holiday

holiday

By Monisha Bajaj December 23, 2013

How does a child of Indian immigrants — and a new mother — who isn't Christian celebrate the Christmas season in the U.S.? By taking it in and making it her own tradition.

By Trent Gilliss November 11, 2013

Rachel Button sent us this poem marking the parades that often go unacknowledged on Veterans Day.

January 25, 2013

A Jewish Arbor Day, this Jewish holiday is experiencing new life as Jews become more ecologically concerned.

October 03, 2011

Indian folk dancingAn Indian folk dancer poses with her troupe. (photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

Hindus in India and around the world are in the midst of celebrating Navratri, the colorful and light-laden, nine-day festival also known as Durga Puja. Dedicated to Durga, Hindus celebrate the mother goddess’ defeat of the demon Mahishasura — the triumph of good over evil.

September 12, 2011

Grandma May Ng with her grandson PenuelGrandma May Ng holds her great-grandson Penuel. (photo: Melody Ng)

I don’t know that I have ever paid much attention to the

legend behind the Moon Festival, but I sure love moon cakes. I haven’t bought them in years, because my grandmother always sends me a box of my favorite — lotus seed paste (a thousand times yummier than the usual red bean!) with one egg yolk per cake — from a good bakery in Los Angeles.

Last September, she gave me my box in person because I was in LA for my cousin’s wedding and spent a few days with her. I brought the moon cakes back to Minnesota, ate one right away, and gobbled up the second during the Moon Festival. The other two are still in my refrigerator. I haven’t been able to eat them.

July 27, 2011

Happy Ramadan(photo: Mohammad Khedmati/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Ramadan this year starts Monday, August 1st. Every year it comes 11 days earlier because Muslims follow a lunar calendar. A lunar year is only 355 days long. So my Ramadan comes sometimes in super freezing Iowa winters and sometimes in hyper sizzling hot and humid summers.

When Ramadan comes in winter. It is easy to fast. Sunrise to sunset is a very short day. When it comes in summer, like this year, oh God helps us. Dawn is about 4:30 a.m. and sundown in Cedar Rapids is about 8:30 p.m. A sixteen-hour fasting day.

April 18, 2011

The religious symbolism of fasting is an act of gratitude for the life you have and the time when you can eat again.

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December 01, 2010

The dreidel's fascinating roots and origins in gambling give one mother (and rabbi) pause about sending "gold" coins to school. A guest contribution from Rebecca Schorr as Chanukah begins.

December 12, 2009

One of our own shares her story about the importance of being more intentional in celebrating far from home.

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December 11, 2009

A must-watch performance. And, a rather heart-warming back story from the senior senator from Utah.

November 24, 2008

For the National Day of Listening: listen to stories of friends and loved ones, and record them too.