Year 2017
Calendar
By Month...  JAN ~ FEB ~ MAR ~ APR ~ MAY ~ JUN ~ JUL ~ AUG ~ SEP ~ OCT ~ NOV ~ DEC
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Year 2017
Calendar
By Tradition...
Jewish - Kabbalah
Holidays - 2017
Christian -
Ecumenical Mysticism /
Wisdom Tradition

Holidays - 2017
Unitarian Universalist
Holidays - 2017
Muslim - Sufi
Holidays - 2017
Baha'i Holidays - 2017
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Hindu Holidays - 2017
Jain & Sikh
Holidays - 2017
Buddhist Holidays - 2017
Taoist & Shinto
Holidays - 2017
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African &
Middle-Eastern
Holidays:
Ancient Egyptian,
Santeria, Zoroastrian - 2017
Native American
(Iroquois, Navajo

& Pueblo)
& Meso American
(Inca, Mayan & Aztec)
Holidays
- 2017
Pagan Holidays:
Old Religions of Europe

(Greek, Roman, Slavic,
Celtic, Anglo-Teutonic
& Norse) - 2017
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Deep Ecology /
Environmentalist
Dates
- 2017
Social Justice /
Human Rights /

Feminist
Dates
- 2017
Peace /
Disarmament
Dates
- 2017
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Solar & Lunar Cycles,
Eclipse & Helions
- 2017
Meteor Showers - 2017
Visible Planets - 2017
Astrological Periods - 2017
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Experiential Meditations
(for lunar cycles

throughout the year)
Empowering Meditations
Action Offerings
(to help the environment 
& further social justice)
Art as Meditation
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2017 Peace / Disarmament Dates

* 1/1: World Peace Day--Day to meditate for peace throughout the world. [Universal Hour of Peace: 7:00-8:00 a.m. EST.]

* 1/1: Day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect freeing Confederate slaves (1863); day to mourn African victims of slavery and racism (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of African Americans. [President Abraham Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation on 9/22/1862.] [Text of Emancipation Proclamation] [While some Europeans (with the help of Africans) enslaved Africans in the past, not all Europeans at the time approved of slavery or the slave trade. Some actively opposed it. And no ethnic European alive today participated in slavery or the slave trade. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the governments of the countries that participated, it is immoral to blame all ethnic Europeans today for the evil committed by some Europeans in the past.]

* 1/1: Day the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.) was created (1995). Day to peacefully demonstrate to ensure that international trade complies with international and domestic standards concerning human rights, environmental protection, consumer protection, and labor practices. [See W.T.O. website. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and human rights generally: by Caroline Dommen, by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, by Gabrielle Marceau, and by Steve Charnovitz; and by 3dThree (Trade-Human Rights-Equitable Economy in the context of agriculture. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and the environment: the W.T.O.'s perspective; Public Citizen's perspective; and Greenpeace's perspective. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and consumer protection: by Public Citizen. See also analysis of the W.T.O. and labor rights: by the W.T.O. and by Foreign Policy in Focus.]

* 1/7: Mindfulness Day--Zen Buddhist day for being mindful of the peace, joy, and beauty of the moment.

* 1/10: Day North Korea (D.P.R.K.) withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (2003). [About North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program] [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: signed 7/1/1968; entered into force 3/5/1970.] [Text of Convention] [The International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) is authorized to enforce compliance with the Treaty. For more information, see I.A.E.A. website; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Nuke Guide.]

* 1/13: Death day of George Fox (1691), founder of the Quakers. Quakers experience Deity within and practice egalitarianism, social activism, and peacefulness. [Born 7/1624: exact date unknown]

* 1/15 (Obs. 1/16): Birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929), Baptist preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of African Americans. [Death day 4/4/1968]

* 1/16: Day El Salvador's 12-year civil war ended (1992); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. [The 12-year civil war between leftist rebels and the military government of El Salvador ended 1/16/1992.] [See Wikipedia article on the Salvadoran Civil War. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: El Salvador.]

* 1/26: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Somalia. [The Somali civil war has been ongoing since the socialist government of Siad Barre was ousted on 1/26/1991. (Barre had ruled since a 10/21/1969 military coup d'etat.) Somaliland declared its independence on 5/18/1991 and has been autonomous since. Multiple rebel groups vied for power over the remainder of Somalia. The U.N.'s peacekeeping mission from 1992-1995 attempted to provide order and humanitarian relief, but was unsuccessful. On its withdrawal, factions consolidated control over different parts of Somalia. A federal transitional government was formed on 5/5/2000 and an internationally-recognized government was inaugurated on 8/20/2012.] [In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist organization, occupied the south, but were ousted by the end of the year. Al-Shabaab (a/k/a Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen) formed when the Islamic Courts Union splintered. Al-Shabaab has been fighting government troops since that time. It has occupied parts of southern and central Somalia since 2007, imposing a severe form of Islamic law (Sharia) on those under its control. Al-Shabaab is grounded in Sunni Islam, while Somalis are largely Sufi Muslims. Al-Shabaab has attacked Sufi clerics, mosques, and shrines. Al-Shabaab has also attempted to eliminate "western" influences and has banned the teaching of science in schools. People caught not attending the mandatory prayers have been flogged. Women have also been flogged for wearing traditional Somali clothing (instead of expensive imported abayas), for engaging in commerce, and for mixing with men. Those accused of some crimes have had limbs amputated or been executed.] [In 2012, Al-Shabaab Emir Mukhtar Abu Zubair (Ahmed Abdi Godane) announced a merger with Al-Qaeda and planned international attacks. However, Al-Shabaab Deputy Emir Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansur) opposed this alliance and wanted Al-Shabaab to focus on the Islamization of Somalia. Following Ahmed Abdi Godane's death in 2014, Emir Abu Ubaidah (Ahmad Umar) confirmed the alliance with Al-Qaeda.] [Somali government troops have been aided by Ethiopian troops (2006-2009), African Union troops (since 2007), and U.S. airstrikes. During the course of the war, thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.] [See Wikipedia articles on Somali Civil War, Somaliland, Transitional Federal Government, Federal Government of Somalia, and Al-Shabaab (Militant Group).] [For information on the human rights situation in Somalia, see Human Rights Watch report: Somalia; Amnesty International report: Somalia.] [Al-Shabaab violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect, and violates Islam's mandate to promote the pursuit of knowledge.]

* 1/27 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [For discussion of the Shekhinah as the feminine Divine Presence honored at Rosh Chodesh, see Wikipedia article on Shekhinah and "Women and Rosh Chodesh" from My Jewish Learning.] ["Elohim" is a masculine plural of a feminine Hebrew word that refers to a singular Deity whose unity incorporates both masculine and feminine elements. See Wikipedia article on Elohim. Kabbalists believe that estrangement between the Divine masculine and feminine elements has resulted in violence, injustice, and environmental destruction, but human action can bring about reparation and reunification. See "The History of 'Tikkun Olam'" by Jill Jacobs. While Kabbalists, Jewish feminists, the Jewish Renewal Movement, and many Reconstructionist and Reform Jews perceive Elohim as gender-inclusive, other Jews do not. Some Jews of all denominations perceive Elohim as genderless, but most Orthodox and Conservative Jews perceive Elohim as exclusively male. See "The Divine Feminine in Kabbalah: An Example of Jewish Renewal" from My Jewish Learning.] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat, Rosh Chodesh Shivat, Rosh Chodesh Shivath, Rosh Chodesh Shevat, beginning of the Jewish month of Shevat]

* 1/31 eve to 2/1 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Gamelion 4]

* 2/1 to 2/28: February dedicated to Old Roman God-Goddess Februus-Februa - purifier and protector of the home. Homes were cleaned and blessed, offerings of reparation were given, and peace was made.

* 2/2: Day Iran ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970). Despite ratification of this Treaty, in violation of this Treaty, Iran is believed to be attempting to develop nuclear weapons. [About Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program.] [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: signed 7/1/1968; entered into force 3/5/1970.] [Text of Convention] [The International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) is authorized to enforce compliance with the Treaty. For more information, see I.A.E.A. website; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Nuke Guide.]

* 2/7: Birthday of Frederick Douglass (1817), non-violent advocate for the rights of African Americans. [Death day 2/20/1895]

* 2/13: Birthday of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (1835). He advocated a peaceable form of Islam that rejects violent jihad. He believed he was a divine reformer and the Mahdi, who would rid the world of evil in the end days. [Death day 5/26/1908] [Ahmadis, Sufis, and many Sunnis and Shia's reject violent jihad. Jihad is conceived to be an inner struggle against evil of all kinds.]

* 2/15: Birthday of Susan B. Anthony (1820), non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Death day 3/13/1906] [a/k/a Susan B. Anthony Day]

* 2/17 to 2/18 (A 3/30 to 3/31): Old Egyptian festival of Neteret Bastet, Cat Goddess who protects the home and fosters domestic harmony. [Kemetic calendar] [Alexandrian calendar 3/30 to 3/31] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Paenrenenutet days 4-5]

* 2/19: Day President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the internment of loyal Japanese Americans during World War II (1942); day to mourn Asian victims of internment and exclusion (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Asian Americans. [The internment was authorized by Executive Order 9066.] [While Emperor Hirohito's Japanese government attacked the U.S., Japanese Americans did not authorize or approve of the attack. While it was appropriate to blame the Japanese government for the war against the U.S., it was immoral to blame all ethnic Japanese for the acts of the Japanese government.]

