As I mentioned Wednesday, there are few better ways to introduce secular kids to a little theology than by using religious holidays as your guides. And there is no better month to start doing this than October. Because holy shit, people — this month has a lot of holidays. One might even call it a holiday orgasm! Well, you wouldn’t, probably. But that’s only because you’re not a boring blogger trying to bait people with sexy headlines. That, and you are just a better person in general.
Anyway, here’s a quick run-down on the first five of this month’s major religious holidays, along with one very simple thing you can do or say to make each holiday an educational experience for your kid.
Oct. 2-5: Hajj Day (Islam)
The Muslim’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca. (One of the Seven Pillars of Islam is to attend Hajj at least once in your life.) It’s pronounced “Hodge.” You can read what I’ve written about it here.
WHAT TO DO: Show your child a picture of the Kabaa, the box-like building in the middle of Mecca. Explain that Muslims pray toward the Kabaa five times a day and then, once a year, millions of them visit it in person. Then maybe show them the live feed streaming on youtube. It’s pretty cool.
Oct. 3-4: Yom Kippur (Judaism)
The “Day of Atonement” for the Jewish people. Hugely important. Pronounced “Yom Ki-POOR.” You can read my summary of Yom Kippur here.
WHAT TO DO: Tell your child that Yom Kippur is the most important holiday in the Jewish religion. Explain that it is a day that Jews drink no food or water and spend a lot of time thinking about all the things they have done wrong and could do better in the future. Tell them that the point of all this is to be forgiven by God. [Read more...]