Poetry Sparks

A commons for sharing images, quotes, stories, and observations that - given the right mix of oxygen and kindling - might ignite a little poetic inspiration...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spiritual Month

I didn't realize until recently the amazing number of spiritual observances and celebrations between Oct. 2 and Nov. 2 of this year: Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah for the Jewish faith; Dassehra, Karva Chauth Vrat, and Diwali for the Hindu faith; Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) for the Muslim faith; All Saints Day and All Souls Day for the Catholic and Anglican faiths; as well as Day of the Dead and Samhain, the Celtic New Year.

The last four observances all occur next week and center on honoring ancestors. I was talking to a friend today about these days and how it's unfortunate that most people don't seem to take a special time to honor their ancestors. In some ways perhaps this is a reflection of our move away from oral tradition. I think of my grandfather and the importance he places on recounting stories from the past. Perhaps it also is due to our move away from community spaces. I wonder if this is has happened in other parts of the world. I'm not sure I can organize something for next week, but I'd like to start a tradition in my family that sets aside a special time for this practice.

One other nuance I found is that for faiths that base their holidays on the lunar calendar, their new year occurs during this time. For instance, in the Jewish faith they complete their annual reading of the Torah. Instead of fall/winter being a time of dying/death/endings, this is a time of renewal/beginnings.


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