September, 2010- “Diversity, Integrity and Honor” (September 15 – October 15)
Hispanic Heritage Month is the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
"September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18 and September 21, respectively. "
Labor Day (September 6)
the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
(September 8 – 10)
Rosh Hashanah Is a solemn celebration of the beginning of the Jewish year? The New Year begins at sunset before the first day of Tishri in the Hebrew calendar and lasts for two days. However, Reform Jews usually celebrate Rosh Hashanah for one day.
Rosh Hashanah is a time of introspection when Jews examine their relationship with God. During this period, prayers are said for God's forgiveness, a good year, and a long life. The Ten Days of Penitence begin on Rosh Hashanah (the Day of Judgment) and end on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
(September 10 – End of Ramadan)
Eid al-Fitr is marking the close of Ramadan. After a month of Ramadan fasting, Muslims rejoice at the sighting of the next new moon signifying Eid Al-Fitr or "the celebration of breaking fast" with special prayers.
National Day of Service and Remembrance - This year, for the first time, the United States will recognize September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Eight years ago, the tragic events of that Tuesday morning inspired Americans to come together in a remarkable spirit of unity and compassion. In that same spirit, we invite you to join in service this September 11 to honor the heroes of that day as well as the brave men and women in uniform who continue to protect our country at home and abroad. Just set aside a little time to help a friend, relative or neighbor, organize a community service activity or support a cause that you care about.
Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. This holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting, prayer, and ceremonial repentance.
Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and/or attend synagogue services on this day. Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day of Tishri. The holiday is instituted at Leviticus 23:26 et seq.
The name “Yom Kippur” means Day of Atonement,” and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year.
Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.
OCTOBER, 2010 – (October 1-31)
National Disability Employment Awareness Month - The effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."
Columbus Day is a United States holiday commemorating the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states since the 18th century, but didn't become a federal holiday until the 1930s. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus' achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage.
United Nations Day on October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the Security Council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Since 1948, the event's anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies.
United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971. There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.
The UN does not work alone but together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); International Labor Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, but today is largely a secular celebration. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films
NOVEMBER, 2010 (November 1-30)
National American Indian Heritage Month
This year's theme for Native American Heritage Month: Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors.
In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994. During this month, the contributions of the continent’s first inhabitants are remembered and celebrated through ceremonies, powwows and special feasts.
All Saints Day Christian denominations celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints Day and the Feast of All Souls Day because of the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the 'church penitent' and the 'church triumphant', respectively), and the 'church militant' who are the living. Those who have died and are with God watch over those still living and the saints are held to intercede with God on behalf of the living. On their part, the living prays to the saints and remembers in intercessory prayers to God all who have died particularly their deceased relatives and friends.
DEEPAVALI / DIWALI
Deepavali or Diwali means an array or row of lamps. Of all the festivals celebrated in India, this is by far the most glamorous and important festival in India. It is celebrated in the month of October / November.
It is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of good over evil - and the glory of light. To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces- wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering, etc
Diwali is a time of holiday, feasting and family visits. Hindus spend the day visiting friends and family and exchanging gifts and sweets. This festival resembles Christmas in many ways. Children definitely expect toys at this time. Stores, shops and open markets are gaily decorated and lit up. Everybody adorns new and bright clothes, especially the women who wear their best jewelry. The preparations for Diwali begin well in advance and people start cleaning and decorating their homes, preparing Indian sweets, lighting up their homes with colorful lights, adorning new clothes & jewelry.
On Diwali, everywhere in India, at dusk when darkness unfolds itself, you can see a spectacular illumination of tiny flickering lamps, colorful light sets and Diwali lanterns adorning homes, balconies, offices and streets. Fireworks are bought and the children join in lighting the fire crackers. All this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness!
Veterans Day is considered a yearly American holiday venerating military veterans. And both a state holiday and a federal holiday in all states, Veterans Day is generally celebrated on 11th November. On the other hand, if Veterans Day happens on Sunday then the next Monday is selected for the holiday leave, if Veterans Day happens Saturday then either Friday or Saturday may be so chosen. It is commemorated as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in other part of the world. Veterans Day is celebrated on 11th November, the anniversary of signing of Armistice that finished World War I. The main hostilities of World War I were properly finished at 11th hour of 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918 with German signing of the Armistice.
Honoring All Who Served
Eid al-Adha (Islamic Festival of Sacrifice)
One of the two most important Islamic festivals, Eid al-Adha is the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice.” This holiday commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael. The holiday lasts for three days. The festival was traditionally celebrated by sacrificing a lamb or another animal and distributing the meat to relatives, friends, and the poor. The sacrifice has nothing to do with atoning sins; the symbolism is in the attitude – a willingness to make sacrifices in order to stay on the STrai9ngt Path. Each person makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to them; it is strength of heart, purity in faith, the sacrifice symbolizes obedience to Allah and its distribution to others is an expression of generosity, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
|Universal Human Rights Month|
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This December, celebrate your right to peace, liberty and freedom with Human Rights month. Our human rights are the reason why we as a nation are able to live harmoniously with one another. Simple rights, such as, voting, freedom of speech and rights to an attorney, help us, as human beings coexist. Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
The Hebrew work meaning rededication. It also is referred to as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah/Chanukah is a Jewish festival celebrated for eight days in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually occurs in mid to late December. This year Hanukkah/Chanukah is celebrated December 1 through December 9. In America, Jewish families celebrate the holiday at home. They give and receive gifts, decorate the house, entertain friends and family, eat special foods, and light the holiday menorah. The menorah is called a “Hanukiyah” and it holds nine candles. There are eight candles, one for each night of Hanukkah, the ninth is called the Shamash and is used to light the other eight candles. One of the best known symbols of Hanukkah is the dreidel.
A four sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters mean “A Great Miracle Happened There”.
Saint Nicholas Day
December 6th is St. Nicholas Day, the day designated by the Catholic Church in its Calendar of Saints to honor the man named Nicholas who was Bishop of Myra, which is now a part of Turkey, and noted for his saintly life. His birth date is unknown, but December 6th is the generally agreed upon date of his death and it is this date that is celebrated in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches as well as a secular holiday in many countries.
Remember Pearl Harbor Day
The attack on Pearl Harbor (called the Hawaii Operation or Operation Z by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and the Battle of Pearl Harbor by some Americans) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941. The next day the United States declared war on Japan resulting in their entry into World War II. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war that the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia, against Britain and the Netherlands, as well as the U.S. in the Philippines. The base was attacked by Japanese aircraft (a total of 353, in two waves) launched from six aircraft carriers.
The Winter Solstice is the first day of the Season of winter*. On December 22 the Sun is farthest south and the length of time between sunrise and sunset in the northern hemisphere is the shortest of the year.
As the Earth circles around the Sun, it learns about 23° on its axis like a spinning top frozen in an off-kilter position. At this time, even though the Earth is rotating, the entire Arctic area is hidden from the Sun - almost.
Some people think that this day is one of 24 hours of darkness on the Arctic Circle, but not quite.
Sunrise and sunset are calculated from the leading and trailing edges of the Sun (and not the center). If the Sun was like a light bulb that turned "on" or "off" when the middle of it hit the horizon, the days of full sunlight and full darkness would be equal. (See the Sunset Guide)
So, today on the Arctic Circle, there is some sunlight. When the Sun is at its highest, it is still mostly hidden below the horizon, but it is "up" enough to provide about two hours of light.
Ancient people considered this day a very important one. If the Sun kept sinking lower and lower, and the amount of sunlight each day got less and less, soon everything would be black and life would end. On this date, the Sun stopped (solstice means "standing still sun") and thereafter, it started to climb in the sky. This was a time of great celebration - the increasing hours of sunlight meant that life would continue.
Christmas is an annual Christian holiday that marks the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the center figure of Christianity. Christmas traditions include Nativity scenes and religious and spiritual celebrations. Some Christians begin celebrating on Christmas Eve and Christmas has also become a more secular holiday that celebrates themes such as: goodwill, giving and compassion, gift exchanges, the arrival of Santa Claus, Christmas cards, baking, decorations and the display of Christmas trees.
(December 26-January 1)
Kwanzaa is a holiday based on the African tradition of celebrating the harvesting of the first fruits (Kwanzaa means "first"). Kwanzaa was recreated and introduced to black people in the U.S. by California college professor Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966. The celebration has now spread worldwide; Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions of people in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and America.
Kwanzaa is a time of year for black people to come together as a community to celebrate the fruits of our labor during the past year. We do this by reflecting, reassessing, recommitting, rewarding and rejoicing in an atmosphere of peace, love and unity. Kwanzaa is a cultural and political expression to reaffirm our African heritage and continue to organize our people for the struggle.
Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days: December 26th to January 1st. Each day of Kwanzaa stands for a different principle of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles of Blackness. Each day of Kwanzaa, the family should gather to discuss the principle for the day, lighting a candle on the kinara (candle holder) for each day.
|Ujima||Collective Work and Responsibility|