* 2/20: Social Justice Day--Day to affirm that social justice is a moral imperative, encompassing equal rights, freedoms, and protections under law. [A peaceful world is a world in which social justice is realized, where there are no barriers or mistreatment because of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, nationality, age, or disability.] [See U.N. website on World Day of Social Justice.] [a/k/a World Day of Social Justice, World Social Justice Day]

* 2/22: Caristia--Old Roman festival for renewing family ties and patching up quarrels. [Roman calendar]

* 2/22 (Obs. 2/20): Birthday of George Washington (1732), first president of the U.S. [Though he was a revolutionary war general, he ensured that the military was subordinate to the civilian government and that the transition of power from one administration to the next was peaceful and orderly.] [Death day 12/14/1799] [a/k/a President's Day] [As Presidents' Day, Abraham Lincoln's birthday (2/12/1809) is also celebrated.]

* 2/25: Sojong Day--Tibetan Buddhist day of fasting, confession, and reparation for harm done. [Observed primarily by monks and nuns.] [a/k/a Sojong Chemno]

* 3/1: Day the production and use of landmines was outlawed world-wide (1999); day to mourn their victims. [Protocol on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps, and Other Devices a/k/a Convention on Landmines a/k/a Mine Ban Treaty, amending the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects: Treaty signed/adopted 10/10/1980; entered into force 12/2/1983; Protocol signed 12/3/1997; entered into force 3/1/1999.] [Text of Convention] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [10 countries are believed to still be manufacturing landmines; some countries and armed groups are still laying them. There were between 60 and 70 million landmines in the ground of 70+ countries. Though cheap to produce and easy to lay, removal is costly, difficult, and dangerous. Landmines often have remained in the ground years after hostilities have ceased. Landmines maim and kill civilians, including children. Those that survive endure a lifetime of hardship.] [For more information, see International Campaign to Ban Landmines (I.C.B.L.) website; Landmine Monitor website.] [The U.N. has designated 4/4 International Day for Mine Awareness.]

* 3/1 to 4/15 (OC 2/27 to 4/7): Ash Wednesday (Pure Monday) and Lent--Christian time of purification by self-reflection, peace-making, reparation for harm done, and helping those in need. [On Ash Wednesday or Pure Monday, a fast day, a cross of ashes is imposed on foreheads of Christians. They are reminded of their mortality and exhorted to repent of their sins. Some observe a Lenten "fast" and abstain from meat on Fridays throughout Lent.] [See prayers for Ash Wednesday and prayers for Lent.] [Lenten “fasts” in atonement for sin take many forms. Some use Lent to give up an unhealthy or undesirable habit (e.g., drugs, alcohol, smoking, snacks, or desserts). Some use Lent to start a healthy or desirable habit (e.g., exercise routine, dance work-out, yoga, or tai chi). Some use Lent to improve relationships (e.g., reach out to estranged family members, take an anger management class, or start marriage counseling). Others use Lent to help others (e.g., volunteer at a soup kitchen or lobby for a social justice issue). And others use Lent to help the environment (e.g., participate in “clean-ups” or lobby for an environmental issue).] [For most Protestants who observe Lent (including Anglicans/Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans), Lent ends on Holy Saturday. But for Catholics, Lent ends on Holy Thursday; and for Orthodox Christians, Lent ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday. Even in denominations where Lent ends before Holy Saturday, Holy Week fasts continue until the Easter Vigil.] [Lenten Truce (through Easter): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a meal for peace.] [a/k/a Clean Monday and Great Lent (OC)]

* 3/2 to 3/20: Baha'i feast honoring the one Deity as 'Ala' - Loftiness. Followed by the Fast - time of purification by fasting from sunrise to sunset. ['Ala' Truce (through Naw Ruz): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share an evening meal for peace.] [a/k/a 'Ala' Fast, Period of the Fast]

* 3/8: International Women's Day--Day to mourn victims of gender-based oppression and misogyny (past and present), make peace, and celebrate women's empowerment. [See U.N. website on International Women's Day; A history of International Women's Day.]

* 3/8: Vigil for peace, democratic government, and respect for the human rights of all in Syria. [The 2011 unrest that grew out of the "Arab Spring" revolution became a civil war between the government and various factions, including both pro-democratic and Sunni Islamist groups. In the course of this war, the Syrian government has committed human rights abuses and used chemical weapons against civilians. See Wikipedia article on Syrian Civil War.] [Following subjugation of areas in Iraq and Syria, on 6/29/2014, the organization that now calls itself the "Islamic State" (p/k/a Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad/Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri), declared a world-wide Islamic caliphate. However, it has not been recognized as a government or an Islamic caliphate. (To be recognized as an Islamic caliphate, it must be recognized by Islamic clerics and the Muslim populace throughout the world. The caliph must be chosen by Allah and elected by the Muslim people.) "Islamic State" has committed human rights abuses against civilians (primarily against Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks, Mandeans, and Shi'a Muslims). Thousands have been massacred, tortured, and forced to convert. Non-Muslim women and girls have been raped and sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriages"). It has imposed an extreme form of Islamic law on those under its control and has killed civilian Sunni Muslims who refuse to pledge allegiance to it. And it has committed war crimes against Syrian and Iraqi combatants.] ["Islamic State" has allied itself with militant groups, and claimed territory, in Libya, Sinai, Algeria, and elsewhere. It has also threatened international attacks.] ["Islamic State" violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to protect "People of the Scripture", and violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect.] [See Wikipedia article on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. For information on the human rights situation in Syria, see Human Rights Watch report: Syria; Amnesty International report: Syria.] [3/8 is Syria's national holiday. March 8 Revolution Day celebrates the day the Baath Party seized power by coup d'etat in 1963.]

* 3/20: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Iraq. [The Iraq War officially lasted from 3/20/2003 to 12/18/2011.] [About the invasion of Iraq] [See Wikipedia article on the Iraq War.] [Following subjugation of areas in Iraq and Syria, on 6/29/2014, the organization that now calls itself the "Islamic State" (p/k/a Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad/Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri), declared a world-wide Islamic caliphate. However, it has not been recognized as a government or an Islamic caliphate. (To be recognized as an Islamic caliphate, it must be recognized by Islamic clerics and the Muslim populace throughout the world. The caliph must be chosen by Allah and elected by the Muslim people.) "Islamic State" has committed human rights abuses against civilians (primarily against Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks, Mandeans, and Shi'a Muslims). Thousands have been massacred, tortured, and forced to convert. Non-Muslim women and girls have been raped and sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriages"). It has imposed an extreme form of Islamic law on those under its control and has killed civilian Sunni Muslims who refuse to pledge allegiance to it. And it has committed war crimes against Syrian and Iraqi combatants.] ["Islamic State" has allied itself with militant groups, and claimed territory, in Libya, Sinai, Algeria, and elsewhere. It has also threatened international attacks.] ["Islamic State" violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to protect "People of the Scripture", and violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect.] [See Wikipedia article on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. For information on the human rights situation in Iraq, see Human Rights Watch report: Iraq; Amnesty International report: Iraq.]

* 3/20: Day Pope Francis urged members of all religions and those who have no religion to unite to defend peace, justice, and the environment (2013). [He said: ''We must do much for the good of the poorest, the weak, and those who are suffering, to favor justice, promote reconciliation, and build peace." We must recognize our joint responsibility "to our world, to all of creation, which we have to love and protect."]

* 3/23: Day the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1889). Ahmadi Muslims preach love for all, hatred for none. [See the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community website.] [Ahmadis are persecuted by Sunni Muslims in Pakistan and Indonesia; they are harassed in Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Egypt. See Ahmadi website documenting their mistreatment. Vigil for the end of persecution of Ahmadis by other Muslims and for religious tolerance of all Muslims by all Muslims.]

* 3/26: Birthday of Leonard Nimoy (1931), who played Spock in "Star Trek". He taught the importance of thinking, learning, and logic. [He showed that the psyche needs more than courage (Captain James Kirk/William Shatner) and caution (Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy/DeForest Kelley) to overcome the challenges of life; it needs logic. He showed that logic can make the ego impervious to mistreatment and bullying. He showed that logic can help determine justice and resolve conflict. And he showed that compassion is logical.] [Death day 2/27/2015]

* 3/26: Day production and use of biological weapons was outlawed world-wide (1975); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction a/k/a Biological Weapons Convention: signed 4/10/1972; entered into force 3/26/1975.] [Text of Convention] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [A working group of signatories has been negotiating a draft Biological Weapons Convention protocol since 1995, to create an enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with the Convention. The Protocol would authorize U.N. inspectors to inspect facilities for biological weapons. On 7/25/2001, the U.S. repudiated the draft, but did not offer an effective alternative. No verification protocol has been agreed upon yet.] [20 countries are believed to have current or past biological weapons programs. Countries believed to have current biological weapons programs are Iran, Syria, Israel, North Korea, China, and Russia.] [All biological weapons should be destroyed under the supervision of U.N. weapons inspectors. Use of these weapons cannot be justified under any circumstances and would constitute a crime against humanity, whether used by a terrorist organization or state. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act (even if ordered to) is legally culpable.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Biological Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention website; Stimson Biological & Chemical Weapons webpage; Monterey Institute of International Studies Chemical & Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program webpage; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.]

* 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]

* 3/31 eve to 4/1 eve: Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Hermes--Day to honor the divine feminine and divine masculine in harmony. [Elaphebolion 4]

* 4/1: Veneralia--Old Roman festival celebrating Venus (Goddess of Peace) vanquishing Mars (God of War) with love. She nurtures peace, friendship, and love; and punishes war-mongers, hate-mongers, and false friends and lovers. [Roman calendar]

* 4/2: Day the Arms Trade Treaty was adopted (2013), to regulate the international trade in conventional arms, to foster peace and security in areas of conflict, and to prevent human rights abusers and law of war violators from obtaining arms. [Arms Trade Treaty a/k/a A.T.T. adopted by the U.N. General Assembly 4/2/2013; signed 6/3/2013; not yet in force.] [Text of Treaty] [Over 80 countries have signed the A.T.T. The U.S. voted for its adoption but has not yet signed it. Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the National Rifle Association oppose the A.T.T.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Arms Trade Treaty. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website. And see Amnesty International website; Oxfam America website.]

