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Holidays Coincide

Posted: March 20, 2014

Much was made earlier this year when Thanksgiving and Hanukah coincided.  Just this week, the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day and Purim fell together—and in Boston, St. Patrick’s Day is a very big holiday.  At JCHE, Purim is the occasion for serious celebration.

Both holidays are celebrated with abandon—parties, drinking and dancing.  There are St. Patrick Day parades with beautiful floats and costumes—for Purim, there are plays and people in costumes.

St. Patrick’s Day, according to Wikipedia, commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.[  Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire where a plot had been formed to destroy them, and so celebrates the survival of Jewish heritage and culture. 

In the fall, the Chinese August Moon Festival coincided with Sukkot.  Both are harvest festival holidays; both are celebrated with fruits and vegetables and gathering of family and friends.  At Sukkot, Jews especially bring in memories of their ancestors—Chinese festivals evoke memories of loved ones.

Clearly, all of our lives are enriched by sharing cultural experiences and joys, and the coincidence of different holidays serve to illustrate that vividly.

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