This is a great little article that explains why Monday was one of the most sacred days to Buddhists. I really have very little to add. However, I think its also worth mentioning that December is ripe with religious holidays (as you can see below.) It makes sense. Think about the life of our ancient ancestors. Its cold, its getting colder. The days are shrinking and nights are growing. Longer nights mean you have to spend more time gathering fuel for the fire. You need to huddle together with your friends and family for warmth and fellowship. Tell your stories. Remember who you are and where you have come from. Now more than ever you need to access the divine, call upon it, and acknowledge it. The world is not a rational place. One day you are happy and full, the next a wolf eats your grandmother, a third brings rain and fire from the sky. The days are getting shorter. Sure, last year they did the same and it all got better. But it might not this year. Last year that tree was full of berries, this year it has none. Last year you had grandmother, this year you do not. The sun might go to sleep forever, and then where would you be?
Not to belittle any religious belief or celebration. I am going to one such tonight myself. I just want to point out that there are reasons we all get to feeling this way, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year. There are external and mundane triggers that cause us to seek the divine. There is nothing wrong with that. Grief and Joy and struggle and plenty are all part of the human experience, they are all part of our spiritual experience as well. So what if someone else shares a holy day with you? Mithras, born of a virgin, the son of god, celebrated his day on December 25th long before Jesus. Odin in his big fur coat and his eight legged horse road out on the solstice long before Santa and the eight tiny reindeer of song. So we all have a case of Seasonal Affected Divinity Syndrome. So what? Take comfort in it. Let your minds and heart be open a little more to your brothers and sisters in this world and to the Divine. That which points to God, or the transcendent if you prefer, is good. Just take the time to maybe clear off all the things you have put in the way of seeing it, whatever it may be.
So, I wish you all a blessed one or more of the following:
6 Saint Nicholas Day - Christian
8 Rohatsu - Bodhi Day ** - Buddhist
Immaculate Conception of Mary - Catholic Christian
12 Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe- Catholic Christian
16-25 Posades Navidenas - Christian
17-24 Hanukkah * - Jewish
21 Solstice Yule - Christian
Yule * - Wicca/Pagan northern hemisphere
Litha * - Wicca/Pagan southern hemisphere
24 Christmas Eve - Christian
25 Christmas * - Christian
26 Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra ** - Zoroastrian
28 Holy Innocents - Christian
31 Watch Night - Christian
Not an exhaustive list I know. But I suspect we will turn our attention to dates and calendars again soon.