* 4/6: Day the Hutus began genocidal massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda (1994); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Africa. [Over 800,000 were killed.] [See U.N. website on  remembrance of the Rwanda genocide.] [For more information, see BBC report; Peace Pledge Union article on the Rwanda Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Rwanda.]

* 4/6: President Barack Obama issued his Nuclear Posture Review, envisioning a world without nuclear weapons, renouncing development of new nuclear weapons, and barring nuclear attack against non-nuclear-weapon states who are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (2010). [See U.S. Defense Department website.]

* 4/8: Day the U.S. and the Russian Federation concluded the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) to reduce the number of active nuclear weapons from 2,200 to 1,550 and create a new inspection and verification regime (2010). [The New START Treaty entered into force on 2/5/2011 and will expire on 2/5/2021, if not extended.] [See Wikipedia article on New START.]

* 4/9: Day commemorating the birth of Mahavira Vardhamana Jnatrputra (599 BCE), founder of the Jain faith. Jainas practice harmlessness, simplicity, and charity to attain enlightenment and unity with Deity. [599-527 BCE: exact dates unknown] [a/k/a Mahavir Jayanti, Mahavira Jayanti, Mahavir Bhagwan's Janma Kalyanak] [Chaitra Shukla 13]

* 4/10 eve to 4/18 eve: Passover/Pesach--Jewish festival recalling their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and celebrating freedom from oppression. [Observed with dietary restrictions, the seder meal (representing their hardships), and recitation of the Haggadah (relating the Exodus).] [See "How is This Haggadah Different?" (reviews of various Passover Haggadot) from My Jewish Learning.] [And see "Judaism and Human Rights" by Rabbi David Rosen and Declaration on Judaism and Human Rights. See also Rabbis for Human Rights website. Rabbis for Human Rights (Shomrei Mishpat) is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. It advocates for justice, equality, and recognition of the human rights of all in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. But see Human Rights Watch report: Israel.] [Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate 7 days instead of 8 days; the first and last days are holy.] [Passover Truce: Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a seder for peace.] [a/k/a Pesah, Feast of Unleavened Bread] [Nisan 15-22]

* 4/11: Day Pope John XXIII called for world peace, recognition of human rights, and justice under law (1963). He recognized that peace will only be realized when social justice is realized. [The Pope believed that it is the function of government to create a juridical order, in harmony with the moral order. He recognized that each person is vested with rights and duties that are universal, inviolable, and inalienable. The Pope said that each person has: the right to live, the right to the means necessary for life, the right to freedom of speech, the right to pursue the profession of choice, the right to an education and to receive information about public events, the right to religious freedom, the right to found a family, the right to work, the right to a just and living wage and work conditions conducive to family life, the right to own property, the right of meeting and association, the right to emigrate and immigrate, the right to participate in public life, and the right to legal protection of these rights. He indicated that government, with due regard for the equality of all, has a duty to accommodate the rights and duties of all, preventing the rights of some to impede the rights of others. Government must be particularly concerned with the welfare of the weak, minority groups, and refugees. The Pope believed that governments should, in their international relations, also act with truth, justice, and respect. He also believed that wealthier countries should aid the poorer ones. He encouraged countries to work together through the United Nations and other international entities. The Pope condemned the arms race and the development of nuclear weapons, and said that disarmament is necessary for world peace. He disapproved of war, recognizing that weapons of mass destruction could not serve justice.] [This is expressed in Pope John XXIII's Encyclical on Peace on Earth.]

* 4/14 to 4/25 (Icelandic 4/20, Old Icelandic 4/13): Old Norse Summer Days Feast--Offerings were made to the Deities (particularly Odin, Thor, and Freyr) for success, peace, and plenty. Toasts of mead and ale were made in honor of the Deities. [a/k/a Summer's Day, Sumardag, Sommerdag, Summer Blot, Sumarblot, Sigrblot, Odinblot, Freyjablot, Thorrablot, Sifblot, Freyrblot]

* 4/17: Day Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge, who caused the deaths of more than a million civilians (1975); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in East Asia. [For more information, see Yale Cambodian Genocide Study; Peace Pledge Union article on the Cambodian Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Cambodia.]

* 4/19: Day Nicaragua's 9-year civil war ended (1990); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Central America. [The 9-year civil war between rebels and the government of Nicaragua ended 4/19/1990.] [See Wikipedia article on History of Nicaragua (1979-1990). For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Nicaragua.]

* 4/21 to 5/2: Ridvan--Baha'i celebration of Baha'u'llah's declaration identifying himself as the New Prophet. [Ridvan Truce: Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a meal for peace.] [a/k/a Twelve Days of Ridvan]

* 4/24: Day the genocidal massacres of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians began in Ottoman Turkey (1915); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Greater Anatolia. [During and after World War I, 1.5 million Armenians, 500,000 Greeks, and 300,000 Assyrians were killed. Able-bodied males were summarily executed or conscripted into forced labor. Women, children, the elderly, and the infirm were forced on death marches into the Syrian desert. The Ottoman government and the "Young Turks" were motivated primarily by ethnic nationalism to rid Turkey of non-Turks, but they also used religion to foster hostility against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. Most Turks were Muslim, while most Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were Christian.] [The government of Turkey refuses to acknowledge the deaths to have been an "ethnic cleansing", genocide, or a crime against humanity.] [On 4/24/1915, 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were detained in Constantinople; they were later executed.] [a/k/a 1915 Genocide, Armenian Genocide, Medz Yeghern, Greek Genocide, Assyrian Genocide, Seyfo] [See Genocide 1915 website; Wikipedia article on Armenian Genocide; Wikipedia article on Greek Genocide; Wikipedia article on Assyrian Genocide; BBC article "Q&A: Armenian Genocide Dispute".] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Using mass deportations or systematic murder to rid a country of another ethnic group or religion is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Muslims, Christians, Jews, or another religious group.]

* 4/24: Holocaust Remembrance Day--Day to mourn Jewish victims of genocide and anti- Semitism, make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Jewish Americans -- and Jews everywhere. [Motivated by ethnic nationalism, the Nazi government attempted to rid Germany and other areas under its control of "non-Aryan races". 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis because of their ethnicity and religion. Another 5 million Slavs and Roma were also killed because of their ethnicity.] [See Wikipedia article on the Holocaust; BBC Analysis: "Genocide Under the Nazis".] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Using mass deportations or systematic murder to rid a country of another ethnic or religious group is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Christians, Jews, Muslims, or another religious group.] [a/k/a Yom Hashoa, Yom Hashoah, Yom HaShoah] [Nisan 27]

* 4/29: Day production and use of chemical weapons was outlawed world-wide (1997); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons a/k/a Chemical Weapons Convention: signed 1/13/1993; entered into force 4/29/1997.] [Text of Convention] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.) is authorized to enforce compliance with the Treaty. See O.P.C.W. webpage.] [26 countries are believed to have current or past chemical weapons programs. Countries known to currently have chemical weapons include the U.S., Russia, Libya, Iran, Syria, and North Korea. The U.S., Russia, and Libya are in the process of destroying them. China, Pakistan, Egypt, and Israel are also believed to currently have chemical weapons.] [All chemical weapons should be destroyed under the supervision of O.P.C.W. inspectors. Use of these weapons cannot be justified under any circumstances and would constitute a crime against humanity, whether used by a terrorist organization or state. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act (even if ordered to) is legally culpable.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Chemical Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention website; Stimson Biological & Chemical Weapons webpage; Monterey Institute of International Studies Chemical & Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program webpage; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.] [a/k/a Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare] [See U.N. website on Chemical Warfare Victims Remembrance Day.]

* 4/29 eve to 4/30 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Mounikhion 4]

* 5/5: Cinco de Mayo--Day celebrating Mexico's victory over occupying French forces; day to mourn Hispanic victims of exploitation (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Hispanic Americans. [On 5/5/1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated 8,000 better-equipped French soldiers at the Battle of Puebla.]

* 5/10 eve: Nisfu Sha'ban--Muslim night of repentance for all harm done. [The following day, Allah determines the fate of all for the coming year.] [For views on attaining inner peace and world peace through Islam, see "Islam and World Peace - Explanations of a Sufi" by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and "The Quran and World Peace" by Dr. Israr Ahmad. See also Muslim Peace Fellowship, an organization that advocates use of non-violent means to attain justice and positive social transformation.] [a/k/a Nisf Sha'ban, Lailatul-Bara'at, Lailutul-Bara'at] [night following Sha'ban 14]

* 5/14 (Obs. 5/2): Israel's Independence Day (1948). [The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel of 5/14/1948 asserts that Israel: "will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations." The Declaration also promises the Arabs living there "full and equal citizenship". But the Declaration also declares Israel to be a "Jewish state".] [See Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.] [Since its establishment, Israel has laudably provided citizenship to Jews everywhere to enable them to "return" to Israel to avoid persecution and discrimination. See Wikipedia article on Law of Return. But it has denied the right of return to the Palestinian Muslim inhabitants who fled during the conflict at its founding in 1948. Many of those refugees and their descendants continue to be stateless. This exclusion is a source of ongoing conflict. See Wikipedia article on Palestinian Right of Return.] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Excluding or disempowering another ethnic or religious group is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Jews, Muslims, Christians, or another religious group.] [a/k/a Yom Ha'atzmaut] [Observed Iyar 5]

* 5/15: Family Day--Day to celebrate family and reach out to estranged family members. [See U.N. website on International Day of Families.] [a/k/a International Day of Families, World Family Day]

* 5/17: Day Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war ended (2009); vigil for true peace, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in Sri Lanka. [Sri Lanka's civil war arose out of the legal preference given to the Sinhala people, the Sinhalese language, and the Buddhist religion over the Tamil people, the Tamil language, and the Hindu religion. The Sri Lankan civil war lasted from 7/23/1983 to 5/17/2009, when the Sinhalese-dominated government defeated the LTTE/Tamil Tigers, which had sought a separate Tamil state.] [See Wikipedia article on the Sri Lankan Civil War. For a timeline on the conflict, see BBC News website. For information on the peace process, see Sri Lankan government peace process website; National Peace Council of Sri Lanka website. For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Sri Lanka; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Sri Lanka.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion, language, and ethnicity.]

* 5/21: Death day of Jane Addams (1935), social worker, feminist, and peace advocate. [Birthday 9/6/1860]

* 5/22: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Yemen. [President Ali Abdullah Saleh had been president of Yemen since its unification in 1990, and had been president of North Yemen since 1978. Saleh's government had been opposed as corrupt since 1994. The minority Shi'a Muslims (in the north) felt discriminated against by the predominant Sunni Muslims (in the south). Saleh's government had been fighting Shi'a Houthi militants in North Yemen since 2004. Saleh's government had been fighting separatists in South Yemen since 2009. Yemen is the stronghold of Sunni Islamic terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (a/k/a AQAP), and Saleh's government had been fighting them since 2010. Saleh was forced to resign in 2011, following mass protests over his attempt to become president for life. Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi took over and was subsequently elected president in 2012. Hadi was ousted by Houthi militants in 2015.] [See Wikipedia articles on the Yemeni Revolution, Houthi Insurgency in Yemen, South Yemen Insurgency, and Al-Qaeda Insurgency in Yemen.] [5/22 is Yemen's Unity Day, marking the unification of North Yemen and South Yemen in 1990.]

* 5/26 eve to 6/24 eve: Ramadan--Muslim month of purification by self-reflection, fasting from sunrise to sunset, peace-making, and helping those in need. [Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex. A communal banquet (iftar) is shared each night after sunset. The entire Qur'an is read or recited during Ramadan.] [The ill, the elderly, the young, pregnant women, nursing women, and menstruating women are exempt from the fast.] [Ramadan Truce (through Eid al-Fitr): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share an iftar for peace.]

* 5/29: Memorial Day--Day to honor all soldiers who fought honorably and died in war, to mourn all of war's victims, and to contemplate all the horrors of war.

* 5/29: Vigil for peace, freedom of religion, and respect for the human rights of all in Nigeria. [Secular law protects freedom of religion in central and southern Nigeria, where the population is Muslim, Christian, and traditional Yoruba. But in northern Nigeria, where Muslims predominate and Christians are a minority, despite constitutional protections, Islamic law (Sharia) has been imposed in 12 states, beginning in 2000.] [Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram (a/k/a Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad/People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad), has also been attempting to overthrow the secular Nigerian government and impose its extreme form of Islam on the population since 2009. Boko Haram was founded by Mohammed Yusuf and, since his death in 2009, has been led by Emir Abubakar Shekau. Boko Haram opposes the "westernization" of Nigeria. It has taken control of many northern Nigerian towns. It has destroyed churches, mosques, and schools. It has abducted and killed thousands of civilians, both Christians and moderate Muslims, many of whom are children. Non Muslims under their control have been forced to convert. Unmarried women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriage"). Since 2013, Boko Haram has also made incursions into Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. In 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to "Islamic State".] [See Wikipedia articles on Sharia in Nigeria and on Boko Haram Insurgency. See also Human Rights Watch report: Nigeria; Amnesty International report: Nigeria.] [Boko Haram violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to protect "People of the Scripture", violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect, and violates Islam's mandate to promote the pursuit of knowledge.] [5/29 is Nigeria's Democracy Day. Military rule was replaced with constitutional democracy on 5/29/1999.]

* 6/4: Day to mourn the massacre of the peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (1989); vigil for democracy and respect for the human rights of all in China. [For information on the human rights situation in China, see Human Rights Watch report: China; Amnesty International report: China.]

* 6/10: National Hoodie Day--Wear a hoodie to remember all victims of vigilante "justice". [6/10/2013 was the first day of George Zimmerman's trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. It is undisputed that Zimmerman was the aggressor (he pursued and confronted Martin), that Zimmerman was armed (with a gun) and Martin was not, and that Zimmerman could have waited for the police to intervene (he spoke to the police before the confrontation). Zimmerman does not even allege that Martin committed a felony (or any other crime) in his presence. But he was found not guilty due to Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows an aggressor to use deadly force against someone who had not posed an imminent threat before the aggressor acted. "Stand your ground" is not consistent with traditional principles of "self defense". "Self defense" only allows a non-aggressor to use force to prevent imminent injury or repel an attack by an aggressor when law enforcement is not present. It requires use of the least amount of force necessary, and requires retreat, where possible, outside of one's home or car. Deadly force is not allowed unless there is a reasonable fear of serious injury or death.]

* 6/11: Birthday of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881), founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. He perceived Deity to be a genderless Cosmic Force of Nature, and promoted a Judaism that recognizes gender equality and rejects violence and social injustice. [Death day 11/8/1983] [See article on Mordecai Kaplan.] [Rabbi Kaplan wrote "The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion" and "Judaism as a Civilization".] [Reconstructionist Judaism values personal autonomy and democratic decision-making as well as religious law and tradition. It embraces science and diverse views of Deity. It exhorts Jews to work for progressive ethical and social evolution in Judaism and society. See "Who is a Reconstructionist Jew?" by the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. See also Jewish Reconstructionist Federation website.]

* 6/13: Day the leaked "Pentagon Papers" were first published in the New York Times (1971). Day to consider the compelling interest in revealing secret information -- that does not pose a threat to national security and should be easily accessible in a transparent system -- to serve as a check on government powers and preserve democracy. Using secrecy classifications to hide such information is both illegal and immoral. [Defense Secretary Robert McNamara commissioned the Vietnam Study Task Force to draft the officially entitled "United States -- Vietnam Relations, 1945 1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense". The papers revealed that President Lyndon Johnson had lied to the public about an alleged North Vietnamese attack on U.S. ships and used that as a basis for starting the war in Vietnam. The press published the lie without investigating the facts. The papers also showed that the government was using secrecy classifications to hide information that constituted no threat to national security. See Daniel Ellsberg, "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers". See also website on America's War in Vietnam.] [The Nixon administration attempted to stop publication of the papers, but the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment guaranteed the right to publish them.] [New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)] [Text of case]

* 6/13: Day the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (2002). Day to lobby the U.S. to reconsider. [Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (between U.S. & U.S.S.R.): signed 5/26/1972; entered into force 10/3/1972.] [Text of Convention]

* 6/21: Old Slavic Kupala--Goddess Morana/Lada and God Jarilo/Lado marry, bringing peace and ensuring a good harvest. Celebrated with ritual bathing, feasting, dancing around bonfires, and coupling. [a/k/a Noc Kupaly, Sobotka]

* 6/24: First appearance of Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of Peace, Mother of All Peoples (Yugoslavia 1981).

* 6/24 eve to 6/27 eve: Eid al-Fitr--Muslim festival celebrating the end of Ramadan. [Muslims break the fast with sweets and celebrate with large meals. Special prayers are recited and offerings are made to help the needy. Muslims ask for Allah's forgiveness, peace, and blessings for all living beings around the world; they also extend forgiveness to those who have harmed them. Muslims exchange greetings, visit one another, and give gifts to children.] [a/k/a Eid-al-Fitr, Id al-Fitr, Eidul-Fitr] [Shawwal 1-3]

* 6/26: Day the United Nations Security Council was created to maintain world peace (1945). [The Security Council is authorized to investigate international disputes, recommend appropriate measures to resolve disputes, and require disputing countries to seek peaceful means of dispute resolution, including the International Court of Justice. If there is a threat or an actual breach of the peace or an act of aggression, the Security Council may take whatever measures are necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security, including use of economic sanctions, peacekeepers, and military force.] [Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (who have veto power) are the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, and China. 10 other countries rotate on and off of the U.N. Security Council.] [The Security Council is empowered by U.N. Charter Articles 23-51.] [U.N. Charter signed 6/26/1945; entered into force 10/24/1945.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V] [For more information, see U.N. Security Council website; United Nations website; Global Policy Forum website; United Nations Association website.]

* 6/26: Day the Supreme Court (5-4) ruled that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution creates a right for an individual to possess and use firearms in federal enclaves, unconnected with service in a militia, despite the Second Amendment's express limitation of the right to bear arms for maintenance of a militia (2008). [Though it struck down federal bans on possession and use of firearms in "common use", the Court affirmed that there is no right to possess or use "dangerous and unusual" firearms. It also limited the right to self defense and other "traditional lawful purposes". The Court also affirmed previous decisions upholding bans on concealed weapons, bans on possession or use of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, bans on carrying firearms into sensitive places (e.g., schools and government buildings), and regulations imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.] [District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)] [Text of case] [The Supreme Court (5-4) later ruled that this right cannot be infringed by state or local governments either.] [McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010)] [Text of case] [Text of Second Amendment] [For statistics on gun violence in the U.S., demonstrating the need for gun control in the U.S., see Legal Community Against Violence website; Stop Handgun Violence website. For a comparison of gun laws by country, see Wikipedia article on gun politics. For a comparison of murders with guns by country, see NationMaster website.]

* 6/27: Day to meditate on the obscenity of violence, on its corruptive influence on children and adults, and on its adverse impact on our families, communities, country, and world. [Violence includes child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse, and animal abuse. Violence includes robbery, assault, rape, torture, dismemberment, and murder. Violence includes hate crimes and terrorist attacks.] [Day the Supreme Court ruled that children have a right to access violent video games over their parents' objection, giving violent "speech" the same protection as political "speech" instead of recognizing it as "obscenity" which is accorded no protection.] [Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, _ U.S. _ (2011)] [Text of case]

* 6/27 eve to 6/28 eve: Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Hermes--Day to honor the divine feminine and divine masculine in harmony. [Skirophorion 4]

* 6/28: First day of the Stonewall riot (1969); day to mourn victims of homophobia (past and present), make peace, and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender empowerment. [Rioting occurred June 28-29, 1969. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders participated in the riots, following a raid on the Stonewall Inn, an LGBT hang-out in Greenwich Village, New York.]

