and gifts to those in need.

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Information developed in collaboration with the Indian Association of Lexington for the Lexington Public School community.

Shavuot

June 1 - 3, 2025

Shavuot combines two major religious observances. First is the grain harvest of the early summer. Second is the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai seven weeks after the exodus from Egypt. The first determines the ritual for the holiday, which was one of the three pilgrimage festivals of ancient Israel, while the second determines the significance of the holiday for Judaism, tying it in with the seminal event of Jewish religious memory, namely the entering into a covenant between God and Israel. Many Jews celebrate by eating cheesecake! (Source)

Information developed in collaboration with the Lexington staff member Jennifer Whitman for the Lexington Public School community.

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