Winter Holidays

is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which the prophet Mohammed received the first revelation of the Koran from Allah. Ramadan is celebrated by faithful Muslims as a time of joy, peace, community and rededication, with fasting from dawn to sundown, prayer and study, and social and family celebration.

is the celebration of the Festival of Lights in remembrance of a miracle occurring when the Jewish temple was liberated from the Syrians in the second century BC. Only enough consecrated oil could be found to burn the temple lamp for one day. The lamp continued to burn for eight days, until new oil could be brought.

Winter Solstice
is the longest night of the year. It also marks the turning of the year; from now on, nights will grow shorter as the earth warms toward spring. In 2001, winter solstice falls on December 21.

December 25th is celebrated as both a sacred and a social holiday. Although not all Christians agree on the details, all agree that Jesus the Christ is important and necessary to the reconciliation and relationship between God and humanity, and most choose to celebrate His birthday on December 25 as a time for peace, joy, and fellowship. Both believers and non-believers usually feast, exchamge gifts, and spend special time with family.

is an Afro-American and pan-African celebration of seven personal and community ideals (one for each day) called the Nguzo Saba: Umoja (Unity); Kujichagulia (Self-Determination); Umijah (Collective work and responsibility); Ujamaa (Cooperative economics); Nia (Purpose); Kuumba (Creativity); and Imani (Faith).

New Year's Day
by the Western calendar, January 1 begins the new year, celebrated by parties and spectacles on New Year's Eve. Making News Year's Resolutions is also a popular custom. So is breaking New Year's Resolutions.

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