Will Anything Ever Unite Us?

Passover is the oldest of the April religious holidays that will be celebrated this year.  Jewish homes will usually engage in a religious ceremonial meal called a Seder where they will serve wine, matzah and bitter herbs.  Passover begins Friday evening on April 15, it ends on Saturday evening on April 23 and it celebrates their ancestors’ freedom from slavery in Egypt, so it is a holiday of deliverance.  Since Christian churches in Western countries are using the Gregorian calendar, the Eastern countries are still following the Julian one, Western Easter falls on April 17, while Eastern Easter will be on April 24.  Easter symbols include so many things, but I think the only religious one is the cross and hot cross buns are a popular symbol of Easter.  You could make a case for the lamb, as that is supposed to symbolize Jesus.  Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, Easter ham, Easter bonnet, Easter parade and Easter Lilies are all popular symbols of Easter.  Muslims have the holiday of Ramadan, which commemorates the time that the Koran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad, so this worldwide event is marked with a month-long fast.  Muslims will spend their time on spiritual reflection and growth, helping those in need, and being with their loved ones.  The star and crescent symbol don’t hold spiritual meanings for Muslims, but they can be associated with Ramadan.  Lanterns are associated with Ramadan, probably because traditions take place at night, and before electricity, lanterns were needed to provide light.  Ramadan drummers will wake people up before dawn, so they can eat some food before a day of fasting.  The prayer rug is also a symbol of Ramadan, because it is an essential part of Islamic worship and everyday life.

Easter, Ramadan, and Passover fall in the same calendar month roughly every 33 years, and in 2022 this is the case.  These three monotheistic faiths all rely on the moon to determine this holiday.  Easter falls on the Sunday that follows the first full moon occurring on or the day after the March equinox, which happened on Sunday, March 20.  If the full moon occurs on a Sunday, however, then Easter is observed the following Sunday.  Saturday April 16 will be the next full moon and thus April 17 is Easter this year.  Passover always begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, so this holiday always starts on a full moon.  The Jewish calendar is complex, because their months are based on the phases of the Moon.  A new month begins on the day of the Crescent Moon after the New Moon phase.  Since the sum of 12 lunar months is about 11 days shorter than the solar year, a 13th month is periodically added to keep the calendar in step with the astronomical seasons.  Ramadan started on Saturday evening on April 2, and this Islamic celebration is the longest follows the lunar cycle, lasting 29-30 days, depending on when the next crescent moon is seen.  Ramadan is the first day of the ninth month of this calendar, which is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon.

People are attracted to religion because it provides believers the opportunity to satisfy all their basic desires over and over again.  People that believe in God rationalize that the universe just didn’t pop up out of nothing, because the universe is thought to be a product of intelligent design, so it has a purpose, thus it must have been created by God.  They feel that anything that exists is contingent on something else, but there must have been some starting point, and this has to be God.  These believers will also argue that since Earth is such a perfect place for life allowing humans to exist, that it must have been created specifically for us by God.  People that have faith in God look around and see that everything comes to an end and even though it seems like God may be conspicuous absent at times, they feel that we are all characters in a story that He is directing.  Entropy is considered one of the most fundamental laws of the universe and this assures us that our universe will eventually come to an end and people with faith believe that all life in the universe will stop completely, so God can begin to recreate.

There seems to be no definitive proof that there is a God, or that God doesn’t exist and the existence of an omnipotent being is not for scientists to contemplate, as this should be left for theologians to argue about.  It would be nice to think that there is a supernatural God who is interested in what is happening in our world and that He might choose to intervene at times when we need His help.  If God did create the entire universe and all of the laws of physics, does God need to follow these laws, or could He just do His own thing, using His own laws, like travelling faster than the speed of light and being in two different places at the same time?   I guess that there is always the possibility that God is actually a woman.

The challenge today is to focus on these religious holidays and use them for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  You could choose a song that incorporates one of these holiday symbols and go with that if you like.  If you are a different faith other than Jewish, Christian, or Muslim and you would like to write about your religious holidays, that would be fine.  If you are an atheist, or you are not affiliated with any organized religion and you would like to write about that, it will also be fine.  If you are a satanist, or you plan on being disrespectful to any religion, please don’t respond back to this post.


  1. Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Religion is something that most human beings practice and they regard their beliefs as being holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of special reverence. There are many theories as to how religious thought originated. It is thought that when humans became an agrarian society, that religion was used so people could connect with others. Religion encouraged cooperation among people, because when they all believed in the same things, this helped people to tolerate others. Another thought is that humans were more special than other things in the world, so when rain would fall and clouds would form, humans decided that these things happened because they had a purpose, which gave everything a new meaning and this is what scientists refer to as hypersensitive agency-detecting device, or HADD. HADD is a non-reflective belief, something that is always operating in our brains even without our awareness of them. The human ability to understand things, is also called “Theory of Mind” (ToM) and this is another idea that is tied into the origins of religion. When people started attributing purpose things like raindrops, ToM turned toward the supernatural, and the natural world started to be explained through the existence of beings with supernatural powers.
    Events that are known as miracles, have not taken place in a very long time, but these are the basis of many religions. The things that happened during the time of Moses became the key reason about why people accept of the idea of the One God and the peoples of Israel all follow this. The events during the times of Jesus, the Christ, are also the basis for the acceptance of Jesus as being the Son of God by the followers of the Christian faith. The spread of Islam is also an event regarded as being miraculous and a proof of the legitimacy of the claims of Mohammed. When miracles occur, they give evidence that God is truly at work and thus they serve to authenticate God. There may not be all that much incompatibility between science and religion and perhaps there is a harmonious middle ground for everyone. One creation story says that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, but the Bible was translated so many times, that it is possible this story is not entirely accurate. One word that rib was translated from is curve, and perhaps this refers to the double helix DNA curve, which is the basis of all life.


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