An artist friend was telling me the other day how at their Christmas festival which has just gone they also celebrate the baptism of Jesus. They do this by either having children baptised or if adult they immerse themselves in freezing cold water. The water is in the open air. A hole has been cut through the ice into which people plunge themselves. I can almost feel the chills running up my back even now.
It is amazing how all over the world we celebrate various festivals and even though some are given the same names they are celebrated in many differing ways.
I remember when I was early to teaching I taught in a school in Glasgow where the pupils were predominately Muslim. They frequently asked me why the holidays were all marked out around Christian celebrations. They felt there was a sense of unfairness in this.
In reality there was no such thing. In Scotland extra holidays are given to those of different faiths so that they might celebrate important days in their calendars.
This brought to mind the tale of the person of no religious faith who took the council to court about all of the holidays for religious festivals.
Easter and Passover and many other holy days.
He hired a lawyer to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of they're holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.
The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"
The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honour, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.
The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day.
Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, there is no God. Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool.
Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."
I am wondering if maybe there is a case for the celebration of Lao Tzŭ. I am of course asking this with a smile. What we do need in life is much more tolerance and concern for others which slowly seems to be dying .
Have a wonderful day and celebrate the fact the the day started with you still breathing.