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Monday, December 13, 2010


 A list of Festivals and commemorations of different religious traditions Compiled from various sources. A few days are celebrative while a few are commemorative. Muharram (Ashura- listed below) is not to be congratulated; it’s a day of mourning. I will add about Kwanza later on, which is celebrative.  http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/12/festivals-commemorations-of-december.html

Happy Khushali Day, December 13
On December 13th Ismaili Muslims all over the world celebrate the birthday of His Highness the Aga Khan. We join in their rejoicing and wish His Highness and his followers “Salgirah Mubarak”.
His Highness the Aga Khan became Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan. He is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.

Aga Khan is one of the rare religious leaders who has shown living a balanced life between the material things and spirituality.  If there is a Jamaat Khana (Place of gathering) in Louisville, I would love to join ya’ll.

(http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/07/happy-imamat-day-to-hh-aga-khan.html). I thank Mr. Amir Ali Rupani for the correction, I had mixed Imamat day with his birthday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAljDhewVDc
St. Lucia day –Happy St Lucia day, December 13
Hanukkah (Jewish) December 2 -9
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the 164 B.C.E. Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. During this celebration, special readings and songs that focus on liberty and freedom are performed, and gifts are often given. Hanukkah lasts for eight nights, and on each night a candle from the Menorah is lit to represent the miracle of the eternal flame. Tradition has it that there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the flame in the Temple for one day, but the oil miraculously burned for eight days, the time it took to prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.
Quraan Conference, December 5
Demystifying the myths about Quraa www.Quraanconference.com
Saint Nicholas Day (Christianity) December 6
On this day, Christians celebrate Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Saint Nicholas was known for his kindness and generosity. He is also recognized for his secret gift-giving, as when he discreetly provided the dowry for three poor farmer’s daughters to save them from destitution. For many, this day is celebrated by giving gifts. The American Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas, another name for Saint Nicholas.
Hijra, New Year (Islam) December 6
Al-Hijra is the first day of the new year in the Islamic calendar. It is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the month that Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina.
Bodhi Day, Rohatsu (Buddhism) December 8
This day marks the time when Prince Siddhartha Gautama, a spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism, positioned himself under the Pipul tree and vowed to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment. Buddhist traditions vary as to what Siddhartha’s experience was while meditating under the tree, but all agree that upon the rising of the morning star, he had experienced enlightenment and attained Nirvana: a state of being free from suffering and broken from the cycle of rebirth.
Immaculate Conception (Catholic Christianity) December 8
The Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief that the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from the taint of original sin all of her life. Catholics observe this as a day of obligation and church attendance is required.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Christianity) December 12
In December of 1531, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin saw visions of the Virgin Mary on the hill of Tepeyak near Mexico City. On December 12, Mary instructed him to ask church officials to build a basilica in her honor in Mexico City. When Juan Diego asked for a sign, she placed roses in a blanket that he carried with him on his journey to the city. Upon arrival, he unrolled the blanket to find an image of Mary imprinted on the cloth. The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe was built in her honor, and thousands of Catholics make pilgrimages there every year. This day is celebrated with festivals, dances and special masses.
Lumbini Festivals (Buddhism) December 12-16
The Lumbini Festival is an annual festival held in the state of Andhra Pradesh that till date gives a platform and juncture to celebrate the heritage of Buddhism in the state.
Ashura (Islam) December 16
Ashura is the anniversary of the death of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala. Taking place on the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, Ashura is observed with fasting, mourning, and decorating replicas of Husayn’s tomb.
Posadas Navidenas (Christianity) December 16-25
In Hispanic Christian tradition, Posadas are the celebrations that happen during the nine days before the “Noche Buena” or “Holy Night” of December 24th. These Posadas are an enactment of Joseph and the Virgin Mary looking for lodging on their pilgrimage to Bethlehem. In some practices, families in a neighborhood will take turns hosting, or playing the part of innkeeper, while others have a door-to-door procession with candles and symbolic elements.
10th Tevet (Judiasm) December 17
The 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet is a Jewish fast day that reflects upon Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia’s siege of Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. This event ultimately led to the destruction of the First Temple, Solomon’s Temple, and Babylonia’s conquest of Israel’s Kingdom of Judah.
Yule (Christianity, Pagan) December 21
Yule marks the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and celebrates the rebirth of the sun in the Norse pagan tradition. The modern day, western Yule festival contains a large blend of celebrations, leading back to multiple cultures and religious practices. Christians often celebrate this as the birth of light through Jesus. Practices include decorating a fir or spruce tree, burning a Yule log, hanging mistletoe and holly branches and giving gifts.
Zarathosht Diso, Death of Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroastrian) December 21
Zarathustra was a Persian prophet who, around the sixth century B.C.E., believed he had seen visions of God, whom he called Ahura Mazda: the creator of all that is good. Often termed the first non-biblical monotheist tradition, it is strongly dualistic. Zarathustra believed in the existence of two powers, good and evil, and taught that all human beings have the free will to choose between these two powers. On December 26th, Zoroastrians recognize the Prophet’s death and spend the day in solemn prayer.
Christmas (Christianity) December 25
Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, but December 25th was made popular by Pope Liberius of Rome in 354 A.D. Although this day is celebrated by Christians throughout the world, traditions and practices vary within different cultures and communities. The day is often celebrated in prayer and song at church services, and gifts are often given to represent the gifts Jesus received from the three kings.
Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christianity) December 25
The Feast of the Nativity is the Orthodox Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is also the break of a 40-day fast, in which participants purify both body and soul in preparation for Christ’s birth.
Feast of the Holy Family (Catholic Christianity) December 26
This day celebrates the family unit, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and is recognized with special prayer. The moveable feast is usually celebrated the Sunday after Christmas, or if Christmas is on a Sunday, December 30th.
Death of Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroastria) December 26
Founder of the Zoroastrian faith, predates Judaism.
Vivekananda Jayanthi ( Hindu) December 27
Birthday Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta movement
I am a great fan of  him for the work he has done in explaining the Bhagvad Gita
Holy Innocents (Christianity) December 28
Holy Innocents is the Christian day of solemn reflection, recognizing the male children of Bethlehem who were killed by Herod the Great in his attempt to eliminate the infant Jesus, whom he deemed as a threat to the throne. 
Watch Night (Christianity) December 31
Watch Night traditionally began with the Moravians, a small Christian denomination from what is the present-day Czech Republic, in the early 1700s. Participants attend special church services to reflect upon and give thanks for the previous year, and pray for the future. Watch Night became a significant event for African-American Christian communities after the celebration of 1862, the evening before the Emancipation Proclamation went into affect and abolished slavery.
 May this new year bring all the good things that you wish and work for. Amen.
Mike Ghouse runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and has dedicated his life to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. He is a regular commentator on the TV, Radio and Print media offering pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a peace activist. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
 Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, Peace & Justice Saturday, December 04, 2010at your school, work place, seminars or place of worship.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mike, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website PrayerMarket.com I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other christians) think about it

    I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
    John W.