A very happy holiday to anyone observing this month.
Like the ones in February, April, July, and August, below is the section of the email sent to all NASA Goddard employees with the holidays for the month of July, including some links at the bottom with additional information and a diversity calendar. As always, thank you to Matt for sharing!
Sukkot (Feast of Booths) (Jewish): An eight day festival commemorating the divine protection given to the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the desert. It is also a festival of giving thanks and celebrating the fall harvest. Begins at sundown the previous day.
National Diversity Day: “Embrace diversity, embrace our world” is the slogan of this day, celebrated each year on the first Friday of October.
Columbus Day: Columbus Day was first celebrated on October 12, 1792 to honor the day Christopher Columbus, a well known Italian explorer, landed in the Bahamas in 1492. One hundred years later, it was celebrated again at the urging of President Benjamin Harrison. Since 1920, it has been celebrated annually and, in 1971, became a federal legal holiday to be celebrated on the second Monday in October. Also commemorated in multiple Latin American countries to celebrate shared Spanish and Indian heritage.
Simchat Torah (Jewish): Means “rejoicing in the Torah” and immediately follows Sukkot. It celebrates the conclusion of the public reading of the Torah. Begins at sundown the previous day.
Leif Eriksson Day (Norwegian American): A day of tribute to the landing of Norseman on the North American continent around 1000 CE, led by Leif Eriksson from Greenland. This holiday, proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, honors the Icelandic explorer Leif Ericsson, who is believed to be the first European to land on North American soil. Almost five hundred years would pass before another European landed in the Americas, when Columbus made his voyage of exploration
National Coming Out Day: Commemorates the 1987 march in Washington, D.C. to support gay and lesbian rights. This is also a day to encourage gays and lesbians to step out with pride.
National Boss Day: A day dedicated to appreciate our supervisors at work. It is usually celebrated on October 16 but if it falls on a weekend day, it is then celebrated on the work day closest to the 16th.
Navaratri (Hindu): During the 9 days festival of Navaratri, God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as Durga, Devi or Shakti is honored. Culminates with a celebration on the tenth day “Dassehra” to commemorate Rama’s victory over Ravana and honors the goddess Durga. This festival is also known as Vijay Dasami.
Birthday of the Bab (Baha’i): Remembers the 1819 birth of Siyyid Ali Muhammad, who took the title of “the Bab” and is recognized as prophet-herald of the faith. Begins at sundown the previous day.
United Nations Day (United Nations): This day commemorates the founding of the United Nations in 1945.
Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) (Islamic): Commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God’s word (God interceded by replacing a ram for the child). The three-day celebration occurs at the end of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. This is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. Begins at sundown the previous day.
Halloween: This festival, which takes its name from All Hallows Eve (the eve of the feast of All Saints), originated among the Celts of Britain and Ireland, for whom October 31 was new year’s eve. On this night it was believed that the souls of the dead revisited their earthly homes, and huge bonfires were set to frighten away evil spirits. With the rise of Christianity, the autumn festival came to be associated with All Saints Day. Secular Halloween customs reflect its pagan origins and were introduced to the United States by immigrants, especially the Irish, in the nineteenth century. Today the most widely observed Halloween custom is a benign version of “trick or treat,” in which costumed children go from door to door collecting sweets.
Samhain (Pagan): The first day of the New Year and marks the move from summer to winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This harvest festival, one of the “Greater Sabbats,” honors Saman, an ancient lord of the dead. According to folklore, on this day the souls of all those who had died the previous year gathered.
Reformation Day (Christian Protestant): Commemorates the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (propositions) to the door of Wittenberg’s Palace Church, which led to the establishment of the Protestant denominations of Christianity.