Celebrate!

December 19th, 2011

The winter season is a time of celebrating across many cultures.  As always, your campus library has plenty to read to learn about these celebrations.  Books like Chase’s Calendar of Events (REF D11.5.C48 2012) and e-books such as We Are What We Celebrate: Understanding Holidays and Rituals or Holidays On Display offer excellent information, as do reference sources like Britannica Online.  And databases with strong religion sections like JSTOR offer numerous excellent articles about these and other holidays. 

 many faiths

Some of these celebration around the world you may like to discover include:

Bodhi Day (Buddhist) celebrates the day that Buddha achieved enlightenment.  It is on December 8th.

Boxing Day (secular) is a gift-giving holiday that is sometimes merged or replaced with the Catholic Feast of St. Stephen.  It occurs on December 26th.

Epiphany (Christian) commemorates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus.  It is celebrated on January 6th.

Pancha Ganapati (Hindu) celebrates Ganesha, especially in his manifestation as a cultural guardian.  It is observed from December 21st to December 25th.

Tu Bishvat (Jewish) is one of four Hebrew New Year celebrations, commemorating the beginning of the agricultural cycle.  It is celebrated on the 15th of Shevat (late January or early February).

Yalda (Persian) is a winter solstice festival, celebrating the birth of Mithra with fresh fruits.  It is celebrated the night before the solstice; December 21st in 2011.

Yule (German) used to be a Norse winter solstice festival, but has been gradually merged with Christmas in most Scandinavian countries.  Several modern Neopagan sects have adopted and integrated it as a festival of rebirth, celebrated over 12 days in December and January.

 Whatever you celebrate, enjoy!