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Happy Bodhi Day (December 8th in Japan)

Bodhi day is the day that Siddhartha Gautama attained Enlightenment making him the first Buddha, according to the Buddhist traditions.  Celebrated on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month it is now celebrated in Japan on the 8th of December.  It is said that he was sitting under a bodhi tree at the time.  While this is not as popular a day of celebration as the day of his birth (celebrated on two different days) it is still a day to reflect on the world and meditate on how we are all connected.  Happiness through truth is one of the underling principles of the faith.


One source says that a way to celebrate is by taking a tree in the home and decorating it with multi colored lights and beads that represent how we are all interconnected.  Of course meditation is always welcome in any Buddhist ceremony.

This seems like a great holiday to get back on track, I have been absent for a very long time but plan to be committing much more time to this project.  I have been doing a number of things in the background to make this a better and more consistant endevor, so hope you will come along with me on this and would love to hear any feedback you may have, holidays I may be missing or information on them, things I can do to make this better.  While this project is something I love I want to make it something that others will enjoy as well and maybe learn a thing or two, I know that every person who finds this blog will have their own traditions they hold dear, please share with the rest of us.


Have a great Bodhi Day!



My trip to China and some other stuff

It has been awhile since I have made an entry to this blog and I apologies about that but a number of things have been happening since the last post.  


First, I took a trip to China which was incredibale.  The country is amazig and the people so friendly, I enjoyed the entire experience.  I have to also add that I think I may have had two of the best meals I have had in my life.  The trip lasted for three weeks, it was just a tour, not business but coincidentally there where two major celebrations that took place while I was there.  I wish I could say that I had planned for this but did not even know they would be going on while I was there.  They where the 60th anniversiry of the founding of new China, October 1st, and the Moon Cake festival, October 3rd.

<Edit November 3, 2009 - I did not realize that this was posted intimidately, still learning this new platform>

During the time I was there I was told that the 60th anniversary was very important since the combination of both the animal and elements of the zodiac.  There are twelve animals and five elements that both change every year, so it take 60 years for the two to be the same again.  I was even told that one does not actually a birthday till they are 60 but will celebrate the anniversary of their birth.  The country does hold a very large celebration every ten years but this was by far the largest of the celebrations.  Not only is there a huge and I do mean huge parade in Beijing between Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City but every where we went through out the country we saw red lanterns hung in celebration.  In addition the Chinese flag were hung every where and I do mean every where, it seemed as if every home had one flying and there was a field of what had to be over 100 in front of a building (unfortunately I did not get a picture of that as we where driving by on the bus).  Also it seemed any where that could hold a plant had a display that showed off the anniversary.  


Rosh Hashanah, night of September 18, 2009

Shana Tova Umetukah!(A Good and Sweet New Year), one of the traditional greetings given during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.  A time of reflection and asking of forgiveness for the last years wrongs, the holiday starts, as all Jewish observances do at sundown on the day it is celebrated but unlike others continues till the second sundown after the start, other holidays only last till the next sundown.  Rosh Hashanah is the start of the new year celebration that last for 10 days but preparations start a month prior.

During the time people ask for forgiveness for wrongs they have done others and there are several foods that have become associated with the meals.  Universally apples and honey are eaten to help ensure a "sweet" year but as the population of the Jewish people have spread all over the globe other foods have found their place as well, such as dates, black-eyed beans, leek, spinach and goard.




New Podcast for September 12-19


Prinsjesdag, Second Tuesday in September (09/15/09)

As directed by the constitution of The Netherlands, the reigning monarch address the joint session of congress.  Known as Day of the Princes, originally used to inform the law making body what the wishes of the royalty where for them to consider for the up coming year, now that the Queen is head of state only symbolically the speech is written by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.  Like many other countries that retain a royal head of state, the ceremony is filled with pomp and circumstance though the date on which it is given has changed to accommodate present needs such as more time to look over the budget that is presented.

The actual speech is known as the Speech from the Throne and is given in the Ridderzaal, located in The Hague.

Throne of the Netherlands