April National Holidays
Erez Greenberg| Apr 02, 2023
One of the cultural challenges of employing workers all over the world is the recognition of national holidays and days of remembrance that are an important part of their local reality. Making mention of these days and sending well wishes as they happen can go a long way toward building bridges and affinities with your global teams, though they may be oceans away.
Here are some prominent holidays coming up in March, along with a brief description. We hope it helps you connect with and honor your employees across the world.
Full Moon Day of Tabaung (6 March) – Full Moon Day of Tabaung marks the final full moon of the year in the Burmese lunar calendar. It is said that on this day, the legendary King Uk Kapala laid the final bricks of the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Myanmar. In commemoration, Buddhists across Myanmar head to local religious sites and pray or donate offerings to the monks and nuns. Many people build small sand pagodas along the banks of the nearest river, which may be worshiped in lieu of a “true” pagoda.
Holi (8 March) – Known as the Festival of Colors, Holi among the most celebrated holidays in Hinduism. Observed at the end of winter, it carries connotations of rebirth, love, fertility, and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is most closely associated with the divine figures Radha-Krishna and Lord Vishnu. Holi celebrations begin the night before with the ceremonial burning of the demoness Holika, symbolizing the destruction of evil. The next morning, celebrants joyously smear each other with color from paint-filled water guns or balloons, creating a scene of chromatic splendor with few equals in the world.
Hola Mohalla (8 March) – Hola Mohalla is one of the central annual events for Sikh followers around the world. The three-day holiday takes many aspects of the Hindu holiday Holi (celebrated shortly before Hola Mohalla most years) and adds a number of Sikh-specific traditions, including mock battles and swordfights.
Dita e Verës (14 March) – Dita e Verës (“The Summer Day”) once marked the new year according to the old Albanian calendar, but is now celebrated more broadly as a heralding of the spring.
St. Patrick’s Day (17 March) – Known in the English-speaking world mostly by its rowdy reputation, St. Patrick’s Day has a deeper meaning to the people of Ireland. Formally a celebration of the country’s patron saint – St. Patrick is said to have brought Christianity to the island in the 6th century – the day doubles as a celebration of Ireland’s rich culture and history. March 17th is St. Patrick’s traditional death date. Many religiously inclined people head to the places in Ireland St. Patrick is thought to have visited. Parades, parties, and public celebrations are far more common in the capital, but outside of Dublin, the tone of the holiday is somewhat more muted as a day to spend with family.
Pateti (20 March) – Pateti, the Zoroastrian day of penitence, occurs on the last day of the ancient Solar Hijri calendar. In contrast to the celebratory tone of many new year’s celebrations, Pateti is often a day of introspection and penitence in which people reflect on their behavior over the previous year and pledge to improve themselves in the coming one. There is considerable variance among different Zoroastrian traditions, reflecting the religion’s long history. Gifts may be exchanged – new clothes for the coming year are especially popular – and the faithful may visit a temple in their new robes. Some also place powdered chalk designs on their front door.
Nauryz (21 March) – Translated literally as “New Day”, Nauryz is celebrated throughout Central Asia and is arguably the most important annual holiday in Kazakhstan. Timed to coincide with the ice melt, the holiday celebrates the end of winter and welcomes the new agricultural season. Nauryz is linked to Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz. As with many other spring holidays, it carries strong connotations of rebirth and renewal. Nauryz celebratory customs are both literal and symbolic. Public concerts, dance festivals, and other events marking the incoming warm months are held in many areas. Symbolically, though, it is a day where many try to practice forgiveness – settling old debts and grievances in the spirit of renewal and moving on.
Nyepi (22 March) – Nyepi is commemorated around the Balinese New Year mostly on the Indonesian island of Bali. It is a somber Hindu religious day of silence, fasting, and meditation. A kind of “reset” as one year turns into the next, Nyepi is meant to establish balance in human life and the natural world alike. Bali’s usually bustling streets and beaches shut down for the day as residents enter a period of thought and reflection on the previous year. Speaking, levity, and travelling are traditionally avoided on Nyepi, and some even observe total silence and fasting. The next day, forgiveness is typically offered to friends and family for past transgressions.
Pakistan Day (23 March) – Pakistan Day, also called Resolution Day or Republic Day, commemorates the adoption of the Pakistani Constitution in 1956, which made the country the world’s first Islamic republic. It also marks the anniversary of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which called for the creation of an independent Muslim state. The main official event is the Pakistan Day Parade in Islamabad, which is broadcast over television and radio across the country. The president also takes the opportunity to reward noted citizens and military members for exemplary patriotic service. Wreaths are laid at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, two key figures of Pakistan’s founding.
Day of Southern African Liberation (23 March) – The Day of Southern African Liberation is celebrated by members of the Southern African Development Community. It commemorates the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, an important engagement in the Angolan Civil War. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle is remembered as a turning point in decolonization and the independence of many southern African nations. Celebrations are divided between the political and the personal. Politicians and other public figures take the opportunity to celebrate the hard-won independence of the region, while most welcome the holiday as an opportunity to spend with family and friends.