) is the current year, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar
, a leap year
that started on Tuesday
of the Common Era
(or Anno Domini
2008 has been designated as:
- January 1 - Cyprus, Malta, and Akrotiri and Dhekelia adopt the euro. A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from preceding attack.
- January 2 - The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.
- January 3 - A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels.
- January 8 - An attempted assassination of Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is thwarted after a Boy Scout grabbed the attacker's knife. The Boy Scout was injured, but after a scuffle ensued police arrested the attacker.
- January 12 - A Macedonian Army Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in thick fog southeast of Skopje, killing all 11 military personnel on board.
- January 14 - At 19:04:39 UTC, the MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.
- January 15 - Federal Court of Australia orders a Japanese whaling company to stop research whaling within their Exclusive Economic Zone.
- January 21 - Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.
- January 22 - Russia stages the largest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union in the Bay of Biscay. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, along with 11 support vessels and 47 long-range bomber aircraft, practised strike tactics off the coast of France and Spain, and test-launched nuclear-capable missiles on foreign waters.
- February 2 - Rebels attack the capital of Chad, N'Djamena.
- February 4 - Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket to space.
- February 4 - A Palestinian suicide bomber kills one and wounds thirteen in a Dimona, Israel shopping center.
- February 5 - U.S. stock market indices plunge more than 3% after a report showed signs of economic recession in the service-sector. The S&P 500 fell 3.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 370 points.
- February 5–6 - A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.
- February 7 - Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-122 to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.
- February 10 - The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damages Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.
- February 11 - President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta is seriously wounded in an attack on his home by rebel soldiers. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed by Ramos-Horta's security guards during the attack.
- February 12 - PDVSA, a state oil company in Venezuela, suspends sales of crude oil to ExxonMobil, in response to a legal challenge by them.
- February 12 - Bridgestone, under investigation for an alleged price-fixing cartel, uncovers improper payments of at least 150 million Japanese yen to foreign governments and withdraws from the marine hose business.
- February 13 - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia delivers a formal apology to the Stolen Generations.
- February 17 - A suicide bombing by a Taliban member kills up to 80 in Kandahar, Afghanistan
- February 17 - Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with support from some countries but opposition from others.
- February 18 - The British government introduces emergency legislation temporarily to nationalize Northern Rock, the fifth largest mortgage bank in the UK, due to the bank's financial crisis.
- February 18 - General election is held in Pakistan, delayed from January 8 due to riots in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Opposition parties, including Bhutto's, take more than half of the seats, while President Pervez Musharraf's party suffers a huge defeat.
- February 19 - Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba, effective on February 24.
- February 20 - United States Navy destroys a spy satellite containing toxic fuel by shooting it down with a missile launched from USS Lake Erie in the Pacific Ocean.
- February 20 - Total lunar eclipse - North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Western Asia.
- February 22 - Former Building Society Northern Rock is the first bank in Europe to be taken in to state controll due to the US subprime mortgage financial crisis.
- February 22 - No survivors are found after a rescue helicopter discovers the wreckage of Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 just northeast of Mérida, Venezuela. The commercial plane had 46 people on board, including crew.
- February 24 - Raúl Castro is unanimously elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly.
- June 2 - A car bomb explodes outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least five.
- June 8 - In the Akihabara area of Tokyo, Japan, a 25-year-old man stabs 7 to death and wounds 10, before being arrested.
- June 10 - Fire engulfs Sudan Airways Flight 109 after landing in Khartoum, killing 44.
- June 11 - The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope is launched.
- June 11 - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to Canada's First Nations for the Canadian residential school system.
- June 12 - Ireland votes to reject the Treaty of Lisbon, in the only referendum to be held by a European Union member state on the treaty.
- June 14 - A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, kills 12 and injures more than 400.
- June 14 – September 14 - Expo 2008 was held in Zaragoza in Spain, with the topic of "Water and sustainable development".
- June 22 - Typhoon Fengshen hits the Philippines and capsizes the ferry MV Princess of the Stars, leaving hundreds dead or missing.