* 6/30: Vigil for peace, religious freedom, the end of slavery, and respect for the human rights of all in Sudan. [About the Darfur crisis] [For more information on the Darfur conflict, see Global Security website and Wikipedia article on War in Darfur. And for information on the conflict between north and south Sudan, see Wikipedia article on the Second Sudanese Civil War (which ultimately resulted in the secession of South Sudan on 7/9/2011). See also BBC News Sudan Profile. For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Sudan; Amnesty International report: Sudan; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Sudan.] [6/30 is Sudan's Revolution Day, the day in 1989 when Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a military coup d'etat against Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi. The military government suspended political parties and introduced Islamic law.]

* 7/1: Day the world's nations committed to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons (1968); vigil to protest the production and use of all nuclear weapons world-wide. [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: signed 7/1/1968; entered into force 3/5/1970.] [Text of Convention] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [The International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) is authorized to enforce compliance with the Treaty. See I.A.E.A. website.] [The Treaty calls for those countries who had nuclear weapons (the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, and China) to work towards disarmament, and prohibits other countries from developing nuclear weapons. However, the original nuclear powers have failed to destroy their nuclear weapons. Moreover, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea have developed nuclear weapons in spite of the Treaty. (Only North Korea had ratified the Treaty, and North Korea withdrew from the Treaty on 1/10/2003.) Other countries (including Iran) are believed to be attempting to develop or acquire nuclear weapons. On 4/16/2003, Syria proposed making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, but no commitments have been made by Israel, Iran, or Syria to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.] [All nuclear weapons should be destroyed under the supervision of I.A.E.A. inspectors. Use of these weapons cannot be justified under any circumstances and would constitute a crime against humanity, whether used by a terrorist organization or state. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act (even if ordered to) is legally culpable.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Nuclear Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Nuclear Files; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Nuclear Information Project website; Arms Control Association website; Greenpeace website.]

* 7/1: Day the International Criminal Court came into being to prosecute those who commit acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, international terrorism, and war crimes (2002). [Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act (even if ordered to) is legally culpable. The I.C.C. is a politically neutral tribunal, governed by international (and U.S.) standards of due process.] [The I.C.C. Statute was adopted on 7/17/1998; it entered into force on 7/1/2002.] [The U.S. has refused to ratify the statute creating this Court. Day to lobby for U.S. ratification.] [For more information, see Website of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; Coalition for the International Criminal Court website; USA for the International Criminal Court website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.]

* 7/4: U.S. Independence Day--Day to celebrate the right of all peoples to exercise peaceful, democratic self-determination. [Day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776.] [Text of Declaration of Independence] [Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, cultures, and religions into one nation. The U.S. includes 561 distinct indigenous tribes, in addition to people of European, African, Asian, Oceanic, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern descent, each with its own language, culture, and religion.]

* 7/9: Vigil for peace, justice, democratic government, and respect for the human rights of all in South Sudan. [For a long time, the Nuer and Murle tribes have been killing each other, abducting each other's women and children, and taking each other's cattle. Because of mutual attacks in 2011, the Nuers have threatened to kill all the Murles.] [South Sudan President Salva Kiir is ethnic Dinka; former Vice President Riek Machar is ethnic Nuer. On 7/23/2013, Kiir dismissed Machar, along with the rest of the cabinet. Machar accused Kiir of attempting to establish a dictatorship. On 12/15/2013, Kiir ordered all non-Dinka government soldiers disarmed. When they realized that the Dinka soldiers were not being disarmed, the Nuer soldiers rearmed themselves and began fighting the Dinka soldiers. Kiir claimed this to be an attempted coup d'etat by Machar, but Machar denied that. Dinka soldiers attacked Nuer government officials and began killing Nuer civilians. After fleeing an attack on his residence, Machar led troops against Kiir's Dinka army. Machar's army has also targeted Dinka civilians. 10,000 civilians have been killed; a million have been displaced. Children have been abducted and forced to fight. Both sides have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Though a ceasefire was agreed to on 1/23/2014, it was frequently violated. A peace plan was agreed to on 2/1/2015.] [See Wikipedia articles on Ethnic Violence in South Sudan 2011-Present and South Sudanese Civil War.] [For information on the human rights situation in South Sudan, see Human Rights Watch report: South Sudan; Amnesty International report: South Sudan.] [7/9 is South Sudan's Independence Day, when it seceded from Sudan in 2011.]

* 7/11: Day Srebrenica, Bosnia, fell to attacking Serbs (1995), beginning a massacre of thousands of civilians because of their ethnicity and religion; vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in the Balkans. [Though it was declared a U.N. "safe haven," Srebrenica, Bosnia, was attacked and fell to Orthodox Christian Serb aggressors on 7/11/1995. 8,000-15,000 civilian Muslim Slavs were killed there from 7/12-7/17/1995 because of their ethnicity and religion. On 8/2/2001, Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic was convicted of genocide for his part in the massacre.] [For more information, see Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35 (1998).] [Between 1992 and 1995, motivated by ethnic nationalism, the Bosnian Serb government attempted to rid all areas under its control of non-Serbs, targeting both Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing". See Wikipedia article on the Bosnian Genocide; Peace Pledge Union article on the Bosnian Genocide.] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Using mass deportations or systematic murder to rid a country of another ethnic group or religion is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Christians, Muslims, Jews, or another religious group.] [While some Orthodox Christians participated in the massacre and the "ethnic cleansing" campaign, most Orthodox Christians then and now were horrified by it. It is immoral to hold all Orthodox Christians (or all Christians) responsible for the acts of a few.] [For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Serbia; Human Rights Watch report: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Human Rights Watch report: Croatia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Serbia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Bosnia-Herzegovina; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Croatia.]

* 7/12: Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne (1690); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in Northern Ireland. [The Battle of the Boyne, which marked the defeat of Catholic James II by Protestant William III, occurred on 7/12/1690. Following this defeat, the law discriminated against Catholics.] [Protestants annually celebrate their victory over Catholics on this date, providing an impetus to civil strife. Day to demand the end of hostility between Protestants and Catholics and for religious tolerance of all Christians by all Christians.] [While some Protestants oppressed Catholics, others actively opposed it. While some Catholics participated in terrorism against Protestants, others actively opposed it. It is immoral to hold all Protestants/Catholics responsible for acts committed by some Protestants/Catholics.] [Protestants and Catholics committed to peaceful coexistence, power-sharing, and disarmament by signing the Good Friday Peace Agreement on 4/10/1998.] [For a history of the conflict, see CAIN Web Service: The Northern Ireland Conflict 1968 to the Present; BBC News website: The Troubles.]

* 7/14: Day covert CIA agent Valerie Plame was outed by Washington Post columnist Robert Novak (2003). Day to consider the compelling interest in keeping information secret that would make the country (or those who work for the government) vulnerable to attack. Revealing such information is both illegal and immoral. [Because Ms. Plame's identity was revealed, some of her foreign contacts are believed to have been killed. 3 Bush administration officials gave the secret information to Novak, likely in retaliation against Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, for revealing in a New York Times article that the Bush administration had lied about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction to justify invasion of Iraq.] [See Robert Novak's article; an article about Novak's sources; Ambassador Wilson's article. See also Valerie Plame Wilson, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House".]

* 7/18: Day South Africa's apartheid was internationally outlawed (1976); birthday of Nelson Mandela, non-violent anti-apartheid activist (1918). [Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid: signed/adopted 11/30/1973; entered into force 7/18/1976.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Apartheid in South Africa. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: South Africa.]

* 7/20: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Colombia. [Colombia is embroiled in a long-lasting civil war fueled by drug-trafficking. Civilians are being caught between the military, paramilitaries, and guerrillas. Colombia's Independence Day was on 7/20/1810.] [See Wikipedia article on the Colombian Armed Conflict (1964-present). For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Colombia.]

* 7/23: Vigil for peace, democratic government, freedom of religion, and respect for the human rights of all in Egypt. [The unrest that grew out of the "Arab Spring" resulted in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was democratically elected president in 2012. Protests against Morsi's authoritarianism led to a 2013 military coup d'etat, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president in 2014. Mubarak and Morsi supporters have been prosecuted and many have been executed.] [See Wikipedia article on Egyptian Revolution of 2011.] [For information on the human rights situation in Egypt, see Human Rights Watch report: Egypt; Amnesty International report: Egypt.] [Sunni Islam is the official religion. Christianity and Judaism are also legally recognized. However, Christians are subjected to attacks, harassment, and discrimination. Shi'a Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, and Baha'is are not recognized; they are also subjected to harassment and discrimination.] [See U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Egypt.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [Though it is officially unlawful, most women in Egypt have been subjected to female genital mutilation. See U.N.I.C.E.F. data.] [7/23 is Egypt's Revolution Day. It celebrates the 1952 revolution that overthrew and abolished the Egyptian monarchy, ended British occupation, and established a republic.]

* 7/24: Day that aggressive war was outlawed and the right to defend victims of aggression was recognized world-wide (1929). [Anticipatory self defense (a preemptive strike) is not allowed under international law. Individual and collective self defense is only authorized after an armed attack occurs.] [Treaty Providing for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy a/k/a Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact a/k/a Pact of Paris: signed 8/27/1928; entered into force 7/24/1929.] [Text of Convention] [This was affirmed by the U.N. Charter Article 51: U.N. Charter signed 6/26/1945; entered into force 10/24/1945.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter VI, articles 33 and 34, and chapter VIII, article 54]

* 7/26 eve to 7/27 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [a/k/a Aphrodesia] [Hekatombaion 4]

* 7/27: Vigil for true peace on the Korean peninsula. [North Korea, China, and the U.N. signed the armistice "ending" the Korean War on 7/27/1953. The armistice is not a true peace treaty; it merely established a cease fire, created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (which serves as the border between North and South Korea), and allowed for repatriation of prisoners of war.] [See Wikipedia articles on the Korean War and the Korean Armistice Agreement.] [In 2013, North Korea declared this armistice "nullified". See CNN article.]

