Poetry & Shorts

Merry Christmas, Festive Hanukkah and Kwanza, and a very Prosperous and Happy 2006 and beyond!

While Christmas is not the biggest of festivals in India (it is big for sure in parts of India – large cities and with those people observing it for religious reasons), of late it has assumed great importance for the likes of me – who by virtue, of being in the offshore outsourcing industry need to remain clued into the American and European and far eastern calendars.
Quite simply, the developed world observes this entire week as a vacation period across religious boundaries. This results in dull days in office, or better – a happy vacation!
Well, there’s christmas to start with – the long BIG , overcommercialized holiday in continental america and just about all across the rest of the developed world.
Then there’s boxing day (also called the day after christmas or the feast of st stephens)
Hanukkah – the Jewish festive season is celebrated eigth days and nights from the 25th of Kislev. It can be in either november or december but this year, happens to be Dec 25th!
The African american community have their very own festival called Kwanzaa, celebrated from Dec 26th through January 1st every year. The festival distingushes itself from Christmas as not being a substitute but rather a community based celebration. It focuses on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. The word Kwanzaa means ‘first fruits of the harvest’ and was founded in 1966 as a time for African Americans to reaffirm their ancestral heritage.
Lastly there is the new year – by now, a very well known and almost globally accepted celebration. In Japan, on January 1st shinto prists strike the shrine gong 108 times to drive away the 108 worldly sins.
So, here’s wishing you all a merry christmas, festive hanukkah and kwanza and a lovely start to 2006 !


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