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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy ALL Holidays !!

ALL Holidays !!
Many major Religions have important Holidays at this time 
Extending Holiday Greetings 
Wishes for Peace and Happiness for All.

Happy Yuletide
Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time") is a religious festival observed by the Northern European peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. 
Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule.
Merry Christmas
Christmas (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning "Christ's Mass") is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ  and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world.  A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide.[9] Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians,  and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2012, there is a difference of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6, which on the Gregorian calendar translate as January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova celebrate Christmas on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7; the Church of Greece and all Greek Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.
Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. 

Happy Chanukah
Chanukah - Hanukkah
Hanukkah (pronounced HAH-nə-kə ; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה, Tiberian: Ḥănukkāh, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, "attendant")  and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves is forbidden.

Joyful Eid
Islamic terms Eid, meaning "festival" or "holiday" in Arabic, can refer to a number of Muslim holidays, but without a full name is most likely to refer to Eid al-Fitr 
  • Eid al-Fitr (عيد الفطر ʿĪd al-Fiṭr, "Feast of Breaking the Fast"), marks the end of the month of Ramadan
  • Eid al-Adha (عيد الأضحى ʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, "Feast of the Sacrifice"), celebrated to commemorate the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God
  • Eid Milad an-Nabi (عيد ميلاد النبي ʿĪd Mīlād an-Nabī, "Festival of the Birth of the Prophet"), one of several names for Muhammad
  • Eid al-Milad (عيد الميلاد ʿĪd al-Mīlād, "Festival of the Birth"), Arabic phrase for birthday
  • Eid al-Ghadeer, an Eid for Shia Muslims which marks the nomination of Ali, prophet's cousin, as the successor of the prophet
  • Eid al-Mubahila, an Eid for Shia Muslims which marks the success of Muslims in a peaceful debate with the Christians of the time
  • Eid-e-Shuja', an Eid for Shia Muslims which marks the end of the mourning period after the events of Karbala
  • Eid prayers, the special prayer offered in both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎ ‘Īd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], "festival of breaking of the fast"), also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, the Sweet Festival and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.

Winter solstice

The winter solstice is the solstice that occurs in winter. It is the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.   In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year.
In the Southern Hemisphere this is the Northern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its northernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on June 20 to 21 each year.
The axial tilt of Earth and gyroscopic effects of the planet's daily rotation keep the axis of rotation pointed at the same point in the sky. As the Earth follows its orbit around the Sun, the same hemisphere that faced away from the Sun, experiencing winter, will, in half a year, face towards the Sun and experience summer. Since the two hemispheres face opposite directions along the planetary pole, as one polar hemisphere experiences winter, the other experiences summer.
More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere's winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun's daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.  Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as "midwinter", "the longest night", "the shortest day" or "the first day of winter". The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most Northern Hemisphere cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.


The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe Amaterasu (天照?), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神/天照大御神?) or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神?) is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion.  She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami (Gama or God) who shines in the heaven".   The Emperor of Japan is said to be a direct descendant of Amaterasu.


Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the holiday season. Festivus became part of worldwide popular culture after being featured on an episode of the American TV show Seinfeld in 1997.
Festivus was conceived by writer Dan O'Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. The holiday was later introduced into popular culture by O'Keefe's screenwriter son Daniel on an episode of Seinfeld. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, included a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole", practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".

Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us", a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus' non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a parody and as playful consumer resistance.
Happy Sanghamitta Day

Sanhamitta Day honors the Arahant Ven. Sanghamitta (daughter of King Ashoka) for her travels to Sri Lanka to spread the Dhamma there and set-up the Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka.
It occurs on the Full Moon day of December.
She came to Sri Lanka with a sapling of the Bodhi Tree, the same tree that the Buddha attained enlightenment under. It is the oldest living tree with a known planting date (288 BCE). See: Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Significance for Buddhists in modern times
Currently there are many holidays and celebrations in the Buddhist calendar, but in modern times not all of these can be celebrated. Some have been trimmed off the calendar, such as Uposatha days only on Full Moon days. To limit the number of celebrations further in perhaps a Modern Theravada way, some centers have limited it to the 6 major Buddhist holidays, including: Vesakha, the Kathina and Sanghamitta Day. In the spirit of recognizing the great contributions of female disciples to Buddhism, Sanghamitta Day should be considered one of the major holidays to be observed and it could be done in conjunction with Christmas in non-Buddhist countries.

