2012 Native American
(Iroquois, Navajo, Pueblo, Lakota & Cherokee)
(Inca, Mayan & Aztec)
* 12/22 to 1/10: Hopi & Zuni Soyala New Year Festival of purification and renewal. It concludes with dancing, rekindling of the chief kiva fire, and distribution of its coals to all homes.
* 1/1: World Peace Day--Day to meditate for peace throughout the world. [Universal Hour of Peace: 7:00-8:00 a.m. EST.]
* 1/1 to 1/4: Tewa Turtle Dance--celebrating life and the first Creation, when Sky Father embraced Earth Mother and all life was conceived.
* 1/4: Day ethnic discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1969); day to mourn all manifestations of racism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: signed/adopted 3/7/1966; entered into force 1/4/1969.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of race.] [The U.N. has designated 3/21 to 3/27 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination.]
* 1/12: Day genocide was outlawed world-wide (1951); day to mourn all victims of genocide. [Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: signed/adopted 12/9/1948; entered into force 1/12/1951.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see Prevent Genocide International website.] [All should condemn all past genocides and, to prevent future genocides, should demand an end to persecution on account of any nationality, ethnicity, "race" or religion.]
* 1/15: Feast of the Black Christ. [Originated in Guatemala and celebrated by Catholics in Central America and the Caribbean and immigrants and African-Americans in the U.S. Pilgrims travel to the Church of the Black Christ of Esquipulas annually during the week leading up to the feast.] [a/k/a Feast of Christ of Esquipulas, Fiesta Del Senor de Esquipulas]
* 1/15: World Religions Day--Day to contemplate all religions as different paths to the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 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.]
* 1/27 to 2/4: Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony--for continuation of all life-sustaining things; celebrated with tobacco offerings, confession of offenses, singing, drumming, dancing, name-giving, and dream-telling. Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman created the Sun, Moon, and Stars from Her body.
* 2/1 to 2/29: Ethnic Equality Month--Time to honor all peoples and their positive traditions; time to meditate on the equality of all peoples, on the respect due to them, and on God-Goddess manifesting as African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American. [Expands idea of African-American History Month a/k/a Black History Month.]
* 2/7 to 2/15: Navajo Sing--Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing. Navajos believe Naste Estsan/Spider Woman helped twin brothers Naymezyani and Tobadzistsini defeat the powers of evil.
* 2/21 to 2/24: Iroquois Maple Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the Maple tree and its sugar. Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman bore the twin brothers Thahonhiawakon/Order and Tawiskaron/Chaos.
* 3/1: 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] [The U.S. has not ratified the Protocol.] [Landmines maim and kill civilians, including children. Those that survive endure a lifetime of hardship.] [All should renounce the production and use of landmines, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing landmines.] [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 3/31: Gender Equality Month--Time to honor both genders; time to meditate on the equality of women and men, on the respect due to both women and men, and on Goddess-God manifesting as woman and man. [Expands idea of Women's History Month.]
* 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 to 3/16: Navajo Sing--Festival in which fields are blessed in preparation for planting. Navajos believe Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman wields the power to constantly create and change the world.
* 3/12: Day Pope John Paul II, in the name of the Catholic Church, asked Deity's forgiveness and apologized: to Christians of other denominations for intolerance to them, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to peoples of all non-Christian religions for intolerance and contempt for their religious traditions, to women for their humiliation and marginalization, and to the poor and the powerless for indifference to them (2000). [On the first Sunday in Lent in the Jubilee Year, as a part of the liturgy of the Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II made this public confession with the aid of seven cardinals and bishops. See Transcript of Confession and Request for Forgiveness.] [While the Catholic Church instigated the Crusades, forcibly converted non-Christians, and killed Christian dissidents, ordinary Catholics at the time had no say in it. Nor did any Christian alive today. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the Catholic Church, it is immoral to blame all Catholics/Christians for the past abuses committed by the Church.]
* 3/21: World Forest Day--Day to celebrate the complex living community of trees, plants, birds, and mammals that live in forests world-wide; day to give thanks for forests for cleaning the air of pollution. [Forest once covered 50% of the world. Today, forest covers only 30% of the world. Since 1600, 90% of the original forests that once covered the lower 48 states of the U.S. has been cleared away. Most deforestation of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia occurred before 2000 and has stabilized. Deforestation continues to accelerate in South America and Africa. The rate of world deforestation averaged 5.2 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010.] [For information about conservation of forests, see American Forests website; Forests.org website; International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Greenpeace website. See also Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests; Our Forests, Our Future: Summary Report of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development.] [All should demand an end to deforestation, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of the world's forests.] [a/k/a World Forestry Day]
* 3/22 to 3/25: Iroquois Thunder Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the rains. Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman descended from the Sky into the watery abyss, and landed on Turtle, on whom She created Earth.
