March 2019 - 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.

Christianity

6 March: Ash Wednesday (Catholic, Protestant)
The 40 day season of Lent starts for Catholics when carnival has ended. Ashes are marked on worshippers as a sign of perishableness and penitence.

Hinduism

20 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.

Judaism

20 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.
20 March:: The Fast of Esther (Ta’anit Esther)
Ta'anit Esther is a Jewish fast commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim.
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