Christmas and Other Seasonal Celebrations
Our December cover is chock-a-block full of Christmas balls and the lights that reflect from them...a classic Christmas scene.
Yes, it is the season, but various groups and religions have different ways of celebrating, and do so at slightly different times.
That topic sent our intrepid Research Department Staff members on an enlightening search. Here are some of their findings.
Obviously the religion of Islam is one of the world’s major religions. Although Muslims do believe in Jesus, they do not believe that he is a god or the Son of God and, based on seasonal indications in the Bible, they also believe that Jesus was born in either March or September.
For Hindus, the “season” being celebrated is called Pancha Ganapati, a five-day celebration beginning on December 21.
If the celebrants are Buddhists, the celebrations are very much like those of Christians. For Buddhists, it is a time for peace and goodwill toward mankind. Christmas decorations are often hung in their temples, and greetings are sent to loved ones.
The Jews do not celebrate Christmas, and instead celebrate a holiday known as Chanukah (Hanukkah), a festival of lights beginning on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev (for eight consecutive nights between late November and December). Each night a candle on the seven-candle menorah is lit as special prayers are said, and fried foods are eaten. Chanukah memorializes the small army of Jews that defeated the mighty Greek Army in the second century BC. The Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and, as a symbol of reclaiming the temple, the menorah was to be lit. However, only a single jar with enough olive oil for just one day was available. It would take eight days to make the required pure olive oil needed. Miraculously, on that single jar of olive oil, the menorah stayed lit and remained so until new, pure oil was available. To remember this wonder, Chanukah was created.
Among less stringent Christmas celebrations is my favorite, the annual Christmas Pageant, especially those featuring younger celebrants. Most memorable was the show-stopper at the school attended by my sons. Onto the stage trooped nine reindeer (with fingers crossed that Rudolf’s nose worked). As the reindeer trooped across the stage, each proudly wearing a genuine, Mommy-created reindeer costume, at least six reindeer waved to Moms, Dads, or Grandparents as they entered.
As I recall, it was reindeer #6 who sent muffled giggles and tittering through the relative-filled audience. Soon every member of the audience was diligently trying to suppress out-and-out guffaws! Yup, reindeer# 6 was clearly more moose than reindeer.
As an unfortunate moppet struggled with the massive rack, a friend of mine, sitting behind me, muttered audibly, “Damnit, Cheryl, what were you thinking?” To which his wife replied, “How the hell am I supposed to know what size and shape reindeer antlers are? Next year, Mr. Wild Animal Expert, you can make the costumes!”
From the staff and board of The Pender Post, Merry Christmas to all, by whatever name seems right to you, and to all a good night.