Middletown HS North celebrates its diversity  
Do YOU have a story that explains a special day in the calendar of your faith or cultural heritage?  
Please send the information via e-mail  at least one week ahead of time and we will make every effort to post that information on the calendar page.  (September through June only please!)    We consider this space an educational opportunity - a chance to promote tolerance and understanding by become informed about what others believe.  This space will not be used as a "soapbox" from which to "preach" merits of one particular faith over another; neither do we consider that forcing anyone to suppress the joyous, proud, and peaceful observance of his or her faith or culture to be consistent with our understanding of the constitutional definition of religious freedom.  We believe that understanding and empathy are the first steps toward tolerance and harmony.  Please note:  stories, links or comments of an intolerant, defaming or derogatory nature will not be posted.  

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Click on any of the links below to learn fun and interesting facts about just a few of the holidays and special days posted on the website holidayinsights.com

 

    

Passover image 2 Pesach (Passover)  -  
(Nissan 15-22 on the Hebrew calendar, 
which in 2017 begins at nightfall on Monday April 10th and ends on Tuesday April 18th).
 
 
 
 
Passover image 2 Pesach is the first of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Shavu'ot and Sukkot). Agriculturally, it represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel, but little attention is paid to this aspect of the holiday. The primary observances of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. This story is told in Exodus, Ch. 1-15. The name "Pesach" (PAY-sahch, with a "ch" as in the Scottish "loch") comes from the Hebrew root Pei-Samekh-Cheit meaning to pass through, to pass over, to exempt or to spare. It refers to the fact that  God "passed over" the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. In English, the holiday is known as Passover.
 
 
Easter 
  • Easter Bunny


- The English word Easter is most likely from the Anglo-Saxon word Eastre, a pagan goddess whose festivals (called Eastron) were in the spring season. The festival represented the rising of the sun, new life and a new beginning.Easter is celebrated by many as a strictly secular holiday. Click on the links below to find information about  many favorite traditions.
 
Who is the Easter Bunny?(click here) The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the "Easter Hare", hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that "All life comes from an egg."   Nowadays on Easter Sunday, many children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize.
Easter egg decorating (click here)  Why we dye, or color, and decorate eggs is not certain. In ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia eggs were dyed for spring festivals. In medieval Europe, beautifully decorated eggs were given as gifts.
 

  •  Ash Wednesday - (March 1st) marks the first day of Lent, a season of reflection, prayer and fasting and meditation on the events that led to Jesus' death on a cross.
  • Palm Sunday (April 9th)  is the Sunday before Easter Sunday, and marks the beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms (and sometimes pussy willows) on Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem (a week before his crucifixion), when palm branches were placed in his path by cheering crowds who thought he would free them from Roman domination.
  • Maundy Thursday (April 13th) (also known as Holy Thursday) is the day on which Christians  celebrate the Last Supper, at which Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion.  Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you:  Love one another as I have loved you."
  • Good Friday (April 14th)  Good Friday is the day that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the act that, according to the Christian faith, paid the debt for all sins and brings salvation to all who believe and accept the message of the good news of peace and a loving relationship between God and mankind that he taught. 
  • Resurrection Day, more commonly called "Easter" (April 16th) is the greatest feast in the Christian  calendar.  It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  For Christians it is a day of great joy, because the resurrection offered proof that all that Jesus taught was true and reliable.
  • NOTE:  Due to following a different calendar, Greek Orthodox churches often celebrate slightly different dates but in  2017 the dates for the Western churches and the Greek Orthodox churches are the same.  To read more about Greek Orthodox Easter click here.



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