Today is ...

25 July

The Feast of Sacrifice is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. It is observed in the following countries:

  • Maldives (Eid ul-Ad'haa)

Past Days...

24 July

Laos celebrated Boun Khao Phansa.  At local temples, worshippers in brightly coloured silks greet the dawn on Buddhist Lent by offering gifts to the monks and pouring water into the ground as a gesture of offering to their ancestors. Lent begins in July and lasts 3 months. Monks are required to stay within their wat during this time, to meditate and focus on dharma studies. Lao men are traditionally ordained as monks during this time.

Thailand celebrated Asarnha Bucha Day, a Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

23 July

The Feast of Sacrifice is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. It was observed in the following countries:

  • Maldives (Eid ul-Ad'haa)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Azha)

Japan had Sports Day. This national holiday was established in 1966 as a day on which to enjoy sports and cultivate a healthy mind and body. Originally held on October 10 to commemorate the anniversary of the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in 2000 it was changed to the second Monday of October in accordance with the Happy Monday System, but in 2021 was scheduled to coincide with the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Myanmar observed Waso Full Moon (Buddhist Lent Begins).

22 July

The Feast of Sacrifice is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. It was observed in the following countries:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Azha)
  • Maldives (Eid ul-Ad'haa)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Azha)

Japan celebrated Marine Day.  This national holiday was established in 1995 (and first held in 1996) as a day of gratitude for the blessings of the oceans and for hoping for the prosperity of the maritime nation that is Japan. Originally held on July 20, in 2003 it was changed to the third Monday of July in accordance with the Happy Monday System.

Malaysia (state of Sarawak) had a State Public Holiday for Sarawak Day.

21 July

The Feast of Sacrifice is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. It was observed in the following countries on this day:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Azha) – government holiday
  • India (Bakri Id / Id-ul-Zuha) – most states [holiday in Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Ladakh]
  • Malaysia (Hari Raya Qurban – Day 2) [Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terengganu]
  • Maldives (Eid ul-Ad'haa)
  • Myanmar (Eid day)
  • Nepal (Edul Aajaha / Bakar Eed)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Azha)
  • Singapore (Id-Ul-Alha)

20 July

The Feast of Sacrifice is an Islamic holiday which celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. It was observed in the following countries on this day:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Azha) – government holiday
  • Brunei (Hari Raya / Aidil Adha )
  • India (Bakri Id / Id-ul-Zuha)  [Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Ladakh]
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia (Hari Raya Qurban)
  • Maldives (Eid ul-Ad'haa)
  • Myanmar (Eid day)
  • Philippines (Eid’l Adha)
  • Singapore (Hari Raya Haji)

19 July

India (state of Sikkim) celebrated Guru Rimpoche’s Thungkar Tshechu.

Malaysia (state of Terengganu) celebrated Hari Arafah (Arafat Day).

Maldives celebrated Hajj Day.

Myanmar celebrated Martyrs’ Day which commemorates the assassination of Aung San and several other cabinet members in 1947.  Martyrs' Day is a Burmese national holiday observed on 19 July to commemorate General Aung San and seven other leaders of the pre-independence interim government—Thakin Mya, Ba Cho, Abdul Razak, Ba Win, Mahn Ba Khaing, Sao San Tun and Ohn Maung—all of whom were assassinated on that day in 1947. It is customary for high-ranking government officials to visit the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon in the morning of that day to pay respects.  Myoma U Than Kywe led the ceremony of the First Burmese Martyrs' Day on July 20, 1947 in Rangoon.

Timor-Leste observed Idul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).

18 July

Maldives observed On The Occasion of Eid ul-Ad’haa.

17 July

India (state of Tripura) observed Kharchi Puja, whilst the state of Meghalaya observes U Tirot Sing Day.

Malaysia (State of Perlis) had a state public holiday for the Raja’s Birthday.

16 July

India (state of Jammu and Kashmir) observed Urs Shah-I-Hamdam Sahib.

India (state of Uttarakhand) celebrated the festival of Harela.  Harela is a Hindu festival celebrated basically in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state of India and some regions of Himachal Pradesh. It is also symbol for the onset of rainy season (Monsoon) as Harela literally means "Day of Green". Agriculture-based communities in the region consider it highly auspicious, as it marks the beginning on the sowing cycle in their fields. They pray for a good harvest and prosperity.

