So much is going on in the world of religious celebration, I figured I’d wax philosophical for a moment on the most important factor I have observed in this early stage—decision. It is totally inevitable when trying step back, breathing in the scope of religion; because it is daunting. If one has never really studied religion, they most likely think there are a ridiculous amount of religions, sects of those religions, and various schools of philosophies attached to any one of them. After just a couple weeks into this project, I, who has studied religion at a pretty high clip for the better part of a decade now, am feeling near uncontrollable awe at the vastness of the term “religion”. In regards to OYRH, this represents directly in the form of decision making.
Every calendar I come across is a little different. From Jewish calendar to calendar, Hindu, Baptist, Sikh, Jain, Zoroastrian, you name it, they agree on about half of what they say. I couldn’t pin down sixty-plus percent of Holidays with multiple street teams researching in every country. Because, it comes quite clear after only a few days of research I will have to choose between sects and when, happily celebrating a holiday twice in that makes sense, but I have a caveat. If the choice is between a holiday I have already celebrated and the opportunity to celebrate something new, I have to go with something new.
Once a holiday has been observed, I can let it go. There are many faiths on the list, so in the spirit of exploration, new opportunity will take precedent over repetition.
In related news, this mess has made the calendar slow going as the simplified version looks like this:
20th: The First Day of Ridvan, Baha’i
21st: 1st Day of Passover, Hebrew; Hanuman Jayanti, Hindu
22nd: Hanuman Jayanti, Hindu; Theravadin New Year, Buddhist(?)
23rd: 1st Day Pesach/Passover, Jewish: Conservative, Jewish: Orthodox, Jewish: Reform; St. George, Romanian St. George Orthodox; Lazarus Saturday, Orthodox Christian
24th: Martyrs Day: Armenian Christianity; 2nd Day Pesach/Passover, Jewish: Conservative, Jewish: Orthodox, Jewish: Reform; Palm Sunday, Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christian
26th: Rain Festival (April 26th – May 3rd), Mayan
27th: 7th Day of Passover, Hebrew
28th: The Ninth Day of Ridvan, Baha’i
29th: Good Friday, Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic, Egyptian (Coptic) Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Macedonian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox; Orthodox Good Friday, Greek Orthodox, Romanian St. George Orthodox, Russian Orthodox Church; 7th Day Pesach/Passover, Jewish: Conservative, Jewish: Orthodox, Jewish: Reform
The research screens I work off of are far more confusing to someone just walking up and looking over my shoulder, a total face-melter.
So, I have begun to make choices, like today for example. It is the New Moon of Nissan tonight by the Hebrew calendar, and in antiquity, we would hear the Hebrew calling of Rosh Chodesh by the priests once the moon had risen. Yet, the modernization of the Jewish faith has moved most of this to fall with Sabbaths concurrent with the Gregorian calendar. I would enjoy celebrating today, but there are others, several Annunciation and The Iroquois Thunder Ceremony (April 7th – 10th) begins today as well. I will enjoy the new moon tonight, and may call Rosh Chodesh in my neighborhood tonight. It is all about behavior right?
Speaking of, I had been discussing the One Year Religious Holiday with a colleague who does keep a faith and he remarked, “Are you sure you’re an atheist.” This was in response to my saying, “I need some Indian cloths, you know, like from India. Or at least in that style.” What?
So I wanna dress the dandy sometimes for this project. I think I have to sometimes to get into the neuroscience of it. I desire to get as much of my perception wrapped around the holidays as I can.
So, let this be a reminder to any who read this, if you know practicing Hindus person or family, or Muslim person or family that would be willing to donate clothes that fit me or props, idols, etc., please help me reach out to them. I would love to see how much those things change my experiences.