Saturday, December 22, 2007


Well, my friends, here we are at the third and final of my special Holiday Posts for this season. In the New Year we'll be back to our regularly scheduled oldies blogging, but for now, it's time to par-tay!! In this post, we're going to acknowledge the spiritual celebrations, customs, and of course, the music from all the major belief systems in our great big ol' world. We have a lot that divides us these days, so my aim here is to find what unites us. Looks like a December whoop-up is pretty standard, no matter where you hail from. Just so you know, I've done my best to find YouTube vids that are directly connected to each festivity, but when that wasn't possible, I kind of faked it with something at least culturally relevant. I sincerely hope no one is offended. That said, here they are, listed in that politically and theologically neutral device: Alphabetical Order.

Atheists/Agnostics: Well, right off the bat, what kind of spiritual tradition are we going to find here? Hmmm. But I dug deep and found this delightful footage of Teegarden and Van Winkle doin' their bit hit, "God Love and Rock and Roll." To all of you out there who are on the A/A list, ya gotta love two outa three!

Buddhists: Dec. 8 is Bodhi Day, the celebration of the day when the Buddha became enlightened. Scroll down and read the comments posted at YouTube for a little enlightenment of your own as to what's going on. Okay, maybe this ain't the wildest celebration on our tour, but hey, after all that crazy dancing you just did to Teegarden and Van Winkle, it's kind of nice to sit this one out.

Christians: Dec 25 is the day most Christians celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus. Those who are Eastern Orthodox wait til January 7th. It's a calendar thing, don't ask me to explain. When they say "you do the math" they aren't talking to me. Hope you enjoy the lively Christmas carol, performed by one of my favorite groups.

Hindus: Diwali in December? Well, that's another calendar issue, even more complicated that the previous. Plus, I have to admit that I don't think we can stretch this date out any later than Nov. 9th or so. Just think of it as the November pre-party. It's a Festival of Lights, celebrating the victory of Good over Evil. Right on!

Jews: Another Festival of Light, and a miracle at the darkest time of the year. It shifts dates too, but being an 8 day event, it usually catches a number of days in December. This happy number is brought to us by those spiritual party animals, the Barenaked Ladies.

Muslims: Dec 20 or thereabouts. This one shifts dates all throughout the Gregorian calendar year, because of the Islamic lunar reckoning that...where's my calculator?...oh forget it, I can't keep up, just take my word for it, it's in December, but just this year. Anyway, I didn't find any music per se, so let's go with a pretty one from Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens.

Pagans: Dec 21 give or take. This is the Old world celebration of Yule, and the origin of those yummy frosted chocolate logs. It's also given us garlands of holly, bunches of (ahem) mistletoe, and, if I'm not mistaken, hot gin punch. Say, would anyone care for a little more roast boar?

Well, that's it, my friends, we hit all the major faith-based December celebrations, and the not-faith based, too. As you can see, the whole world is having a special time about one thing or another. There's just no reason on earth for us not to all get along, right?

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