- June 27 - President Robert Mugabe is reelected with 85.5% of the vote in the second round of the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election.
- June 27 - After three decades as the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates steps down from daily duties to concentrate on philanthropy.
- July 2 - Íngrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages are rescued from FARC by Colombian security forces.
- July 7 - A suicide-bomber drives an explosives-laden automobile into the front gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 58 and injuring over 150.
- July 7–9 - 34th G8 summit held in Tōyako, Hokkaidō in Japan.
- July 10 - Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges by a UN Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.
- July 15–20 - World Youth Day takes place in Sydney, Australia. Pope Benedict XVI appears at the event.
- July 21 - Radovan Karadžić, the first president of the Republika Srpska, is arrested in Belgrade, Serbia on allegations of war crimes, following a 12-year long manhunt.
- July 22 - The United Progressive Alliance led government in India survives a crucial no-confidence vote based on disagreements between Indian National Congress and Left Front over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
- July 23 - Ram Baran Yadav is sworn in as Nepal's first President.
- July 25 - A series of seven bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India killing 2 and injuring 20 and on the next day, a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, kills 45 and injures over 160 people.
- July 27 - At least 17 are killed and over 154 wounded in two blasts in Istanbul.
- July 28 - At least 48 are dead and over 287 injured after bombs explode in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq.
- July 30 – August 5 - The XXII World Congress of Philosophy is held in Seoul, South Korea.
- August 1 - King George Tupou V is crowned as the new king of Tonga, an event that had been delayed for over two years following the 2006 Nuku'alofa riots.
- August 3 - A stampede at a Hindu temple at Naina Devi in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India kills 162 and injures 400.
- August 4 - Two members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which had threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics, kill 16 and injure another 16 officers at a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.
- August 6 - President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi of Mauritania is deposed in a military coup d'état.
- August 7 - The 2008 South Ossetia war begins as Georgia and Russia launch a major offensive inside the separatist region of South Ossetia after days of border skirmishes between the two sides.
- August 8–24 - The 2008 Summer Olympics take place in Beijing, China.
- August 15 - Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as Prachanda) is sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal after the Nepalese monarchy was abolished in May.
- August 17 - Michael Phelps surpasses Mark Spitz in Olympic Gold Medals won at a single Olympics, with 8 gold medals.
- August 18 - Pervez Musharraf resigns from the post of President of Pakistan under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.
- August 19 - The Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.
- August 19 - A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy and the resulting explosion kills 43 and injures 45.
- August 20 - Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport with 172 on board. 153 of them are killed and only 18 survive.
- August 21 - At least 60 die following twin suicide bombings outside the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah, Pakistan.
- August 22 - Pirates hijack German, Iranian, and Japanese cargo ships off the coast of Somalia, seven of such attacks since June 20.
- August 24 - An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including 4 Americans on a humanitarian mission.
- August 24 - Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashes upon takeoff near Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing 68.
- August 26 - Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- August 26 – September 1 - Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on Louisiana as Category 2 and kills 7 in the United States, after making landfall on western Cuba as Category 4, and killing 66 in Haiti, 8 in the Dominican Republic, and 11 in Jamaica.
- August 28 – September 7 - Hurricane Hanna causes 7 deaths in the United States, and 529 in Haiti mostly due to floods and mudslides.
- September 1–14 - Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Texas as Category 2 and kills 27 in the United States, after killing 4 in Cuba, 1 in the Dominican Republic, and 75 in Haiti.
- September 2 - Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan resigns less than a year after taking office following Shinzo Abe's resignation.
- September 2 - Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.
- September 3 - Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan survives an assassination attempt near Islamabad while on his way to meet the British Leader of the Opposition David Cameron.
- September 3 - Cyprus peace talks between the Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and the TRNC leader Mehmet Ali Talat are held in Nicosia, aimed at reunifying the 34-year-divided island.
- September 6 - Asif Ali Zardari is elected as the President of Pakistan by the Electoral College of Pakistan.
- September 6 - At least eight boulders peel of a cliff near Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 18 and burying an estimated 500 people.
