Today is ...

27 February

India (states of Haryana, Himachel Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab) celebrate Guru Ravidas Jayanti.

India (state of Sikkim) observes Bhumchu.  Bhumchu (Bhum is a pot, Chum is water) is a Buddhist festival, which on the Tibetan lunar calendar is held on the 14th and 15th day of the first month, which is between February and March on the Gregorian calendar. The Bhum or Sacred vase, according to Zigpo Lingpa, is made out of various kinds of sacred soil, water and five kinds of precious jewels found in sacred lands of India, Odiyana and Zahor. In Sikkim the Tashiding Monastery is recognized as a sacred place. It is believed that this place, Dakkar Tashiding in the center of four sacred caves, Sharchog Bephug in the east, Khandozangphu in the south, Dechenphug in the west and Lhari Nyingphug in the north, is meant to free you from the suffering of hell. At the start of the year the vase is opened and the Lama or monk determines the future. "If the water is to the brim, it foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will prevail. If the water is over the brim and is spilling, it signifies a year with natural disaster and disturbances. If the water level is low or almost dry it signifies famine." The celebration of "The Holy Water Vase" started under the rule of King Trisong Deutsonin Tibet, Guru Padmasambhava." It is believed that the water overflowed from the vase as a sign of a good omen and there was an earthquake. The four guardian deities of Dharma and the gods of thirty three heavens showered flowers from the sky." This ritual is one of the holiest in Sikkim. From midnight until the next day thousands are seen waiting to receive the holy water. "A part of the holy water is distributed amongst the gathering of devotes and the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in the during next Bumchu festival." It is said that by taking a drop of the Bumchu water enlightenment is achieved and all of the evil spirits and distress are removed. It is said one would somehow attain a form of Buddhahood or be born at a higher ranking in the next life.

India (state of Sikkim) observes Bir Chilari Day. Bir Chilari Day observes the 512th birth anniversary of Mahabir Chilarai (1510 – 1571 AD), a great general who belonged to the Koch royal dynasty of Assam. By his valour, he played a significant role in expanding the empire of his elder brother, Maharaja Nara Narayan.

Taiwan has a holiday for Peace Memorial Day.

Past Days...

26 February

India (state of Uttar Pradesh) celebrated Hazrat Ali’s Birthday, a Muslim celebration to dedicate this person and to remember his memories and good works. Hazrat Ali is the most respected and recognized person in the Muslim culture for his great work, knowledge, generosity, courage, belief and devotion to the Islam faith. His whole life history has had a big influence on Islamic history.

North Korea celebrated Cheongwoldaeboreum (Korean Folk Festival).

Sri Lanka celebrated Navam Full Moon Poya Day - the Buddha proclaims for the first time a code of fundamental ethical precepts for the monks.

Thailand observed Makha Bucha Day.

25 February

The Philippines celebrated the Anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, a popular campaign of sustained resistance that led to the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in the country.

23 February

Bhutan had another holiday for the Anniversary of His Majesty the King.

Brunei had a National Day to commemorate the day in 1984 when it gained independence from the United Kingdom.

Japan celebrated The Emperor’s Birthday.  The birthday of the reigning emperor has been a national holiday since 1868. Originally known as Tenchō-setsu (天長節), it was renamed Tennō tanjōbi (天皇誕生日) in 1948. It is currently celebrated on February 23; Emperor Naruhito was born on this day in 1960. (Prior to the abdication of Emperor Akihito in 2019, this holiday was celebrated on December 23.)

22 February

Bhutan had holiday for the Anniversary of His Majesty the King.

21 February

Bangladesh observed Shahid Dibosh otherwise known as International Mother Language Day.

Bhutan celebrated the Anniversary of His Majesty the King.

20 February

India (state of Arunachal Pradesh) observed Statehood Day.

India (state of Mizoram) observed State Day.

19 February

India (state of Maharashtra) celebrated Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti.

17 February

China celebrated the last day of Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).  

Timor-Leste had a public sector holiday for Ash Wednesday.

16 February

India (states of Orissa, Haryana, Tripura and West Bengal) celebrated Vasant Panchami.  Sometimes referred to as Saraswati Puja, Shree Panchami, or the Basant Festival of Kites it is a Sikh and Hindu festival held on the fifth day of Magha marking the start of spring and the Holi season. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture.  For Sikhs, in the Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, on the day of Vasant Panchmi, musicians start the music by singing Basant Raga. This practice continues up until the first day of Vaisakh when Basant Rag is no longer used.  A fair normally held at the famous Sikh shrine of Guru-ka-Lahore in Bilaspur district to mark the occasion of the marriage of Guru Gobind Singh Ji on Vasant Panchami.

North Korea had a holiday for Kim Jong-il’s birthday, also known as Day of the Shining Star, commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the country's second leader.

Chinese New Year continued to be celebrated in many countries:

  • China (Spring Festival)
  • Macau (Fifth Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Taiwan (Chinese New Year holiday)

Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in modern China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. Observances traditionally take place from the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February. In 2019, the first day of the Lunar New Year will be on Tuesday, 5 February, initiating the Year of the Pig.

Lunar New Year is one of the world's most prominent and celebrated festivals, and is the cause of the largest annual mass human migration in the world. It is a major holiday in Greater China and has strongly influenced the lunar new year celebrations of China's neighbouring cultures, including the Korean New Year (seol), the Tết of Vietnam, and the Losar of Tibet. It is also celebrated worldwide in regions and countries with significant Overseas Chinese populations, these including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and Mauritius, as well as many countries in North America and Europe.

Lunar New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The festival was traditionally a time to honour deities as well as ancestors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the New Year vary widely, and the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes. For the northern regions of China, dumplings are featured prominently in meals celebrating the festival.

Vietnam had another holiday for Tết.

Tết, Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán (節元旦), which is Sino-Vietnamese for "Feast of the First Morning of the First Day". Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February in the Gregorian calendar.

Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year annually, which is based on a lunisolar calendar (calculating both the motions of Earth around the Sun and of the Moon around Earth). Tết is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, except when the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in new moon occurring on different days. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday food and cleaning the house. These foods include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò, and sticky rice. Many customs are practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person's house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestor worship, wishing New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.

Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring, and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).

15 February

India (state of Manipur) celebrated Lui Ngai Ni, which is the seed-sowing festival celebrated by the Naga tribes of Manipur India.  The festival heralds the season of seed sowing and marks the start of the year for the Nagas and the festival was declared a state holiday since 1988.

Chinese New Year continued to be celebrated in many countries:

  • China (Spring Festival)
  • Hong Kong (Fourth Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Macau (Fourth Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Taiwan (Chinese New Year holiday)

Vietnam had another holiday for Tết.

14 February

India (state of West Bengal) celebrated the Birthday of Thakur Panchanan Barma.

Chinese New Year continued to be celebrated in many countries:

  • China (Spring Festival)
  • Hong Kong (Third Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Macau (Third Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Malaysia (Chinese New Year holiday)
  • Mongolia (Lunar New Year holiday)
  • Taiwan (Chinese New Year holiday)

Vietnam had another holiday for Tết.

13 February

Chinese New Year continued to be celebrated in many countries:

  • Bhutan (Losar Holiday)
  • Brunei (holiday)
  • China (Spring Festival)
  • Hong Kong (Second Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Macau (Second Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Malaysia (Second Day of the Lunar New Year)
  • Mongolia (Lunar New Year holiday)
  • Singapore (Chinese New Year holiday)
  • South Korea (Seol-nal holiday)
  • Taiwan (Chinese New Year holiday)

Vietnam had another holiday for Tết.

12 February

Myanmar celebrated Union Day.  It marks the date in 1947 when the Panglong Agreement was signed and passed, and Burma became a unified country.