15 July

Brunei celebrated the H.M.the Sultan’s Birthday.  Sultan Hassanal BolkiahGCB GCMG (full name: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien; born 15 July 1946) is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He is also the first and incumbent Prime Minister of Brunei. The eldest son of Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Rani Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit, he succeeded to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei, following the abdication of his father on 4 October 1967.

Mongolia had another holiday for Naadam Festival.

14 July

Bhutan celebrated the First Sermon of Lord Buddha.

India (state of Sikkim) observed Drukpa Tschechi.

Mongolia had another holiday for Naadam Festival.

13 July

Mongolia had another holiday for Naadam Festival.

12 July

India (state of Sikkim) observed Bhanu Jayanti.

Mongolia had a holiday for Naadam Festival.

11 July

India (state of Meghalaya) observed Beh Deinkhlam.  Behdeinkhlam refers to the driving away of evil spirits. This biggest celebration of the year has many more layers to it and provides a chance for the Pnars of Meghalaya to celebrate their indigenous beliefs, history and folklore via various acts and rites.  Behdeinkhlam is the largest festival of the practitioners of the Niam Tre religion and is dedicated to a good harvest and a year of plenty.  There are many ceremonies and rituals leading up for many days to the final Behdeinkhlam ‘procession’. One of them involves the beating of the homes with long bamboo sticks – as the evil spirits that cause disease and misfortune are driven away. Offerings are also made to ancestors and clans. The Daloi, or chief religious figures of the community, conduct prayers and customs as the crowds swell and the excitement rises. Polished logs of wood and artistically designed rots (bamboo structures) are carried through the neighbourhoods before they reach a central pool or pond – Ka Aitnar (located in Longpiah) – and are immersed. There is a lot of fanfare around these rituals and the streets are filled choc a bloc. The sacred pool in the Tuber Behdeinkhlam festival is located at Ka Biar Blai in the village of Tuberkmai Shnong.

Behdeinkhlam is a very happy and boisterous affair and usually coupled with rainy weather. It is a time when the traditional games get the spotlight, fun for participants and observers alike and accompanied by raucous cheering. Revellers representing their localities try to push a wooden log across the sacred pool. An interesting game played between teams during Behdeinkhlam is Dat-lawakor, a football-like sport played with a wooden ball. Iatan-Bhang is a tug of war played between members of the northern and southern part of the region – the winners are believed to be blessed with a prosperous year and more.

Mongolia celebrated Naadam (National Day).  Naadam is a traditional festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed "eriin gurvan naadam" ("the three games of men"). The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during midsummer.  Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.

10 July

Malaysia (state of Penang) had a state public holiday for the State Governor’s Birthday.

7 July

Malaysia (state of Penang) celebrated George Town UNESCO World Heritage Day.  George Town is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia.  Named after Britain's King George III, George Town is located on the north-east corner of Penang Island.  The inner city has a population of 720,202 and the metropolitan area known as George Town Conurbation which consists of Penang Island, Seberang Prai, Sungai Petani and Kulim has a combined population of 2,251,042, making it the second largest metropolitan area in Malaysia.  Formerly a municipality and then a city in its own right, since 1976 George Town has been part of the Municipality of Penang Island, though the area formerly governed by the City Council of George Town is still commonly referred to as a city. The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6 July

India (state of Mizoram) celebrated MHIP Day.  MHIP Day is a commemoration of the founding of the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, which is the state’s largest women’s organisation. The name means ‘'binding women together’'.  The organisation was founded in the year 1974, at a time when the state of Mizoram was still a union territory in India. The MHIP operates as a philanthropic Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). It comprises of volunteers from different walks of life, all of whom are women. It is not only the largest NGO in the state, it is also the only one that is solely dedicated to the welfare and upliftment of women.  The MHIP is headquartered in the capital of Mizoram, Aizawl. It works to end traditional patriarchal customs and traditions that result in the oppression of women. It works for the welfare of women irrespective of caste, creed, or economic background.

1 July

Bangladesh had a bank holiday.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Establishment Day is celebrated on 1 July, in Hong Kong since 1997. The holiday commemorates the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  The day is customarily marked by an officially organised extravagant fireworks display in the evening, and is also the platform for political rallies demanding universal suffrage.

