The National Day of the People’s Republic of China is celebrated every year on October 1. The People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949. The National Day marks the start of one of the two Golden Weeks in the People’s Republic of China. The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The government organizes variety of festivities including concerts and fireworks.
The Chinese moon festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese calendar, on a full moon night. This year it falls on the 19th of September. The festival is also known as the Mid- Autumn Festival and celebrates 3 fundamental concepts of gathering, thanksgiving and praying. An important part of the festival is moon worship and offerings are made to the Moon Goddess of immortality- Chang’e. Carrying brightly lit lanterns of floating sky lanterns is a notable part of celebrating the festival.
The Jewish Holiday Sukkot also known as the feast of booths is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. It is celebrated after the Day of Atonement- Yom Kippur and lasts for 7 days. The Hebrew word Sukkot is plural for Sukkah- which means booth or tabernacle, it is a four walled structure which is covered with palm leaves. During the entire holiday people eat their meals inside the Sukkah. This year Sukkot is celebrated from the 18th– 25th of September. Happy Sukkot!
Yom Kippur is the second of the two ‘High Holy Days’. It is celebrated 10 days after Rosh Hashanah and this year falls on the 13th of September. Yom means ‘Day’ and Kippur means ‘to atone’; therefore it is known as a ‘Day of Atonement’. For Jews it is the holiest day of the year and most Jews spend the day in intense prayer, many also fast. Erev Yom Kippur or the Eve of Yom Kippur is celebrated with Festive meals and giving charity. Greeting cards conveying wishes and blessings are also sent.
According to Judaism, God inscribes every person’s fate for the coming year in the ‘Book of life’ on Rosh Hashanah, and 10 days later on Yom Kippur the ‘Book’ is sealed.
Patriot Day is not a celebration but an annual observance on the 11th of September to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in the United States of America on the same day in the year 2001. Patriot Day is also known as 9/11.
Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, and schools and workplaces remain open. On the direction of the President the flag of the United States of America should be flown at half mast on all American houses, the White House and US Government buildings all over the world as a mark of respect to those who died in the attacks. At 8:46 am (eastern daylight time) many people observe a moment of silence, as this was the time the first plane was flown into the World Trade Center. Prayer meetings and church services are also held.
People send cards to the friends and family of those precious souls who had to go through the horror of 9/11. ‘God Bless America’ and ‘Peace to the nation’ cards are also sent on that day.
The Hindu Festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day festival that is celebrated during the Hindu month of Bhadra- between the 19th of August and the 20th of September. It is celebrated as the birthday or rebirth of Lord Ganesh and is also known as ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ or ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’. This year it will be celebrated on the 9th of September.
Lord Ganesh is worshiped by Hindus as the God of wisdom, good fortune and prosperity. He is represented as having the head of an Elephant.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturti is celebrated by Hindus all over the world, it is however most popular in India, especially in the state of Maharashtra. On the day of the festival, life like models of Lord Ganesh are placed in homes and ‘Pandals’ (specially erected temporary structures) for people to view and pay homage. These Pandals are specially decorated and are usually theme based. They are erected by the people of a locality. Cultural performance like singing and stage performances also occur. Ganesh Chaturthi cards are sent to friends and family, sharing the blessings of Lord Ganesh.
In this way Lord Ganesh is worshiped for the next 10 days. On the 11th day, the models are taken in an elaborate procession and are immersed in a nearby river, pond or even in the sea. This is a symbolic see-off of Lord Ganesh, who is to travel to his holy abode and take with him all the misfortunes of man.