Monday, February 11, 2013

Holy Days of February

February is full of religious feasts  and observances. This is a powerful week. It would be interesting to know what days some of you will observe this week or what day or days you are drawn to. 

For me, I always observe Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. I have strong Roman Catholic roots. The Chinese New Year is also important because we celebrate it in my Kung Fu Community. 

February 10 - Transfiguration SundayChristian - Christian commemoration of the experience on Mt Tabor when Jesus' physical appearance became brilliant as his connection with traditional Jewish holy figures became evident to the disciples. 

February 10 - Chinese New Year - Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist - Begins a fifteen Day Festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth.

February 12 - Shrove TuesdayChristian - carnival day on the eve of Ash Wednesday which begins Lent, a time of fasting and devotions. Pancakes are often served. It is also known as Fat Tuesday in some places.

February 13 - Ash Wednesday - Lent begins through March 23 - Christian - Christian observance to begin the 40 day season of Lent. Ashes are marked on worshipers as a sign of penitence.

February 14 - Nirvana Day ** - Buddhist - a regional observance of the death of the Buddha. 

February 14 - St. Valentine's DayChristian 

February 15 - Vasant Panchami ** - Hinducelebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of learning.  

February 15 - Nirvana ** - Jain - means final release from the karmic bondage.  

February 24 - Purim * - Jewish - Jewish celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide. Charity to the poor, sharing food with friends, and vigorous merrymaking mark the observance. 

February 24 - Triodion beginsOrthodox Christian - Orthodox Christian time period leading up to Lent. The liturgy involves hymns, odes and scriptures.

An asterisk (*) indicates that the observance begins at sundown the prior evening
Written by Rev. Jay Speights, TNS