Tag Archives: religious holidays

When does Ramadan begin in 2013?

July 9, 2013

Learn more about Ramadan.

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Shavuot

What is Shavuot?

Shavuot is the second of three major Jewish holidays that occurs 50 days after Passover, another major Jewish holiday. Originally a historical and agricultural festival that marked the end of the seven weeks of the Passover barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest, Shavuot is also a religious observance of God’s presenting Moses with the Torah, or the Ten Commandments, at Mount Sinai 50 days after the Israelites left Egypt.

Shavuot is similar to the Christian holy day Pentecost, which falls 49 days after Easter  Sunday and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s followers.

When is Shavuot?

Shavuot is celebrated 50 days after Passover each year. Like Passover, Shavuot falls on a different day each year. This year, Shavuot falls on May 15.

How do people celebrate Shavuot?

Jewish people celebrate Shavuot by studying the Torah, reading the Akdamot and the Book of Ruth, decorating their homes with plants, flowers and leafy branches, and eating dairy products. In the U.S., synagogues often hold Jewish confirmation ceremonies on Shavuot. Although Shavuot is not a federal holiday in the U.S., many Jewish businesses and organizations close or limit their hours on Shavuot while Jewish people may choose to take their annual vacation around this time of year so that they have the day off.

Read more about Shavuot and its symbols and traditions.

 

Sources: timeanddate.com

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Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday prior to Easter. It marks the beginning of “Holy Week” and the final seven days of Lent. This year, Palm Sunday is on March 24, 2013.

Palm Sunday is a commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entrance into the city of Jerusalem. Crowds of his followers greeted him by waving palm branches and laying them in his path prior to his arrest and Crucifixion.

Today, Palm Sunday is celebrated through the dispersal of palm branches tied into crosses during worship services.

Sources: About.com, Wikipedia

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When is Easter in 2013?

March 31, 2013

Learn more about Easter.

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When does Passover begin in 2013?

March 26, 2013

Learn more about Passover.

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Ramadan

Ramadan, the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar, begins today. A month of fasting, reflection, prayer and spiritual growth, Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims.

What is Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, but it’s more than just not eating and drinking. Muslims must also refrain from smoking, sexual activity, impure thoughts and words and immoral behavior. Ramadan is a time for prayer and reflection, to practice self-sacrifice and self-restraint and to purify both the soul and the body. During Ramadan, Muslims eat a small meal before dawn and break their fast by eating a date after dusk and enjoying an elaborate feast with friends and family. A lot of time is also spent reading the entire Qur’an, praying and attending mosques.

When is Ramadan?

Ramadan begins on a different day each year. In 2012, Ramadan and fasting begin on July 20.

Find out more about Islam and Ramadan at history.com.

Learn more about Ramadan, fasting, the Qur’an and other Ramadan traditions.

Sources: history.com, islam.about.com
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