This section is very much under construction.

Part of religion generally are patterns of observances. Many of these have special holidays that are unique to particular religions. These holidays tell us something about the religion, or at least what is thought to be important about it.

Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year, the chief ones being Easter and Christmas. The Orthodox Christian and Western-Roman Catholic have patronal feast days. These celebrate each the various “Saints of Old”, according to a Calendar of Saints, that vary somewhat by tradition. Some Saint's days like, Saint Patrick's day and St. Valentine's day, have survived into our modern American life with not much real thought given to their origin or even the story of the person being commemorated. 

In Islam, the largest holidays are Eid ul-Fitr (immediately after Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (at the end of the Hajj). Ahmadi Muslims additionally celebrate Promised Messiah Day, Promised Reformer Day, and Khilafat Day, these look from outside like holidays but according to much of my reading, neither are regarded as holidays in a religious sense. Ramadan itself is a fast and one of the pillars of Isalm. It is the only one hat is abligitory as religious observance.

Hindus, Jains and Sikhs observe several holidays, one of the largest being Diwali (Festival of Light).

Shinto holidays: 

Oshogatsu (or Shogatsu) – The Shinto New Year. On this day, people visit the Shrine to pray for good luck and to make resolutions to stick to the virtues in the coming year.

oshogatsu is the Shinto rite to honor goddess Izanami, partner of god Izanagi. Together they created the Nature and the Kami (cosmic energies) as the Shintos believe.

Seijin Shiki (Adults' Day) – This is the day when young Shinto men and women celebrate the attainment of adulthood. Those who have attained the age of twenty in the previous year are considered to be adults for the purpose. They visit the shrines to pay tribute.

Rissun (Setsubun) – The beginning of Spring. Traditional celebrations include throwing of beans at the Shrines. The priests throw lucky beans towards the gathering while the people who assemble there attempt to catch them. At homes, the eldest male member is supposed to throw around roasted beans which is believed to send away demons and welcome good luck. Toshigoi is the Shinto rite to honor Kami and to offer prayers for a bountiful rice harvest.

Hina-matsuri (Festival of Dolls or Girls' Day) – This is the day when girls are honored. Prayers are offered for the health and the well being of young girls. It is a common tradition for families with little girls to decorate a multilevel podium covering it with red carpet and place ornamental dolls on it. Offerings like rice cakes or peach blossoms are put before them.

Shubun-sai (Equinox Day) – This is the day when the Shinto community embrace fresh new spirits. The homes are given a thorough spring cleaning. People often visit the cemeteries of their ancestors and pay homage and leave fresh flowers as a mark of remembrance.

Taue Matsuri – This is the traditional Shinto festival of planting rice. People pray for a bountiful harvesting season.

Tango-no-Sekku – This is the Shinto festival when prayers are offered for the good health and wellbeing of the young boys. Families with young boys wish for their prosperity and pray so that the boys are protected from evil spirits.

Oharai/Grand Purification Festival – This is the Shinto rite of exorcising evil from the world. Devotees are cleansed and purified from offenses committed.

Shichigosan (7-5-3 festival) – This is the day when parents of young children pray to God thanking for gifting their children a healthy life and also wishing a safe, prosperous and happy future for their wards. The name of the festival has been coined after the ages of the children. Here schichi denotes seven, go means five and san represents three. Boys aged three and five, and girls aged three and seven participate in the function.

Niinamesei – This festival was origionally a harvest festival. Traditionally, the Royal Family used to perform thanksgiving rituals on this day praying for a good harvesting season and thanking for the crops that have been produced. In the modern times, however, the society is not chiefly agrarian, this day has turned into a Labor Day celebrations where every person who is working is honored.

The Bahá'í Faith observes holidays as defined by the Bahá'í calendar.

Jews have two holiday seasons: the Spring Feasts of Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Weeks, called Pentecost in Greek); and the Fall Feasts of Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles), and Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly). 12/28/15 3/14/16