Journalism Next from The Out-of-Door Academy: Many faiths represented during the holiday season

Special to the HeraldJanuary 7, 2013 

Holidays? Yup, but not just Christmas.

With 2012 coming to a close, many students are anticipating the upcoming two-week break, known to many as Holiday Break. But not many students know that we have been in the holiday season for a long time.

Many religions look forward to their respective holidays. One of the biggest holidays for Jewish people is Rosh Hashanah. It usually lasts two days in the month of September. Just like the typical New Year, Rosh Hashanah marks a time to make new goals and resolutions for the year ahead. Rosh Hashanah is one of the many holy days that Jewish people celebrate.

Another holiday that is very important to the religion is Yom Kippur. Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is observed by a 24-hour fasting period, in which people repent and ask for forgiveness. On these days, Jewish people attend morning and afternoon services.

This holiday season also consists of other holy holidays, such as Ramadan in the Islamic religion. Ramadan, also known as the month of fasting, is where Muslims fast every day for 30 days, from sunrise to sunset. During this time, people refrain from eating and even from drinking water. Once the sun sets, people who follow this tradition can eat and drink once more. This tradition is meant to teach patience and self-control while allowing people time to repent and reflect upon their lives and loved ones.

The beginning and end of this special month are marked by a sighting of the crescent moon. The end of the month is celebrated with a festive gathering called the Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of this month of Ramadan. This day is meant to be a joyous holiday filled with family and friends.

The Jewish and Islamic religions are just two of the numerous religions that observe a holiday during this time. While you are getting excited for Christmas right now, consider how many other religions also are celebrating important holiday.

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