March 2018 - Intercultural calendar

The list provides an overview of the most important holidays of the largest religious and ethnic groups in Vienna as well as international commemoration days of the United Nations and other organisations in March.

International Days of the United Nations and other organisations

8 March: International Women's Day
The "United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace" or "International Women's Day" is celebrated around the world on 8 March. The day was commemorated for the first time in 1911. At a meeting in Copenhagen in 1910 the Socialist International established a Women's Day to honour the movement for women's rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women.
21 March: Day against Racism
In 1967 the United Nations proclaimed the "International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination".
21 March: Nouruz/Newroz (literally "New Day")
In 2010, the International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations 64th General Assembly and is celebrated in 12 countries around the world. It is the New Year festival of Persians (in particular Zoroastrians), Kurds and Bahai. Eggs and evergreen plants serve as symbols of life, continuity, and eternity during this family celebration. On this day Alevi also celebrate the birth of Ali who was born in Mecca around 600 and was a cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.


25 March: Palm Sunday (Catholic, Protestant)
The first day of Holy Week commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Palm branches (which people waved to welcome Jesus to Jerusalem) or willow catkins are sanctified in the church and distributed to serve as decoration at home.
29 March: Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday
Christians commemorate the anniversary of the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus at the Last Supper and of the washing of the disciples' feet which is symbolically reenacted in many churches as a sign of humbleness.
30 March: Good Friday (Catholic, Protestant)
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, when He sacrificed Himself for man's redemption.
31 March: Holy Saturday (Catholic, Protestant)
The night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday is the highlight of the Christian Year. The Easter candle and Easter fire are lit before the Easter Vigil is celebrated.
31 March: Memorial of Christís Death
The anniversary of Jesus Christís death is commemorated on this day (Jehovah's Witnesses).


2 March: Holi
Holi is a colourful spring festival and commemorates the rescue of Prince Prahlad from a fire pyre where his sister Holi had taken him. A bonfire is lit to signify the burning of Holika and to thank Lord Vishnu for his good deed. Ashes from the bonfire are marked on worshippers as a sign of inner cleansing.


1 March: Purim
On this day a Purim carnival is held and children wear costumes. It commemorates the deliverance of the Persian Jews from the plot of Haman, the vizier of King Xerxes, to exterminate them. Haman wanted to choose the day of the genocide by lot (pur). The Book of Esther is read in the synagogue, and it is customary for children to use a noisy rattle, a Purim grogger, to blot out the name of the evildoer Haman. Today, Purim also commemorates the Holocaust.
31 March to 7 April: Pesah/Passover
The feast of unleavened bread is dedicated to the celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. At the Seder, a unique ceremony, Jews commemorate the "pass over" when God would send the Angel of Death to kill the firstborn males but would see that the Israelites had marked their houses with lambs' blood and would command his angel to "pass over", to kill no one there.
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Goran Novakovic (Municipal Department 17)
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