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This quiz concerns festivals celebrated by people of different faiths all around the world in the month of February. It shows how for generations man has exalted God and His Presence on earth in this blessed month in so many beautiful ways and found light, peace, bliss.


1. ‘Candlemas’ is a day of purification, renewal, and hope, and commemorates the day Mary took Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to present him to God. Thus, it is often called ‘The Presentation of Christ’ in the Temple. The festival is called ‘Candlemas’ because it is the day of the year when all the candles that are to be used in the church during the coming year are brought into church and a blessing is said over them – so it is the festival day (or ‘mass’) of the candles.

After which important Christian celebration is this day observed?

2. For Christians, 6 February 2008, is the start of ‘Lent’, one of the most important seasons of the church year. It is a period of 40 days of penitence and soul searching introspection. Three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The festival commemorates Jesus’ 40 days of meditation and withdrawal from the world. Where was He during that time?

3. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxì. Chu literally means "change" and xi means "Eve". Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar and begins this year on 7 February 2008. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. At Chinese New Year celebrations, people wear red clothes, compose decorative poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. What does the red colour symbolize?

4. On 8 February this year, ‘Losar’ the most important holiday in Tibet, is celebrated, marking the Tibetan New Year. The celebration lasts three days. The word Losar is a Tibetan word for New Year. 'Lo' means year and 'Sar' means new. Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. Everyone exchanges the traditional greeting, "Tashi Delek". What does this greeting mean?

5. In the Islamic tradition, the word ‘Insha Allah’ is often used. What does it mean?

6. In India, 11 February 2008 is the festival that marks the first day of spring called ‘Vasanta Panchami’, which heralds the advent of spring. ‘Vasanta’ means spring. The fields are mustard yellow with the ripening of crops and nature displays her majestic finery. Men, women and girls wear yellow clothes. The yellow colour is a sign of auspiciousness and spirituality. This auspicious day is also known and celebrated as Saraswathi Puja. What significant aspect does the Goddess Saraswathi represent?

7. Most Buddhists’ celebrate ‘Nirvana Day’ on 8 February, while some also call it as ‘Parinirvana’ which is celebrated by some on February 15th. The meaning of ‘Nirvana’, according to Buddhist scholars, is – ‘vāna’, or the path of rebirth, + ‘nir’, meaning ‘leaving off'; or "being away from the path of rebirth." Nirvana, then, is not a place nor a state, it is an Absolute Truth to be realized, and a person can do so without dying. When a person who has realized Nirvana dies, his death is referred as his Parinirvana, his fully passing away, as his life was his last link to the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), and he will not be reborn again. At what age did Buddha achieve Nirvana?

8. In China, the Lantern Festival is also known as the Little New Year since it marks the end of the series of celebrations which begin the Chinese New Year. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors.

"Guessing lantern riddles" is an essential part of the festival. Lantern owners write riddles on a piece of paper and post them on the lanterns. If visitors have solutions to the riddles, they can pull the paper out and go to the lantern owners to check their answer. If they are right, they will get a little gift.

At what phase of the moon is this event celebrated?

9. In the Shinto religion, 3 February 2008 marks the transition from winter to spring. The name of the festival is Rissun. Traditionally a male member of the family scatters _______ around the home, saying "demons out, good luck in". What object is being thrown?

10. In Sikhism, The word ‘Panja’ is derived from ‘panj’ meaning five and refers to the five fingers of the hand or the hand itself. Sikhs use the word ‘Sahib’ for the names of sacred persons, places or books. Gurudwara Panja Sahib is one of the most holy places for Sikhs because of the presence of a sacred rock with the handprint of one of their 10 Guru’s. Twice a year, Sikhs visit this Gurdwara from all over the world. To which of the ten Guru’s does the handprint belong?

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-Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 6 Issue 02 - FEBRUARY 2008
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