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What’s the Lupercalia? Roman holidays – Religion

By |2017-09-04T15:43:30+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The decorated ceiling of the cave where people may have celebrated the Lupercalia, under the Palatine Hill in Rome. In the time of the kings of Rome, about 600 BC (and maybe even earlier), when the people of central Italy were all shepherds and farmers and lived in villages, they got cold and bored during the rainy winters and wanted to have [...]

Eid al-Adha – Islamic holidays

By |2018-05-15T13:29:40+00:00September 1st, 2017|Islam, Religion, West Asia|

Eid al-Adha: an Islamic image of Abraham and Ishmael What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha is an Islamic holiday. It falls a few months after the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr. These two celebrations are the two most important holidays of the year for Islam, and of the two, Eid al-Adha is the [...]

Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-25T11:57:45+00:00August 25th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Apples For thousands of years, the Jews celebrated their New Year around the beginning of spring, just like everybody else in West Asia. Passover was probably port of this old New Year celebration. Sometime before 100 AD, though, the Jews split off from this ancient tradition and began to celebrate a different new year, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, [...]

What is Sukkot? – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-25T10:31:10+00:00August 25th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sukkah - a temporary house just for the holiday People along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea first began celebrating Sukkot probably at least six thousand years ago, when they were beginning to be farmers. Like Passover and Hanukkah, Sukkot was a harvest festival. After plowing, planting, pulling weeds, watering, and worrying about whether diseases or storms would wreck the [...]

History of the Jews – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-08T01:10:57+00:00August 24th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

The Pharaoh's daughter picks Moses up out of his basket (synagogue at Dura Europos, Syria, 200s AD) There are really three sets of articles here about the Jews and Judaism. First, there are the Bible stories. These articles tell the most important stories in simple words, using illustrations from the ancient and medieval [...]

Medieval Hanukkah – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T11:55:10+00:00August 24th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Arch of Titus: Roman soldiers carry off the big menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD, but the arch was built in the 80s AD) In 70 AD, after the First Jewish Revolt, the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Second Temple. Titus plundered the menorah along with other treasures from the Temple. He brought it back to [...]

Building a sukkah – Jewish holidays

By |2018-04-09T23:07:30+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sukkah - a temporary house just for the holiday While you're learning about the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, you can build your own Sukkah. You can build a Sukkah out of anything, except that the roof has to be made of plant material like branches, and it has to have gaps in it big enough to [...]

Christian vocabulary – what do the words mean?

By |2017-08-23T11:47:22+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Priest blessing people who have the plague As Christianity developed into a world religion, it also developed a lot of special words. These Christian words describe the different people involved. They name the rituals that these people do. Other words describe the places where they work. So what do all these special Christian [...]

Christmas – American holiday

By |2018-04-24T11:05:18+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming (1300 AD) Even before 1500 AD, people in North America celebrated a winter religious festival when the days stopped getting shorter and began to get longer again. Many people built stone structures to make it easier to know when the solstice had arrived. When European settlers arrived, they brought with them some new ideas [...]

Chinese New Year – Ancient China

By |2018-04-18T17:29:31+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Religion|

Chinese moon cakes for the New Year People in China probably started to celebrate the New Year - the beginning of farming in the spring - around the same time they started farming, about 3000 BC. People in West Asia were already celebrating the New Year in early spring by that time, and [...]