* 7/30: Friendship Day--Day to celebrate friendships and reach out to estranged friends. [See U.N. website on International Day of Friendship.] [a/k/a International Day of Friendship, World Friendship Day]

* 8/1: Day the production and use of cluster munitions was outlawed world-wide (2010); day to mourn their victims. [The Convention on Cluster Munitions a/k/a C.C.M.: Treaty adopted 5/30/2008, signed 12/3/2008; entered into force 8/1/2010.] [Text of Convention] [See Convention on Cluster Munitions website; Wikipedia article on Convention on Cluster Munitions.] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [The treaty was opposed by countries that produce or stockpile significant quantities of cluster munitions, including the U.S., Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, and India. For more information, see Cluster Munition Coalition (C.M.C.) website; Cluster Munition Monitor website.] [Cluster bombs disperse smaller bomblets over a wide area. They are inherently inaccurate, making civilian casualties more likely. Unexploded cluster bombs remain a life-threatening hazard for civilians long after conflict ends.] [See Wikipedia article on Cluster Munitions.]

* 8/6: Day to mourn those harmed by the atomic bomb attacks on Japan (1945); day to advocate for world-wide prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction. [Hiroshima was bombed on 8/6/1945; Nagasaki was bombed on 8/9/1945: over 270,000 civilians died from the bombs and radiation.] [Use of weapons of mass destruction is now recognized to constitute a crime against humanity and cannot be justified under any circumstances.] [While the U.S. government bombed Japanese cities, few Americans authorized it. Virtually all Americans alive today disapprove of the disproportionate use of force, and many Americans at the time disapproved as well. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the U.S. government, it is immoral to blame all Americans today for the acts of the U.S. government in 1945.]

* 8/7 eve to 8/8 eve: Synoikia--Old Greek festival celebrating the peaceful cooperation of states. Offerings were made to Aphrodite and Eirene, Goddesses of friendship and peace. [Hekatombaion 16]

* 8/13: Birthday of Lucy Stone (1818), social worker and non-violent advocate for women's rights. [Death day 10/18/1893]

* 8/15: Day Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender to the Allies, ending World War II in the Pacific (1945). [In the Pacific, World War II was caused by Japan's expansionism. Japan colonized Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and invaded China in 1937 (resulting in the Second Sino-Japanese War). In 1940, Japan invaded Indochina. In 1941, Japan attacked/invaded Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaya. In 1942, Japan invaded Burma and attacked Ceylon. And in 1944, Japan attacked India. During the war, millions of noncombatants were killed, including 20 million Chinese. 200,000 Chinese and Korean women were forced into sexual slavery. Noncombatants were also used for forced labor and for experimentation.] [The surrender was formally signed on 9/2/1945.] [Pursuant to the peace treaty signed on 9/8/1951 (in force 4/28/1952), Japan paid war reparations between 1955 and 1977 to countries harmed. In 1972, China waived the reparations.] [On the 50th anniversary of the surrender, Japan's Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said his country had caused "tremendous damage and suffering" through its "colonial rule and aggression" and expressed "deep remorse" and stated his "heartfelt apology". He used a formal Japanese expression of guilt: "owabi". On the 60th anniversary of the surrender, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi also used the term "owabi". On the 70th anniversary, Emperor Akihito expressed "deep remorse" over Japan's role in World War II. But, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted past expressions of guilt, he indicated that further apologies are not necessary. However, China, South Korea, and North Korea do not believe that sufficient atonement has been made.] [Vigil for true peace and justice for all.]

* 8/15: Day India was partitioned into India and Pakistan, and Kashmir joined India over Pakistan's objection (1947); vigil for true peace, justice, and religious tolerance for all in South Asia. [Following partition, over 7 million Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India and over 7 million Muslims migrated to Pakistan. Hindus and Sikhs remaining in Pakistan are subjected to persecution, including forced conversion and violence (particularly by the Taliban). Muslims remaining in India have suffered discrimination and periodic mob violence. Defining a country by its religion is contrary to international law. Excluding a religious group from a country is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, or another religious group.] [For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: India; Human Rights Watch report: Pakistan; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: India; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Pakistan.] [About the Indo-Pakistani conflict] [For information on the history of the conflict, see Jammu & Kashmir: The Complete Knowledge Base.] [For information on the nuclear problem, see Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) website: Indo-Pakistani Conflict; India's nukes; Pakistan's nukes.]

* 8/17: Birthday of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (1924), founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. [Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi broke with the Lubavitcher Hasidic sect of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism to found the Jewish Renewal Movement in 1969. The Jewish Renewal Movement seeks to fully embrace modernism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, pacifism, and deep ecumenism. It incorporates Kabbalistic and Hasidic theology and practices, traditional prayer, meditation, joyous chant, and ecstatic dance. Both personal spiritual practice and social action are emphasized. See Wikipedia article on Jewish Renewal and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal website.]

* 8/17: Vigil for peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in Indonesia. [The Indonesian constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government officially respects the religious freedom for 6 recognized religions: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. However, other religions are not recognized (Sikhism, the Baha'i Faith, Judaism, and the traditional Aliran Kepercayaan), and some are deemed "deviant" (Ahmadiyya Islam and Shi'a Islam). In addition, the government allows members of the majority Sunni Muslim religion to persecute minority religious groups, including Christians, Ahmadi Muslims, and Shi'a Muslims. Members of minority groups are targeted for forced conversion to Sunni Islam, their places of worship are destroyed, and they are prosecuted for "blasphemy".] [See Human Rights Watch report: Indonesia; Amnesty International report: Indonesia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Indonesia.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [8/17 is Indonesia's Independence Day.]

* 8/19 to 8/25: Paryusana--Jain festival of recitation of holy scripture, fasting, self-discipline, introspection, and reserve. Jainas grant forgiveness to others, ask forgiveness of others for harm done, whether knowingly or unknowingly, during the past year, and make vows to avoid causing future harm. The festival ends with a communal meal. [a/k/a Paryusan, Paryushan, Paryushan Parva, Paryushan Mahaparva, Pajjusan] [Ends at Samvatsari a/k/a Samvatatsari] [Bhadrapad Krishna 12-Bhadrapad Shukla 4]

* 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. Lakota rites include smoking the sacred pipe, purification in the sweat lodge, and making a vision quest for wisdom.

* 8/21: Day to mourn the Syrian military's attacks on Syrian civilians with banned chemical weapons (2013). [355 died and 3600 were injured in the attack on Ghouta, a Damascas suburb. The attack was confirmed by U.N. weapons inspectors. Multiple chemical weapon attacks occurring in 20013 have been attributed to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. At the time of the Ghouta attack, Syria had not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria subsequently signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and agreed to allow its chemical weapons to be destroyed. Some were destroyed, but subsequent chemical weapons attacks have been attrributed to the Syrian government and its allied forces.] [See Human Rights Watch article; BBC News article; Guardian article. See also Wikipedia articles on Ghouta Chemical Attack and Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Civil War.]

* 8/21 eve to 9/20 eve: Elul--Jewish month of self-reflection, peace-making, and renewal. [Jews ask for, and grant, forgiveness for harm done.] [Elul-Rosh Hashanah Truce (through Yom Kippur): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and break bread together for peace.] [For information on peace in Judaism, see "Judaism and Peace" by Rabbi David Rosen. See also "Jewish Ideas of Peace and Nonviolence" and "Holy War: A Jewish Problem, Too" from My Jewish Learning. And see the Jewish Peace Fellowship (J.P.F.) website. (J.P.F. promotes non-violence, peace, and justice.) And the Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) website. (Peace Now advocates a negotiated peace with the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories and creation of a Palestinian state.)] [During Elul, Jews also visit cemeteries and remember their ancestors.] [See Psalm/Tehillim 23.]

* 8/24: Vigil for peace, democratic government, freedom from external interference, and respect for the human rights of all in Ukraine. [In 2/2014, the democratically-elected pro-Russian president was ousted and a pro-European interim president took his place. Thereafter, pro-Russian Ukrainians, with support from Russia, have fomented unrest and armed insurgency. In Crimea, following a referendum for independence (that did not comport with international norms) and Russian military intervention, Russia annexed it. In the Donbass region, a separatist insurgency, armed by Russia, is being countered by the Ukrainian government. See Wikipedia article on Pro-Russian Unrest in Ukraine.] [For information on the human rights situation in Ukraine, see Human Rights Watch report: Ukraine; Amnesty International report: Ukraine.] [8/24 is Ukraine's Independence Day.]

* 8/25: Day to mourn the Iraqi attacks on civilian Kurds because of their ethnicity (1988); vigil for justice and respect for the human rights of the Kurdish people. [On 8/25/1988, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government began the fourth Anfal campaign against the Kurds in Northern Iraq using chemical weapons. The first attack occurred on 3/16/1988. 60,000-100,000 Kurds were killed during these campaigns.] [See Human Rights Watch report: Genocide in Iraq.]

* 8/28: Day of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s peaceful march on Washington, D.C., for recognition of the rights of African Americans (1963). [Rev. King made his inspiring "I have a dream" speech at this rally.]

* 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. [Text of Global Ethic] [See also website for the Parliament of the World's Religions.]

* 8/28 eve to 9/4 eve: Hajj--Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca to honor Allah. [Pilgrims begin the Hajj by bathing, and men dress in special white clothing. On the first day, pilgrims walk/run 7 times counter-clockwise around the Kaaba and kiss the stone. With each circuit, pilgrims say: "In the name of Allah, Allah is Great, Allah is Great, Allah is Great, and praise be to Allah." Following completion of the 7 circuits, pilgrims pray in the mosque. Pilgrims then walk/run between the hills of Safa and Marwa, reciting prayers, and drink water from the sacred Zamzam well. (This area is now fully enclosed within a mosque.) On the second day, pilgrims go to Mina and pray, camping overnight. The third day, pilgrims go to the plain of Mt. Arafat, keep vigil, pray for forgiveness of transgressions and for strength, and recite the Qur'an near where Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon. At sunset, pilgrims go to Muzdalifah to pray and sleep under the open sky. On the fourth day, pilgrims return to Mina to throw stones at pillars that represent the devil. Following this, pilgrims slaughter an animal in sacrifice (or have it done for them). The meat of the sacrificed animal is packaged and given to those in need around the world. Pilgrims' hair is then ritually shaved/cut. The fifth day, pilgrims return to Mecca and perform another circuit around the Kaaba. Pilgrims then return to Mina, to again throw stones at the pillars, remaining there for the sixth and seventh days. Pilgrims then return to Mecca, where they perform a final circuit around the Kaaba. After this, pilgrims again drink water from Zamzam well, kiss the threshold of the door of the Kaaba, and pray for forgiveness. Pilgrims leave the Kaaba walking backwards. Some pilgrims then travel to Medina and visit the tomb of Prophet Muhammad.] [Hajj Truce (through Eid al-Adha): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a meal for peace.] [a/k/a Al-Mukarinah, Al-Ihram, Umrat al-tammatu, Tawaf, Istlam, Sai, Yaum-al-Arafah, Day of Arafaat, Al-Wukuf, Rami al-Jimar, Stoning of the Devil, Eid al-Adha, Tawaf al-Ifadah, Tawaf al-Wida] [Dhu al-Hijjah 7-13]

* 8/29: Day Against Nuclear Tests--Vigil to demand an end to all nuclear testing, including subcritical testing, to ensure a safer more peaceful world. [The Partial Test Ban Treaty (P.T.B.T.) banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water went into effect on 10/10/1963. France, China, and North Korea have not signed the P.T.B.T., though the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan, and Iran have.] [The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (C.T.B.T.) bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 9/10/1996, but it has not entered into force. The U.K., France, and Russia have ratified the C.T.B.T. The U.S., China, Israel, and Iran have signed it, but have not ratified it. India, Pakistan, and North Korea have not even signed it.] [See U.N. Website on International Day Against Nuclear Tests.] [a/k/a International Day Against Nuclear Tests]

* 8/29: Birthday of Henry Bergh (1811), non-violent advocate for animal rights; day to advocate for laws protecting animals from abuse. [Death day 3/12/1888] [Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (A.S.P.C.A).] [See American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website.]

* 9/11: Day terrorists killed over 3,000 innocent civilians of many ethnicities and religions from 86 nations (2001); day to mourn all victims of terrorism. [Al-Qaeda terrorists, using passenger planes, struck the World Trade Center (in New York, N.Y.) and the Pentagon (outside Washington, D.C.). Because passengers on a fourth plane resisted, to prevent it from being used as a weapon, it was crashed near Shanksville, P.A.] [For statements by Muslims around the world condemning the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 as horrific and un-Islamic, see Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism; Islamic Statements Against Terrorism; Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks.] [Fatwas (religious edicts) condemning terrorism have been issued by Muslim clerics. Saudi Arabia's leading Islamic authority (the Permanent Committee of Religious Research and Ifta) issued a fatwa against terrorism on 6/7/2004, contending that terrorism is forbidden under Islam and constitutes a severe form of injustice. The Spanish Islamic Commission issued a fatwa condemning terrorism on 3/11/2005, and called Osama bin Laden an apostate. The U.K.'s Sunni Council issued a fatwa against terrorism on 7/17/2005, indicating that killing others is a sin and that suicide bombers will go to hell. The British Muslim Forum issued a fatwa condemning terrorism on 7/18/2005, indicating that terrorist acts are contrary to Islam. The Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa against terrorism on 7/28/2005, indicating that all terrorist acts targeting civilians are forbidden in Islam.] [Al-Qaeda terrorists have struck other targets. See list of Al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks.] [For international efforts against terrorism (which constitutes a crime against humanity), see U.N. Action to Counter Terrorism.] [For incidents in which governments have used the fight against terrorism as an excuse to suppress civil liberties, see Human Rights Watch website.] [While some Muslims commit terrorist acts, most Muslims do not; and most Muslims do not authorize or approve of the terrorist acts committed. While it is appropriate to hold accountable the individuals, organizations, and governments that commit or fund the terrorists acts, it is immoral to blame all Muslims for the acts of a few.]

* 9/13: Day Israelis and Palestinians committed to peaceful coexistence (1993); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and human rights for all in the Middle East. [Declaration of Principles (a/k/a Oslo Accords) was signed by Israel & the P.L.O. on 9/13/1993.] [See Wikipedia article on the Oslo Accords. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]

* 9/14: Birthday of Margaret Sanger (1883), non-violent advocate for education, autonomy, and responsibility concerning sexuality, reproduction, and birth control. [Death day 9/6/1966]

* 9/21: International Day of Peace--Day to demonstrate for peace with justice throughout the world. [Peace can be realized where there is recognition of sovereignty/autonomy, compliance with just law, respectful behavior, responsible sharing of resources, cooperation to attain common goals, and reasonable compromise to enable all to meet lawful goals.] [See International Day of Peace website; International Day of Peace Vigil website.]

* 9/23 eve to 9/24 eve: Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Hermes--Day to honor the divine feminine and divine masculine in harmony. [Boedromion 4]

* 9/24: Yoruba/Santeria feast of Obatala, Orisha of Peace and Justice.

* 9/28: Birthday of Confucius (K'ung Fu-Tzu) (551 BCE). He taught that societal harmony could be realized when individuals acted with loving care for family, concern for friends and neighbors, benevolence to strangers, and respect for all. [Founder of Confucianism.] [Death day 11/29/479 BCE]

* 9/28: Good Neighbor Day--Day to reach out to neighbors and cultivate good relations. [A good neighbor welcomes new neighbors and helps out neighbors in need. A good neighbor does not make loud noises or use bright white outdoor lights at night. A good neighbor does not create noxious smells or leave trash in the yard or on the street. A good neighbor does not speed or run stop signs in neighborhood streets. And a good neighbor does not bully or frighten neighborhood residents.] [a/k/a National Good Neighbor Day]

* 9/29 eve to 9/30 eve: Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement--Jewish day of fasting, prayer, reconciliation, making reparation for harm done, and helping those in need. [The shofar is blown to mark the end of the ten Days of Penitence.] [Tishri 10]

* 10/2: Non-Violence Day--Day to assess your exposure to violence in all its forms and to purge it from your life. Avoid mean aggressive people and conflict-driven "entertainment". [Exposure to violence fosters acceptance of violence. Violence is immoral and is justified only when absolutely necessary in defense of self or others, with minimum force. Violence is not an effective means for dealing with differences, disagreement, or conflict. Violence breeds violence.] [See U.N. website on International Day of Non-Violence. See also Nonviolence International website. (Nonviolence International works to foster peace and reduce violence world-wide and advocates non-violent activism to promote positive social change.)] [a/k/a International Day of Non-Violence, World Non-Violence Day]

* 10/2: Birthday of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (1869), Hindu advocate for human rights and self-reliance, who practiced active non-violent resistance to injustice. [Gandhi envisioned a world where women and untouchables would be empowered and respected. Gandhi envisioned a world where members of all faiths (including Hindus, Muslims, and Christians) would live harmoniously together.] [Death day 1/30/1948] [a/k/a Gandhi Jayanti]

* 10/4 eve to 10/11 eve: Sukkot/Feast of Ingathering--Jewish thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Originally, a dance procession was made to vineyards and wine was offered to Elohim. Also commemorates the years in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. [See Blessing for Wine/Beracha Borei Pr'i Ha-Gafen.] [Temporary dwellings are built, in which Jews eat, sleep, and pray during the festival, to remind them of the Shekhinah, the Divine Presence, who protected them in the wilderness. A prayer for world peace is recited.] [a/k/a Sukkoth, Feast of Tabernacles] [Tishri 15-21]

* 10/7: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Afghanistan. [The Afghanistan War officially lasted from 10/7/2001 to 12/28/2014 (when the U.S./N.A.T.O. formally transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government).] [The Taliban, a Pashtun Islamist terrorist organization led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, controlled much of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. They were supported by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. They were allied with Al-Qaeda, and hosted Osama Bin Laden until he relocated to Pakistan. They systematically massacred civilians when taking control of an area. They imposed an extreme form of Islamic law on Afghanis under their control, some of it not based on the Qur'an or Sharia. Women and girls were barred from education and employment and were required to wear burqas and be accompanied by male relatives when they left home. Women were treated with brutality when they did not obey. Non-Pashtun women were sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriages"). The Afghan Northern Alliance (a/k/a the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan) opposed the Taliban. The U.S./N.A.T.O. intervened in 2001. Though ousted from power in late 2001, the Taliban continued to fight the Afghan government and allies. The war has continued since the allies' official withdrawal.] [See Wikipedia articles on the Taliban, the Taliban Treatment of Women, the War in Afghanistan (1996-2001), the War in Afghanistan (2001-2014), and the War in Afghanistan (2015-present).] [For information on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, see Human Rights Watch report: Afghanistan; Amnesty International report: Afghanistan.] [The Taliban violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect, and violates Islam's mandate to promote the pursuit of knowledge.]

* 10/9: Birthday of John Lennon (1940), advocate for world peace.