Sanghamitta Day is especially relevant, not only to honor female practitioners, but because it represents one of the first major moments of Buddhist missionary work outside of India, an appropriate holiday for Buddhists in non-Buddhist lands. The use of the December 25 Christmas date may be additionally appropriate since Ven. Sanghamitta arrived in Sri Lanka with the 'gifts' of the Dhamma and the sapling of the original Bodhi Tree. The traditional gift exchanges during Christmas could remind Buddhists of the gifts Ven. Sanghamiita brought to Sri Lanka. For those who like Christmas trees, the tree could also represent the sapling of the Bodhi Tree she brought with her from India.
December 20 Unduwap: Arrival in Ceylon of a sapling of the sacred Bodhi-tree, brought by Arahat Theri Sanghamitta.

Year End Holidays

And here's a list of mid-winter holidays from around the world in case I missed anyone
(from Wiki--Winter Solstice):
Amaterasu celebration, Requiem of the Dead (7th century Japan)
Beiwe Festival (Sámi of Northern Fennoscandia)
Choimus, Chaomos (Kalash of Pakistan)
Christmas, Natalis Domini (4th century Rome, 11th century England, Christian)
Deuorius Riuri (Gaul)
Deyg?n (Zoroastrian)
   * 3.7 D?ngZhì Festival, T?ji Festival (East Asia, Vietnam, and Buddhist)
   * 3.8 Goru (Dogon of Mali)
   * 3.9 Hogmanay (Scotland)
   * 3.10 Inti Raymi (Inca, Peru)
   * 3.11 Junkanoo, Jonkonnu, John Canoe (West Africa, Bahamas, Jamaica, 19th-century North Carolina)
   * 3.12 Karachun (Ancient Western Slavic)
   * 3.13 Koleda, ??????, Sviatki, Dazh Boh (Ancient Eastern Slavic and Sarmatian)
   * 3.14 Lenæa, Brumalia (Ancient and Hellenistic Greece, Roman Kingdom)
   * 3.15 Lucia, Feast of St. Lucy (Ancient Swedish, Scandinavian Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox)
   * 3.16 Makara Sankranti (India and Nepal, Hindu)
   * 3.17 Meán Geimhridh, Celtic Midwinter (Celtic, Ancient Welsh, Neodruidic)
         o 3.17.1 Wren day (Celtic, Irish, Welsh, Manx)
         o 3.17.2 Alban Arthan (Neodruidic)
   * 3.18 Midvinterblót (Swedish folk religion)
   * 3.19 Modranicht, Modresnach (Anglo-Saxon, Germanic)
   * 3.20 Perchta ritual (Germania, Alps)
   * 3.21 Rozhanitsa Feast (12th century Eastern Slavic Russian)
   * 3.22 Shabe Celle, ???? , Yald? (2nd millenium BCE Persian, Iranian)
   * 3.23 Sanghamitta Day (Buddhist)
   * 3.24 Saturnalia, Chronia (Ancient Greek, Roman Republic)
   * 3.25 ?eva Zistanê (Kurdish)
   * 3.26 Sol Invictus Festival (3rd century Roman Empire)
   * 3.27 Soyal (Zuni and Hopi of North America)
   * 3.28 Te?ufat ?ebet (Jewish)
   * 3.29 Wayeb (Maya)
   * 3.30 Yule, Jul, Jól, Joul, Joulu, Jõulud, Géol, Geul (Viking Age, Northern Europe)
         o 3.30.1 Yule, Yulefest, Jul, Jól, Joulu (secular, Anglospherean, Northern European and Germanic cultures)
         o 3.30.2 Jul (Germanic Neopaganism)
         o 3.30.3 Yule (Wiccan)
   * 3.31 Zagmuk, Sacaea (Ancient Mesopotamia, Sumerian, Babylonian)
   * 3.32 Ziemassv?tki (Latvian, Baltic, Romuva)

Peace, Love, Joy
Hope for All Humankind

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