Important holidays/occasions/festivities celebrated in Afghanistan

The religious holidays in Afghanistan are celebrated according to the lunar calendar, and other holidays such as Independence day, and New Year’s day are celebrated based on the solar calendar. During many holidays, Afghans usually visit friends and families, prepare lavish meals, and attend special prayers.


Day: After a month of Fasting (Ramadan).
Many start out the day by wearing new clothes, and going to prayer. Afterwards, people visit or entertain their friends and families. Children usually receive gifts or money called “Eidi”.


Day: Tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic (Hijra) calendar.
The day commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s devotion to God. He was willing to slay his son Ismael as a sacrifice. Ismael was never killed, instead, Allah provided a lamb for the sacrifice. Muslims performing the Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) sacrifice a lamb, and the meat is given out to the poor. This holiday is celebrated in the same fashion as Eid al-Fitr, people visit friends and families, gifts are exchanged, etc.


Day: Tenth day of the month Muharram in the Islamic calendar.
This is a day of mourning. It commemorates the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussain and his followers at the battle of Kerbala.


Day: The 12th day of the month Rabi al-Awal in the Islamic calendar.
On this day, people celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. They attend prayers, remember Muhammad, and entertain/visit friends and familiy.


Day: March 21
This is the first day of spring (New Year’s Day for the solar calendar).


Day: August 19
August 19 marks Afghan independence day. Even though, Afghanistan was never a British colony, the British did have control of its foreign policy due to an agreement signed by a former Afghan King. The Third Anglo-Afghan War ended this agreement.


  • Labor Day
  • Remembrance Day for Maryrs and Disabled (May 4).