holiday

Home » holiday

What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By |2018-04-25T23:58:29+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day of their New Year. Nowruz is [...]

Where did Purim come from? Jewish holidays

By |2018-04-24T23:19:06+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Mordecai is leading Esther (on the horse) to talk to the Persian king. A fresco from the world's oldest preserved synagogue at Dura-Europos in Syria (244 AD) At first, maybe as early as the Stone Age, Purim was a Jewish winter festival that was probably related to the Babylonian New Year celebration and the Zoroastrian [...]

What is Hanukkah? – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T00:17:17+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Canaanite amphora, for olive oil or wine (Bronze Age, about 1300 BC) Like all other farming communities, Jewish people celebrated harvest festivals when important crops were safely harvested and stored. One of these harvest festivals was Passover, in March or April, when the first of the spring barley was ripe. Another was Sukkot, in October, celebrating the fruit harvest. Hanukkah, [...]

History of Valentine’s Day – American holidays

By |2018-04-24T10:38:17+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

A Valentine from Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415 AD The Roman Lupercalia The earliest holiday that might conceivably have something to do with Valentine's Day is the Roman Lupercalia. And the fashion for people singing Valentines verses to each other may have started earlier in the Middle Ages. Chaucer and [...]

Thanksgiving – American holidays

By |2017-08-14T23:41:41+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

Map of Wampanoag village at Plymouth Bay in 1613 AD,just before the Puritans arrived. See the growing crops around each house? Beginning about 100 AD, when they started farming their food, all throughout the middle and eastern parts of North America, people celebrated the Green Corn Ceremony every fall when the corn got ripe. This was a harvest [...]

History of Halloween – American holidays

By |2018-10-02T10:13:05+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

History of Halloween: Pumpkins growing When did Halloween get started? Halloween is a pretty new holiday - American children didn't start trick-or-treating on Halloween until about eighty years ago. Halloween is a combination of several different holiday traditions: Native American ones, Irish ones, and old Roman ones. What about Thanksgiving? More American holidays [...]

Christmas Trees – American holidays

By |2017-08-14T14:26:19+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Northern Europe, Religion|

Christmas Tree in Germany (late 1700s, by Joseph Keller) Because Christmas is related to old celebrations of the winter solstice, evergreen trees have always been popular decorations in northern countries at Christmastime. They're green when everything else is dead and white. In the time of the Roman Empire, people sometimes hung small bits of metal from trees at this [...]