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Celebrating Winter Holidays
Bodhi or Rohatsu Day A Zen Buddhist Holiday to celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha. The story is told, Buddha was born on the 8 th day of the 12 th lunar month. The majority of Zen Buddhist are normally located in Japan, but they are located throughput most of the world. This is a day in which Buddhists show their respect to the Buddha, but they recognize the Buddha is not someone they should worship. They view the Buddha as someone they can learn from to improve their own life to reach enlightenment.
The week before this holiday, Buddhist practice intense meditation. This is a time for a Buddhist to focus on themselves and how they can improve to reach full enlightenment. Reaching enlightenment is the goal for all Buddhists. Being an enlightened one is to be connected to yourself and with the world around you. The picture above is of a Mandala. These take three weeks to create. They are made out of colored sand and are two dimensional. They are created by Buddhist monks, and it is used for meditative purposes.
Chanukah or Hanukkah Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for dedication. Hanukkah is more of a celebration than a religious holiday. It celebrates the liberation of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple. When the Hebrews were preparing to rededicate the Temple, they only found enough oil for the Temple lamp for one day. According to legend, the oil lasted for eight days. The lighting of candles for eight consecutive nights has become the traditional way to celebrate Hanukkah. Chanukah begins at sunset on December 21st and lasts until December 29 th.
The holiday involves worship that is centered more in the home than in the synagogue. People light candles on a menorah, or hanukkiah, adding a new candle for each night. The menorah is an eight-branched candelabra with a ninth holder for a helper candle called the shamash. Since the menorah could not be used as the only source of light, and since no candle was to light another, the shamash was used to light each nightly candle. Traditions of Chanukah Chanukah lasts eight days. On each day feelings of gratitude are expressed through special prayers, and the lights of the Menorah are lit each evening. It is also customary during the holiday for members of the family to play dreidel, to give presents, and to eat oily delicacies such as donuts, pancakes and "latkes." Happy Chanukah
History of Christmas Annual Christian celebration honoring the birth of Jesus Christ Celebrated in December since the fourth century Many countries exchange gifts and/or cards Christmas is a religious holiday and a secular winter holiday Christmas Feliz Navidad Merry Christmas Joyeux Noel
Saint Nicolas Saint Nicolas was born into a wealthy Catholic family. His parents died when he was young. With his inheritance he decided to help the people in need especially children. Saint Nicolas later became a bishop and served on the Counsel of Nicaea. His day of celebration is on December 6 th. This is also to celebrate the small children.
Representation of Colors Black is for the face of the African American people Red is for the blood that the African American people shed Green is for hope and the color of the motherland Kwanzaa Ritual The Kinara (candleholder) is placed atop the Mkeka (mat, usually straw). The Mishumaa Saba (seven candles) represent the Nguzo Saba (seven principles). Each candle represents a distinct principle beginning with Umoja. Candles are then lit each day alternately from left to right. Three red candles should be placed on t he left and three green candles should be placed on the right. Kwanzaa is December 26 th through January 1 st. Dr. Maulana Karenga started the celebration of Kwanzaa in 1966. Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that means "first fruits of the harvest." Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African "first fruit" celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration. Happy Kwanzaa
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