She would love going into the Dead Sea with the mud on your bathing suit if you do this…its a strange experience. Nearby is the huge palace in the Tim Anderson_ Sugar Skull Shirt + Hoodie, Chicago MLBPA across from the Dead Sea where Herod built a summer place for his wife and family to visit. This is also where the 900 or so Jews jumped off of Masada’s mountain which you will see when you take the cablecar to the top. So it’s the palace, then you see where this all took place when the Romans were attacking the Jews and they decided to jump en masse. My husband seemed particularly interested in the ramps, the remnants of which still remain. (dirt ramps) I’m sure there are other places I’ve left out, we saw a lot in 5 days in Israel, but I would have liked to go back someday and spend more quality time on the places that really interested me the more. Your daughter would love Bethlehem I’m sure, perhaps the cablecar to Masada, and Mary’s hilltop home in Nazareth, the Lake and even the Mount as well as Peter’s mother in law’s house ruins. Lots to see I suppose.
This feast, although not as impressive as Easter, is nevertheless an excellent time to prepare ourselves, not just for the Tim Anderson_ Sugar Skull Shirt + Hoodie, Chicago MLBPA of Our Saviour into the world, the first time, but we are to prepare for His Second Coming, which will arrive as unfailingly as the first one did. Most of us will not be on earth when He comes again, but we will nevertheless experience all of this in our very own end of this world, when we die, and must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and answer for our lives. So we prepare for that dread event NOW, by, above all, going to confession weekly. If you do not already do this, now is an excellent time to start, This coming Sunday – 1 December- is the start of a new year! So begin this week to prepare for the coming of our Saviour!
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Pagan originally meant simply a Tim Anderson_ Sugar Skull Shirt + Hoodie, Chicago MLBPA in a rural community, but since those country people were often the last to be converted, it came to be used by city dwellers as applying to all who did not adopt their professed Christian beliefs. In a similar way the term “heathen” at first meant simply one who lived out on the “heath” or field. The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.
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Ramadan comes at a different time every year because it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a date-keeping system based on lunar cycles, unlike the Tim Anderson_ Sugar Skull Shirt + Hoodie, Chicago MLBPA (the one used by most of the world, including the U.S.), which is based on the solar year. A new month begins with the appearance of the new moon, or the crescent moon, and ends with the next appearance of a new moon. The month of Ramadan thus moves backwards about 10 days every year relative to the Gregorian calendar. But even within Islam there is debate over when precisely Ramadan begins, since, according to the faith-community website Pathos, different communities follow different protocol for determining when a new month begins. Some communities follow a set lunar calendar, others use scientific observations to make an official decree about the arrival of a new moon, and still others mark a new month only after the actual sighting of the crescent moon in their community. Though the exact dates of Ramadan are never uniform around the world, they come pretty close.
First let me answer to the meat of your question. Christmas ( The Mass 0f Christ ) has become secular because many felt that the Tim Anderson_ Sugar Skull Shirt + Hoodie, Chicago MLBPA tone of the Holiday ( Holy Day ) was strong and therefore was ‘not inclusive’ enough. They felt it left out too many people that are not believers or at least not firm believers. There is logic in that line of thinking. I am a Christian…but I certainly have no problem with those that prefer the “Holiday season” to “Christmas”. That is their right. I enjoy this particular time of year regardless of which portion of it my friends are celebrating. Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule…whatever. Have a Happy one. If I happen to wish you a Merry Christmas do not hold it against me. Tell me “Lo, Saturnalia”…and I will thank you and wish you the same. By the way if you hear Dutch or a few other Europeans pronounce “Saint Nicholas” the way they do it sounds like Sant NikLAUS…which sounds pretty much exactly like Santa Claus. And Saint Nicholas was known for presenting gifts on a certain day too…so to say that Santa Claus has nothing to do with it is not exactly right. I forget the exact details of the story, but an artist in the early 1900’s came up with the current version of Santa for Coca Cola marketing purposes. He was described much earlier in a poem in the 1800’s in a way similar to that..but the gift giving theme at Christmas time was always associated with him so though more secular, the message is still there for those that wish to associate it and can be ignored by those that are uncomfortable with it.