- September 7 - Global financial crisis: In one of the largest banking interventions in United States history, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are placed into conservatorship by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
- September 7 - On the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General Michaëlle Jean dissolves the 39th Canadian Parliament and calls early elections.
- September 9 - The Constitutional Court of Thailand orders Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign after receiving payment for appearing on a television cooking show.
- September 10 - The proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and the highest-energy collider. It is located at CERN, near Geneva, under the Franco-Swiss border.
- September 12 - A Metrolink train collides head-on into a freight train in Los Angeles, California, killing 25 and injuring 130.
- September 14 - Aeroflot Flight 821 crashes near the city of Perm, Russia, killing all 88 on board.
- September 15 - Global financial crisis: Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection, in the largest bankruptcy in United States history.
- September 15 - Following negotiations, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara sign a power-sharing deal, making Tsvangirai the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
- September 16 - Global financial crisis: The US Government, through the Federal Reserve, lends $85 billion dollars to AIG in exchange for the right to buy 80% of the company, in another of the largest US interventions in the banking industry.
- September 17 - The International Astronomical Union classifies Haumea as the fifth dwarf planet in the Solar System.
- September 19–25 - Typhoon Hagupit kills 17 in China, 8 in the Philippines, 1 in Taiwan, and 41 in Vietnam.
- September 20 - A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.
- September 21 - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel resigns.
- September 21 - President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa resigns after accepting a call by African National Congress.
- September 24 - The Diet of Japan elects Taro Aso as the new Prime Minister of Japan.
- September 25 - Kgalema Motlanthe is elected by the National Assembly of South Africa as the President of South Africa, succeeding Thabo Mbeki.
- September 25 - Shenzhou 7, the third manned Chinese spaceflight and the first with three crew members, is successfully launched. China becomes the third country ever to conduct a spacewalk.
- September 25 - Global financial crisis: In the largest bank failure in U.S. history, Washington Mutual is placed into receivership by the Office of Thrift Supervision. As receiver, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sells the bank's accounts and operations to JPMorgan Chase.
- September 28 - SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world's first privately developed space launch vehicle successfully to make orbit.
- September 29 - Global financial crisis: The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act is rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives and, as a result, the Dow Jones stock market index records its largest-ever one-day fall of 777.68 points.
- October 3 - Global financial crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law, creating a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets.
- October 6 - The NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second of three flybys of Mercury, decreasing the velocity for orbital insertion on March 18, 2011.
- October 6 - Global financial crisis: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls below 10,000 points for the first time since October 29, 2004.
- October 6 - An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude hits Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 65 people.
- October 7 - Global financial crisis: Russia agrees to provide Iceland with a four-billion-euro loan.
- October 7 - The meteoroid 2008 TC3 impacts Earth, becoming the first such object to be discovered prior to impact.
- October 9 - Global financial crisis: Following a major banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority takes control of three largest banks in the country: Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, and Glitnir.
- October 9 - Global financial crisis: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 679 points, or 7.3 percent, and plunges below 8,600 for the first time since May 21, 2003.
