Celebrating Faith and Belief Days


Keep an eye on this page for links, blogs & information this month.

We have three employee networks, where we come together for an hour to discuss issues, celebrate achievements and plan activities.  For further information on how to join our BeYOU employee network, AccessAbility employee network or RESPECT employee network or if you need support, help and advice, please see the DEI team’s contact details below.

February 2023

15 February
Nirvana Day and Parinirvana Day (Buddhist)

This Buddhist Festival commemorates Buddha’s death at 80 when he attained Nirvana – the state at which all desires and afflictions are gone, and when the cycle of death and rebirth ends. This day is also known as Mahayana Buddhist holiday – Parinirvana Day – celebrated in East Asia, Vietnam and the Philippines. This observance is a great way to contemplate impermanence, rejoice in the example of the Buddha’s life and reflect on the precious opportunity that our own life journeys present us with.
“Wishing you a Happy Nirvana Parinirvana Day – from everyone at the MPA.”

18 February
Maha Shivratri** (Hindu)

Shivaratri is a great festival of coming together for Shiva and Shakti. According to the South Indian calendar, the Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in the month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri, and according to the North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in the month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is a naming convention of the lunar month which alters depending on the sighting of the moon.  However, both North Indians and South Indians celebrate Maha Shivaratri on the same day. “Wishing you all a wonderful and Happy Maha Shivratri – from everyone at the MPA.”

17-18 February
Lailat al-Miraj* (Islam)

This observance of the Prophet’s Ascension takes place from the evening of February 17th to the evening of February 18th.  It is said that on this special night, Muhammad had journeyed from Mecca to what the Qur’an describes as the ‘farthest mosque in Jerusalem’ where he was transported to heaven. “Wishing you a fulfilling wonderful Lailat al-Miraj – from everyone at the MPA.”

21 February
Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
National Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, observed in Christian countries worldwide through participating in confession and absolution rituals. This ritual includes burning the previous year’s Holy Week palms, finalising one’s Lenten sacrifice, and the very popular practice of eating pancakes and other sweets. This opportunity to feast and indulge was practised in preparation for 40 days of fasting during Lent. “Wishing you a wonderful Pancake Day and a fulfilling Lent – from everyone at the MPA.”

22 February
Ash Wednesday
Lent begins (Christian)

Ash Wednesday falls on the day after Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Day), the last day of feasting or indulging in rich foods that one might give up as a sacrifice for the upcoming 40 days of the Lenten season.  Some Christians conduct a full fast or bread and water fast during Ash Wednesday until sunset on Good Friday. Others prefer to continue fasting through to Lent. “Wishing you a Happy Ash Wednesday – from everyone at the MPA.”

For further information, please contact the DEI Team:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
MPA Champion for Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]

For religious support, help and advice, please contact the following organisations:
LGBT+ and religion


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