I haven’t been here for a while – busy with other projects or circling the globe in some fashion or another.
It seemed a fitting time to return to blog life during this celebratory time of year. With Canadian Thanksgiving behind us, American Thanksgiving is fast approaching with Hanukkah, Christmas and a new year on its heels. Diwali began last Thursday, November 15th.
Diwali pays homage to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. During Diwali, a clay oil lamp called the diya is lit. This signifies good over evil. Lights decorate rooftops and rooms, food is shared with family and friends. It marks the end of harvest in which thanks are given for the year’s bounty. Sound familiar?
Hanukkah, also referred to as The Festival of Light, is an eight day holiday observed by the lighting of one candle per night on the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah. Among other things, the holiday represents the cease fire, when Jews rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Originally, prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies became part of all religious practices after the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Now, a traditional North American Thanksgiving is more about the food that is served and giving thanks for family, friends and good fortune.
There is speculation that Canadian Thanksgiving originated when, in an attempt to find the northern passage to the Pacific, explorer Martin Frobisher finally landed in what is now Frobisher Bay. Rather than a harvest celebration, he held a feast giving thanks for surviving the long journey from England.
Common threads run through these religious and cultural traditions. Take pause to reflect as well as celebrate.