* 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] [20 countries are believed to have current or past biological weapons programs.] [All should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of biological weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Biological Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; 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]
* 4/7: World Health Day--Day to pray for healing of all those chronically and seriously ill; day to advocate for adequate health care for all. [Day the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) was founded in 1948.] [For information on World Health Day, see World Health Organization website.] [For information on the World Health Organization, see World Health Organization website.]
* 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 4/24: Iroquois Corn-Planting Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the corn seed.
* 4/22: Earth Day--Day to honor the Earth and to meditate on Deity manifesting as Mother Earth. [For information about Earth Day activities, see Earthday Network website; Envirolink website; U.S. E.P.A. website for Earth Day.] [a/k/a International Earth Day, National Earth Day]
* 4/22: Day the world's nations guaranteed asylum to those persecuted in their homelands on account of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (1954). [Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: signed 7/28/1951; entered into force 4/22/1954.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (U.N.H.C.R.) website; Human Rights Watch website.]
* 4/26 to 5/3: Mayan Rain Festival--honoring Rain God Chac and His attendant Chacmool, and welcoming the fructifying rains.
* 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] [26 countries are believed to have current or past chemical weapons programs.] [All should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of chemical weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Chemical Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.) 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.]
* 5/1 to 5/4: Zuni Green Corn Dance--welcoming back the Corn Maidens, who flee the land during the Winter.
* 5/3: National Day of Prayer--Day to pray for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government throughout the world. [Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. For text and information on the First Amendment, see Cornell University's Legal Information Institute website. For domestic organizations that advocate for freedom of religion, see Americans United for Separation of Church and State website; American Civil Liberty Union website. For information on religious freedom in countries around the world, see U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report; Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief website.]
* 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.]
* 5/9: Day the world's nations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change (1992); day to mourn the failure to reduce these emissions. [Due to these emissions, the planet has already started to experience the impacts of climate change: increased extremes of summer dryness (heat waves, droughts, and wildfires) and winter wetness (flooding); an increase in extreme weather (hurricanes and tornados); an increase of sea level (loss of coastline and loss of fresh water); a decrease in glaciers and polar ice caps; an increase in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; loss of human habitat; loss of food availability (increase in food costs); and loss of plant and animal species (on land, in the oceans, and on the ice caps).] [Framework Convention on Climate Change: adopted 5/9/1992; signed 6/4/1992; entered into force 3/21/1994.] [Text of Convention] [The Kyoto Protocol, which includes mandatory reduction goals, was adopted by 180 nations 12/11/1997, signed 3/16/1998, and entered into force 2/16/2005.] [Text of Protocol] [The U.S. has refused to ratify the Protocol. Total U.S. emissions have increased by 11% from 1990 to 2010. They have been increasing at an annual average rate of .5%. The U.S. is the biggest polluter on the planet. 25% of the planet's carbon dioxide emissions is emitted by the U.S.] [For more information, see U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change website; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website; Center for International Environmental Law website; Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; U.S. E.P.A. website on U.S. emissions 1990-2010; Columbia University website on Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors. See also Wikipedia article on the Kyoto Protocol.] [All should demand universal observance of practices that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]
* 5/20 to 5/23: Iroquois Strawberry Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the strawberry harvest. Iroquois consider themselves kin to all of Nature.
* 5/22: Biological Diversity Day--Day to recognize that the survival of humanity is dependent on the survival of the many diverse species on the Earth: The extinction of other species will bring about our own extinction. [There has been a 40% loss of species between 1970 and 2000 due to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution. Our unsustainable consumption exceeds the biological capacity of the Earth by about 20%.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Biological Diversity.] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity: signed 6/5/1992; entered into force 12/29/1993.] [Text of Convention] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity website.] [The Convention on Biological Diversity was contracted to ensure conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.] [For more information, see Center for International Environmental Law website.] [All should demand universal observance of practices that effectively preserve all species of life, and should demand an end to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution of all kinds.] [a/k/a International Day for Biological Diversity, World Biological Diversity Day, Biodiversity Day]
* 6/8: World Oceans Day--Day to recognize the world's dependence on the oceans for food and medicine; day to advocate for the sustainable management of all ocean resources and for an end to the pollution of the oceans with toxins and trash. [See U.N. website on World Oceans Day.] [For information on ocean pollution and fisheries conservation, see Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.] [Fish stocks have collapsed in almost one-third of all ocean fisheries. The rate of decline is accelerating and total loss of fisheries could occur by mid-century. Fishery decline is caused by overfishing the stock, the loss of marine biodiversity associated with the stock, pollution, and climate change. Establishing core protected areas for each surviving stock and preventing the stock from being fished above the maximum sustainable yield are crucial for its survival.] [For information about the collapse of fishery stocks, see U.N. Environment Programme report "In Dead Water"; National Center for Policy Analysis article; Wikipedia article on Overfishing.] [All should demand an end to pollution of the oceans, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of ocean fisheries.]
