2003 Native American - Meso American - Hispanic Holidays
to 1/9: Hopi & Zuni Soyala New Year Festival of purification and renewal.
It concludes with dancing, rekindling of the chief kiva fire, and distribution
of its coals to all homes.
* 1/1: Day to meditate for peace throughout the world. [World Peace Day; Universal Hour of Peace: 7:00-8:00 a.m. EST.]
* 1/1 to 1/4: Tewa Turtle Dance--celebrating life and the first creation, when Sky Father embraced Earth Mother and all life was conceived.
* 1/4: Day ethnic discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1969); day to mourn all manifestations of racism.
* 1/18 to 1/26: Navajo Sing--Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing. Navajos believe Naste Estsan/Spider Woman helped twin brothers Naymezyani and Tobadzistsini defeat the powers of evil.
* 1/19: World Religions Day--Day to contemplate all religions as different paths to the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 2/1 to 2/28: Ethnic Equality Month--Time to honor all peoples and their positive traditions; time to meditate on the equality of all peoples, on the respect due to them, and on God-Goddess manifesting as African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American. [Expands idea of African-American History Month a/k/a Black History Month.]
* 2/5 to 2/13: Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony--for continuation of all life-sustaining things; celebrated with tobacco offerings, confession of offenses, singing, drumming, dancing, name-giving, and dream-telling. Iroquois consider themselves kin to all of Nature.
* 2/16 to 2/24: Navajo Sing--Festival in which fields are blessed in preparation for planting. Navajos believe Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman wields the power to constantly create and change the world.
* 3/1 to 3/31: Gender Equality Month--Time to honor both genders; time to meditate on the equality of women and men, on the respect due to both women and men, and on Goddess-God manifesting as woman and man.
* 3/2 to 3/5: Iroquois Maple Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the Maple tree and its sugar. [Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman bore the twin brothers Thahonhiawakon/Order and Tawiskaron/Chaos.]
* 3/31: Birthday of Cesar Chavez (1927), who won recognition of migrant workers' rights through organization and non-violent protest. [Death day 4/23/1993]
* 4/1 to 4/4: Iroquois Thunder Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the rains. Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman descended from the Sky and created Earth.
* 4/7: World Health Day--Day to pray for healing of all those chronically and seriously ill; day to advocate for adequate health care for all. [Day the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) was founded in 1948.]
* 4/22: Earth Day--Day to honor the Earth and to meditate on Deity manifesting as Mother Earth. [a/k/a International Earth Day, National Earth Day]
* 4/22: Day the world's nations guaranteed asylum to those persecuted in their homelands on account of their ethnicity, religion, or political opinion (1954).
* 4/26 to 5/3: Mayan Rain Festival--honoring Rain God Chac and His attendant Chacmool, and welcoming the fructifying rains.
* 5/1: National Day of Prayer--Day to pray for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state throughout the world.
* 5/1 to 5/4: Zuni Green Corn Dance--welcoming back the Corn Maidens, who flee the land during the Winter.
* 5/1 to 5/4: Iroquois Corn-Planting Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the corn seed. Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman created the Sun, Moon, and Stars from Her body.
* 5/5: Cinco de Mayo--Day celebrating Mexico's struggle for independence; day to mourn Hispanic victims of exploitation (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Hispanic Americans. [The Battle of Puebla occurred on 5/5/1862.]
* 5/31 to 6/3: Iroquois Strawberry Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the strawberry harvest.
* 6/20 to 6/21: Feast of the Great Spirit/Great Mystery that encompasses Mother Earth and Father Sky - honoring Deity as Orenda (Iroquois), Asgaya Galun Lati (Cherokee), Wakan Tanka (Lakota) & Awonawilona (Zuni). [a/k/a Pan Native-American Unity Days]
* 6/20 to 6/21: Inti Rayni--Inca festival honoring Sun God Inti.
* 6/20 to 6/23: Lakota Sun Dance--Festival of prayer, fasting, dancing, and healing in honor of Sun God Wi; offerings are also made to Maka/Mother Earth and Haokah/Father Sky. Lakotas believe all Deities are aspects of Creator Takuskanskan.
* 6/24 to 6/27: Zuni Corn Dance--for fertility and rains to aid the maize, bean, and squash crops. Prayer sticks are planted in the fields.
* 6/29 to 7/2: Iroquois Green Bean Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the bean harvest; celebrated with tobacco offerings, singing, drumming, dancing, and feasting.
* 7/1: Day endangered species became internationally protected (1975); day to celebrate all the world's creatures. [
* 7/3: Cherokee Green Corn Dance--in thanksgiving for the maize harvest; honoring maize Goddess Selu.
* 7/23: Mayan Sun Festival--honoring Sun God Ahau Kin; celebrated with devotional offerings of food, song, prayer, and a ritual procession that symbolically travels to the four quarters of the universe.
* 7/29 to 8/4: Iroquois Green Corn Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the maize harvest.
* 8/4 to 8/7: Zuni Corn Dance--in thanksgiving to Mother Earth, the Kokos (Nature Spirits), and the Corn Maidens for the maize harvest
* 8/20: Birth of the White Buffalo (1994), signaling the return of White Buffalo Woman (manifestation of Star Goddess Wohpe) who gave the sacred peace pipe to the Lakota people.
