Posted by: Gillian | December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas Holiday Greetings

I know; I’m sorry.

Over the last week I have been having great fun working out what particular holiday (holy-day) matters to various people and tailoring greetings to match. It is part of the rich diversity of life and I enjoy it.  I know which holidays matter to me – perhaps all the more so for having lived in various countries with different traditions.  Getting together with people you love and care for is important.  A day off or holiday is part of what enables that.

Equally important, in my book, is acknowledging other traditions and faiths and family customs.  That’s not the ‘Happy holidays’ type of acknowledgement but ‘What are your roots? What, around about this time, are you celebrating or enjoying and what ar the customs associated with that?’

Responses to my cheery but inept “Happy Christmas” have ranged from the tart, “We’re more X and Winter Solstice,” via gleeful anticipation of the Winter sales to, ” Are you doing Midnight?”  Even that is heavily culturally bound but so be it: we are all people of some tradition.  Here are a few of the festivals I’ve found for a single month:

21 December Winter Solstice or Yuletide

22-29 December  Hannukah

25 December Christmas

29 December Al Hijra (Moslem New Year)

01 January Western New Year’s Day

05 January Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh)

07 January Orthodox Christmas

07 January Ashura (Sunni Moslem fast)

11 January Mahayana Buddhist New Year

14 January Makar Sankranti and Pongal (both Hindu Harvest festivals)

18 January World Religion Day

That’s a lot of customs to share and enjoy.  To each and every person whatever your background and wherever you are: happy Christmas!

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