Macau had a bank holiday.

Pakistan had a bank holiday.

30 June

Brunei had a mid-year bank holiday.

India (state of Mizoram) celebrated Remna Ni.  On 30 June 1986, a peace agreement was signed between the Mizo National Front and the Central government, ending 20 years of insurgency in Mizoram.  This holiday commemorates the signing of an agreement on this day in 1986, that brought peace to the region. Today, Mizoram can claim to one of the most peaceful states in the country, but that wasn't always the case.  In 1959, while part of Assam, the Mizo Hills region suffered a great famine, known as the Mautam Famine. Unhappy with how the government responded to the crisis, the Mizo Cultural Society became the Mizo National Famine Front, organising aid and support to many villages.  In October 1961, the front dropped the word 'famine' from its name and became the Mizo National Front (MNF), with the goal of achieving sovereign independence of Greater Mizoram.  This led to a 20-year long insurgency in the Mizo Hills.  The MNF was outlawed in 1967. A Mizo District Council delegation met Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi in May 1971 demanding a fully-fledged state for the Mizos. The union government offered the proposal of turning Mizo Hills into a Union Territory, which took place in January 1972.  On June 30th, 1986, an agreement was signed by the MNF and the Central government to end the insurgency.  After the peace agreement was signed, MNF President Laldenga became the Chief Minister of Mizoram.  Mizoram became the 23rd state of India, a step above Union Territory, on February 20th 1987.  On Reman Ni in 2018, former Chief Minister and MNF President Zoramthanga said that the peace accord brought tranquillity to the state with the efforts of both the MNF and the then central government.

25 June

India (state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh) celebrated Guru Hargobind Ji’s Jayanti.

24 June

India (states of Chhattisgarh, Himachel Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab) celebrated Sant Kabir Jayanti, the birthday of Saint Kabir das.  It is observed on the Jyeshta Purnima day. Sant Kabir was born near Benaras or Varanasi in a Muslim community.  Kabir was Brahmin or Sufi, Vedantist or Vaishnavite.  He is believed to have lived during the 15th century AD.  He was a weaver by profession.  Sant Kabir wrote numerous poems extolling the greatness of the oneness of the Supreme Being.   He was a revolutionary saint, poet and religious reformer.  Sant Kabir accepted all religions.  Kabirdas called himself the child of Lord Ram and Allah. On Sant Kabir Jayanti meetings, satsangs, and recital of Sant Kabir’s poems are held.

Legends of Sant Kabir Das

Saint Kabir Das reached the abode of God in Maghar close to Gorakhpur in 1518. However, immediate dispute began regarding the way in which his final rites must be performed.  It is believed that both Hindus and Muslims claimed the body to perform the funeral rites.  To their utter surprise, Kabir Das stood up and asked them to lift his body and view beneath.  Lying there was nothing but a beautiful array of flowers.  Devotees and his followers were speechless with Hindus taking some flowers to Varanasi and the rest of the flowers taken by Muslims to Maghar.

Kabir Das was influenced with various incidents throughout his life that made him even more popular.  In order to break his spiritual path, a beautiful courtesan had been sent to him with no effective results.  Similarly, he was taken to the court of Sikander Lodi after having been believed that he possessed some magical powers. Eventually, he was made to leave the city of Varanasi in the year 1495 after which he never returned.  During this period of his life, Kabir toured entire North India spreading oneness among people.

Mystical odes from Kabir Das made him an iconic character during the 15th century.  Displaying a mature way of thinking, he is best remembered for some of the one-liners he uttered in response to various queries from people in his own inimitable style.  For instance, he expressed his feelings beautifully in words such as “The Purana and The Koran are mere words” and God is “neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash”. All over his life, Kabir actively denounced both temples and mosques maintaining that God is in everyone and exists everywhere.

Philippines celebrated Manila Day (Araw ng Maynila).  This special non-working holiday applies to the city of Manila only.  It honours the 1571 founding by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.

Sri Lanka celebrated Poson Full Moon Poya Day which commemorate the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

20 June

Bhutan celebrated the Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Bhutan.

Malaysia (State of Kedah) had a holiday for the Sultan’s Birthday.