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* JUDAISM: All Jewish holidays begin and end at sundown on the dates listed. This is celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, it is celebrated on January 2. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid-August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid-July in other regions. The first Monday in September is celebrated with picnics and parades honoring workers in the two countries. The “Paryushan-Parva,” is celebrated annually for self-purification and uplift and reinforces adherence to the ten universal virtues in practical life. It was an ideal opportunity to set up local governments in Mexico since Spain was in turmoil without clear leadership. This day was first observed by the United Nations General Assembly in1982. Each festival day is dedicated to one of the different forms taken by Durga. This is a time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and repentance. While not an official government holiday, most American-Indian organizations and tribes do observe this holiday. Founded in 1988, in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, the emphasis is that the most basic form of activism is coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. Each evening candles are lit on the “menorah” (candelabra), adding one candle each night. *** CHRISTIANITY: Some Holy Days have the same date each year; others vary from year to year. Celebrated twelve days after Christmas, it marks the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus. Feast to recall the revelation of the Trinity in Christ’s baptism. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the return to this world of ancestors’ spirits, and at the festival’s end, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas to guide the spirits back into their world. Therefore, Kwanzaa is a time for achievements, reverence for the Creator and creation, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals, and celebration of the good. Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus. HINDUISM: The dates change each year, based on the lunar calendar. Each year on this date (according to the Nanakshahi calendar) his birthday is celebrated with a Sikh festival that is a religious celebration in which prayers for prosperity are offered. During the festival bonfires are lit, traditional meals are offered, paper lanterns hung, and folk dances performed. This date marks the start in 1810 of the Mexican War of Independence that ended Spanish dictatorship. 30: Muharram (Islam), This month is the start of the Islamic New Year and is the most sacred month except for Ramadan. Christians celebrate this feast to commemorate the life of Saint Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. The first day of winter occurs on or around December 22 and is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 24-January 1: Chanukah, also known as Hanukkah (Jewish). It is celebrated on December 25 by Western churches and on January 7 of the following year by Eastern Orthodox churches. Kwanzaa, a Swahili word, means “first.” Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, thus available to and practiced by Africans of all religious faiths. The charity, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, holds family open days on the first Sunday of every month from May to October, between noon and 4pm.Visitors can buy food to feed goats as well tickle them behind the ears. There is no entrance fee but a donation to the running of the sanctuary is asked for.The area was originally settled by the Dutch who established a trading post upon the present site of the town of Rondout in 1614.This settlement was abandoned after troubles with the Esopus Indians. This settlement was also attached in 1655 and was temporarily abandoned.The Dutch and the Esopus Indians entered into a treaty in 1660, but the Indians attached in 1663, leading to a war which drove the Indians out of the area.In the process of driving the Indians out, the Wallkill Valley was discovered and was soon occupied by a colony of French Huguenots.You can get up close and personal to the 120 fun-loving goats at BUTTERCUPS GOAT SANCTUARY.The goats will be meeting the visitors at the centre in Wierton Road, Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone, at the first open day of the year on Sunday, May 4.