Spiritual Development and Faith Awareness

Important cultural and religious holidays

  • May 23 | Vesak (Buddhist)
    Commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death
  • June 11 | Shavuot (Jewish)
    Celebrates Moses’s descent from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments
  • June 13 | Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox)
    Commemorates Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven
  • June 14 | The Haj (Islam)
    During the Islamic month of Zu Al-Hijja, Muslims from around the world congregate at Mecca, Saudi Arabia (Mohamad’s birthplace). Begins June 14 - 19
  • June 17 | Eid al Adha (Islam)
    Feast of Sacrifice
  • June 28 | Matariki
    New year in the Māori lunar calendar
  • Spotlight on Vesak
    There are different ways of celebrating the holiday. Often the festivities begin with a good 'spring clean' and homes are freshened up and decorated. In the morning, Buddhists visit their temples and give offerings to the monks of food, candles and flowers. There is chanting and praying, incense, music and colour. There may be exciting parades through the streets.

    In some areas, there will be a 'Bathing the Buddha' ceremony, with water poured over a statue of Buddha. Special lanterns of paper and wood (sometimes homemade) are hung from houses and trees, along with electric lights and exciting light displays. Caged birds may be released, symbolising the release of sorrows. In China, there may be dragon dances.

    Activities for your Units

For more information, to join the team or to learn more contact Peter Moore at sl.faithawareness@scoutsvictoria.com.au

PAST Religious Events

  • January 25 |Full moon | Wolf moon (North mythology) | Buddhist New Year for those from Mahayana Buddhist (North East Asian) countries
  • February 10 | Lunar New Year (many East and Southeast Asian countries). Chinese Year of the Dragon. Celebrated with Family gatherings with those from near and far travelling to be with loved ones in time to welcome the new year. There are Lunar New Year festivals across the State during February. Take your Unit to one.
  • February 14 | Ash Wednesday (Christian/Catholic) the first day of Lent in the calendar. Lent involves 40 days of fasting and reflection that concludes with Easter.
  • February 24 | Chinese Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao) The first full moon of the New Lunar Year and the end of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) period.
  • March 11 - April 9 | Ramadan (Muslim) – Most auspicious month in the Muslim Calendar. Adherents fast every day from dawn to dusk
  • March 19 | Bahai New Year
  • March 20 | Mabon (Wicca)(Autumn equinox)
  • March 23 | Purim (Jewish) – a day for dressing up and feasting on pastries
  • March 25 | Holi (Hindu) – celebrating spring
  • March 28 - April 1 | Easter (Western Christianity)
  • Vietnamese Hung Vuong Festival | April 19 - May 1 | Held annually on days 8 - 11 of the 3rd lunar month, this festival commemorates the Hung dynasty of circa 2524 before the common era (ie around 4547 years ago). The Hung dynasty is recognised as the founders of Vietnamese civilisation and a source of national pride. It is celebrated as part of ancestral veneration and pilgrimages are made to the Hung king’s temple in Vietnam.
  • June 1 | Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox)
  • June 16 | Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib (Sikh)
  • June 26 - July 1 | The Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca (Muslim)
  • June 28 - July 2 | Eid al Adha (Muslim)
  • September 15 | Marks the beginning of the first Spring (Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere) new moon.  In some religions this new moon heralds a new month and for some a new year

  • September 12 | Ethiopian, Eritrean (Enkutatash) and Coptic Christian New Year (Nayrouz)

  • September 15 | Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah)

Harvest Moon | In natural religions like Wicca this new moon is the harvest moon, so called because it aligns with the northern hemisphere late harvest, specifically grapes and hops.

  • September 16 | Oktoberfest (Germany)
  • September 28 | Chuseok (Korean)

  • September 29 | Tsukimi (Japan) and Asia generally - Mid-autumn moon festival

  • September 7 | Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu) - One of the most important Hindu festivals, celebrating the birthday of Lord Krishna, who gave the Hindu guiding principles of the Bhagwat Gita.
  • September 25 | Yom Kippur (Jewish) – Holiest day in the year for the Jewish religion
  • September 26 | Birthday of Mohamad (Muslim)
  • September 30 – October 8 | Succot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (Jewish) – Biblical holidays that require various practices including living outside in temporary booths for a week
  • October 2 | Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday anniversary – not a religious holy day, but it is a significant day to remember someone who made peaceful, non-violence and religious tolerance important.
  • October 8 | White Sunday (Samoan Christian) – celebrate childhood
  • October 15-24 | Dashain (Nepal) – celebrates good beating evil also known as Vijay Dashami (Hindu)
  • October 16-17 | Birth of the Bab and Naha’u’llah (Bahai)
  • October 20-24 | Durga Puja (Hundu) – revering the Hindu goddess Durga
  • October 27 | Inauguration of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh) – acceptance of the Sikh holy scripture Scouts Own - A workshop for how to run a Scouts owns is being organised for early November to be facilitated in Castlemaine.

Saints Days
What is a Saints day? Saints Day are annual commemoration day for significant people in Christianity (predominantly Catholic) usually on the anniversary of their death or other significant day. Other religions Bahai, Hindu, Sikh etc. also commemorate significant days of people in their religion.

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