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Happy Holiday. . .Or Four

April 14, 2017

Two billion dollars. That’s the amount that will be spent on candy for this weekend. That’s just a part of the estimated $18,000,000,000 that will be spent by United States consumers for this weekend.

So, what’s the occasion?

It depends on whom you ask. There are at least four celebrations that happen this week.

Jewish Passover

The first holiday happened a couple of days ago. April 11th was the date of the Jewish celebration of Passover. It was also the night of the full moon. That was not a coincidence. The Jewish calendar is based on twelve lunar months of 29 or 30 days each. The new moon marks the beginning of each month and Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan, the 7th month in the year. If you start your month on the new moon, the full moon is going to occur 14 days later. Passover is always the night of the full moon.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach to my Jewish friends.

Pagan Ostara

March 20th is the date of the Spring or Vernal Equinox this year. The Vernal Equinox is when the sun crosses over the plane of the equator. It’s the day on which the amount of daylight and the amount of darkness are roughly equal. In the Norther Hemisphere the “days” now get longer.

Pagans typically celebrate the Ostara in connection with the Vernal Equinox. The celebration recognizes the arrival of spring. It’s true that this holiday was last month, but its ties to the Christian celebration of Easter are pretty close, so I’ve included it here.

Christian Easter

I love calendars, dates and time keeping. Easter is one of the few calendar events that cannot be computed with just a calendar. Most holidays are calendar-based. Thanksgiving is the third Thursday in November. Christmas is the 25th of December. But, Easter, is the first Sunday after the first fullmoon after the Vernal Equinox. Its name comes from the Pagan Sumerian goddess Ishtar.

Christians celebrate this as the day that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. Along with Christmas, it’s one of the most revered day in Christianity. It also happens this coming Sunday, April 16.

The Other One

So, that’s three. What’s the fourth holiday? I’m not sure what to call it. Most people call it Easter. But, it borrow from the Pagan traditions more than Christianity. Easter morning, millions of kids will wake up to Easter baskets. Baskets full of fake plastic grass, eggs, bunnies, chocolate and lots and lots of candy.

Eggs and rabbits were the two symbols of Eostre, the Lunar goddess of fertility. I’m not sure that sugar has its origins in anything other than candy companies, but the egg and rabbit symbol are ancient.

Whether you are Jewish, Pagan, Christian or just a lover of all things confectionary, here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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