* 6/19 to 6/22: Iroquois Green Bean Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the bean harvest; celebrated with tobacco offerings, singing, drumming, dancing, and feasting.
* 6/20 to 6/21: Inti Rayni--Inca festival honoring Sun God Inti.
* 6/20 to 6/21: Feast of the Great Spirit/Great Mystery that encompasses Mother Earth and Father Sky - honoring Deity as Orenda (Iroquois), Asgaya Galun Lati (Cherokee), Wakan Tanka (Lakota) & Awonawilona (Zuni). [a/k/a Pan Native-American Unity Days]
* 6/20 to 6/23: Lakota Sun Dance--Festival of prayer, fasting, dancing, and healing in honor of Sun God Wi; offerings are also made to Maka/Mother Earth and Haokah/Father Sky. Lakotas believe all Deities are aspects of Creator Takuskanskan.
* 6/24 to 6/27: Zuni Corn Dance--for fertility and rains to aid the maize, bean, and squash crops. Prayer sticks are planted in the fields.
* 6/26: Day torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment were outlawed world-wide (1987); day to mourn their continued existence. [Torture is an illegal, immoral, and ineffective means of interrogation and punishment. All officials have a legal duty and moral obligation to refuse an order to commit torture and to prevent it from occurring. Anyone who attempts, conspires, or commits torture is legally culpable. All acts of torture should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished. Neither war nor civil strife nor emergency justifies torture.] [Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: adopted 12/10/1984; signed 2/4/1985; entered into force 6/26/1987.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee Against Torture monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 7 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.] [See U.N. website on Torture Victims' Day.] [All should condemn torture, and should demand an end to the use of torture - of anyone for any purpose.] [a/k/a International Day in Support of Victims of Torture]
* 7/1: Canada Day--Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, cultures, and religions into one nation. [On 7/1/1867, the British Parliament united the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a federation.] [Canada includes 50 distinct indigenous peoples, in addition to those of English and French descent and more recent immigrants, each with its own language, culture, and religion.] [a/k/a Fete du Canada, Dominion Day, Le Jour de Confederation]
* 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] [The U.S. used 2 atomic bombs on Japan in 8/1945: over 270,000 civilians died from the bombs and radiation. The original nuclear powers (including the U.S.) have failed to destroy their nuclear weapons in spite of the Treaty's requirement that they work towards disarmament. 9 countries are known to currently possess nuclear weapons, and other countries are attempting to develop or acquire them, in spite of the Treaty's prohibition.] [All should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of nuclear weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Nuclear Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) website.]
* 7/1: Day endangered species became internationally protected (1975); day to celebrate all the world's creatures. [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora a/k/a C.I.T.E.S.: signed/adopted 3/3/1973; entered into force 7/1/1975.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see U.N. Environment Programme C.I.T.E.S. website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* 7/2: Day discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and religion was prohibited in public accommodations, employment, and education (1964). [The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.] [Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, 42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.] [Text of statute] [Title II prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, Title III and Title VI prohibit discrimination by local governments, Title IV and Title IX prohibit discrimination in education, and Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment.] [For information on fighting discrimination based on "race" and "color", see U.S. E.E.O.C. website, and for information on fighting discrimination based on national origin, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on gender (including sexual harassment), see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on religion, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website.]
* 7/3: Cherokee Green Corn Dance--in thanksgiving for the maize harvest; honoring Maize Goddess Selu.
* 7/19 to 7/25: Iroquois Green Corn Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the maize harvest. Rites include the Thanksgiving Prayer, Confession Chant, and Feather Dance.
* 7/20: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Colombia - now in the throes of civil war. [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: Mayan Sun Festival--honoring Sun God Ahau Kin; celebrated with devotional offerings of food, song, prayer, and a ritual procession that symbolically travels to the four quarters of the Universe.
* 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. 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.] [All should renounce the production and use of cluster munitions, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing cluster munitions.]
* 8/4 to 8/7: Zuni Corn Dance--in thanksgiving to Mother Earth, the Kokos (Nature Spirits), and the Corn Maidens for the maize harvest. Following the harvest, the Zuni bid farewell to the Kokos and the Corn Maidens.
