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Religious Tolerance logo

Events of the month 2001-JAN

The first month of the new millennium!

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Important events during 2001-JAN:


JAN-1: This is the last day of the week-long, inter-faith celebration of Kwanza (a.k.a. Kwanzaa, Quansa) - a cultural holiday celebrating African-American heritage. "Kwanza" is a Swahili word for "the first," or "the first fruits of the harvest". The seven principles of Kwanza are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. 1


JAN-1: This is the true first New Year's day of the new millennium. (The first century ended at midnight on 100-DEC-31; the 20th century (and the second millennium) ended at midnight on 2000-DEC-31. The UN has declared the year 2001 to be the International Year for the Culture of Peace.

bulletJAN-1 to 3:  Shogatsu (a.k.a. Gantan-sai) is the most important holiday in Japan. It is celebrated by followers of Shinto and Buddhism. In Japan, each new year is traditionally regarded as a fresh start; JAN-1 is believed to be representative of the entire year to follow. 2
bulletJAN-5: Sikhs celebrate the Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh. He was the tenth Guru of the Sikh Panth, and particularly remembered for his battles for religious freedom, and his teachings of the equality of all individuals. 3
bulletJAN-6: The western Christian church celebrates Epiphany every year on this day. This recalls the visitation of an unknown number of wise men to Jesus after his birth. The day is associated with the baptism of Jesus by the Eastern church.
bulletJAN-7: Most Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on this day. They continue to use the Julian calendar, which is currently offset by 13 days from the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The gap between the calendars continues to grow.
bulletJAN-9: This is the first day of the 43 day Maha Kumbh Mela festival. It is celebrated only every 4 years, when the planet Jupiter moves into the sign of Aquarius. Pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers believe that the water will remove the sins of their past seven lifetimes. 65 million Hindu pilgrims are expected at Allahabad, India. This is believed to be the largest congregation of humans in history.
bulletJAN-14: Most Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year on this date.
bulletJAN-15: This holiday celebrates the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. He is the only American besides George Washington to have a national holiday designated on his birthday. 4 He is perhaps best known for his "I have a dream" speech, delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on 1963-AUG-28 -- a dream that has yet to be fully realized. 5 His actual birthday was JAN-17.
bulletJAN-15:  Hindus celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda Jayanti (1863 to 1902). He spread the message of Hinduism to the West, and greatly influenced leaders of the Indian independence movement.
bulletJAN-16: National Religious Freedom Day is intended to broaden awareness of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom - the first law in the history of western civilization which protected religious freedom for all persons. Celebrations occur on or before JAN-16. 6
bulletJAN-21: Sanctity of Human Life 2001 begins; it lasts until JAN-28. This is a pro-life activity based on the belief that human personhood begins at conception. 7
bulletJAN-18: This is the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It runs from the feast of St. Peter until JAN-25, the feast of St. Paul. The theme for 2001 is: I am the way, and the truth, and the life John 14: 1-6. 8
bulletJAN-21: The Baha'is created World Religion Day to promote interfaith understanding and cooperation. The celebrations emphasize common factors seen in all of the world's great religions.
bulletJAN-24: This is the Chinese Spring Festival, known in the West as the Chinese New Year. The date of the start of the festival is established by a lunar/solar calendar and thus varies from late January to mid February. It lasts for three days. This begins the year of the "Snake Sleeping in Winter," known in the West as the "Year of the Snake."
bulletJAN-27: This is 56th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, which had been constructed by the Nazis to permit the mass extermination of Jews and Poles.
bulletJAN-28: This is Super-Bowl Sunday, the day each year when spousal assaults reach their annual peak.
bulletJAN-29: Hindus in Northern India observe Basant Panchami during the month of Magh (January-February). This celebrates the first day of spring. Yellow colored clothes are traditionally worn; yellow is a sign of auspiciousness and spirituality. 10
bulletJAN-30: Zoroastrians celebrate Jashan Sadeh, their mid-winter festival. It honors the element of fire which is sacred in the Zoroastrian faith. 

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Although care was taken in the preparation of this list, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or their consequences.

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  1. Kwanzaa Information Center at: http://melanet.com/kwanzaa/ 

  2. "New Year (Shogatsu)," at: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2064.html

  3. "Guru Gobind Singh Ji," at: http://www.yorku.ca/org/yssa/Ngobind.htm 

  4. "Martin Luther King, Jr," at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/mlk/ 

  5. "I have a dream," at: http://web66.coled.umn.edu/new/MLK/MLK.html 

  6. Council for America's First Freedom at http://www.firstfreedom.org/ 

  7. "Sanctity of human life 2001 resources," at: http://www.family.org/pregnancy/general/a0012590.html

  8. "The week of prayer for Christian unity 2001," at: http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/faith/wop.html#theme

  9. "World religion day," at: http://www.worldreligionday.com/

  10. "Vasanta Panchami," at: http://travel.indiamart.com/fairs-festivals/  

Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Written 2001-JAN-1
Latest update: 2001-JAN-29
Author: B.A. Robinson 

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