Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Holidays are upon us! Every year I need to re-asses what they mean to me THIS year.

I love the many traditions about this time of year; they are all about light--spiritual or physical--coming in a time of darkness. I cannot do justice to any of them here, but here is a smattering with links if you want to explore further. Be sure and add any I may have missed!
  • The day Buddha realized the way out of earthly misery and experienced Nirvana is celebrated by many Buddhists on   Bodhi Day, Dec 8th
Golden Phoenix raising the sun, a Chinese Solstice Story

  • St Lucia's Day, Dec 13  is a Swedish holiday I love celebrating with children. Lucia--or Lucy, meaning light--is said to have brought food to Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome in about 300 AD. When I ran an earlychildhood program, we made crowns with paper "candles" and cinamon rolls to bring to the elders.
  • Solstice, Dec 21st --I love calling Winter Solstice the day of the Birth of the Sun (Son)!
  • Many Sufi celebrate the Urs of Rumi on Dec 17th. In this tradition, the day a saint dies is the day he or she is reunited with the Divine. It is called the Wedding Day and is celebrated as a day of joy!
  • Christmas--Some of my friends consider Christmas to be unChristian because the date and some of the customs we still use are based on Roman holidays of Saturnalia and Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus (Birthday of the unconquerable sun).
  • Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday celebrating the one days worth of oil that kept the temple light and kept burning for  8 days. Like many other winter holidays, candles are an important part of the celebration.    
  • Yule--remember hearing about the yule log?
How do you celebrate the winter holidays?

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