Celebrating Diversity – December 12 to 21

December 12 – Hanukkah (through December 19) (Jewish) – Approximately in 164 B.B, Maccabees, a small group of Jews fighting for religious freedom won victory over the Syrians.  The legend goes that to rededicate the Temple, they found only one jar of holy oil and miraculously the candelabra remained lit for 8 days.  The Festival of Lights is celebrated for eight days.  The eight candle menorah is lighted.  Special readings and songs of praise focus on liberty and freedom.

December 12 –Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico) – An important religious festival in Mexico.  It commemorates the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to an Indian boy in 1531.  Processions, dances and visits are led to her Mexico City shrine.

December 13 – Aga Khan’s Birthday (Islam Ismaili) – He is the religious head of the Ismaeli sect.

December 13 – Luciadagen (Sweden) – This day is also known as ‘Queen of Light’, a candlestick parade takes place in her honour.

December 15 – Navidades (Puerto Rico) – Marks the beginning of the Christmas season and ends with the Three Kings Day on January 6th.

December 15 – Bill of Rights Day (USA) – The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  Among the rights protected are freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and protection from unreasonable search.

December 16 – Posadas (through December 24) (Mexico) – A nine-day traditional celebration throughout Mexico.  Processions of pilgrims go door to door asking for posada, which means shelter, commemorating the search by Mary and Joseph for shelter.

December 18 – 1st Muharram – Islamic New Year (Islam) – Islamic New Year, 1431.  The first of Muharram marks the first day of the fist month (Muharram) of the Islamic year.  It begins at sundown the previous day.

December 21 – Tohji-Tasai (Shinto) – The sun is of central importance in Japan and this day celebrates the end of the Yin period of the Sun in its declining strength and the growing power of the Yang period.

December 21 – Yule (Wicca) – During the winter solstice – the longest night of the year, the rebirth of the sun which is life sustaining is celebrated.  The Yule tree is decorated with fruit and candles are lit to represent the sun.

Source: www.multiculturalcalendars.com

Part of a posting series on multicultural events for 2009.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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