‘Tis the Season?
‘Tis the Season?
Inspired by Galen Pearl's recent Thanksgiving post, I decided to explore some of the holidays around the world that are not well-known in the USA. What I discovered was enlightening.
Buddhist Communities: Vesak or Visakah Puja is a major Buddhist festival of the year, and celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. The holiday takes place during the first full moon in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Japan: On November 3, the Japanese people celebrate Culture Day, otherwise known as Bunka no hi. It is a day to honor traditional Japanese culture and promote the love of freedom and peace.
Russia: The Day of Unity is a celebration by the Russian people of the liberation of Moscow from Polish troops in 1612, led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. This event marked the end of the time of troubles and foreign intervention in Russia.
Mexico: Día de los Muertos celebrates the dead among the living. For centuries, deceased loved ones were buried directly under the floors of their households, rather than in modern-day cemeteries. It is believed the dead co-exist with the living, and thus, the holiday is a celebration of their lives, not a morbid event.
Albania: On October 19th each year, the Albanian people honor the famous missionary, Mother Teresa. While many people think of Mother Teresa as Indian because of her nationality, her ethnicity was actually Albanian. Thus, they have declared an annual public holiday in her name.
Hong Kong: Each April, the Ching Ming Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday occurring on the 104th day after the winter solstice. Generally falling on the first day of the fifth solar term in Hong Kong, its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime and tend to the graves of departed ones.
While there are literally thousands of holidays celebrated worldwide, I have listed just a few to remind us during our festive season that regardless of our location on the planet, we are the same species and should respect one another every day of every year.