* 8/9: World's Indigenous Peoples' Day--Day to celebrate the empowerment of indigenous peoples world-wide; vigil for justice and respect for the social, cultural, and political rights of all indigenous peoples. [See U.N. website on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.] [a/k/a International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, International Indigenous Peoples' Day]
* 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.
* 8/28: 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.]
* 9/3: Day gender discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1981); day to mourn all manifestations of sexism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: adopted by U.N. General Assembly 12/18/1979; signed 3/1/1980; entered into force 9/3/1981.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women website; Feminist Majority Foundation website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of gender.]
* 9/6: Day Latin American Catholic Bishops espoused Liberation Theology (1968). They believed that the Gospel requires Christians to aid the poor and oppressed in the struggle for economic and social justice. [The Second Latin American Bishops Conference was held in Medellin, Colombia on 9/6/1968.] [See "A Concise History of Liberation Theology" by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, "Liberation Theology: Religious Response to Social Problems. A Survey" by Marian Hillar, and Liberation Theology website.]
* 9/15: International Day of Democracy--Day to celebrate democratic systems of government throughout the world, bound by rule of law, principles of human rights, and civilian control. Day to affirm democracy's compatibility with all peoples, all cultures, and all religions. [In a democracy, both military and police are subject to rule of law and subordinate to civilian government. The military exists to protect the lawful civilian government and civilians; the police exists to enforce the law and protect people from criminals.] [See U.N. website on International Day of Democracy.] [a/k/a Democracy Day]
* 9/15 to 9/18: Iroquois Squash Ceremony--in thanksgiving for the squash harvest. Iroquois rites also include the secret Little Water Ceremony for preserving the potency of medicine and Dark Dance for appeasing spirits.
* 9/16: Mexican Independence Day--Day to celebrate the union of diverse peoples, languages, and cultures into one nation. [Grito de la Independencia (Cry of Independence) a/k/a Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) a/k/a El Grito (the Cry) marked the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence from Spain, which was ultimately won on 9/27/1821. This pronouncement, asserting freedom from corrupt government and freedom of religion, was made on 9/16/1810 by Fr. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the town of Dolores.] [Mexico includes 62 distinct indigenous peoples, in addition to those of Spanish descent and more recent immigrants, each with its own language, culture, and religion.]
* 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.]
* 9/22 to 9/23: Coya Rayni--Inca festival honoring Moon Goddess Quilla; focus is on purging sickness and evil.
* 9/28: Indigenous Peoples' Day--Day for honoring Native Americans and their life-affirming spiritual traditions. [a/k/a Native American Day, American Indian Day, First Nations Day] [Celebrated on 6/21 in Canada.]
* 9/29 to 10/7: Navajo Sing--Festival in thanksgiving for the harvest. Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman is believed to represent life, and is manifested in the harvest.
* 10/4 to 10/7: Tewa Deer Dance--celebrating the cosmic duality of feminine and masculine. The Tewa recognize gender equality and honor both male and female ancestors.
* 10/12 (Obs. 10/8): 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/Latin America), Thanksgiving Day (Canada)]
* 10/15: Makahki/Hawaiian New Year. Hawaiians believe the Akua (Gods and Goddesses) were created by Papa/Mother Earth and Wakea/Father Sky, who themselves were created from the chaos of Po.
* 10/18: Day the Clean Water Act was enacted (1972); day to give thanks for the water we drink. [Pub. L. 92-500, 86 Stat. 896, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on water pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; Clean Water America Alliance website; Clean Water Action website; EarthJustice website ; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website; American Rivers website.]
* 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.] [All should condemn all attacks on noncombatants, and should demand an end to them.]
* 11/2: Aztec Day of the Dead--Day for honoring the departed and Mictlancihuatl-Miclanteuctli, Goddess-God of the Dead. Aztecs believe all Gods are united in Great God Ometeuctli, all Goddesses are united in Great Goddess Omecihuatl, and the Great God and Goddess are united in Ometeoltl.
* 11/2: Hopi & Zuni Ancestors' Day--Food offerings are put into rivers and lakes in honor of the ancestors.
* 11/2: World Community Day--Day for celebrating the unity behind diversity and remembering we are all one people - all children of the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 11/12: Birthday of Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651), Catholic nun and feminist poet. [Death day 4/17/1695]
* 11/12 to 11/15: Tewa Buffalo Dance--focused on healing. Tewa rites honor Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the four directions and elements of life - air of the North, earth of the East, fire of the South, and waters of the West.
