Maundy Thursday is a Christian observance that is celebrated the Thursday before Easter. It celebrates Jesus Christ’s last supper with his apostles. Church service is often held at night. Common customs during the church service include washing the feet of members of the congregation, and blessing holy oils. An ancient tradition that is still prevalent in some areas is the custom of visiting seven churches on Maundy Thursday.
Pascua Florida Day is an annual holiday in Florida celebrating the anniversary of Florida’s discovery by Ponce de Leon in 1513. Ponce de Leon called the new land La Florida or “The Land of Flowers”. It was named after an Easter feast in Spain called Pascua Florida, Feast of the Flowers.
April Fools’ Day is a holiday for jokesters everywhere. Though it is not a national holiday anywhere, it is celebrated widely throughout the western world. On this day, people play harmless practical jokes on their friends and family, usually followed by an exclamation of “April Fools!” Web businesses often get involved in April Fools’ tricks, posting fake articles and only reveling the truth after April Fools’ Day ends. The origin of April Fools’ Day is unknown, but it seems to stem from similar celebrations of ancient times.
Cesar Chavez Day celebrates the birthday of Cesar Estrada Chavez, a civil rights activist. Chavez fought against racial discrimination and poor working conditions for migrant workers. Together with Dolores Huerta, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association to help farm workers receive fair pay and equal rights. Today this holiday is celebrated in California, Colorado, and Texas, but celebrations for Chaves’s birthday are held in a few cities around the country. Efforts are being made to make the holiday national.
Seward’s Day celebrates the United States’ purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The purchase was made by William Henry Seward and was widely criticized at the time. It wasn’t until years later that Seward’s purchase paid off when gold, and many other natural resources were discovered there. Today, Seward Day is a legal holiday in Alaska and many businesses are closed for the day. Each year it is held on the last Monday of March. Some cities throughout Alaska have special celebrations commemorating the event.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter in the Christian tradition. It marks Jesus Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the people carried palm branches through the streets as a sign of victory. Traditionally, special church services are held on Palm Sunday during which each member of the congregation is given a blessed palm branch. These branches are considered good luck, and may be hung in the house for good fortune or used to decorate graves.
Prince Kuhio Day, as it is often known, is a holiday in Hawaii that celebrates the birthday of one of Hawaii’s most beloved leaders. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianole was one of the last royals of Hawaii prior to its annexation. After annexation he became a leader of American Hawaii, serving in the United States House of Representatives for nearly 20 years. Today celebrations of his birthday are held all over the state of Hawaii, sometimes lasting up to a month in length.
Maryland Day celebrates the first colonization of Maryland by Lord Baltimore in 1634. It is the anniversary of a celebration held by the colonists to give thanks for their safe arrival. Today a festival is held each year in Annapolis.
Evacuation Day celebrates the first victory of the Revolutionary War when the British evacuated Boston. This is a public holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Evacuation Day is held on the same day as St. Patrick’s Day, so most of the celebrations coincide.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. It was originally celebrated as a Catholic feast day, though it is now a mostly secular holiday in many parts of the world. Today St. Patrick’s day celebrates Irish culture all around the world. In Ireland, many festivities and parades are held, but Ireland encourages celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day all around the world. Many people spend St. Patrick’s Day at parades and at Irish pubs around town. Alcohol is often an important part of any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Most people wear the color green on St.