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This quiz concerns religious festivals celebrated all around the world in the month of November. We offer you only a few illustrations of the rich tapestry of spiritual expression, as people rejoice in communion with God this month..


1. Celebrated on 1st November, the Christian Holiday of All Saint's Day honors and recognizes all of the Saints of the Christian Church who do not have a specific day named in their honor. But in Santiago Sacatepequez, which is located just 40 minutes from Guatemala City, All Saints' Day is celebrated on November 2nd as a festival, with giant kites. What is the significance of the flying of the giant kites?

2. On 9th November, Diwali - also called Deepavali - a major Indian festival, is celebrated. Also known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. In one of His Diwali Discourses, Bhagavan said: "The flame of a lamp has two significant qualities. One is to banish darkness; the other is a continuous upward movement. Even if a lamp is kept in a pit, the flame is directed upwards.” What connotation did He give about the upward movement of the flame?

3. The Bahá'í Faith is a religion that was founded in the 19th-century in Persia, by Bahá'u'lláh, whose name means "The Glory of God". His Birthday is celebrated on 12th November. Bahá'u'lláh was a member of one of the great patrician families of Persia. The family could trace its lineage to the ruling dynasties of Persia's imperial past, and was endowed with wealth and vast estates. Turning his back on the position at court which these advantages offered Him, Bahá'u'lláh became known for his generosity and kindliness which made him deeply loved among his countrymen. What is the essential message of Bahá'u'lláh?

4. There are really a number of Children's Day observances around the world. Although the United Nations and UNESCO observes 20th November as the Universal Children's Day, in India it is celebrated on 14th November. After which famous Indian personality is this day observed?

5. In Japan, ‘Shichi go san’ is celebrated on 15th November. On this day parents take boys of three and five years old and girls of three and seven, to give thanks to the Gods for a healthy life so far and to pray for a safe and successful future. What does the name ‘Shichi go san’ signify?

6. Buddhist holidays are joyful occasions. The ‘Buddha Elephant Festival’ also takes an important place in these. A festival day normally begins with a visit to the local temple, where one offers food or other items to the monks and listens to a Dharma talk. The Buddha Elephant Festival is a big Elephant Festival celebrated by Buddhists each year on the third Saturday in November. At one point Buddha used the example of a wild elephant that is harnessed to a tame one. What is the significance?

7. Just like Hindus who celebrate the Festival of Lights, the ‘Loy Krathong’ Festival takes place in all parts of Thailand on the full moon night of the Twelfth Lunar month. All Thai people buy or make a "Krathong", which is made of styrofoam surrounded by banana leaves, with flowers and a candle in the middle. What do the people do with this ‘Krathong’?

8. In November 2007, in Nepal too the Festival of lights will be observed, from the 7th to 11th. It is the second biggest festival after ‘Dashain’ and is called ‘Tihar’. Tihar’ Festival lasts for five days and people worship Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth. All the houses are cleaned and decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is the cleanest. People light candles and oil lamps so that the whole place looks illuminating. Besides Goddess Laxmi, who else do they honour?

9. As we all know, Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional holiday to give thanks to God at the conclusion of the harvest season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November and is a four day weekend which usually marks a pause in school and college calendars. On this holiday, a Thanksgiving meal is prepared with all the trimmings; it is a time to gather with family and friends and to give thanks for one’s many blessings. The first ones to celebrate this festival in the US were the Pilgrim Fathers. After leaving England, to which country did the Pilgrims first sail to, before venturing across the Atlantic Ocean?

10. On November 24, Sikhs celebrate the first of the 10 Guru's - Guru Nanak Ji's Birthday who is also the founder of Sikhism. Sikhism, which comes from the Hindi word ‘sikh’, meaning "disciple," is one of the three religions most widely practiced in India. Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak's Birthday with an Akhand Path, a reading of the Sikh Holy Scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib, continuously from beginning to end. For how many days is the Holy Book read?

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-Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2007
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