* 10/9: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Uganda. [Following the military coup d'etat by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (N.R.A.) in 1986, the N.R.A. attacked ethnic groups in northern Uganda. The Lord's Resistance Army (L.R.A.), was founded by Alice Lakwena in 1987 to defend the Acholi people there. It has been led by Joseph Kony since 1987. The L.R.A. is a Christian extremist organization that wants to overthrow the Museveni government and install a "Christian" government in Uganda. (Christianity is the predominant religion in Uganda, though there is a significant Muslim minority.) In addition to attacking the Ugandan military, the L.R.A. has attacked Ugandan villages, killing and mutilating civilian adults, raping and forcing women into sexual slavery, and forcing children to serve as soldiers. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and his top commanders. They were charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, sexual slavery, and recruiting child soldiers. However, Kony has eluded capture. Between 2006 and 2008, peace talks occurred, but failed. The L.R.A. was weakened by coordinated attacks on its camps in late 2008 and forced to relocate to the remote border areas of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.), the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), and South Sudan. Though fewer in number, attacks continue.] [See Wikipedia articles on the National Resistance Movement and on the Lord's Resistance Army.] [For information on the human rights situation in Uganda, see Human Rights Watch report: Uganda; Amnesty International report: Uganda.] [Though the Lord's Resistance Army purports to be Christian and wants to enforce the 10 Commandments as law in Uganda, it violates the commandment "thou shalt not kill" and Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself".] [10/9 is Uganda's Independence Day. Uganda became independent from Britain in 1962, and became a republic in 1963. Milton Obote took control following independence. He was deposed by Idi Amin in 1971, who committed many atrocities. Milton Obote returned to power in 1979, but was deposed by General Tito Okello in 1985, who was in turn deposed by Yoweri Museveni.]

* 10/9: Day to mourn the Pakistani Taliban's attempted assassination of a 15-year-old girl because she advocated for the education of girls (2012). [Malala Yousufzai's parents run schools in the northwest part of Pakistan where the Pakistani Taliban (a/k/a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and T.T.P.), has been fighting Pakistani forces and has sometimes been in control. The Pakistani Taliban are opposed to the education of girls. Malala blogged for the BBC about life under the Pakistani Taliban and opposed the closure of schools by them. See Wikipedia articles on Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani Taliban, and the War in Northwest Pakistan.] [The Pakistani Taliban violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect, and violates Islam's mandate to promote the pursuit of knowledge.]

* 10/12 (Obs. 10/9): Columbus Day--Commemorates Europeans' colonization of America (1492); day to mourn Native American victims of conquest and oppression (past and present), make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Native Americans. [While some Europeans brutally subjugated the indigenous peoples of the Americas (North and South) in the past, not all Europeans at the time approved of that subjugation. And no ethnic European alive today participated in that subjugation. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the governments of the countries that participated, it is immoral to blame all ethnic Europeans today for the evil committed by some Europeans in the past.] [a/k/a Native Americans' Day, Dia de la Raza (Mexico), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)]

* 10/16 to 10/19: Diwali/Lunar New Year/Festival of Lights--Hindu festival for Goddess Lakshmi (source of health, fertility, and prosperity) and Her consort, God Vishnu (the preserver of life); focus is on peace-making and new beginnings. [See Mantra to Lakshmi and Mantra to Vishnu.] [a/k/a Divali, Dipavali, Deepavali, Bandi Chhor Divas] [Kartik Krishna 12-15/30]

* 10/21: Day military attacks on civilians were outlawed world-wide (1950); day to mourn all civilian victims of war. [All soldiers have a legal duty and a moral obligation to refuse an order to attack a noncombatant. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act is legally culpable. All attacks on noncombatants should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.] [Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War a/k/a Fourth Geneva Convention: signed 8/12/1949; entered into force 10/21/1950.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Fourth Geneva Convention.]

* 10/23: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Libya. [Moammar Gaddafi was ousted from power following a civil war that commenced on 2/17/2011. Since Gaddafi's death on 10/20/2011, a transitional government was formed, and the General National Congress (GNC) was elected in 2012. Another election was held in 2014 to replace the GNC with the Council of Deputies. The validity of this election was challenged because voting did not occur in some areas due to fighting. The members of the Islamist Justice and Development Party who were not re-elected declared a "New General National Congress" on 8/25/2014. The Islamists, supported by the Libya Dawn (Fajr Libya) militias have been fighting the elected government. On 10/5/2014, other militias pledged allegiance to "Islamic State" and have since occupied Libyan territory and committed terrorist attacks and atrocities.] [See Wikipedia articles on the Libyan Civil War (2011) and the Second Libyan Civil War (2014-Present).] [10/23 is Libya's Liberation day, which was declared following Moammar Gaddafi's death.]

* 10/23 eve to 10/24 eve: Feast of Old Greek Goddess Aphrodite--Day to honor peace and compassion. [Pyanepsion 4]

* 10/24: Day the United Nations came into being to facilitate world-wide peaceful cooperation (1945). [U.N. Charter signed 6/26/1945; entered into force 10/24/1945.] [Text of U.N. Charter] [For more information about the United Nations and United Nations organizations, see the United Nations website and United Nations System website.] [See also United Nations Association website; Human Rights Watch website.]

* 10/24 to 10/30: World Disarmament Week--Time for peaceful activism to help end the arms race. [See U.N. website on Disarmament Week.]

* 11/3: Christian feast of St. Martin of Porres (d. 1639), healer and advocate of social equality and inter-ethnic harmony; guide of healers and human rights activists.

* 11/3: 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.

* 11/8: Birthday of Dorothy Day (1897), activist for peace, economic justice, and workers' rights. [Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.] [Death day 11/22/1980]

* 11/11: Death day of Lucretia Mott (1880), Quaker preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Birthday 1/3/1793]

* 11/12: Birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815), non-violent advocate for women's rights. [Death day 10/26/1902]

* 11/13: Kindness Day--Day for practicing random acts of kindness to strangers, and for committing to make kindness the basis for all encounters every day. [a/k/a World Kindness Day]

* 11/16 (A 12/27): Beginning of Old Egyptian Proyet/Emergence month of Shefbedet/Tobi. Priests and priestesses made offerings to the Neteru (Gods and Goddesses) to ensure that there would be peace and harmony throughout the land. [Kemetic calendar] [Alexandrian calendar 12/27] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Shefbedet day 1]

* 11/25: Day President Richard Nixon renounced all methods of biological warfare and renounced first use of chemical weapons (1969). [The U.S. had a biological weapons research program from 1941 to 1970. The U.S. never used biological weapons against an enemy, but field testing was done in the U.S. All offensive biological weapons were destroyed by 3/1973. See Wikipedia articles on U.S. Biological Weapons Program and List of U.S. Biological Weapons Topics.] [The U.S. had a chemical weapons program from 1917 to 1969. The U.S. used chemical weapons only during World War I. Chemical weapons production ended in 1969. The U.S. renounced all use of chemical weapons in 1997. Destruction of stockpiled weapons is still ongoing. See Wikipedia articles on U.S. and Weapons of Mass Destruction and List of U.S. Chemical Weapons Topics.]

* 11/26: Death day of Sojourner Truth (1883), Christian preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Born 1797: exact date unknown]

* 12/7: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day--Day to commemorate the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and remember the innocent who died in the 1941 attack. [While Emperor Hirohito's Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor, few Japanese authorized it. Virtually all Japanese alive today disapprove of the unprovoked attack, and many Japanese at the time disapproved as well. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the Japanese government, it is immoral to blame all Japanese today for the acts of the Japanese government in 1941.] [a/k/a Pearl Harbor Day]

* 12/11: Day to mourn the harm done by the Mexican drug cartels. [The cartels are at war with each other. And the Mexican military and federal police are at war with the cartels. Innocent bystanders are often killed. Some are targeted to terrorize the population. The cartels commit murder, robbery, extortion, abduction for ransom, and abduction for forced labor. In addition to trafficking drugs, the cartels traffic firearms and women for forced prostitution. Many corrupt local police and government officials work for them.] [See Wikipedia article on the Mexican Drug War.] [The cartels bring 70% of all drugs into the U.S. If you buy marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines, you are funding this violence and allowing drugs to ruin many lives in addition to your own.] [12/11/2006 was the day that the Mexican government declared "war" on the drug cartels.]

* 12/14 (A 1/24): Old Egyptian festival of Neteret Bastet, Cat Goddess who protects the home and fosters domestic harmony. Her image was transported on a bark on the Nile River from Karnak to Bubastis. [Kemetic calendar] [Alexandrian calendar 1/24] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Shefbedet day 29]

* 12/16 (A 1/26): Beginning of Old Egyptian Proyet/Emergence month of Rekehwer/Mekhir. Priests and priestesses made offerings to the Neteru (Gods and Goddesses) to ensure the continuation of order (maat) and life (ankh). [The Negative Confession reflects the ethics of the ancient Egyptians.] [Kemetic calendar (leap year)] [Alexandrian calendar 1/27 (leap year)] [Ancient Egyptian calendar: Rekehwer day 1]

* 12/19 to 12/25: Christmas Truce--Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and raise a glass for peace. [In the midst of World War I, during the week leading up to Christmas in 1914, British, French, and German soldiers exchanged seasonal greetings and songs from their trenches, and some even ventured into no- man's land between the trenches to bury the dead, exchange food and drink, and play football.]

* 12/21 eve to 12/22 eve: Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Hermes--Day to honor the divine feminine and divine masculine in harmony. [Poseideon 4]

* 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. [The 36-year civil war between leftist rebels and the government of Guatemala ended 12/29/1996. During the war, the military killed or "disappeared" 200,000 people, targeting Mayan communities and civilians. The U.S. government was complicit in these atrocities.] [See Wikipedia article on the Guatemalan Civil War. And see Peace Pledge Union article on the Guatemalan Genocide. For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Guatemala.]

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Permission to use and distribute these excerpts is granted for non-commercial purposes, provided the following information is included:

Excerpted from
THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2017
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2016 Marija Miovski
www.WheeloftheYear.com