Happy Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Eid and Diwali! October Holiday Reference

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

The holiday season is upon us, congratulations!In our multi-cultural society it is easy to get lost in the abundance of different holiday , so we thought you might this short holiday reference useful. We want to share our findings on the history and traditions of this month’s holidays.

Rosh HaShanah (Sept. 24-26, 2014) and Yom Kippur (Oct. 3-4, 2014)

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Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year. It occurs ten days before Yom Kippur. These two holidays are known as the High Holy Days.
Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. Therefore, during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. People are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year.

Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person. There are several symbols of Rosh HaShanah:

  • The shofar is n instrument often made of a ram’s horn, which is blown a hundred times during each of the two days of Rosh HaShanah. The sound of the shofar blast reminds people of the importance of reflection during this important holiday.
  • Tashlich, a ceremony that takes place during the first day and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water.
  • Apples, honey and round loaves of challah. Apple slices dipped in honey represent hope for a sweet new year and are traditionally accompanied by a short prayer before eating. Challah, which is usually baked into braids, is shaped into round loaves of bread on Rosh HaShanah. The circular shape symbolizes the continuation of life.

The purpose of Yom Kippur is to bring about reconciliation between people and between individuals and God. According to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being. It seems like an intense message but the day is viewed in a very positive light – by the end of the proper celebration of Yom Kippur, the person will make peace with the others and the God.

The three essential component of the holiday celebration are:

  • Teshuvah (Repentance). The ten days leading up to Yom Kippur are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. During this period Jews are encouraged to seek out anyone they may have offended and to sincerely request forgiveness so that the New Year can begin with a clean slate.
  • Prayer – asking for forgiveness of everyday offenses like hurting those we love, lying to ourselves, etc.
  • Fasting, the only fasting days the Torah commands to observe. The fast starts an hour before the holiday begins and ends after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.

EID (Oct. 4-6, 2014)

Eid-al-Adha-mubarak-messages-9During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham’s trials. the holiday is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice because it traditionally includes the sacrifice of an animal permitted for food (eg. a lamb) as an act of thanksgiving for God’s mercy. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

Many Muslims in the United States celebrate Eid al-Adha with prayers and social gatherings. The Muslims of many heritages, including North Africa, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, wear traditional clothes and share their national dishes. It is a time for prayer, sharing meals, handing out gifts and wishing one another well.

Our doctors Ali & Ali are welcoming students who are away from their family on this holiday for a social celebration at their home.

Diwali (Oct. 23, 2014)

6122Deepawali, Diwali or Festival of Lights is  the biggest of all Hindu festivals, a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. It’s a four-day-long celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.

Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest festival . However, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali or ‘Deepawali.’ Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali , the dark goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha , the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshiped in most Hindu homes on this day.

All the simple rituals of Diwali have a significance and a story to tell. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire-crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state. Still another possible reason has a more scientific basis: the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains.

 

Whichever culture you come from, the caring team of Wellesley Dental Group wishes you Happy Holidays! If there is anything we can do to take care of your oral health, please call 781-237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment for consultation.

Reference:
http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/yomkippur.htm
http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/roshhashanah.htm
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/eid-al-adha
http://hinduism.about.com/od/diwalifestivaloflights/a/diwali.htm
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/india/diwali

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