* 11/13 to 11/26: Hopi & Zuni Shalako Festival--welcoming back to the pueblos the Kachinas/Kokos - Spirits of Nature and the ancestors that provide protection, health, fertility, and food. Kachina/Koko Dances invoke the Spirits into masked dancers.
* 11/15: Fast for an Abundant World Harvest--Day to fast and commit to action to help prevent deaths from malnourishment world-wide. [For more information, see Oxfam America website.] [a/k/a Fast for a World Harvest]
* 11/16: Tolerance Day--Day to promote harmony in diversity through mutual respect and understanding of all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, nationality, or economic status. [Despite international and domestic laws providing for equal rights, freedoms, and protections, members of minority groups are still harassed and discriminated against because of societal intolerance arising from fear and ignorance.] [Intolerance often results from projection of "collective guilt": it is immoral to blame an entire group for the acts of a member unless the entire group empowered the member who acted or endorsed the acts.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Tolerance; Wikipedia article on Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.] [a/k/a International Day for Tolerance]
* 11/22: Thanksgiving Day--Day to give thanks for the abundance of our land and for our food, clothes, shelter, and health.
* 12/1: World AIDS Day--Day to pray for healing of all those suffering with AIDS and HIV. [For information on World AIDS Day, see World AIDS Day website. For information about the global fight against AIDS, see UNAIDS website.]
* 12/10: Day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and fundamental rights were recognized world-wide (1948). [The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.) in Resolution 217 A(III).] [Text of Declaration] [For information on the history of the U.D.H.R., see Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute website. The U.D.H.R. is generally recognized as binding customary international law: all countries are required to respect the rights within it. In 1966, the concepts of the U.D.H.R. were expanded and drafted into two binding international treaties with enforcement mechanisms. The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Human Rights Committee. The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.] [All should demand universal observance of all rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - for all people.] [a/k/a International Human Rights 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.]
* 12/12: First appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Mother of the Oppressed, at the former shrine of Aztec Moon Goddess Coatlicue (Mexico 1531).
* 12/15: Day the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing fundamental rights to all (1791). [Text of Bill of Rights] [For more information about the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, see U.S. National Archives & Records Administration website and the Bill of Rights Institute website. For information on organizations that advocate for enforcement of rights and liberties in the Bill of Rights, see Center for Constitutional Rights website; American Civil Liberties Union website.] [a/k/a Bill of Rights Day]
* 12/17: Day the Clean Air Act was enacted (1963); day to give thanks for the air we breathe. [Pub. L. 88-206, 77 Stat. 392, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on air pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; American Lung Association website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* 12/21 to 1/9: Hopi & Zuni Soyala New Year Festival of purification and renewal. Homes are cleaned, fires doused, and personal restraint is observed.
* 12/28: Day the Endangered Species Act was enacted (1973); day to mourn those creatures already extinct. [Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 884, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on endangered species preservation, see U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* 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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[There is not one Native American religion, nor is there one Meso American religion. Rather, there are many. All, however, are grounded in Nature and its rhythms. Likewise, there is no one Native American calendar or Meso American calendar. Native American Spirituality and Meso American Spirituality varies from tribe to tribe and from region to region.]
[The Iroquois practice the Iroquois religion in the Northeastern United States. The Cherokee practice the Cherokee religion in the Southeastern United States. The Lakota (also known as the Dakota and the Oglala Sioux) practice the Lakota religion in the North Central Plains of the United States. The Navajo (Navaho) practice the Navajo religion in the Southwestern United States. The Pueblo (including the Zuni, Tewa, and Hopi) practice the Pueblo religion in the Southwestern United States. The Aztec religion originates with the Aztecs of Central Mexico. The Mayan religion originates with the Maya of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. And the Inca religion originates with the Incas of Peru.]
[These various religions use a variety of calendars. For example, the Iroquois follows a lunisolar calendar (Iroquois calendar) in which the months begin with, and the celebrations occur at or near, the New Moon. The Navajo follows a lunisolar calendar (Navajo calendar) in which the months begin with, and the celebrations occur at, the Full Moon. And the Pueblo use a lunisolar calendar (Pueblo calendar) in which some holidays are dated from the New Moon and the Winter Solstice. However, other holidays have been given fixed dates. These holidays have been syncretized with the feast days of the Catholic saints that fell closest to the traditional dates.]
[Native American holidays included in this calendar include: Iroquois holidays, Navajo holidays, Pueblo holidays (Hopi holidays, Zuni holidays, and Tewa holidays), Lakota holidays, and Cherokee holidays. Meso American holidays included in this calendar include: Aztec holidays, Inca holidays, and Mayan holidays.]
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THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2012
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2011 Marija Miovski