Consider the following Williamsburg haunts for all your requisite schmear. Practicing Christians do not marry during the Holy Week, which is from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. But for everyone else, the process requires some cerebration.
The Day of Atonement, the pinnacle of the High Holy Days, begins on the evening of September 17th and ends on the evening of the 18th. It is the culmination of the Ten Days of Awe.
For America’s Muslim population, there are specific rules that govern weddings. Couples are not to be wed during the holy months of Ramadan and Muharram. The Shawwal is viewed as a propitious time to tie the knot. If you have any questions regarding Muslim observance or traditions, it is best to consult your local mosque.Secular holidays that should be avoided include the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Super Bowl Sunday.
On Rosh Hashanah, all Jewish people are supposed to go to the synagogue and recite prayers. We are supposed to repent for our sins and seriously examine our lives. We are supposed to look for ways to better ourselves. We ask God to save us, be merciful and forgive us for any sins we may have committed. Unfortunately, I have never really had the chance to go to a synagogue during the Jewish holidays. The one time I did get to go to a synagogue was when a friend of mine had his bar mitzvah. Someday, I hope to be able to say the prayers in a Synagogue.
So I’m here to ask you to think before you mindlessly wish me a Merry Christmas. I do not celebrate Christmas; I celebrate Hanukkah. I may celebrate something else or I may be an atheist. Let’s embrace all our difference with a generic Happy Holidays and not allow our bosses to fire us if we refuse to say Merry Christmas to customers.
I have gone through many metamorphoses from the most extreme “I don’t celebrate Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah to you” to the middle of the road “Thank you and happy holidays to you” to ignoring the slight. That’s how I see it – a slight. A total ignorance that not everyone celebrates the same holidays and that it is rude to put up a Christmas tree on public land without symbols for other religions.
Many people around the world exchange gifts on New Year’s Day. This dates back to the early Romans who exchanges branches of palms and bay laurel as tokens of good luck. Shop keepers in ancient Persia (Iran), gave eggs to their customers symbolizing new life and new beginnings.
You can learn much more about the latest research on creating intentions especially in dealing with friends, frenemies and family in my new book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love.