National Geographic : 2017 Dec
JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASOND 1 1 2 2 2 1 5 8 17 123 4 1 1 1 1 111 11 1 1 11 1 22 4 11 12 3 2 222 3 3 3 44 9 2 2 1 8 11 1 Holidays New Year celebration Size of the square represents the number of holidays HINDUISM 1 billion followers CHRISTIANITY 2.4 billion TAOISM 8.6 million ISLAM 1.7 billion JUDAISM 14.7 million SIKHISM 25.3 million BUDDHISM 516 million BAHA’I FAITH 7.9 million CONFUCIANISM 8.5 million 39 12 4 7 33 26 3 11 3 days per year days days days days days days days days SECULAR 9 SECULAR 5 U.S. 10 INDIA HOLIDAYS A YEAR 48 MONICA SERRANO, NGM STAFF; KELSEY NOWAKOWSKI Somewhere in the world, a meal, ritual, or offering is being prepared in religious observance—most likely by the busy adherents of Roman Catholicism or Hinduism. If Catholics celebrated every saint’s day or Hindus commemorated each deity’s birthday, nearly the entire year would be accounted for. The Jewish calendar has dozens of holidays—but the Torah only mandates strict observance of the holiest five. Mus- lims, too, are holiday minimalists. In Islam the biggest celebrations are saved for the last days of its two major holidays: Id al-Fitr for Ramadan, and Id al-Adha to end the hajj pilgrimage. Compiling a schedule of the holidays most widely observed by the world’s nine largest religions—as seen above—is no simple task. Different countries and regions, as well as denominations, cele- brate their own versions of the holidays, and some religions follow a unique cal- endar. China’s lunar calendar runs on a 60-year cycle; India uses several types of calendars. THE HOLY DAYS By Nina Strochlic | EXPLORE | TRADITIONS With feasts, fasts, and prayers, the world’s nine largest religions will col- lectively observe more than a hundred holidays in 2018, scholars estimate. HINDUS LEAD THE FESTIVITIES Who Celebrates the Most? Hinduism recognizes the birthdays and milestones of hundreds of deities. It also commemorates the changing of the sea- sons, the harvest, and lunar phases.