Predicted and scheduled events
- January 3 - Yo-Sam Choi, Korean boxer (b. 1972)
- January 10 - Maila Nurmi, Finnish-American actress and television personality (b. 1921)
- January 11 - Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist (b. 1919)
- January 15 - Brad Renfro, American actor (b. 1982)
- January 16 - Nikola Kljusev, Macedonian Prime Minister (b. 1927)
- January 17 - Bobby Fischer, American-Icelandic chess grandmaster (b. 1943)
- January 19 - Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
- January 22 - Heath Ledger, Australian actor (b. 1979)
- January 22 - Claude Piron, Swiss linguist and psychologist (b. 1931)
- January 26 - George Habash, Palestinian politician (b. 1926)
- January 27 - Gordon B. Hinckley, American Mormon leader (b. 1910)
- January 27 - Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia (b. 1921)
- January 28 - Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens (b. 1939)
- February 2 - Joshua Lederberg, American molecular biologist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
- February 5 - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian spiritual leader (b. 1917)
- February 7 - Andrew Bertie, British Grand Master of the Order of Malta (b. 1929)
- February 9 - Baba Amte, Indian social activist (b. 1914)
- February 10 - Roy Scheider, American actor (b. 1932)
- February 11 - Alfredo Reinado, East Timorese rebel (b. 1967)
- February 11 - Tom Lantos, American politician (b. 1928)
- February 12 - Imad Mughniyah, Lebanese militant (b. 1962)
- February 12 - Badri Patarkatsishvili, Georgian businessman and politician (b. 1955)
- February 13 - Kon Ichikawa, Japanese film director (b. 1915)
- February 13 - Henri Salvador, French singer (b. 1917)
- February 15 - Steve Fossett, American adventurer (b. 1944)
- February 18 - Alain Robbe-Grillet, French writer and filmmaker (b. 1922)
- February 19 - Natalia Bessmertnova, Russian ballerina (b. 1941)
- February 19 - Yegor Letov, Russian singer (b. 1964)
- February 19 - Lydia Shum, Hong Kong comedian and actress (b. 1945)
- February 23 - Janez Drnovšek, 2nd President and 2nd Prime Minister of Slovenia (b. 1950)
- February 23 - Paul Frère, Belgian racing driver (b. 1917)
- February 27 - William F. Buckley, Jr., American author and conservative commentator (b. 1925)
- February 27 - Ivan Rebroff, German singer (b. 1931)
- March 1 - Raúl Reyes, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1948)
- March 2 - Jeff Healey, Canadian musician (b. 1966)
- March 3 - Giuseppe Di Stefano, Italian operatic tenor (b. 1921)
- March 3 - Norman Smith, English singer and record producer (b. 1923)
- March 4 - Gary Gygax, American writer and game designer (b. 1938)
- March 6 - Peter Poreku Dery, Ghanaian cardinal (b. 1918)
- March 5 - Joseph Weizenbaum, German-American author and computer scientist (b. 1923)
- March 12 - Lazare Ponticelli, French veteran of World War I (b. 1897)
- March 14 - Chiara Lubich, Italian Catholic activist (b. 1920)
- March 18 - Anthony Minghella, English film director and screenwriter (b. 1954)
- March 19 - Arthur C. Clarke, English author, inventor, and futurist (b. 1917)
- March 19 - Hugo Claus, Flemish writer, painter and film director (b. 1929)
- March 19 - Paul Scofield, English actor (b. 1922)
- March 22 - Adolfo Suárez Rivera, Mexican cardinal (b. 1927)
- March 24 - Neil Aspinall, British record producer and business executive (b. 1942)
- March 24 - Richard Widmark, American actor (b. 1914)
- March 26 - Manuel Marulanda, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1930)
- March 27 - Jean-Marie Balestre, French sports executive (b. 1921)
- March 30 - Dith Pran, Cambodian-American photojournalist (b. 1942)
- March 31 - Jules Dassin, American film director (b. 1911)
- April 3 - Hrvoje Ćustić, Croatian footballer (b. 1983)
- April 5 - Charlton Heston, American actor (b. 1923)
- April 10 - Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, Mexican cardinal (b. 1919)
- April 12 - Patrick Hillery, 6th President of Ireland (b. 1923)
- April 13 - John Archibald Wheeler, American theoretical physicist (b. 1911)
- April 14 - Ollie Johnston, American animator (b. 1912)
- April 15 - Benoît Lamy, Belgian motion picture writer-director (b. 1945)
- April 16 - Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist (b. 1917)
- April 17 - Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician (b. 1913)
- April 29 - Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist and writer (b. 1906)
- May 1 - Anthony Mamo, 1st President of Malta (b. 1909)
- May 2 - Philipp von Boeselager, German military officer (b. 1917)
