Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic)
Celebrating the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church dogma states that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin.*
Archive for the 'Seasons' Category
Pearl Harbor Day
By Presidential Proclamation, today we honor and remember those who were killed when the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese Air Force on December 07th, 1941. Before September 11th 2001, this was the first and only only attack on US soil.
photo credit: via flickr
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
A day honoring the Bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. Known for his charity and wisdom, St. Nicholas is believed by many to be the inspiration for Father Christmas and Santa Claus.
Some parts of the world celebrate the evening before, known as Saint Nicholas’ Eve (December 05).
link: The Many Faces of Santa
Saint Nicholas Eve
Sinterklaas (also called Sint-Nicolaas or De Goedheiligman in Dutch (and Saint Nicolas in French) is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Belgium, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas’ eve (December 5) or, in Belgium, on the morning of December 6. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of, among other things, children.
It is also celebrated in parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, celebrate “Saint Nicholas Day” on the morning of December 6. The traditions differ from country to country, even between Belgium and the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ Eve (December 5) is the chief occasion for gift-giving. The evening is called “sinterklaasavond” or “pakjesavond” (“presents evening”). In the Netherlands, children receive their presents on this evening whereas in Belgium, children put their shoe in front of the fireplace on the evening of December 5, then go to bed, and find the presents around the shoes on the morning of the 6th.
Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. It is often claimed that during the American War of Independence the inhabitants of New York City, a former Dutch colonial town (New Amsterdam) which had been swapped by the Dutch for other territories, reinvented their Sinterklaas tradition, as Saint Nicholas was a symbol of the city’s non-English past. The name Santa Claus supposedly derived from older Dutch Sinte Klaas. However, the Saint Nicholas Society was not founded until 1835, almost half a century after the end of the American War of Independence. A study of the “children’s books, periodicals and journals” of New Amsterdam by Charles Jones revealed no references to Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas. However, not all scholars agree with Jones’s findings, which he reiterated in a booklength study in 1978; Howard G. Hageman, of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, maintains that the tradition of celebrating Sinterklaas in New York existed in the early settlement of the Hudson Valley, although he agrees that “there can be no question that by the time the revival of St. Nicholas came with Washington Irving, the traditional New Netherlands observance had completely disappeared.” The Saint Nicholas Society of New York still has a feast on December 6 to this day
quoted text and image source: wikipedia: Sinterklaas
Ashura: Tenth Day (Islamic)
This Shia Muslim holiday commemorates the death of Muhammad’s grandson, killed during the Battle of Karbala. Celebrated on the 10th of Islamic month of Muharram, Ashura is a day of fasting, reflection and meditation.