By Jessica Brown
The holiday season is coming up and when most people think of the holidays they picture Christmas trees, dreidels, or candles. I wanted to take some time to explore traditions and holidays that many people have not heard about. Although there are many holidays out there, I decided to focus in on three that are not commonly celebrated in the US today.
Tuesday, Decemeber 8th
For many Buddhists a season of light starts on the holiday known as Bodhi Day (or Rohatsu). Bodhi means “enlightenment” in Sanskrit and the holiday celebrates when the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Guatama) achieved enlightenment. The story of his journey to enlightenment states that Buddha meditated under a tree until he found out the root of suffering. Buddhists celebrate this holiday by meditating and reflecting on themselves. This year, Bodhi Day will take place Tuesday, December 8th.
To learn more about Bodhi Day click here .
Pancha Ganapati is a five day holiday at the end of December and the holiday celebrates one of the Hindu Gods Pancha Ganapati or Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Lord of culture and new beginnings. On each day, one of the five faces of Pancha Ganapati is worshiped. Each day is represented by a different color, yellow, blue, red, green, and orange, respectively. Throughout the celebration, different aspects of one’s life are celebrated and strengthened. The aspects celebrated are family, close friends and neighbors, business associates and public, music and art, and charity and religiousness.
Chalica is a celebration of Unitarian Universalism’s seven principles. This holiday takes place on the first Monday of December and lasts for 5 days. It’s tradition was started in 2005, making it one of the newest holidays. Each day a chalice (Pictured) is lit representing a principle. The principle’s include the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
To find out more about Chalica, click here!
It is beneficial to learn about different cultures and their traditions. All three of these holidays focus on being a better person, specifically how we treat others. With Kappa Sigma Mu, we explore different cultures and their traditions to learn about the world around us. Looking at holidays celebrated around the world not only help us become more mindful of people's backgrounds, but also how they interact with each of us and our own culture.
Images after IntroductionBodhi Day