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


1. On October 12/13, for Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims gather to watch the new moon rise, which marks the beginning of this three-day festival. For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. After which festival is this celebrated?

2. The ‘Kathina’ festival, which originated 2,500 years ago, celebrates the largest alms-giving ceremony of the Buddhist year. During the Vassa period, normally nomadic Buddhist monks will have remained in one place for three months, and the ‘Kathina’ celebration marks the time for them to move on. The offering can take place up to one month following the end of the Vassa period, from 19th October to 16 November, and is celebrated by Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. What offering is made to the monks in this ceremony?

3. ‘Dussehra’ (also spelled ‘Dasara’) or ‘Vijay Dashmi’ (‘Vijay’ meaning 'victory' and 'Dashmi’ meaning 'tenth day’) is a very popular Hindu Festival, celebrated with éclat throughout the country. ‘Dussehra’ marks the end of the nine days of ‘Navaratri’, and is celebrated on the tenth day. On which day is it being celebrated this year?

4. ‘Karwa Chauth’ is the most important fast observed by Hindu women of North India. This year it is being observed on October 29th. On this day married Hindu women offer prayers for their husbands. What do they seek?

5. When the seven days of the Jewish festival ‘Sukkot’ ends, the Old Testament decrees yet another holiday, called ‘Simchat Torah’ along with ‘Shemini Atzeret’ – meaning the Eighth Day of Assembly. This year, it begins on the evening of October 4th/5th. What does it refer to?

6. Since October 1708, the Guru Granth Sahib has been held in the highest regard by the Sikhs and treated as the Eternal Guru, as instructed by Guru Gobind Singh. It is also considered as one of the 11 Gurus. Which one is it?

7. Nagasaki Kunchi, the most-awaited autumn festival of Suwa Shinto Shrine, is renowned as one of the three great festivals in Nagasaki, Japan. The word ‘kunchi’ is said to be derived from the word kyunichi, or "shrine day." Another theory ascribes the origin to ku'nichi or "ninth day," referring to the auspicious ninth day of the ninth month (Oct 9 in the modern calendar). Which Asian country’s influence does it depict?

8. "Nava-ratri" literally means "nine nights." In India, this festival also known as Durga Puja is observed twice a year, once in the beginning of summer and again at the onset of winter. Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the Supreme Goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as a powerful deity called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth. To which Goddess is the worship of the final three days directed to?

9. The origins of the Bahá'í Faith go back to a religious movement founded in AD 1844 by a young Iranian merchant, Sayyid `Alí Muhammad Shírází (1819-1850), who took the title of the Báb and whose birthday is celebrated on October 20th. The Bab was the Prophet-Herald of the Baha'i Faith, whose mission was to proclaim the imminent arrival of "Him Whom God shall make manifest," namely Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith. His followers were therefore called Bábís. What does the title Bab mean?

10. Like Canadians, Germans, too, celebrate a day of Thanksgiving to God called ‘Erntedankfest’ for a plentiful harvest in the month of October. It is a rural and a religious celebration. On which Sunday do they celebrate it?

Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? How does it help you? Please tell us at

-Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 10 - OCTOBER 2007
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