Chanukah started 8th - 16th December
Chanukah is an eight day joyous Jewish festival. Known as the Festival of Lights, Chanukah commemorates a miracle that occurred in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt in the second century BCE. The Syrians occupied Jerusalem and began suppressing Jewish customs. During the conflict, the temple's menorah, or ritual lamp, was running out of oil. Although it only had fuel enough for one night, the lamp burned brightly for eight nights until help could arrive.
This story has been a powerful symbol of Jewish identity and resilience over 22 centuries. It has always been a popular part of Jewish identity, and the symbolic menorah is usually lit in a public place to share the miracle with the world.
On each of the eight nights of Chanukah festival a candle is lit with the prayer for peace and harmony.
Bodhi Day - 8th December
Some Buddhists celebrate Siddhartha Guatama’s attainment of enlightenment on this day under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, North India. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.
Yule - 21st December
Yule is the Pagan time of the Winter Solstice, when the sun child is reborn, an image of the return of all new life born through the love of the gods.
Zartosht-No-Diso - 26th December
This is an important day of mourning in the Zoroastrian religion. It is a commemoration of the death anniversary of the prophet Zoraster. It is an occasion of mourning with lectures and discussions held on the life and works of the prophet. Special prayers are recited and attendance at the fire temple (the Zoroastrian place of worship) is very high.
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated on December 25 by millions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is now celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
It is also a time of families coming together to celebrate and exchange gifts, whilst enjoying the spirit of the season.
Whichever religious festival you may be celebrating this December we wish you peace, goodwill, health and happiness now, and all year round.