December 16th Service: It’s the Reason for the Season

The holiday song, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a carol that aptly describes this time of year. It’s the time of the year when many holidays and events are celebrated.

Of course, Christmas is the holiday that most people around here think of, but it certainly isn’t the only holiday that’s recognized in other parts of our country and the world. We are currently in the final days of celebrating the Jewish holiday ‘Hanukkah’, also referred to as the “The Festival of Lights.” Others celebrate the winter solstice, which of course describes the time of year when the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun resulting in shorter daylight and longer nights. In Sweden, Santa Lucia Day has historical roots to the winter solstice celebration and now combines the Christmas celebration with it. The newest of the holidays is Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday, started 46 years ago and is celebrated from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa developed to honor the values of ancient African cultures. And finally, Bodhi Day or Rohatsu is a Japanese Buddhist holiday that fell on December 8th of this year and commemorates when Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) experienced enlightenment. Each of these wonderful events’ similarities and relationships will be discussed to enable us to fully appreciate ‘the reasons for the season.’

The Magic Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday beginning at 10:30 AM at the Twin Falls Senior Center, 530 Shoshone Street West in Twin Falls. Newcomers are always welcome. Child care is available. For information, please contact Ken Whiting at 734-9161.