By Cole Bennett
Christianity is a monotheistic religion in which thier god is simply called God. Thier holy book is the Bible. They have many holidays, including All Saint's day, Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick's day, Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Valentine's day. Every Sunday they have mass, in which they praise thier God for an hour or two.
Islam is a monotheistic religion in which thier god is called Allah. Thier holy book is the Quran. Thier holidays include Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Their practices are as follows:
- Daily confession of faith (shahada)
- Daily ritual prayer (salat)
- Paying the alms tax (zakat)
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm)
- Pilgrimmage to Mecca (hajj)
Judaism is a monotheistic religion in which their holy book is the torah. Their god is called Yahweh. Their holidays include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, Aseret Yemei Teshuva, Tzom Gedalia, Sukkot, Hannukah, Tenth of Tevet, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Sefirah, Shavuot, Tisha B'av, and Yom HaShoah. They have many rituals, including the Mitzvot, the 613 commandments, Rabbinic law, going to the Synagouge, and to keep kosher
Hindu is a polytheistic religion in which thier holy book is the Vedas. They believe in many symbols of one god, and because of this, are commonly mistaken as polytheistic. Their main form of god is called Adi Parashakti. There are over one thousand HIndu holidays, but the ones celebrated by most HIndus are as follows:
- Holi - festival of colors and spring (February-March)
- Mahashivaratri (Shiva Ratri) - night sacred to Shiva (February-March)
- Rama Navami - birthday of Lord Rama (April)
- Krishna Jayanti - birthday of Lord Krishna (July-August)
- Raksābandhana - renewing bonds between brothers and sisters (July-August)
- Kumbh Mela - pilgrimage every 12 years to four cities in India (July-August; last one 2003)
- Ganesha-Chaturthi (Ganesha Utsava) - festival of Ganesh (August-September)
- Dassera - victory of Rama over demon king Ravana (September-October)
- Navaratri - festival of Shakti (in Bengal) or Rama's victory over Ravana (South India) (September-October)
- Diwali - festival of lights and Laksmi (September-October)
The rituals of hinduism are Ayurveda, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Namaste Greeting, Puja, The Sadhu, and going to the Temple.
Buddhism is not a polytheistic or monotheistic religion. It instead teaches Rational Spirituality. Its holy book is the tipitaka. The holidays are as follows:
- Vesak: Buddha's Birthday is known as Vesak and is one of the major festivals of the year. It is celebrated on the first full moon day in May, or the fourth lunar month which usually occurs in May or during a lunar leap year, June. In some countries this has become an occasion to not only celebrate the birth but also the enlightenment and parinirvana of the Buddha.
- Magha Puja: Magha Puja is an important religious festival celebrated by Buddhists in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos on the full moon day of the third lunar month (this usually falls in March).
- Buddha's Birthday: Also known as "Hanamatsuri" it is celebrated April 8 and in Japan baby Buddha figurines are ceremonially washed with tea.
- Asalha Puja Day: Also known as "Dhamma Day" celebrates the Buddha's first teaching on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month, approximately July.
- Uposatha: This day is known as observance day, there are four holy days on the new moon, full moon, and quarter moon days every month.
- Kathina Ceremony: This robe offering ceremony, is held on any date within the end of the Vassa Retreat. New robes and other requisites can be offered by the laity to the monks.
- Abhidhamma Day: According to Burmese tradition, this day celebrates when the Buddha went to the Tushita Heaven to teach his mother the Abhidhamma. It is celebrated on the full moon of the seventh month of the Burmese lunar year which starts in April.
- Songkran: This Thai festival goes on for three days during April during which people clean their houses and clothes and sprinkle perfumed water on the monks, novices, and each other. Boat races on the river are also part of the celebration.
- Loy Krathong: When the rivers and canals are full of water, this festival takes place in all parts of Thailand on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. Bowls made with leaves, candles, and incense sticks, are placed in the water, and represent bad luck disappearing.
- Madhu Purnima: It occurs on the day of the full moon in the month of Bhadro (August/September). The day commemorates an occasion on which the Buddha retreated to the wilderness of Parileyya forest to bring peace between two quarrelling factions of disciples.
Some Buddhist rituals are as follows:
- Meditation - Mental concentration and mindfulness
- Mantras - Sacred sounds
- Mudras - Symbolic hand gestures
- Prayer Wheels - Reciting mantras with the turn of a wheel
- Pilgrimage - Visiting sacred sites
- Veneration of Buddhas and Deities