* 8/28: Opening of the Second World Parliament of Religions (1993), attended by members of all the world's religions. A Global Ethic was adopted that condemns hatred, aggression, oppression, and environmental abuses committed in the name of religion.
* 9/3: Day gender discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1981); day to mourn all manifestations of sexism.
* 9/6: Day Latin American Catholic Bishops endorsed Liberation Theology (1968). They believed that the Gospel requires Christians to aid the poor and oppressed in the struggle for economic and social justice
* 9/10 to 9/18: Navajo Sing--Festival in thanksgiving for the harvest. Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman is believed to represent life, and is manifested in the harvest.
* 9/16: International Day of Peace--Day to demonstrate for peace with justice throughout the world.
* 9/22 to 9/23: Coya Rayni--Inca festival honoring Moon Goddess Quilla; focus is on purging sickness and evil.
* 9/25 to 9/28: Iroquois Squash Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the squash harvest
* 9/26: Indigenous Peoples' Day--celebrating the life-affirming spiritual traditions of indigenous peoples world-wide. [a/k/a Native Americans Day, First Nations Day]
* 10/4 to 10/7: Tewa Deer Dance--celebrating the cosmic duality of feminine and masculine. The Tewa recognize gender equality and honor both male and female ancestors.
* 10/12 (Obs. 10/13): Columbus Day--Commemorates Europeans' arrival in America (1492); day to mourn Native American victims of conquest and oppression (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Native Americans. [a/k/a Native Americans' Day, Dia de la Raza (Mexico), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)]
* 10/15: Makahki/Hawaiian New Year. Hawaiians believe the Akua (Gods and Goddesses) were created by Papa/Mother Earth and Wakea/Father Sky, who themselves were created from the chaos of Po.
* 11/2: Hopi & Zuni Ancestors' Day--Food offerings are put into rivers and lakes in honor of the ancestors.
* 11/2: Aztec Day of the Dead--Day for honoring the departed and Mictlancihuatl-Miclanteuctli, Goddess-God of the Dead. Aztecs believe all Gods are united in Great God Ometeuctli, all Goddesses are united in Great Goddess Omecihuatl, and the Great God and Goddess are united in Ometeoltl.
* 11/7: World Community Day--Day for celebrating the unity behind diversity and remembering we are all one people - all children of the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 11/12 to 11/15: Tewa Buffalo Dance--focused on healing. Tewa rites honor Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the four directions and elements of life - air of the North, earth of the East, fire of the South, and waters of the West.
* 11/20: Fast for an Abundant World Harvest--Day to fast and commit to action to help prevent deaths from malnourishment world-wide. [a/k/a Fast for a World Harvest]
* 11/23 to 12/6: Hopi & Zuni Shalako Festival--welcoming back to the pueblos the Kachinas/Kokos - Spirits of Nature and the ancestors that provide protection, health, fertility, and food.
* 11/27: Thanksgiving Day--Day to give thanks for the abundance of our land and for our food, clothes, shelter, and health.
* 12/10: Day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and fundamental rights were recognized world-wide (1948).
* 12/12: First Appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Mother of the Oppressed, at the former shrine of Aztec Moon Goddess Coatlicue (Mexico 1531).
* 12/22 to 1/10: Hopi & Zuni Soyala New Year Festival of purification and renewal. Homes are cleaned, fires doused, and personal restraint is observed.
* 12/29: Day Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended (1996); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America.
[There is not one Native American religion, nor is there one Meso American religion. Rather, there are many. All, however, are grounded in Nature and its rhythms. Likewise, there is no one Native American calendar or Meso American calendar. Native American Spirituality and Meso American Spirituality varies from tribe to tribe and from region to region.]
[The Iroquois practice the Iroquois religion in the Northeastern United States. The Cherokee practice the Cherokee religion in the Southeastern United States. The Lakota (also known as the Dakota and the Oglala Sioux) practice the Lakota religion in the North Central Plains of the United States. The Navajo (Navaho) practice the Navajo religion in the Southwestern United States. The Pueblo (including the Zuni, Tewa, and Hopi) practice the Pueblo religion in the Southwestern United States. The Aztec religion originates with the Aztecs of Central Mexico. The Mayan religion originates with the Maya of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. And the Inca religion originates with the Incas of Peru.]
[These various religions use a variety of calendars. For example, the Iroquois follows a lunisolar calendar (Iroquois calendar) in which the months begin with, and the celebrations occur at or near, the New Moon. The Navajo follows a lunisolar calendar (Navajo calendar) in which the months begin with, and the celebrations occur at, the Full Moon. And the Pueblo use a lunisolar calendar (Pueblo calendar) in which some holidays are dated from the New Moon and the Winter Solstice. However, other holidays have been given fixed dates. These holidays have been syncretized with the feast days of the Catholic saints that fell closest to the traditional dates.]
[Native American holidays included in this calendar include: Iroquois holidays, Navajo holidays, Pueblo holidays (Hopi holidays, Zuni holidays, and Tewa holidays), Lakota holidays, and Cherokee holidays. Meso American holidays included in this calendar include: Aztec holidays, Inca holidays, and Mayan holidays.]