India (state of Sikkim) and Nepal (Tamang community) celebrated Sonam Lhochhar / Lhosar with a festival.  Sonam Lhosar is said to have a history dating back to thousands of years and works in close accordance to the rules of the Tibetan lunar calendar. The first day of new moon in the month of Magh (when Lord Buddha is believed to have born) counts as the greatest day of significance for Tamangs and that is the reason, this day marks the beginning of the Sonam Lhosar festival. Besides North East India, the festival is also celebrated at a grand level in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet where the people from Tamang community reside in great numbers.

Chinese New Year was celebrated in many countries:

  • Bhutan (Dangpa Losar – Lunar New Year – Year of the Female Iron Ox)
  • Brunei
  • China (Spring Festival)
  • Hong Kong (Lunar New Year)
  • Indonesia
  • Macau (Lunar New Year)
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia (Tsagaan Sar – Year of the White Cow)
  • North Korea (Seollal)
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea (Seol-nal)
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Vietnam celebrated Tết Nguyen Dan.

11 February

China had a holiday for Spring Festival/Chinese New Year’s Eve

Japan celebrated Foundation Day.  This national holiday was established in 1966 (and first held in 1967) as a day to reflect on the establishment of the nation and to nurture a love for the country. From 1872 to 1948, February 11 was known as Kigen-setsu (紀元節?), a holiday commemorating the day on which—according to the Nihon Shoki—Emperor Jimmu is said to have acceded the throne in 660 BCE.

Macau had a holiday for Lunar New Year’s Eve

Mongolia observed Bituun (Lunar New Year’s Eve).

South Korea had a holiday for Seol-nal.

Taiwan had a holiday for Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Vietnam had a holiday for Tết Eve.

10 February

Taiwan had a holiday for Chinese New Year.

Vietnam had a holiday for Tết.

5 February

Pakistan observed Kashmir Solidarity Day.

4 February

The Maldives had a public holiday to commemorate the first sitting of the People’s Majlis.

Sri Lanka celebrated National Day (Independence Day).

1 February

Malaysia (Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya) celebrated Federal Territories Day.  The date marks the anniversary of formation of the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory in 1974, ceded by the state of Selangor to the federal government of Malaysia.

28 January

The states of Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Putrajaya, Penang, Perak and Selangor in Malaysia celebrated Thaipusam.  Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai.

Sri Lanka celebrated Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day in honour of Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka.

26 January

India celebrated Republic Day.  Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.  The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.

Australia celebrated Australia Day.  Australia Day is the official National Day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip. In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community.

The meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved over time. Unofficially, or historically, the date has also been variously named "Anniversary Day", "Foundation Day", and "ANA Day". 26 January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland). Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. On New Year's Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. A national day of unity and celebration was looked for. It was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories had adopted use of the term "Australia Day" to mark the date, and not until 1994 that the date was consistently marked by a public holiday on that day by all states and territories.

In contemporary Australia, the holiday is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on Australia Day Eve, announcement of the Australia Day Honours list and addresses from the Governor-General and Prime Minister. It is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia, unless it falls on a weekend in which case the following Monday becomes a public holiday instead. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, the day is celebrated in large and small communities and cities around the nation. Australia Day has become the biggest annual civic event in Australia.

Some Indigenous Australian events are now included. However, since at least 1938 Australia Day has also been marked by many Indigenous Australians protesting what they see as the invasion of their land by Europeans, and its celebration as a national holiday. They prefer to call it "Invasion Day" or "Survival Day" and advocate that, alternatively, the date should be changed.

25 January

India (state of Himachal Pradesh) observed Statehood Day.

23 January

India (states of Orissa and West Bengal) had a holiday for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's Jayanti.

20 January

India (states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan) celebrate Guru Govind Singh Jasyanti, an anniversary of a guru's birth or death; marked by the holding of a festival.