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Holidays in March 2024:
Festivals and Holidays Around the World

March bursts out of winter's slumber with a vibrant calendar of holidays, observances, and cultural celebrations. From the global recognition of International Women's Day on March 8th to the spiritual observance of Ramadan beginning on March 10th and Easter on March 31st, the month offers a diverse tapestry of traditions
International Women's Day
Location: Globally celebrated
Date: March 8th
Status: Cultural, in some countries public holiday
Purpose: International Women's Day serves to honor the achievements of women, promote gender equality, and advocate for women's rights

History of the Holiday: International Women's Day originated from the labor movement in the early 20th century, as women campaigned for better working conditions and suffrage. The first National Women's Day was observed in the United States in 1909, and it evolved into International Women's Day as women's rights movements gained momentum globally

Traditions and Symbols: The day is marked by various activities, including rallies, conferences, performances, and networking events that aim to inspire and empower women

Location: Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims worldwide
Date: March 10th, 2024 - April 9th, 2024. The exact start date varies each year as it is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, marking the start of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar
Status: Religious
Purpose: The primary purpose of Ramadan is spiritual purification, self-discipline, and a deepened connection with Allah (God)

History of the Holiday: Ramadan commemorates the month during which the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is believed to have occurred in 610 CE when Muhammad received the first revelation from Allah through the Angel Gabriel in the Cave of Hira

Traditions and Symbols: The most prominent tradition during Ramadan is fasting (Sawm) from dawn until sunset, abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs. The pre-dawn meal, known as Suhoor, and the breaking of the fast at sunset, called Iftar, are significant rituals. Symbols associated with Ramadan include the crescent moon, which marks the beginning and end of the month, and lanterns, known as "fanous," which are often hung in homes, mosques, and streets as decorative elements during this period

White Day
Location: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China
Date: March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine's Day
Status: Traditional holiday
Purpose: The primary purpose of White Day is to reciprocate the gestures of love and affection expressed on Valentine's Day

History of the Holiday: White Day originated in Japan in the late 1970s as a marketing strategy by the confectionery industry. It was initially promoted by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an opportunity for men to return the favor to women who had given them chocolates on Valentine's Day. The name "White Day" is derived from the color white, symbolizing purity and sincerity

Traditions and Symbols: It's typically gifts including white chocolates, cookies, candies, flowers, or other tokens of affection. The gifts are usually accompanied by handwritten notes expressing love, gratitude, or admiration

Start of Spring
Location: Countries in the Northern Hemisphere, such as China, Japan, Korea, and countries in Europe and North America
Date: March 19th, 2024
Status: Cultural holiday
Purpose: The primary purpose of White Day is to reciprocate the gestures of love and affection expressed on Valentine's Day

History of the Holiday: The observance of the Start of Spring dates back to ancient times and is rooted in agricultural and astronomical practices. In many cultures, this time of the year was crucial for farmers as it signaled the start of planting season and the return of fertility to the land after the cold winter months

Traditions and Symbols: In some cultures, people engage in outdoor activities such as picnics, nature walks, or planting gardens to celebrate the arrival of spring. Others may participate in religious or spiritual ceremonies to honor the changing of the seasons and express gratitude for the bounty of the earth

Location: Japan
Date: March 21st - March 28th, 2024
Status: Cultural holiday
Purpose: The purpose of Hanami is to celebrate the transient beauty of cherry blossoms (sakura) and to appreciate the fleeting nature of life

History of the Holiday: The tradition of Hanami dates back centuries to the Heian period (794-1185) in Japan when aristocrats and members of the imperial court would hold flower-viewing parties beneath cherry blossom trees. Over time, the practice spread to other segments of society, becoming more widespread among the general population during the Edo period (1603-1868)

Traditions and Symbols: During Hanami, people gather beneath cherry blossom trees in parks, gardens, and along riversides to admire the delicate pink and white flowers. They often bring food, drinks, and picnic supplies to enjoy alfresco meals known as hanami parties. Traditional hanami foods include bento boxes, onigiri (rice balls), and sakura-themed snacks and desserts

Location: Easter is celebrated by Christians worldwide
Date: March 31st, 2024
Status: Religious
Purpose: The celebration the central event of the Christian faith—the resurrection of Jesus Christ

History of the Holiday: The origins of Easter can be traced back to ancient pagan spring festivals celebrating the renewal of life and the arrival of spring. Over time, these pagan customs merged with Christian beliefs and traditions, leading to the development of the modern Easter celebration

Traditions and Symbols: Easter is marked by various traditions and symbols, many of which have both religious and secular significance. These include:easter Eggs, Easter Bunny, Easter Sunday Service, Easter Feast

Holiday Calendar: