February 2nd Candlemas Day
Today is the day a large number of Christian based faith groups take their candles to church to be blessed. Since Jesus was the “Light of the World” this symbolism is blessing those things that light our way daily through life (perhaps as we modernize we should take light bulbs). There was a time when candles were the main source of light in the home and blessing them made sense, to protect us from burning down our homes! This is also traditionally the day we are to finally take down our Christmas Decorations.
How to celebrate – Take your candles to get blessed. Make sure your Christmas decorations are down by the end of the day. Look for blessing in all your life.
Today is one of the most important days in Christianity, Good Friday. It is the day that Jesus was put on the cross, passing away at 3 PM. I have never actually understood what made this Good Friday, it seems like a pretty rotten one to me. However I guess what followed was pretty darn special. We could not have had Easter Sunday without Good Friday. It is also known as “Dark Friday”, maybe a little more fitting. The day turned dark at 3PM also. The day varies with the year sometimes coming early, sometimes later. It really doesn’t matter when it comes, it’s still a day to remember. That someone would suffer all so that we could have everything is amazing. Jesus did that for us ALL!
How to celebrate – Go to church. Read the Bible. Believe.
Keeping with the theme of Halloween and All Saint’s Day we now move to All Soul’s Day. This is the day we pay homage to those who have passed on. It is also known as the “Day of the Dead”. It is hoped that they have passed on to Heaven but also serves as a day to ask for forgiveness of the sins of the dead so that they may pass on to Heaven.
Created in 998 it is another Christian holiday. It is a remembrance of those loved ones that have passed before us though there are many who also pray for unknown people’s souls. I am sure we all know the sinners of others that we can pray for forgiveness. I think sometimes it is easier to pray for their sins than our own so hopefully, once we have passed someone will pray for us as well.
This is not restricted to Christianity, but today was created for Christians. It really is a day about remembering. So long as a person is remembered, they really haven’t totally moved on. It’s therapeutic for the living and hopefully helpful for the dead.
In an odd sort of way it is also a celebration for those who have passed because they are in a better place than they were before. A whole lot of us hope that is the case. If you believe that death is nothing but a hole in the ground, then you don’t have much to look forward too.
If you believe in God then you believe you have a soul. If you have a soul, then you hopefully will go to Heaven and All Soul’s Day makes a lot of sense!
How to celebrate – Remember those who have gone before you. Pray that those who have passed have reached Heaven. Believe!
Today is the beginning of Holy Week for all Christians. (At least that I know of) It is the day that Jesus rode in on a donkey into Jerusalem and saw the world change forever. Palms were laid down on the ground and held up in the air to celebrate Jesus’ entry. This was very upsetting to the Sanhedrin and Rome.
The palms were used as a part of the celebration of Sukkot. During Sukkot, temporary housing was built, normally out of palms, where people were to live for the day doing no other work. It should be noted that not only palms were placed down in Jesus’ path but garments and other types of branches as well.
The people shouted “Hosanna” which basically means “save us” in Hebrew. They were welcoming their King and Lord into their lives. Regrettably, not long after many of these same people were shouting “Crucify Him”.
Those receiving Palms on Palm Sunday should remember that after taking the Palms home they should be buried or burned, not just randomly discarded. As with most religious symbols, they are meant to remind us of what came before us. No matter your religion, the value of any religious symbol should be honored by all.
How to celebrate – If you are Christian, attend church today. Remember to bury or burn the palms you have gathered. Remember those who came before us.
If you are Irish you certainly know about today! It is the celebration of that beautiful, and often troubled, island. It honors Saint Patrick, who I have covered before so I will not go into detail here. He was not Irish, but brought Christianity to Ireland in the 400’s AD.
Known as the Emerald Isle the national color is obviously green. The lush green lands of Ireland that brings us the national dish of Corn Beef and Cabbage, and of course, potatoes. It was once a wild land and while civilized now, by others standards, much of Ireland still appears wild and unclaimed.
It is the land of shamrocks and leprechaun, both meant to bring one luck, but both of which have some dark history to them. Oddly, there are some 34 million people in America that are descendants of Ireland. The reason it is odd is because it is 9 times the population of Ireland itself!
If you come from Ireland, or have Irish relatives, you have a great deal to be proud of. I am not sure dying your dog green is such a good idea, but what the heck. The Irish have always been dependable people, normally of good cheer and though sometimes can show their hot tempers, make for some of the best friends on earth.
How to celebrate – Go green! Check your family tree for relatives that came from Ireland. Try and find the end of your rainbow!