Christmas and its Interfaith Traditions

The Interfaith Christmas WreathMany traditions come with advent season in Christianity; it is Margasheera month in Hinduism – a month that is kept aside for spiritual activities. It is also the time of Chanukkah of the Jewish Faith. The Persian religion – Zoroastrianism – has the Shab-e-Yalda night, the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. In this time of the coming of the Christ Child, we explore the many traditions of several religions.

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How I Feel as a Jew During Christmas

Our children attended a preschool located in the building that houses our state’s Supreme Court. Every morning we walked through the Great Hall, whose exhibits provided more opportunities to teach the children about the values and principles of our country, including the separation of church and state. Things became more complicated in December. The stately hall erupted in evergreen swag and red bows, trees glittering with tinsel, and piles of gifts.

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Judaism: The Story of Hanukkah

Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah), meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the hanukkiyah, a special menorah for Hanukkah; foods prepared in oil including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts); and special songs and games. In 2018, Hanukkah will take place from 2 – 10 December.

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