Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is an important day throughout Latin America, but it is especially significant in the Mexican town of San Juan de los Lagos, where the celebration begins several days in advance. The town temporarily renames the streets where the festival will occur—on Calle de Alegria (Joy Street), for example, there are puppet shows, side shows, and musical performances. On the morning of December 8, the 11-inch image of the Virgin Mary leaves the local church, carried by priests on a silver litter. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Timor-Leste National Heroes Day (Anniversary of the Indonesian Invasion)

In Timor Leste, the invasion of Indonesian forces on December 7, 1975, initiated a period of occupation in which about 200,000 Timorese were killed. Today, this anniversary remains an occasion to mourn those who were killed and to seek redress for crimes committed during the occupation. Beginning in 1976, the Timorese established a tradition of gathering in the capital, Dili, to commemorate the anniversary of the invasion and stage a public protest over Indonesia’s actions. Candlelight vigils and commemorative church services also became common throughout the country. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Vaitarani Vrat

Vaitarani is the river that, according to Hindu belief, runs between the earth and the underworld, which the dead must cross to reach the realm of Yama, the ruler and judge of the dead. Because this river is said to be filled with all kinds of filth and moral offenses, Hindus believe that it can only be crossed with the aid of a cow. On this day, devout Hindus observe a fast and other prescribed rituals. In the evening they worship a black cow, who is bathed in fragrant water and has sandal paste applied to her horns. Brahmans are given gifts of food, clothes, and a cow made out of gold or silver. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Advent

The Advent season marks the beginning of the Christian year in Western Christianity. Its length varies from 22 to 28 days, beginning on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew’s Day and encompassing the next three Sundays, ending on Christmas Eve. Originally a period of reflection and penitence in preparation for Christmas, Advent has sometimes been referred to as the Winter Lent. Today it is usually associated with the Advent calendars that parents give their children to help them count the days until Christmas. In Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity, Advent begins on November 15. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Natchitoches Christmas Festival

Natchitoches is home to one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the country. Since 1927, both townspeople and visitors have made this festival a fixture in their holiday routine. The Festival of Lights, held the weekend before Thanksgiving, opens the season; however, the Christmas Festival is the premier event of the festival season. It is observed with a parade, an assortment of river bank booths, arts and crafts, and a traditional fireworks show over Cane River Lake. The festivities continue up until the New Year’s Eve celebration. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Eton Wall Game

Every year on St. Andrew’s Day, England’s prestigious Eton College holds the famous Eton Wall Game, a variety of rugby that has its own highly technical rules and is different from all other forms of the game. The object of the game is to win goals by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team’s “calx,” designated by a chalk line on a garden wall at one end of the field and by a mark on a tree at the other. The game is made up of many scrimmages along the brick wall that marks off the college athletic field for which the game is named, and goals are almost never scored. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

William Tubman's Birthday (Goodwill Day)

The influence of William V. S. Tubman (1895-1971), Liberia‘s president for 27 continuous years, was so great that his birthday was established as an official holiday while he still held office. The national legislature declared the holiday in response to a citizens’ appeal made in 1952. Decades after his death, Liberians still celebrate the national hero’s birthday, also known as Goodwill Day. The most elaborate festivities for Tubman’s birthday have always taken place in his native city, Harper, where activities may extend for three days. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Feast of Christ the King

In 1925, Pope Pius XI established the last Sunday in October as the Feast of Christ the King. He did so in order to remind people of Christ’s everlasting authority over the people of the earth, thereby signaling the church’s resistance to the rising tide of secular values and ideas in politics as well as in social matters. In 1970 the Roman Catholic Church moved the feast to the last Sunday before Advent begins, as did the Episcopal Church and some other churches in the Anglican Communion. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary