Here’s what you need to know about some of the upcoming holidays.
WASHINGTON — Saturday marks Veterans Day, an annual celebration honoring those who have served in the U.S. military. The federal holiday on Nov. 11 is linked to the end of World War I and wasn’t officially called Veterans Day until 1954.
What holiday is tomorrow? What was Veterans Day originally called?
The fighting during World War I ended on Nov. 11, 1918 when an armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Nearly twenty years later, legislation passed on May 13, 1938, officially made Nov. 11 of each year a federal holiday, originally known as “Armistice Day,” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains on its website.
In 2023, because Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, federal employees and some businesses will observe the holiday the previous day, Friday, Nov. 10, and many services from the government will also be closed that day.
What is Diwali and why is it celebrated?
Diwali is the most important festival of the year in India — and for Hindus in particular. This year, Diwali begins Nov. 10 and the festival will be observed on Nov. 12.
It is celebrated across faiths by more than a billion people in the world’s most populous nation and the diaspora. Over five days, people take part in festive gatherings, fireworks displays, feasts and prayer.
Diwali is derived from the word “Deepavali,” which means “a row of lights.” Celebrants light rows of traditional clay oil lamps outside their homes to symbolize the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
The dates of the festival are based on the Hindu lunar calendar, typically falling in late October or early November.
While Diwali is a major religious festival for Hindus, it is also observed by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. The origin story of Diwali varies depending on the region. All these stories have one underlying theme — the victory of good over evil.
In southern India, Diwali celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna’s destruction of the demon Naraka who is said to have imprisoned women and tormented his subjects. In northern India, Diwali honors the triumphant return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and brother Lakshmana, from a 14-year exile in the forest.
When is Thanksgiving 2023?
This year, Thanksgiving lands on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. That means Black Friday, what has traditionally been one of the year’s biggest shopping holidays is Nov. 24.
In case you have to do some last-minute shopping on Thanksgiving, you need to be aware that many major retailers are now not open that day. Since the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s have all closed their physical stores on Thanksgiving Day.
Some stores including Whole Foods and Big Lots do plan to be open on Thanksgiving, but be sure to check with your local store in case there’s modified hours.
And as you gather together with friends and family on Thanksgiving, be extra cautious if your pets try to involve themselves in the holiday feast. Much of the holiday meal is dangerous for pets because of fats, oils, spices, seasonings and other ingredients that can be toxic to them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.