World Religions


The five major world religions - John Bellaimey




Known as the festival of lights, Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean Revolt and the miracle whereby one cruse of oil (enough for one day) burned for eight days. Hanukkah lasts eight days and symbolizes the victory of God over evil. A nine-branched menorah (candlestick) is lit.

Hanukkah Songs


The annual Hajj pilgrimage is one of the world's largest gatherings, as hundreds of thousands of people participate in one of Islam's five pillars of faith. Muslims from all over the world will gather together for five days to pray as one community, celebrating their history and giving thanks for blessings. From the Masjid Al Haram complex to the hills of Mina, the rites include circling the Kaaba seven times and visiting sites of historical and religious importance.


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast. No food or drink is allowed between dawn and sunset. Ramadan is a time of worship, spiritual reflection, renewal, and charity. At the end of Ramadan, 29 or 30 days later, the festival of fast breaking, Eid-ul-Fitr, is celebrated. Muslims get together with families and friends to celebrate, and exchange presents and cards.


Pilgrimage is an important feature of Hinduism. Pilgrimages are undertaken for many reasons such as an act of devotion; to perform ceremonial rites after the death of a parent; or during important festivals.


Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights in honor of the goddess Lakshmi. It falls during October/November and traditionally marks the beginning of the New Year. Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is remembered and thanked for her prosperity over the past year.


Pilgrimage has always been integral to Buddhism, attracting pilgrims to centers, shrines, and places associated with the Buddha or his disciples.