There is a great article by Gina Savet Tavangar in the Huffington Post, regarding all the different celebrations that are happening during this time of year and the messages that we can derive from them. I dont know about you but for me, it comes with a great hope that through these celebrations that the goodness in the world prevails and with it, bring for a better tomorrow...
Here is the article that was taken from here.
I'm often amazed by the convergence of so many important, sacred holidays within the same few weeks of the year. If a being from a peaceful planet came to earth this week and got a bird's eye view, I wonder what lessons they would take away from this coming together on the calendar? I doubt they'd take sides -- as in, "this tradition is good, that one is bunk!" If we hoped they would take away some important lessons from each of the rituals that cause people of diverse convictions to change their routine in honor of something bigger, here are some lessons they might take away:
From Passover (Pesach), the Jewish holiday: The ritual seder dinner involving all the senses serves as a parable for and about children, reliving the Exodus of Moses and his loyal believers, embarking on a journey marked by hardship, but ultimately filled with hope and optimism for a brighter future, toward freedom -- from oppression, want and indignity.
From Vaisakhi, the Sikh holiday: This day marks the establishment of the concept of the Saint-Soldier, whose courage is rooted in standing up for the freedom of any oppressed human being, all of whom are children of the same One Creator, to be treated equally regardless of
From Mahavir Jayanti, the Jain holiday: gender, caste, beliefs. This marks the birth of the last of the Jain prophets who was believed to have conquered all human vice; the sacred holiday serves as a reminder of the qualities of renunciation from materialism, charity, justice, nonviolence and honesty.
From Christian Holy Week, Culminating on Easter Sunday: The suffering of Jesus, dying on the cross followed by His miraculous resurrection, exemplifies Divine grace and humanity's hope for redemption and renewal, even amidst the worst crises.
From Ugadi(and other names), the New Year for various regions' Hindus: This festivity or its variations is celebrated with foods that mark the various tastes of the year to come: bitter, sweet, sour and fiery, followed by fresh clothes, clean home, visits to loved ones and symbols of goods' triumph over evil. The idea of renewal is coupled with the realities of life's trials and hope for goodness as the ultimate victor.
From Theravadin, the Buddhist New Year (in Southeast Asia): Renewal is marked by celebratory food, visits to temples, fresh and new items for home and person. These help begin a new cycle, as in nature. People also might be splashed with water -- amidst revelry -- to symbolize a cleansing from past sins.
From Nowruz originated by Zoroastrians. While this ancient holiday starts on the Spring Equinox in March, Persians celebrate it for 13 days, so it also carries into April. Today, part of the beauty of Nowruz is that all Persians, regardless of religious affiliation, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Baha'i, are united by this holiday honoring beauty, renewal, hospitality and fresh beginnings.
From Ridvan, the Baha'i holiday: The Ridvan festival marks Baha'u'llah's publicly announcing His sacred mission centered in the realization of the Oneness of Humanity, justice and a renewal God's purpose for humanity to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. It is symbolized by roses, as thousands were brought to honor Baha'u'llah prior to His embarking on yet another journey in His long exile.
Earth Day also falls right around these holy days, marking a common stewardship of the planet across all faiths and traditions.
Ironically, I could not find an Islamic holiday falling in April. Perhaps this could have special significance for Muslims, particularly those in the Middle East and North Africa. As the last few months have been called the "Arab Spring," this could serve as an especially poignant reminder, a time to gather the lessons of the ages to build hopeful democracies: consider the virtues of Freedom, Renewal, Resurrection, Redemption, Liberation and Justice that all the world's faiths encourage us to realize. Perhaps taken together, this vision of a world in celebration this spring could bring us closer to the ideals we all hope for. It certainly makes for important lessons to teach our children.
I also promised you a picture of Mother Mary, who I talked about here. Unfortunately, my cousin couldn't stay in my Lola's town through Easter Sunday but she did get AMAZING pictures of Mother Mary in her glory on Friday.
Isn't she absolutely beautiful?! Even dressed in black, she is a sight to look at!
Look at all of those flowers! Keep in mind that they are ALL real! Absolute fresh flowers that adorn this large float! Remember that it was ONLY 2 days previously that her float was decorated by the colorful and gorgeous sweet blooms. Now it is a total transformation in white!!!
Remember the other statue that I was telling you about in my previous post that we had owned and given to another family? Well here he is.
My cousin Dolly was able to get a picture of him too! Now just imagine how SCARY it is to live with this life size statue in your home all year through. My Lola kept him in his coffin on the 2nd floor sitting room of her house. I hated having to go up there for anything let alone after sundown! And during my younger days, we still moved around by lamp light!
Ahhhhh..... the memories of a wonderful childhood!