Other Opportunities during Interfaith Awareness Week
December includes holy days for many area religious traditions.
The main holy days in December 2010 are:
o ADVENT (preparation for the Birth of Jesus Christ) continues through December 25 in most churches (for a small number, it will continue through January 6)
o HANUKKAH (Jewish) beginning December 1 ~ A menorah is lit each evening for a week.
o ST. NICHOLAS DAY is December 6th in Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. This is the saint that Santa Claus is based.
o MUHARRAM (Muslim) beginning December 7 is the beginning of the Muslim year and celebration of the first Islamic community at Medina. ASHURA is a Shi’ite holy time for the first ten days of Muharram, with a festival December 16.
o WINTER SOLTICE is sacred to several traditions including Shinto, Wicca and Native American.
o CHRISTMAS (December 25) marks the birth or NATIVITY of Jesus Christ. Some Orthodox Christians will celebrate this festival on January 7th. Armenians, on January 6th.
o Traditional “Winter” holy days for Hindu, Baha’i, and Sikh fall in November this year. In addition, HAJJ & EID AL-ADHA (for Muslims) fell on November 15 & 16 ~ these are the days of pilgrimage. The Eid (festival) observed even when not on pilgrimage.
In addition to the Interfaith Awareness Week events and open houses, here are more opportunities:
Christian Churches have regular Sunday morning services – check the Worship Directory in most local newspapers. Many other religious groups meet for weekly gatherings on Sundays out of convenience, including Buddhist, Sikh and others.
Muslims Gather for mid-day Community Prayers at Madison Area Mosques and Campus locations
Jewish Services begin Friday at Sunset, usually at home, and then gather Saturday at Madison Area Synagogues and Campus locations