Religious Holidays in Spring 2022

By Remitbee - Mar 12, 2022

When the flowers start to bloom, Canada's streets become filled with life and colour. During this time, the temperature in the country warms up, and animals come out of hibernation and give birth to their young. From March to May, Canada officially welcomes its spring season for three months.

Aside from taking in the breathtaking view of the country, Canada’s spring season is when different religions celebrate and observe religious holidays. In this article, we will outline the various religious holidays that will take place in Canada this spring 2022.

Ash Wednesday / Beginning of Lent

Date: March 2

Religion: Christian

Ash Wednesday is celebrated seven weeks before Easter and the day after Mardi Gras. Christians observe this occasion as the start of Lent and six-week fasting and penance. On this day, Catholics wear a smudge of ashes in the shape of a cross on their foreheads, acknowledging their sinful state. The symbol on their forehead also represents their grief and mourning for their sins which Jesus Christ gave his life for.

Losar (Tibetan New Year)

Date: March 3-5
Religion: Buddhist

Losar or the Tibetan New Year is the most important festival for the Tibetan people. The name of this celebration came from two characters: lo and sar meaning “year” and “new.” During this three-day celebration, people clean their houses, eat reunion dinners, exorcise ghosts, offer sacrifices, fetch water, visit neighbours, hang prayer flags, and burn pine branches.

The first day of Losar is Lama Losar, where Tibetan Buddhists greet their gurus and wish each other prosperity for the new year. The second day is King’s Losar, where the revered Dalai Lama exchanges greetings with national leaders. The third day is called the Choe-Kyong Losar, where offerings are given to gods and protectors. Hanging prayer flags and praying are the major activities done during this last day. After these three days, Tibetans engage in parties and gatherings for 15 days.

Purim

Date: March 16, 17
Religion: Jewish

Purim, translating into “lots,” is a victorious festival celebrated by Jewish people. It is also at times called the “Jewish Mardi Gras.” Purim is a commemoration of the Jews’ salvation in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to rid them on the earth as recorded in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible.

When the Jews celebrate Purim, they hold a wine feast where people drink and take a nap once they’re sufficiently wine-drunk. Another activity is the burning of Haman’s effigy. This activity is popular within Iran and remote communities in Kurdistan.

Holi

Date: March 17, 18
Religion: Hindu

Holi, or the Hindu’s festival of colors is a carnivalesque celebration. It is a celebration for the arrival of spring where love and other festive activities are cherished and celebrated. This holiday also signals the beginning of a good spring harvest season.

The night before Holi, the celebration already starts. During this time, the people do rituals in front of bonfires to pray for their inner evil to be destroyed. Hindus and other people who celebrate Holi also throw popcorn, chickpeas, coconut, and other roasting grans on the bonfires they lit. The following day, the carnival of colors starts! People go out to the streets to play by throwing paints and colored water at each other. They also dance and sing, making the celebration more joyous and fun.

Nowruz (Persian New Year)

Date: March 20
Religion: Persian

Nowruz or the Persian New Year is more than just a holiday marked by festivities, food, gatherings, music, and dances. This holiday’s goal is to promote peace and solidarity between generations and within families to help promote cultural diversity and camaraderie among peoples, communities, and cultures.

Though not strictly a religious holiday, Nowruz is a celebration of new beginnings and prosperity wishing. During this time, people deep clean their homes and closets. They also have parties, street performances, and public rituals.

Chaitra Navratri

Date: April 1-10
Religion: Hindu

Chaitra Navratri is a nine-day celebration where people worship the nine different forms of Goddesses Durga, Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chadraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, and Sidhidatri.

To observe this holiday, here are some of the activities Hindus do during the nine-day Chaitra Navratri celebration:

  • Read mythology and history books to earn more about the festival.
  • Celebrate the ram Navami with friends and family by visiting temples.
  • Recite holy scriptures like Ramayana and Shrimad Bhagavatam.
  • Observe fast with films such as Lord Rama’s tales or listen to bhajans.

Ramadan

Date: April 2-May 1
Religion: Islamic

Fasting is one of the main activities Muslims do during Ramadan month. They abstain from food and drinks from dawn to dusk. Muslims eat a communal meal or iftar with their family and friends when the sunsets. Aside from fasting, Muslims also do good deeds and cultivate positive habits they can practice once Ramadan is over.

After a month of fasting, Muslims celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan, a large social event where Muslims decorate their homes, wear new clothes, and exchange gifts or money with their friends or family.

Palm Sunday

Date: April 10
Religion: Christian

For Christians, Palm Sunday is the first day of the Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter. This occasion commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. During this day, it is a practice for people to observe the blessing of the procession of palms or other leaves or twigs locally available. These palms are then taken home to serve as sacramentals. Some of these palms are then burned down the next year and are used as ashes for Ash Wednesday.

Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)

Date: April 13-15
Religion: Buddhist

Songkran is a favorite and essential festival for Thai people and Buddhists. This water festival marks the start of the Thai New Year. During this festival, throwing water is a significant activity so get ready to be splashed with water by people going around throwing water at each other.

