NASA Goddard encourages and celebrates different faiths – Part 3!
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Holidays to balance out your hot and sticky summer! Thank heavens, too — we all need something other than air conditioners, swimming pools, and ice-cold lemonade to keep us afloat as we roast. (Though honestly, none of those are all that bad.)
Nothing for us Pagans this month, but still plenty to go around! A very happy holiday to anyone observing this month. :)
Like the ones in February and April, below is the section of the email sent to all NASA Goddard employees with the holidays for the month of July, including some links at the bottom with additional information and a diversity calendar. As always, thank you to Matt for sharing!
Asalhapuja (Buddhist): A Theraveda Buddhist celebration of the Buddha’s first sermon and the setting of the Wheel of Truth into the world.
Independence Day (United States):Marks the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence by representatives of the 13 colonies. The U.S. proclaimed autonomy from England and formed of the United States of America.
Shab-e-Barat (Islamic): A fast in preparation for Ramadan. It is believed that on this night, Allah absolves sins and fixes the destinies of humans for the coming year. It is common, particularly in India and Pakistan, to ask Allah to forgive people who have died. Begins at sundown the previous day.
Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i): Commemorates the arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution of the Bab, the prophet-herald of the faith, in Tabriz, Persia, in 1850. Begins at sundown the previous day.
Bastille Day (France): Commemorates the event that launched the French Revolution. On this date in 1789, the Bastille, which held political prisoners and became a symbol of oppression by the monarchy, was stormed and prisoners freed. Given their French heritage, many Louisiana parishes, including New Orleans, hold Bastille Day festivals featuring Cajun food, music, and dance.
Ramadan (Islamic): This begins the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic year. The fast of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and mandatory for every Muslim who has reached puberty except those who are ill, pregnant, or on a journey. During this month, no water or food may be taken from sunrise to sunset. The feast of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.
First Special Olympics Games (1968):On this date, the first Special Olympics, an athletic competition for children and adults with cognitive disabilities, opened at Soldiers Field in Chicago. The first Special Olympics had 1,000 participants from the United States and Canada.By 1995, this competition had expanded to include Winter Special Olympics (added in 1977) and to involve 7,000 participants from all 50 states and 143 countries.
Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafarian): One of the holiest days of the year for Rastafarians, this holiday celebrates the birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie (1892–1975) of Ethiopia, who is revered by the Rastafarians as a descendant of King Solomon and is believed to be the incarnation of God. He was born Tafari makonnen and later took the name Haile Selassie, meaning Power of the Holy Trinity. The etymology of Rastafari is based on the word ras, meaning “prince” and Haile Selassie’s birth name, Tafari.
Pioneer Day (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints):This marks the day in 1847 that Brigham Young led other believers in the teachings of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, into the valley of the Great Salt Lake, where they would establish the center of their church and build Salt Lake City.
Americans with Disabilities Act Signed (United States):Celebrates the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides for reasonable accommodation in work situations and standards for physical accessibility to buildings and public transportation.
Tisha B’Av (Jewish): This holiday commemorates the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in both 586 B.C.E. and again in 70 C.E. All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the date shown.
We invite you to visit the Web sites used to compile this calendar for additional information. There you will find a wealth of information on days that are recognized throughout the world. Please find the sources listed below: