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Events of the Month

2002-FEBRUARY

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FEB: The Hopi Holy Cycle buffalo dances which began in January conclude in February. These are performed on Hopi reserves. Dates differ among the various communities.

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FEB-1: February is Black History month. Although much progress has been made in lessening racial segregation and racism in North America, Sunday morning remains the most segregated time of the week, as many parishioners continue to attend racially segregated Christian churches. February was chosen because two historic figures, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, had birthdays in this month.

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FEB-2: On Imbolc, Wiccans and other Neopagans celebrate the return of life and light. Also called Imbolg, the name is derived from a Gaelic expression "in the belly". It is seen as signaling the first stirrings of life within the womb of Mother Earth. This Pagan day of celebration has been Christianized as St. Bridget's Day and secularized as Groundhog Day.

bullet FEB-3: This is Super-Bowl Sunday. It is also called the "day of dread" by some women, because of the rumor that spousal assaults reach an annual peak on this weekend. This "Super Bowl statistic remains a widely-cited and believed piece of misinformation." 1 There is no reliable data to support the belief.  
bullet FEB-3: Setsubun-sai is a "bean-throwing night" among the Shinto in Japan.
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FEB-3: Four Chaplain's Sunday is a Christian/Jewish Interfaith celebration. It recalls an event during World War II when four Chaplains, both Jews and Christians gave away their life jackets to soldiers when a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

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FEB-4:  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.

bullet FEB-8: Many Buddhists observe Nirvana Day. This commemorates the death of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.
bullet FEB-10: The second Sunday in February is Race Relations Sunday. 
bullet FEB-12: 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 starts on a new moon, and lasts for three days. This is the year of the water horse. It is also celebrated as the new year in Korea and Tibet.
bullet FEB-13: This is Ash Wednesday among Christians. Lent begins. It is a period of fasting and spiritual pursuit, leading up to Easter.
bullet FEB-14:  This is St. Valentine's day -- a day for love and lovers.
bullet FEB-23: Eid ul Adha is the three-day Islamic Feast of Sacrifice. It concludes the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.  It commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to Allah. 
bullet FEB-26: Jews celebrate Purim, in memory of the defeat of a genocide of Jews in Persia, as described in the Hebrew Scripture book of Esther.
bullet FEB-26: Ayyam-i Ha Baha'i marks the first of a series of special "intercalary" days that synchronize their calendar to the 365.26 day year.

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Early in March...

bullet MAR-1: This is observed as the World Day of Prayer by some Christians.
bullet MAR-1: The third anniversary of the landmine ban treaty will be celebrated.
bullet MAR-1: The International Death Penalty Abolition Day will be observed.

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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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Reference:

  1. "Super Bull Sunday," snopes.com, at: http://www.snopes2.com/science/stats/superbwl.htm

Copyright 2002 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay prepared on 2002-JAN-25
Latest update: 2002-FEB-5
Compiled by B.A. Robinson

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