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Types of Entries in Chase's Calendar of Events
Astronomical Phenomena
Information about eclipses, equinoxes and solstices, moon phases and other astronomical phenomena is calculated from data prepared by the US Naval Observatory and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office. (In Chase's, universal time has been converted to eastern time.)
Religious Observances
Principal observances of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Baha'i faiths
are presented with background information from their respective
calendars. We include anticipated dates for Muslim holidays. When
known, religious events of China, Japan and India are also listed. There
is no single Hindu calendar and different sects define the Hindu lunar
month differently. There is no single lunar calendar that serves as a
model for all Buddhists, either. Therefore, we are not able to provide the
dates of many religious holidays for these faiths.
National and International Observances and Civic Holidays
Chase's features independence days, national days and public holidays
from around the world. Technically, there are no national holidays in the
US: holidays proclaimed by the president only apply to federal
employees and to the District of Columbia. State governors proclaim
holidays for their states. In practice, federal holidays are usually
proclaimed by governors as well. Some governors proclaim
commemorative days that are unique to their state.
Special Days, Weeks and Months
Whether it's Black History Month, National Police Week or National
Grandparents' Day, the annual calendar has myriad special days, weeks
and months. Chase's has the most comprehensive and authoritative listing of these. Until January 1995, Congress had been active in seeing that special
observances were commemorated. Members of the Senate and House
could introduce legislation for a special observance to commemorate
people, events and other activities they thought worthy of national
recognition. Because these bills took up a disproportionate amount of
time on the part of congressmen and their staffs, Congress decided to
discontinue this process in January 1995 when it reviewed and reformed
its rules and practices. Congress does from time to time issue
commemorative resolutions, which do not have the force of law. The
president of the US has the authority to declare any commemorative
event by proclamation, but this is done infrequently. (Some state
legislatures and governors proclaim special days, as do mayors of
So where do all these special days, weeks and months come from? The
majority come from national organizations that use their observances
for public outreach and to plan specific events. For special months
regarding health issues, for example, you can expect to see more
information disseminated, special commemorative walks and medical
screenings during that month. The Chase's editorial staff includes a
special day, week or month in the annual reference based on the
authority of the organization observing it, how many years it has been
observed, the amount of promotion and activities that are a part of it, its
uniqueness and a variety of other factors.
Presidential Proclamations
As we noted above, the president has the authority to declare any
commemorative event by proclamation. A good number of these will be
proclamations for which there has been legislation giving continuing
authority for a proclamation to be issued each year. Mother's Day, for
example, has been proclaimed since 1914 by public resolution. The
White House Clerk's Office initiates the issuing of these proclamations
each year, since they are mandated by authorizing legislation. Of
course, there will be new ones: Patriot Day (in the wake of the Sept 11,
2001, terrorist attacks) is an example. In Chase's we list proclamations that have
continuing authority and those that have been issued consistently since
Events and Festivals
Chase's includes national and international special events as well as festivals defined by their uniqueness and their finite brief length of time. Sporting events; book, film, food and other festivals; seasonal celebrations; folkloric events (Up Helly Aa or Carnival, for example); music outings and more make up these types of entries. These entries are usually sponsored: they have contact information for the general public and all information in the entry comes from the sponsor (see below on sponsored events).
Anniversaries include historic (creation of nations or states, battles, inventions,
publications of note, popular culture events, famous firsts, etc.) and biographical (birth or death anniversaries of notable personages) milestones.
Birthdays Today
Living celebrities in politics, the arts, sports and popular culture are
included in the "Birthdays Today" section following each calendar day. If
there is a question about the birth day or year, this is noted.
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