With many other world-wide religions, Christmas just one of many celebrations

By Jibreel Bailey

Religion is an interesting topic. During Christmas, what is the first religion you think of?

Christianity, right? But not everyone is Christian or Catholic. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Respecting that is part of life.

So this holidays, Holmes student counsel will no longer decorate the halls with red, green and gold Christmas colors.

In the top five religions only two of five celebrate Christmas. The top five are Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Agnosticism.

Only Christians and Catholics celebrate Christmas out of the five religions listed.

As it may seem that Christians blow the numbers out of the water, they really don’t. With Christians having about 2.04 billion followers, Islam with 1.226 billion followers, Catholics with 1.142 billion followers, Hindus with 828 million followers and Agnostics with 639 million followers.

These other religions celebrate different interesting holidays.

Starting with Islam, two official holidays represent Islam: Eid Al-fitr and Eid Al-adha.

These holidays are at the end of every fasting period. In the summer, Muslims fast for 30 days, and at the end of that 30 day period, they have Eid Al-fitr. Eid is a day of forgiveness and cleansing. Eid is the day to appreciate by giving gifts. This is called the month of Ramadan.

Also, Islam has an annual charity called zakat. It is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Participants travel there and donate a certain amount of money to the first mosque, an Islamic house of worship.

Next is Hinduism. In contrast to Islam, Hinduism has many more celebrations. Diwali, Festival of Lights, is a major holiday that is also celebrated by Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. It extends over five days and celebrates the victory of good over evil.  Some Jains may choose to fast for the two days of Diwali. Another holiday is Holi, simply a festival of colors, the opening day of spring.

I bet you didn’t know that a Buddhist birthday was called a Vesak, and they have a whole festival on it.

There are a lot of festivals and events for different religions, so to only decorate for Christmas is kind of unfair.

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