An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution
was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration
or celebration of that event. For example, the first event is the initial
occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would
be the first anniversary of that event. The word was first used for Catholic
feasts to commemorate saints.
Most countries celebrate national anniversaries, typically called national days. These could be the date of independence of the nation or the adoption of a new constitution or form of government. The important dates in a sitting monarch's reign may also be commemorated, an event often referred to as a "Jubilee".
A birthday is an occasion when a person or institution celebrates the anniversary
of their birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with
a gift, party, or rite of passage.
Many religions celebrate the birth of their founders with special holidays.
There is a distinction between birthday and birthdate: The former, other than February 29, occurs each year, while the latter is the exact date a person was born.
A death anniversary is the anniversary of the death of a person. It is
a custom in several Asian cultures, including China, Georgia, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines,
Russia, and Vietnam, as well as in other places with significant overseas
Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, and Vietnamese populations, to observe
the anniversary on which a family member or other significant individual
died. There are also similar memorial services that are held at different
intervals, such as every week.
Although primarily a manifestation of ancestor worship, the tradition has also been associated with Confucianism and Buddhism (in East Asian cultural civilizations) or Hinduism (South Asia but mainly in India). In Judaism (the majority religion of Israel), such commemorations are called yahrtzeit (other other terms). Celebration of mass in memory of a loved one on or near the anniversary of their death is also a part of Roman Catholic tradition.
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