August 8, 2013
Learn more about Eid al-fitr.
August 8, 2013
Learn more about Eid al-fitr.
July 9, 2013
Learn more about Ramadan.
Armed Forces Day is always celebrated on the third Saturday in May. In 2013, Armed Forces Day falls on May 18.
Armed Forces Day was established in 1949 as a way to unify all sectors of the United States Armed Forces. It is a holiday for American citizens to come together and show appreciation for all members of our military and pay tribute to soldiers in the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy.
If you know or happen to come across a member of our military – remember to thank them for their service and support today.
May 27, 2013
Learn more about Memorial Day.
Shavuot is the second of three major Jewish holidays that occurs 50 days after Passover, another major Jewish holiday. Originally a historical and agricultural festival that marked the end of the seven weeks of the Passover barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest, Shavuot is also a religious observance of God’s presenting Moses with the Torah, or the Ten Commandments, at Mount Sinai 50 days after the Israelites left Egypt.
Shavuot is similar to the Christian holy day Pentecost, which falls 49 days after Easter Sunday and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s followers.
Shavuot is celebrated 50 days after Passover each year. Like Passover, Shavuot falls on a different day each year. This year, Shavuot falls on May 15.
Jewish people celebrate Shavuot by studying the Torah, reading the Akdamot and the Book of Ruth, decorating their homes with plants, flowers and leafy branches, and eating dairy products. In the U.S., synagogues often hold Jewish confirmation ceremonies on Shavuot. Although Shavuot is not a federal holiday in the U.S., many Jewish businesses and organizations close or limit their hours on Shavuot while Jewish people may choose to take their annual vacation around this time of year so that they have the day off.
Read more about Shavuot and its symbols and traditions.
May 20, 2013
Learn more about Victoria Day.
May 12, 2013
Learn more about Mother’s Day.
Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday prior to Easter. It marks the beginning of “Holy Week” and the final seven days of Lent. This year, Palm Sunday is on March 24, 2013.
Palm Sunday is a commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entrance into the city of Jerusalem. Crowds of his followers greeted him by waving palm branches and laying them in his path prior to his arrest and Crucifixion.
Today, Palm Sunday is celebrated through the dispersal of palm branches tied into crosses during worship services.
March 31, 2013
Learn more about Easter.
Daylight Saving Time is the practice of adjusting clocks so that the optimum amount of daylight is utilized; clocks are turned one hour forward in the spring (spring ahead) and one hour back in the fall (fall behind). It is observed in several parts of the world, most notably North America, with the exception of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What we know today as Daylight Saving Time was an idea originally introduced in 1895 by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson. He proposed a two hour daylight saving change to the Wellington Philosophical Society which received a lot of interest. Independently, outdoorsman William Willet proposed advancing clocks in the summer months in 1905, which was considered by British Parliament but not officially passed into law.
Germany launched observation of Daylight Saving Time on May 1, 1916 in an effort to conserve fuel during World War I. Many European nations followed suit, and the United States began observing Daylight Saving Time as mandated by the Standard Time Act of 1918. After the war, Daylight Saving Time was eradicated until World War II, when the federal government required states to observe the time change yet again as an endeavor to save energy for war production.
Following World War II, states chose independently whether or not they would adhere to Daylight Saving Time, which took advantage of later daylight hours between April and October. That is, until Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, legislation that would standardize Daylight Saving Time throughout the nation.
Daylight Saving Time was extended four weeks in 2007 as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The reason behind this was an attempt to save 10,000 barrels of oil every day, and lengthened Daylight Saving Time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
The benefits of Daylight Saving Time are seen in retail and business, sports, and the decrease in the amount of traffic-related accidents. The time change does present challenges as well, most notably the disruption of travel, billing, record keeping, software updates, and sleeping patterns.
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