Bahai News -- A last hurrah for holidays
Sites - Past Articles
A last hurrah for holidays
Celebrate your way around the Web.
By Sara Aase
Holidays. Every culture has them; for many of us, they stem from the same ancient roots of peoples, religions, and the marking of time. We
recognize them as days off from work, time to gather with family and friends, or ways to remember important people and events. Rarely do most of
us stop to consider the historical context in which these traditions were born, or how they change according to country or religion. Of course,
with the myriad special days denoted by your typical 365-day calendar, covering everything from Arbor Day to World AIDS day, who has time to
realize that it's Kamarampaka Day in Rwanda, or Niklaus of Flue Day in Switzerland? The World Wide Web, that's who--once again proving that
someone, somewhere, really is keeping track of this stuff, and helping us make a connection.
Qatar to Kiribati
Another worthy stop is Holiday Festival, which includes helpful information about time-zone changes
and local customs. For example, the site notes that in France, if a holiday occurs on a Tuesday or Thursday, many workers will take off the adjacent
Monday or Friday. It also lists upcoming dates for some religious holidays whose dates change annually, such as Easter or the Chinese NewYear.
Celticism to Catholicism
For a broader worldview, search holidays by religion instead of country to find out which parts of the world will be observing Ramadan or Purim,
for example. The Earth Calendar also handily displays the icon associated with each religion-a plain cross for Christianity, let's say, or a lotus
for Baha'i. Because many religious holidays have no exact fixed date, and instead vary from year to year according to the phases of the moon, the
Earth Calendar also includes a way to search for significant holidays by lunar phase.
The Interfaith Calendar is another good year-at-a-glance source for religious holidays, and also provides some basic information about the roots
of a religion, such as Jainism, for example. For a fascinating digression about the roots of the differences between, see Religious Tolerance.org.
The melting pot
For a Cliffs Notes version of arbitrary holidays celebrated in the United States, turn to InfoPlease.com's listing of major holidays, religious
and secular. Because the site lists holidays by date in a given year, you'll find Eid al-Adha, the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, a few listings
after Groundhog Day. Whether or not this existential clash is intentional, it feels good. You can also find a listing of holidays strictly by
religion, as well as selected national holidays from around the world.
U.S. historical holidays
If you've ever wondered about Flag Day and why it's celebrated in June (of course you knew it was June!), you may be surprised that the best place
to find out is from a page hosted by the U.S. embassy in Sweden or Germany, not somewhere in the many pages of our own government Web sites. At
the English-language programs division of the United States Information Agency of Sweden or Germany, visitors can read in detail about the origins
of Flag Day (I won't spoil it for you here), as well as Mardi Gras, Presidents' Day, Mother's Day, and even good old Arbor Day. Now if they could
just tell us who decided on a plural apostrophe for Presidents' Day, but a singular for Mother's and Father's Day...maybe some things are better
©Copyright 2002, ComputerUser.com
Return to: UGA Baha'i Association's Home Page
Baha'i News Archives' Index
This page was designed by Sohayl Moshtael suggestions, and news submissions are welcome, and
The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the
University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
Page last updated/revised 021208