The eight candles of the Hanukkah Menorah symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth, the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others. Families light one candle on the first day, two on the second (and so on) after sundown during the eight days of Hanukkah, while reciting prayers and singing songs
Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion.
Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, it’s a cultural one. Because of this, people from all different religious backgrounds — including African spiritual traditions — celebrate the holiday.
Kwanzaa celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba. These seven principles are all Swahili words, and together comprise the Kawaida or “common” philosophy.
Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the principles, as follows:
1. Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
2. Kujichagulia (Self-determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
3. Ujima (Collective work and responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
3. Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
4. Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
5. Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
6. Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Martin Luther King Day commemorates the civil rights activist and leader assassinated in 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King was a scholar and a minister who led the non-violent civil rights movement. Through activism and inspirational speeches, King played an instrumental role in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens in the United States, as well as creating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
For Buddhists, the new year is a time for meditation and self-reflection. The goal is to find ways to improve and learn from past mistakes. Buddhists also believe that buying new items, cleaning and redecorating the home, and giving gifts can bring good luck. They also celebrate with feasts that are filled with sweets, and there are typically fireworks at midnight.
National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by President Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later was ratified as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment abolishing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.
Vasant Panchami, also called Saraswati Puja in honor of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, is a festival that marks the preparation for the arrival of spring. The festival is celebrated in Indian religions in different ways depending on the region.