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Events of the Month

2003-AUGUST

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Events during 2003-AUGUST:

bulletAUG-1: Wiccans and many other Neopagans celebrate their first harvest festival on this day. It is called Lammas, (or Lughnasadh in Irish Gaelic). It is a joyous celebration; it is a time when Neopagans reap the harvest of what they have sown. Some Neopagans celebrate this festival on AUG-6; others on the evening of JUL-31.
bulletAUG-3: Tibetan Buddhists observe Shakyamuni Buddha Day, (a.k.a. Siddhartha Buddha Day) Believers meditate on the Buddha's teachings and strive to fulfill the Precepts. Other Buddhists call it Dharma Day.  "The word 'Dharma' refers to the teachings of Buddhism, the essence of which is the impermanent and interdependent nature of all life. But 'Dharma' also refers to the everyday experiences...that teach...these truths and make them come alive." 1
bulletAUG-4: This "Civic Holiday," a national holiday in Canada. Unlike all of the other statutory vacation days, not that many people know what this one represents. Ron Brown wrote a letter to the Toronto Star, suggesting that the name be changed to "Abolition Day" or "Liberation Day." Some 170 years ago, on 1833-AUG-1, slavery was abolished in Canada and throughout the British empire. Brown wrote: "As Canada is considered one of the world's most multicultural societies,...it would be fitting to celebrate this forgotten piece of our heritage on the August long weekend."
bulletAUG-6: Roman Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ. This recalls an event recorded in Matthew 17:1-6 and in other Biblical passages where Jesus "face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow."
bulletAUG-6: This is Hiroshima Day - the anniversary of the detonation in 1945 of the second nuclear bomb, and the first bomb to be used against human beings. The decision to drop the bomb remains controversial today. Some claim that it saved millions of lives by averting an invasion of Japan. Others say that a dramatic demonstration of the bomb's effectiveness without endangering human lives, might also have convinced Japan to end the war.
bulletAUG-7: Jews observe Tisha B'Av:  a day of fasting in recollection of tragedies in the history of the Jewish people, including the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple 586 BCE by the Babylonians, and in 70 CE by the Romans. It also recalls the expulsion by Christians of the Jews from Spain in 1492 which also occurred on this day. It is a day of mourning and fasting from dawn to dusk.
bulletAUG-15: Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII declared that at her death "Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory." This holy day is called the Dormition of The Theotokos" or "Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God" within the Eastern Orthodox churches.
bulletAUG-8: International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrates the first day of Jhulan Yatra, the swing festival for their deities Radha and Krishna.
bulletAUG-12: Hindus celebrate Raksha Bandhan on the full-moon day in their month of Sravana. It is a festival honoring the loving relationships between brothers and sisters. Sisters offer food to their brothers, and tie an amulet on their brother's right wrist. The amulet recalls when Sachi, the wife of Indra (the king of the gods) charged a thread with sacred verses and tied it on Indra's hand. He was successful in battle. 1
bulletAUG-19: A Hindu festival of Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrates the birth of Krishna, the second person in the Hindu trinity, and the eighth or ninth incarnation of Vishnu.
bulletAUG-24: This is the first day of a eight-day observance by Janists called Paryushana. It marks the retreat of the nomadic months during the monsoon period. If they were to travel, they could not avoid killing many insects -- a violation of their principle of Ahimsa (non-violence). Various sects observe Paryushana at slightly different times.
bulletAUG 26: This is Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of the date in 1920 when the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was proclaimed to be in effect. This followed ratification by three quarters of the state legislatures. It declared women to be voting citizens in the U.S. An entire generation passed before Quebec became the last political jurisdiction in the U.S. and Canada to allow its women to vote.
bulletAUG-31: Sri Ganesha Chaturthi (a.k.a. Ganesha Chaturthi) is a ten day festival marking the birthday of Ganesh, the Lored of Beginnings, and one of the major Hindu deities. He is generally portrayed with the head of an elephant. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati, and is widely worshiped as the God of wisdom and success. His support is often invoked at the start of new projects.

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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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References:

  1. "Understanding Hinduism: Raksha Bandhan," at: http://www.hinduism.co.za/
  2. "Festivals: Sri Krishna Janmaashtami," at: http://www.hindunet.org/festivals/janmashtami/

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Copyright 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay prepared on 2003-JUN-1
Latest update: 2003-JUN-1
Compiled by B.A. Robinson

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