Thursday, March 20, 2008

On a Very Good Friday for Five Religions: Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Holi, Naw-Ruz, and Good Friday, too

I found mention of this article on Elixir's Cogitabund blog. -gw

March 21 will be of special significance this year as the calendars of five different religions will coincide, giving each faith a reason to celebrate the day.

As Muslims celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi (the birth of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) on Friday, Christians will mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus as Good Friday, while Hindus and Sikhs will come together to celebrate Holi, also known as the festival of colours. Meanwhile, Eid-e-Nauroz, the religious festival of members from the Baha’i faith will fall on March 21, which is also a community festival for the Zoroastrians as well as the Ismailis and Iranians.

“For the first time in the history of my life have we been blessed by such a day when people from all different faiths will be celebrating their religious festivals on a single day,” Riaz Ahmed Shirazi, a Baha’i remarked. He prefers calling it a ‘blessed weekend’ and sees it as a sign from God to spread the message of religious tolerance.

Eid-e-Nauroz also marks the Baha’i New Year after the 19-day fast from March 2 to March 20 in the last month of the Baha’i calendar. Nauroz is one of the nine holy days of the year in the Baha’i religion when work is suspended.

The Zoroastrian community as well as Persian speakers and those who trace their roots to Persia will also celebrate Nauroz which marks the first day of spring according to the astronomical vernal equinox. It is a Persian word meaning New (year) day.

No comments: