Rosh Hashanah: The Head of the Year

Summary: The Jewish New Year celebration 2018 Date: 29th September – 1st October (sunset to sunset) Celebrated by: Jews, the State of Israel Linked Holidays: Yom Kippur, Jewish High Holy Days Rosh Hashanah (in Hebrew, רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, meaning ‘the head of the year’) is the Jewish New Year festival that marks the beginning of the […]

September Equinox: Shifting Light

Quick Facts Summary: a celebration of the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere 2019 Date: 23rd September (exact timing depends on location) Celebrated by: Numerous cultures worldwide, modern pagans Linked Holidays: March Equinox, Wiccan Wheel of the Year festivals, Harvest Festival Background and Theological Significance The September […]

Ganesh Chaturthi: Beginnings

Quick Facts Summary: A Hindu festival that honours the god Ganesha 2019 Date: 2nd September Celebrated by: Hindus, parts of India (as a National Holiday) Linked Holidays: Anant Chaturdashi, Ganesh Jayanti (Hinduism) Background and Theological Significance Ganesh Chaturthi (in Hindi, गणेश चतुर्थी) also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is an important celebration in the Hindu calendar […]

Raksha Bandhan: Brothers and Sisters

Summary: a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between sisters and brothers 2019 Date: 15th August Celebrated by: Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, the Indian subcontinent. Linked Holidays: Bhai Dooj / Bhai Tika Raksha Bandhan, deriving from the Sanskrit for ‘the bond of protection or care’, is a festival celebrated primarily in the Indian subcontinent that honours […]

Shavuot: Gifts from God

Quick Facts Summary: a Jewish harvest festival that also commemorates the giving of the Torah 2018 Date: 8th – 10th June (sunset to sunset) Celebrated by: Jews Linked Holidays: Pesach / Passover, Sukkot (Judaism), Pentecost (Christianity) Background and Theological Significance Shavuot (in Hebrew, שבועות), literally meaning the Festival of Weeks, is one of the most […]

Does it Matter Where our Christmas Traditions Came From? – Towards a Positive Genealogy of Christmas.

by Chris Lynch Amidst the rituals and tropes associated with celebrating Christmas, thinkers and commentators occasionally intervene to highlight how Christmas as practised in 2017 Britain is in some important respects culturally specific, politically problematic, and not as straightforwardly wrapped up with ‘authentic’ Christianity as commonly assumed. Motivating these interventions seems to be the thought […]

Colorado Cake: Is ‘Religion’ driving Legal Discrimination? Not so fast

by Theo Poward You may be vaguely familiar with the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case which is currently pending before the US Supreme Court. In July 2012, same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins from Colorado visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver to order a custom wedding cake for a celebration of their marriage. Masterpiece’s owner […]