Family appreciation is also an integral part of this festival. During this time, Thai people return to their hometowns to celebrate with older relatives. Buddhists also visit their temples as Buddha images are poured with water and are walked in processions throughout the country. Since the Songkran Festival also marks the start of the Thai New Year, people also clean their homes during this day.

Vaisakhi (Sikh New Year)

Date: April 14
Religion: Sikhism, Hinduism

The Vaisakhi is a Sikh New Year religious celebration commemorated every spring. This holiday marks the start of the Punjabi New Year and a harvest festival in Punjab. Sikhs visit Gurdwaras or places of worship that are specially decorated to celebrate this religious holiday. To make this celebration more joyous, people also go on parades and special processions on the streets.

Sikh’s holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib is often carried in the procession. People who join the parade often read scriptures and sing hymns. For farmers, Vaisakhi is also the best occasion to show gratitude for the plentiful harvest they experienced the previous year and the best time to pray for another good harvest year to come.

Memorial of Jesus’ Death

Date: April 15
Religion: Jehovah’s Witnesses

Each year, Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world commemorate the death of Jesus as obedience to his commandment in Luke 22:19: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” This year, this will fall on April 15, sundown. During this occasion, millions worldwide, including those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses, are invited to listen to a Bible-based talk specially prepared for the occasion explaining the hope the Bible provides and how everyone can benefit from Jesus’s ransom sacrifice. This celebration only lasts for about an hour.

Good Friday

Date: April 15
Religion: Christian

For Christians, Good Friday is the commemoration of Jesus’ death at Calvary. Often, this is observed during Holy Week and is also called Holy Friday or Black Friday. During this holiday, Christians fast and pray. Those who don’t plan on fasting during this day abstain from eating meat, so fish is the meal of choice. Many churches also hold afternoon services, so visiting a local church is also a custom during this religious holiday in the springtime.

Passover (Pesach)

Date: April 15-23
Religion: Jewish

For the Jews, the Passover or Pesach is a major religious holiday, celebrated in remembrance of Israelite’s exodus from slavery in Egypt. Similar to how it was observed since the Jews do not eat anything that is leaven. They only eat unleavened bread. On the first night of the Pesach, families prepare a special meal called a seder

The Pesach is a joyous religious festival, and often, people pray and do traditional recitations aside from eating while observing strict dietary rules. Work is also restricted at the beginning and end of the Passover.

Easter

Date: April 17
Religion: Christian

Easter is among the main holidays or feasts for Christians as it marks Jesus’ resurrection three days after his death. This religious holiday observed during spring is a joyful end to the Lenten season of penitence and fasting for Christians.

Easter is often celebrated by attending church services, ringing church bells, playing music, having flowers, and lighting candles. Another popular tradition is Easter egg hunting and egg rolling. To cherish this holiday, people often reunite to eat traditional dishes such as roasted lamb, cake, and chocolate eggs. Since Easter is celebrated during the spring, homes and tables are often decorated with spring flowers for decorations.

Feast of the Divine Mercy

Date: April 24
Religion: Christian

The Feast of the Divine Mercy or Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated during the second Sunday of Easter. During this holiday, the image of the Divine Mercy is often carried in processions and is being venerated by mass attendees. This feast is held so that Christians can focus on the gifts of mercy and love, which were highlighted through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Eid al-Fitr

Date: May 2-3
Religion: Islamic

Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking Fast, is the special celebration that marks the end of the intense month of fasting, prayer, charity, and self-reflection during Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is primarily a celebration to thank God. On the morning of Eid, Muslims offer a special Eid prayer together as a congregation.

To help all families joyously celebrate this holiday, family heads pay a charitable tax, Fitra or Zakat Al Fitr, to help less fortunate families celebrate this holiday joyously. During Eid, families gather together to eat and celebrate. They also exchange gifts and money.

Vesak

Date: May 16, 2022
Religion: Buddhist

Vesak is a significant Buddhist holiday also called Buddha Day. This holiday is a celebration of Buddha’s birthday and marks his enlightenment. During this special occasion, Buddhists deeply reflect on their religion’s teachings and meditate on what it really means to be a Buddhist.

To commemorate this holiday, Buddhists go to their temple. They also do good deeds, chant, meditate, bring offerings to the temple, share food with people, send cards to each other, participate in the procession while wearing white, and decorate their homes with lanterns.

One of the highlights of this holiday is the Bathing the Buddha ceremony where water is poured all over the shoulders of the Buddha. This serves as a sign that people should clear their minds of negative thoughts such as hatred, greed, and jealousy.

Ascension Day

Date: May 26
Religion: Christian

Forty days after Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday, the Ascension Day marks his literal ascend to heaven witnessed by his disciples at the village of Bethany. This holiday is often observed by processions and masses.

Make the Religious Holidays in Spring this 2022 More Joyous

As you’ve seen, religious holidays to be celebrated this March to May entail giving gifts to each other and doing charity work. If you plan on extending your love and monetary help to family, friends, and even individuals outside Canada, take advantage of RemitBee’s remittance services. We promise to give you the best currency exchange. Our services are fast and safe too, so you can be confident that in a matter of minutes, the money you send will be in the hands of your receiver. If you send at least $500 in one transaction, we will waive your transfer fee!

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