Special Days and Their Significance
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 23 Aug 2021
There are so many days to celebrate and to ruminate. Many days have been approved by the UN or other international bodies such as the WHO. But some are local to some countries for example, in India.
Talking of the latter, India celebrates 14 November as Children’s Day. It is the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of independent India. Similarly we have Teacher’s Day on September 5. This day is celebrated in honour of the renowned scholar, author, Vice President and President of India — S Radhakrishnan. However, there is also the World Teachers’ Day—a month later on 5 October that had been recommended by UNESCO in 1994 to honour and encourage teachers all over the world.
In parts of China and Japan, a day known as Zen Day has come up to inspire people by quotations from Buddhist, Zen or Taoist classical works.
Internationally, there are several days pertaining to various aspects of human life, our environment and our cosmos. Some of these are the World Health Day celebrated on April 7; the Earth Day (April 22), World Blood Donation Day (June 14), etc. On the cosmic level, we celebrate for a week. What are the days of the week? In French as well as in Hindi language the days (starting from Moon) are called:
Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi and Dimanche.
These are the planets that go around the Sun or the Earth (Moon — Lundi):
Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and finally Sun.
One of the latest Day is the Yoga Day that had been proposed by India and accepted without any dissent by the UN in December 2014. This has been observed worldwide from the next year — on 21 June — the longest day in the northern Hemisphere. Yoga is credited for improving body and mental health. Many yoga centres have come up to foster people’s health and well-being on a regular basis.
There are some other days that are customarily celebrated in many parts of the world. One is April Fool’s Day. Two others are Good Friday and Easter Sunday that have religious significance. Of course Christmas on 25 December is celebrated with great gusto and joy. Churches and several institutions are lit up in many countries to celebrate the occasion. Even a few days before it, there are joyful mini occasions to celebrate the festival such as gifting toys and candy to children by Santa Claus who is also known as Father Christmas.
Most countries have their own religious festivals that are observed with joy and happiness. In India, Buddha Poornima is celebrated on the full moon day in May. The Hindu God Lord Ram’s return to his palace after an exile of 14 years is celebrated as Diwali (festival of lights) not only in India but in other countries also. The day varies according to the lunar calendar but usually occurs in November.
Another day that is being popularised is Friendship Day on 1 August. However, this day and some other such occasions are more of WhatsApp origin rather than promoting real happiness among people. While rich and well to do persons send messages on their smart phones, poor people in many Asian and African countries continue to remain dejected, unhappy and marginalised. One wonders about such days.
To end on a positive note: Monday is a special day for TMS and its Editor. He has to bring out the TMS Digest after reviewing scores of articles and poems over the past week.
Hail to you, ACS Rosa!
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Aug 2021.
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