- May 3 - Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, 74th Prime Minister of Spain (b. 1926)
- May 8 - François Sterchele, Belgian footballer (b. 1982)
- May 10 - Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano (b. 1928)
- May 12 - Robert Rauschenberg, American pop artist (b. 1925)
- May 12 - Irena Sendler, Polish humanitarian (b. 1910)
- May 13 - Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1930)
- May 13 - Bernardin Gantin, Beninese cardinal (b. 1922)
- May 15 - Willis Lamb, American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
- May 23 - Cornell Capa, Hungarian-American photographer (b. 1918)
- May 26 - Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1934)
- May 28 - Sven Davidson, Swedish tennis player (b. 1928)
- June 1 - Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer (b. 1936)
- June 1 - Tommy Lapid, Israeli television presenter, journalist, and politician (b. 1931)
- June 2 - Bo Diddley, American musician (b. 1928)
- June 3 - Mel Ferrer, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1917)
- June 4 - Agata Mróz-Olszewska, Polish volleyball player (b. 1982)
- June 7 - Dino Risi, Italian director (b. 1916)
- June 8 - Šaban Bajramović, Serbian musician (b. 1936)
- June 9 - Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American science fiction writer (b. 1931)
- June 9 - Karen Asrian, Armenian chess grandmaster (b. 1980)
- June 10 - Chinghiz Aitmatov, Kyrgyzstani writer (b. 1928)
- June 11 - Ove Andersson, Swedish rally driver (b. 1939)
- June 11 - Võ Văn Kiệt, Vietnamese prime minister (b. 1922)
- June 13 - Tim Russert, American journalist (b. 1950)
- June 15 - Stan Winston, American special effects and make up artist (b. 1946)
- June 17 - Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer (b. 1922)
- June 18 - Jean Delannoy, French film director (b. 1908)
- June 22 - George Carlin, American author, actor, and comedian (b. 1937)
- June 23 - Arthur Chung, President of Guyana (b. 1918)
- June 24 - Leonid Hurwicz, American economist, mathematician, and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
- June 28 - Ruslana Korshunova, Kazakhstani model (b. 1987)
- June 29 - Don S. Davis, American actor (b. 1942)
- July 4 - Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)
- July 4 - Evelyn Keyes, American actress (b. 1916)
- July 5 - René Harris, President of Nauru (b. 1947)
- July 11 - Michael E. DeBakey, American surgeon and inventor (b. 1908)
- July 12 - Tony Snow, American political commentator (b. 1955)
- July 13 - Bronisław Geremek, Polish social historian and politician (b. 1932)
- July 15 - György Kolonics, Hungarian canoeist (b. 1972)
- July 22 - Estelle Getty, American actress (b. 1923)
- July 23 - Kurt Furgler, Swiss politician (b. 1924)
- July 25 - Johnny Griffin, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
- July 25 - Randy Pausch, American author and computer scientist (b. 1960)
- July 27 - Youssef Chahine, Egyptian film director (b. 1926)
- July 29 - Mate Parlov, Croatian boxer (b. 1948)
- August 1 - Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Indian politician (b. 1916)
- August 3 - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- August 9 - Bernie Mac, American actor and comedian (b. 1957)
- August 9 - Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet (b. 1941)
- August 10 - Isaac Hayes, American musician (b. 1942)
- August 11 - Fred Sinowatz, Austrian politician (b. 1929)
- August 13 - Henri Cartan, French mathematician (b. 1904)
- August 15 - Jerry Wexler, American music producer (b. 1917)
- August 16 - Ronnie Drew, Irish singer (b. 1934)
- August 16 - Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese microbiologist (b. 1913)
- August 19 - Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia (b. 1948)
- August 20 - Hua Guofeng, Chinese premier (b. 1921)
- August 23 - Thomas Huckle Weller, American virologist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- August 28 - Phil Hill, American race car driver (b. 1927)
Major religious holidays
- January 7 - Christmas in Eastern Christianity
- January 10 - Islamic New Year by Lunar calendar
- February 5 - Carnival (Shrove Tuesday)
- February 6 - Ash Wednesday, observance of Lent begins
- February 7 - Chinese New Year (also Lunar New Year / Spring Festival)
- March 1 - Saint David's Day, national holiday of Wales
- March 15 - Saint Patrick's Day, celebrated in Ireland, the United States, and most of the English-speaking world. (Held on March 15 instead of the usual 17th to avoid the second day in Holy Week). This March 17 will be the last one to fall within Holy Week until 2160.
