current holidays-Jewish and Hindu
Sep 21, 1995 10:29 PM
by Brenda S. Tucker
9-25 & 26
Rosh Hashanah- day of Adam's creation, beginning of Jewish
calendar, Adam repented and was forgiven. (2 days in length)
Isaac is born(Genesis 21), Abraham tested by sacrifice
(Genesis 22) First day regarding Adam, second day regarding
Isaac. Celebrated by New Year's Cards and visit to lake
to throw bread crumbs as symbol of desire to cast away sins.
Yom Kippur - last day of the Ten Days of Repentance (Leviticus
16 & 25) A day of fast (most holidays are two days, but two days
fast is considered an undue hardship) Holiday cards are used
to make a decoration for the sukkah.
10-9 through 15
Sukkot - Fall harvest and pilgrimage festival. The sukkah is a
booth which the wandering tribes lived in while on the desert.
Nine days (first two holy days, five middle days, last two holy
ending with Simhat Torah) Celebration similar to Thanksgiving.
(Ecclesiastes is read) Four plants have special meanings.
Their leaves decorate and form the roof of the booth where
eating and "dwelling" are done symbolically. A combination of
nature and history. By right Shemini Atzeret should follow
Sukkot after 50 days, but since travel is difficult in Winter, it is
the eighth day of Sukkot. It is a day on which they pray for rain in
Israel. All other festivities continue also.
Simhat Torah - Joy of the Torah, this day is the conclusion of the
cycle of Torah reading. Torah reading on this day (Deuteronomy
14:22-16:17) deal with laws and a description of the three
pilgrimage festivals - Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
Durga Puja -
Maha Navami - On this day there is a celebration and worship
of all types of tools belonging to technical workers. Buses,
trucks and huge machines are decorated and worshipped in the
sense that "work is worship." It is the National Labor Day of
Bharat. There is also a national celebration of the rejuvenation
and reorganization of the Hindu Nation, as of 1925.
Oct 3 - Navrati finale
Vijay Dasami - This is an auspicious day and the finale of
Navaraatri. It is a festival of victory or Victory Day. Worship of
the Goddess of Learning (Saraswati) and the Goddess of
Strength (Durga) precedes this day. Processions of gods and
goddesses signify the victory of righteousness over wickedness.
Another name for Durga is Mahishaasura Mardini and this
Goddess was born to help against the onslaught of demoniac
forces headed by Mahishaasura. In answer to the prayers of the
Gods who felt helpless and prayed for protection,
an order came for each to part with a portion of their divine
power and these were combined to form into a new Goddess.
The combined might of 33 crores of Gods took physical form
and was successful in slaying the dreaded demon after a
ceaseless fight of nine days and nights. The lesson is this: the
good and the righteous can only succeed when they come
together in an organized endeavor. They say, "Organization
holds the key to strength in Kaliyuga." The Hindus strength is
called nigrahaanugraha shakti and this is not aggression, it is
the protection of the good and the destruction of the wicked.
The Hindus take pride in their nation living up to a saying of
Jesus Christ, "I have come to fulfill and not to destroy." and
have a history without barbaric invasion of other nations.
Sri Rama's fourteen years of banishment and hardship followed
by triumphant return to Ayodhya is celebrated on this day. As
Sri Rama stopped to worship the Shami tree on his way to
Ayodhya, and as the Paandavas take out hidden arms to win a
great victory in the war of Kurukshetra, the leaves of the Shami
tree are distributed as an auspicious omen and the tree is
worshipped. Great kings saluted vast armies on this day.
Bon Festival or Obon - ancestral spirits return home
Obon is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "hanging
upside down" and refers to how human ignorance can cloud
one's appreciation of life. Celebrations might include martial
arts, dancing and singing, food decorating, concerts, artful
stone formations, bonsai and flower arranging. Obon dancing
is a life-celebrating ritual in Japan. Obon is similar to All
Soul's Day in Catholicism and is intended as an expression
of filial piety for deceased family members.
Bodhidharma Memorial Day - Bodhidharma coming into Japan
and change of robes
Does anyone know what the Buddhist holiday, Higan is? I tried to
find it on the internet, but didn't receive any responses to my
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