Holidays and Celebrations
Our list of holiday celebrations and special events explains who we are, the values that we affirm and what we do.
January: We celebrate New Year’s Day with a beach party on the Gulf of Mexico. The festivities include a holiday procession, a potluck picnic and promises for the new year. A few days later we join with our neighbors in honoring Martin Luther King and his vision. The Beloved Community is still a possibility for Florida and for all of America.
February: It's the middle of winter. In the North many people pause for Groundhog Day. In our region we note the migrations of manatees and dolphins. Charles Darwin's birthday is the day when we remember our animal companions. We respect all beings and the interdependent web of existence.
March: March is a month for remembrance and appreciation. It's Women’s History Month. Our congregation assists with the Fine Arts Festival at Spring Bayou. March is the month for International Quilting Day. Our church supports an award-winning group of quilters and dressmakers. It's also the month for Greek Independence Day. In the Western world the roots of modern science, democracy, drama and philosophy all connect to ancient Greece.
April: In most years the first days of Passover and the celebration of Easter take place in April. We honor Jewish and Christian customs because of our involvement with the Abrahamic tradition. During the Earth Day season we bring different groups together. We ask neighbors to care for each other and for their planet. Community gardening and landscaping receives special attention. Our church has a flower communion for Pascua Florida Day.
May: The major holiday on the Buddhist calendar is known as Wesak, Vesak or Buddha Day. The birth, the enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama are recognized on the same day. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs hosts a vegetarian meal. We assist with the Sweet Corn Festival at Spring Bayou.
June: Florida's environment is changing. Hurricane Season Sunday is the day in June when we prepare for the summer. We're concerned about young people, senior citizens, people with disabilities, refugees and homeless people, and other individuals who need special assistance during emergencies. We work with first responders and community agencies.
Summer: Sunday services and other church activities continue during the summer. For the Fourth of July we provide a pancake breakfast. We have some cool games that are played with frozen pancakes. You are a winner if you participate even if you only come close to the target. Every player receives a prize at the Pancake Olympic Games.
September: September is a month for renewal and rededication. In 1918 the Inness family provided paintings to cover church windows broken by a tropical storm. Glass was difficult to obtain, because of the First World War. After Labor Day the Tarpon Springs church celebrates its annual water communion. It's a new season for the whole congregation.
October: We're a Welcoming Congregation that celebrates LGBTQ History Month at the start of October. For much of North America the month of October is the month for harvest celebrations. Snowbirds start to arrive from the North. We have a church picnic that's close to Canada's Thanksgiving Day. Florida prepares for winter.
November: Many of the churches that were established by the Pilgrims and the Puritans - including historic churches in Plymouth, Boston, and Salem - are now Unitarian Universalist churches. We remember our religious ancestors on America's Thanksgiving Day. Much has changed since the 1600s for the Unitarian Universalists and for others.
December: December is the month of light and enlightenment. Human Rights Day is recognized on December 10th. It's the day when the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. Our church is decorated for Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, and the Day of the Winter Solstice. Look for the bright poinsettia flowers and the paper bag lanterns that guide travelers to our sanctuary.