Some of these commemorations and celebrations have religious roots or are celebrated in a religious way but they are primarily secular:
Fair Trade Fortnight (23 February – 8 March)
From the Fairtrade Foundation: "Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives."
Pick up a leaflet about Fairtrade in the Resource Area of the Chaplaincy.
Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January)
In the UK National Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) was first held in 2001. The date of 27 January was chosen as it is the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates all of the communities who suffered as a result of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. Some HMD commemorations also remember the genocides in other places such as Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. However, many are following the lead of Bolton in having a separate Genocide Memorial Day later in the year.
Internationally, Jews remember the Holocaust on Yom Hashoah, the date which is the closest date in the Jewish calendar to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
World Aids Day (1 December)
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system and without effective treatment the immune system will no longer be able to fight off illnesses. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope. According to some statistics, there are approximately 80,000 people living with HIV in the UK. The epidemic is still growing in the UK with around 7,000 new diagnoses every year.
There is no cure for HIV but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. HIV prejudice is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is passed on and unfounded fear of becoming infected. Encouraging those around us to talk about HIV and find out the facts can help overcome this.
- The above information has been taken from the website www.worldaidsday.org where there is more information.
Remembrance Sunday / Armistice Day (11 November)
The First World War ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 (90 years ago). On the Sunday nearest 11th November, a two minutes silence is observed around the country – often at 11.00am – to remember those who gave their lives, not only in the First World War but in all conflicts, past and present. The poppy has been a symbol of those who died because, after the First World War, the poppy was one of the few plants to thrive on the battle fields of northern France.
Calendar of Festivals and Holy Days
You can find lists of Festivals and Holy days on the following websites: