Ethnic Holiday Calendar

A listing of dates of various ethnic holidays with descriptions of the holidays, and the type of goat required.

Holiday                                                    2018            2019

New Year's Day                                                  1/1               1/1

Epiphany                                                             1/6               1/6

Eidul-Adha Festival of Sacrifice                 8/22-8/25    8/12-8/13

Muharramn - Islamic New Year                       9/12             9/21

Mawlid al-Nabi - Prophet's Birthday              11/21           11/10

Western Roman Easter                                      4/1              4/21

Eastern Orthodox Easter                                    4/8              4/28

Cinco de Mayo                                                      5/5              5/5

Independence Day                                               7/4              7/4

Start of Ramadan - Month of Fasting               5/16             5/6

Diwali                                                                   11/7            10/27

Eid ul-Fitr - Festival of Fast Breaking        6/15-6/17       6/5-6/7

Passover / Pesach                                         3/31-4/7      4/20-4/27

Rosh Hashanah                                             9/10-9/11     9/30-10/1

Chaitra Navratri                                            3/18-3/26       4/5-4/14

Sharad Navratri                                         10/10-10/19     9/29-10/7

Chanukkah                                                  12/3-12/10     12/23-12/30

Christmas                                                         12/25               12/25

Christian Holidays



Epiphany, a prime Christian feast, celebrated January 6, called also Twelfth Day or Little Christmas. Its eve is Twelfth Night. It commemorates three events--the baptism of Jesus, the visit of the Wise Men to Bethlehem, and the miracle at Cana.


Western or Roman Easter

Easter is a Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. The Orthodox Eastern Church calculates Easter somewhat differently, so that the Orthodox Easter usually comes several weeks after that of the West.

Type of goat required

Fleshy, milk-fed kids with relatively light-colored meat, 3 months old or younger. Kids weighing less than 20 lbs are generally disappointing to buyers due to low meat to bone ratios and high carcass drying losses. Kids gaining less than 10 lbs per month or 1/3 pound per day after accounting for birth weight are generally not fleshy enough to be considered prime. There generally is a slight price (per lb of live weight) penalty for kids weighing over 40 lbs. Acceptable weights generally range from 20 to 50 lbs with 30 lbs considered optimum by most buyers.


Eastern or Greek Easter

Eastern Orthodox Christians come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: Greek, Russian, Egyptian, Romanian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Albanian, Ethiopian, Syrian, and American.


Type of goat required

Similar to Western Easter kids. A slightly larger milk-fed kid (i.e. around 35 lbs) is considered optimum.



Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.


Epiphany is a prime Christian feast, celebrated Jan. 6, called also Twelfth Day or Little Christmas. Its eve is Twelfth Night. It commemorates three events: the baptism of Jesus, the visit of the Wise Men to Bethlehem, and the miracle at Cana.

Type of goat required

The Christmas market is for milk fed kids. This type of kids are rare, because they must be produced by out-of-season breeding in May for October kiddings. Kids as light as 18 lbs are readily accepted, and quality control is generally not as exacting as with Easter kids.


Jewish Holidays


Passover / Pesach

Passover is a holiday beginning on the 14th of Nisan (first month of the religious calendar, corresponding to March-April) and traditionally continuing for eight days, commemorating the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Also called Pesach. An 8-day observance or celebration commemorating the freedom of the Israelites from Egypt. It is considered a time of family gatherings and lavish meals, called Seders.


Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is marked by solemnity as well as festivity. Rosh Hashanah begins the 10 day period known as the High Holy Days.



Chanukkah is the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights. It is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.


Type of goat required

Milk-fed kids, but these are hard to get because it requires out of season breeding. Quality control is not as important as is with Easter.


Jewish holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year. However, the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the Gregorian calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the Gregorian calendar.

Islamic Holidays


Start of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is during this month that Muslims observe the month-long Fast of Ramadan.


Type of goat required

Male and female kids with all their milk teeth (i.e. not older than at 12 months). Males can be whole or castrated. Overly fat kids are discriminated against. Optimum live weight is about 60 lbs, but weaned kids from 45 - 120 lbs. are accepted by different buyers.


Eid ul-Fitr

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. It is one of the two Eid festivals in the Islamic year (the other being Eid ul-Adha). It's also referred to as the Little or Small Bayram, or the "Little" or "Small Feast."


Type of goat required

Same as for Ramadan.


Eid ul-Adha

Eid ul-Adha is second in the series of Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. Eid ul-Adha is celebrated as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for Allah. On this day Muslims sacrifice animals which have been deemed Halaal, or fit for sacrifice. They not only eat the meat themselves but distribute it amongst their neighbours, relatives and the poor and hungry.


Type of goat required

Prefer yearlings (i.e. animals with one set of adult teeth) that are blemish free. Animals with broken horns, open wounds, torn ears or physical unsoundnesses generally do not meet the criteria. In some cases, castrated animals or lambs with docked tails are frowned upon.


While the two Eid Festivals are always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Western calendar (the Gregorian calendar) varies from year to year due to differences between the two calendars, since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Furthermore, the method used to determine when each Islamic month begins varies from country to country. All future dates listed are only estimates.

Muharram/Islamic New Year

Muharram is the first month in the Muslim calendar year. The first day of Muharram is celebrated as New Year's Day.


Mawlid al-Nabi

Mawlid al-Nabi is a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam.

Hindu Holidays


Navadurgara or Navratra Dashara or Dassai

This is a Hindu holiday honoring the goddess Durga. Goats are generally slaughtered from the 7th to the 10th day of the holiday after which families meet together and celebrate with curried goat while receiving family blessings.

Female goats are not acceptable for this holiday. Relatively tender male goats are generally used. Size of carcass depends on number of people expected to be fed.



Diwali is a five day Hindu festival which occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika. Diwali means "rows of lighted lamps" and the celebration is often referred to as the Festival of Lights.


Other Holidays

Goats for July 4th weekend are animals suitable for barbecue, generally cabrito kids or young bucks, does, and wethers with 1 or no sets of adult teeth.


Many Caribbean holidays such as carnival and Jamaican Independence Day use goat meat for celebratory feasts. Optimal goats for the Caribbean holidays are young, smelly 60 lb bucks. However, older animals of all sexes are often in demand and customers may prefer to buy them rather than pay the extra price for prime young bucks.


The Hispanic market for goat is for 20 to 35 lb live weight milk-fed kids for cabrito, and larger animals for seco de chivo and can be especially strong in some regions during Cinco de Mayo [May 5th].


Cull does and bucks are also in demand for the curried goat market and for prison contracts.


More information on popular holidays is available on the Interfaith Calendar.

Information provided by the Penn State Extension website.