Happy Holidays to All!

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I know I have not been as regular as I like to be on my blog these past couple of months.  I have had some personal and professional developments that have required my attention more than usual.  Whichever holiday you and your families celebrate this time of year, I hope it is wonderful, meaningful and peaceful for you.  Thank you for your readership and I look forward to sharing more frequently with you as we move into the new year.

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For fun, did you know that during the month of December, all of the following holidays are celebrated?

Buddhism
  • Bodhi Day: 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).
Christianity
Hinduism
  • Pancha Ganapati: a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Ganesha.
Judaism
  • Hanukkah: usually falls anywhere between late November and early January. See “movable”
Paganism
  • Yule: Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January.
  • Yalda: 21 December – The turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. Shabe yalda means ‘birthday eve.’ According to Persian mythology, Mithra was born at dawn on 22 December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate Yalda by staying up late or all night, a practice known as Shab Chera meaning ‘night gazing’. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons, whose red color invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolize Mithra.
  • Koliada: Slavic winter festival celebrated on late December with parades and singers who visit houses and receive gifts.
Secular
Unitarian Universalism

This is why Happy Holidays is a nice way to wish everyone the best of the season if you are not sure which holiday they celebrate.  If you’d like to wish someone with their specific holiday greeting, just ask.  It’s a simple and thoughtful way to recognize the diveristy of our world and to help bridge divides that really should not seperate us.