- March 20 - March Equinox, also known as Ostara
- March 20 - Purim
- March 21 - Nowruz (Iranian New Year holiday)
- March 21 - Good Friday
- March 22 - Holi
- March 23 - Easter Sunday, the earliest Easter has fallen since 1913
- April 13 - Vaisakhi
- April 20 - Passover, Palm Sunday in Eastern Christianity
- April 23 - St. George's Day
- April 27 - Pascha (or Easter) in Eastern Christianity
- May 1 - Ascension of Jesus in Western Christianity
- May 1 - Beltane, a Cross-quarter day
- May 19 or May 20 - Vesak (the birthday of the Buddha) in Buddhism
- June 5 - Ascension of Jesus in Eastern Christianity
- June 9 - Shavuot
- June 15 - Pentecost in Eastern Christianity
- June 20 - June Solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha
- June 22 - All Saints' Day in Eastern Christianity
- July 5 - Saints Cyril and Methodius day in Eastern Christianity
- August 1 - Lammas, a Cross-quarter day
- August 15 - Assumption of Mary
- August 16 - Raksha Bandhan
- September 1 - New Liturgical Year in Eastern Christianity
- September 2 - Start of Ramadan
- September 22 - September Equinox, also known as Mabon
- September 30 - Rosh Hashanah
- October 1 - Eid ul-Fitr
- October 9 - Yom Kippur
- October 28 - Diwali
- November 1 - Samhain, a Cross-quarter day and Neopagan new year
- November 30 - St. Andrew's Day, Scottish national day
- December 8 - Immaculate Conception
- December 8 - Eid al-Adha
- December 21 - Hanukkah begins at sundown
- December 21 - December Solstice, also known as Yule
- December 25 - Christmas in Western Christianity
2008 in fiction
- Isaac Asimov's 1955 short story Franchise takes place in 2008, the premise being that the U.S. president will be selected by a computer program looking for the "most representative citizen".
- John Barnes, Mother of Storms (1995) begins with a 2008 UN resolution barring any nation from acquiring nuclear weapons after June 1, 2008, subject to penalty of preemptive strike.
- Gregory Benford's books The Jupiter War and The Threads of Time are set in 2008.
- The Galactic Milieu Series by Julian May features Earth's first contact with an alien race on June 20, 2008.
- In Francis Anderson's 1992 book "Future Undetermined" the UN bans civilians from owning handguns on March 29.
- Ian McDonald's "Chaga Saga" (Evolution's Shore and Kirinya) begins with the March 13, 2008 impact arrival of the plant form Chaga from outer space.
- Alan E. Nourse's 1957 book Rocket to Limbo begins with the March 3, 2008 launch of the starship Argonaut on a centuries-long trip to Alpha Centauri.
- The Mote in God's Eye (1974) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle postulates that faster-than-light travel is perfected in 2008.
- The Next War, a controversial 1996 novel about the post-Soviet era, co-authored by former U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, looks at a possible 2008 nuclear confrontation between the United States and Russia.
Computer and video games
Set in 2008:
Set in 2008:
- Dawson's Creek (2003 series finale): The characters meet once again. Dawson, now 25, is the creator of a television series, The Creek, based on his life.
- The 2007 series of Doctor Who: Present time (such as "Smith and Jones") is primarily set in 2008.
- The Future Boy Conan anime story begins in July, 2008, when a war results in five continents sinking into the sea.
- Doraemon: According to the original manga story, a time machine will be invented in 2008.
- Heroes: According to the episode Out of Time, the Shanti virus wipes out about 93% of the world's population, from a break out in March 2008. Peter Petrelli accidentally teleports himself and Caitlin to sometime around June 14, 2008, when any survivors in New York City are forcibly evacuated.
- According to the Futurama episode "Space Pilot 3000", Stop 'N Drop suicide booths are claimed to have been "America's Favorite" since 2008. Whether this is the use of an advertising hyperbole to indicate that they were introduced in 2008, or that they gained a plurality of market share in 2008 is not concluded.