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Religious and cultural festivals

There are a number of religious and cultural festivals and observances which take place throughout the UK and some specific dates which are observed in Newcastle.  Each year, this list will be updated to give an ‘at a glance guide’.  The list is alphabetical.

Year: 2020


Pakistani, Bengali, Indian and other South Asian cultures come together in the Newcastle Mela  30 and 31 August 

Includes a parade from Grey’s monument and a variety of artists and music.


The Tripițaka is the formal term used for a Buddhist canon of scriptures.

  • Vesak or Buddha day  May 7th


Chinese New Year is the 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 mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.

  • Yuan Tan (New Year)   February 5th


The Christian scripture is known as the Bible and contains the Old Testament and New Testament.

  • Epiphany January 6th
  • Ash Wednesday February 26th (beginning of Lent to 9th April)
  • Good Friday  April 10th
  • Easter Sunday April 12th
  • Ascension   May 21st
  • Pentecost  May 31st
  • Trinity Sunday   June 7th
  • Advent Sunday November 29th
  • Christmas Day December 25th

Christian Orthodox

  • Christmas Day (Russian) January 7th
  • Pascha (Easter day)  April 19th


  • International day for People with disabilities  December 3rd  The observance of this aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.


  • St George’s Day  Patron saint of England.  April 23rd     


Hinduism is the ancient religion of India. It encompasses a rich variety of traditions that share common themes but do not constitute a unified set of beliefs or practices.   Texts include : Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana

  • Maha Shivrati   February 21st
  • Holi   March 9 to 10th
  • Shri Ram Navami  April 2nd
  • Vijay Dashmi  October 25th
  • Diwali   October 14th


  • Holocaust Memorial Day January 27th This day the world remembers the six million Jews and millions of other minorities who were killed by the Nazis during WW2.

Jews believe that there is a single God who created the universe and with whom every Jew can have an individual and personal relationship.  The Torah is the first part of the Jewish bible.

  • Pesach begins (Passover)  April 8th
  • Shivuat (Pentecost)  May 28 to 30th
  • Rosh Hashanah (New Year) September 18 to 20th
  • Yom Kipppur (Day of Atonement)  September 27 to 28th
  • Succot (Feast of Tabernacles)  October 2 to 9th

LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans)

  • Northern Pride Festival (formerly Newcastle Pride) 16 to 19th July  Takes place on the Town Moor and Exhibition Park.  Includes Stonewall Remembrance March.


  • The Late Shows – 15 and 16 May 2020  Newcastle Gateshead late openings – design, craft, theatre and fun in venues that have opened their doors for Friday and Saturday night.


  • International Men’s Day November 19th  Its objectives include focusing on men’s and boys’ health, promoting gender equality, improving gender relations, and highlighting male role models.  There is a theme each year.


Mosque Ramadam prayer calendars

The Muslim scripture is the Quran written in Arabic.

  • Jum’uah (Jummah) – Friday Prayers at the time of Zuhar
  •  Eid al fitr – Celebration that marks the end of Ramadan  May 23 to 24th
  •  Eid-ul Adha- The festival of sacrifice July 30 to 3rd August
  • Al- Hijra- Islamic New Year   August  19 to 20th
  • Ramadan – The month of fasting  23 April to 23 May


  • Burns Night January 25th   A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scottish poems.
  • St Andrew’s day. Patron Saint of Scotland  November 30th


The Holy Scriptures are known as the Adi Granth or the Guru Granth Sahib.

  • Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh  January 2nd
  • Baisakhi (Birthday of Khalsa)  April 13th
  • Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev June 16th
  • Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev  November 30th
  • Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur November 24th


  • St David’s Day  Patron saint of Wales March 1st   


  • Remembrance Sunday  November 8th
  • Armistice day November 11th (end of WW1)

Remembrance Day is a memorial day. On this day we honour the achievements and sacrifices that were made in past wars. The most important observance takes place on the second Sunday in November.


  • International Day of Women March 8th   This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.


Last updated: July 30, 2020

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