February’s Global Workplace – 2014

lanternsEach month we try and include the dates that are going to most affect the global workplace.

February 14

Chinese New Year, having fallen in late January, will continue being celebrated in the early part of the month. The Chinese Lantern Festival falls on February 14th, symbolically, if not officially, marking the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Valentines Day falls in many places on February 14, although few have the day off. It’s as well to note, though, that the day has negative political connotations in some Muslim countries and communities.

Buddhist Nirvana Day (Feb 15)

Where? Celebrated worldwide by Buddhists, but primarily in Eastern Asia

Nirvana Day , or Parinirvana, commemorates the death of Buddha, placing him in a state of nirvana – or ultimate bliss. For buddhists, it’s an important day of religious contemplation, often involving a visit to the temple. Although celebrated by most on the 15th February, some celebrate on the 8th February.

There’s a resource at About.com offering additional information. Although the write up is fairly ‘top level’ it holds some useful links: https://buddhism.about.com/od/buddhistholidays/a/nirvanaday.htm

Buddhist Magha Puja Day (March 1)

Where? Celebrated worldwide by Buddhists, but primarily in Eastern Asia

Yes, we know this post is meant to be an idea of what’s happening in February, and this is apparently a festival for March. But if we leave it until March to mention, it will be too late: many people celebrate it earlier – in Thailand it’s an entire month earlier and called Makha Bucha. The day is marked by processions and temple visits, and has its roots historically in the spontaneous (unplanned) meeting of many monks who had been ordained by Buddha.

The day has other names, including the Fourfold Assembly or Sangha Day.

If found a nice write up on Beliefnet.com: https://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Buddhism/Articles/Celebrating-Magha-Puja-Day.aspx.

Hindu Festival of Mahashivaratri (Feb 27)

Where? Hinduism has well over a billion followers spread worldwide. Nepal is an official Hindu state, and India is the most Hindu-populated nation (although officially secular).

For Hindus, the Festival of Mahashivaratri is a major festival for devotees of Lord Shiva, and is a particularly holy day. It’s particularly significant for women, as the day is believed to have consequences for marital bliss, or, for those who are single, for finding a man with the right qualities. Most places will celebrate on Thursday February 27, although some will celebrate on Friday 28th. For a little more on the festival, and it’s regional variations:

Defender of the Fatherland Day/Men’s Day (Feb 23)

Where? Celebrated in Russia and beyond

Historically this day has some very confusing roots – different stories abound, but all have military roots in common. It’s a national holiday, and as most Russian men serve in then military at some point, this is a day to honour them. As International Women’s Day falls on March 8,  this day is seen by some as it’s counterpart, Man’s Day. It falls on a Sunday this year, so expect many to take the day off on Monday 24th.

Other countries that celebrate the day include: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine  – Kazakhstan observes the holiday, but celebrates it on 7 May each year.

Why not….?

We can’t possibly catch every religious and international holiday, or the nuances at a local level, so please do add any that are happening where you are in the comments box below, and we’ll ensure inclusion next year. And please do let us know how you plan to celebrate/have celebrated.

And, of course, these holidays are just a part of global working, and a major consideration if you’re on a team that works virtually. You can find out more about training to help with these here:


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