Lemonade and Light: Holidays of Spring

About 30 women gathered at the CNY Rise Center on April 16 to learn more about the spring holidays celebrated in different faith traditions.

JoAnn Cooke spoke about Buddha’s Birthday, which is traditionally celebrated on April 8, and our group re-enacted the story surrounding the Baby Buddha’s birth.

Carol Lipson spoke about the Jewish traditions of Passover as celebrated here and in Israel.

Lorraine Markley shared the Catholic traditions around the 40 days of Lent culminating in Easter celebrations in churches filled with music and decorations.

Cher Holt-Fortin introduced many of us to Baha’i – the last revealed religion founded in the 1800s by Baha’u’llah. Baha’i teaches that all major religions are manifestations of one God and champions unity and equality of all people. Baha’i celebrates Naw-Ruz – the Persian New Year—on March 21 and holds a 12-day festival of Ridvan later in the spring commemorating important events in the life of Baha’u’llah.

Melek Yavuz spoke about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in which fasting, prayer, and charity lead believers closer to Allah. Ramadan may fall at any time during the year, but in 2023 it coincided with Passover and Easter – as well as Buddha’s Birthday and Naw-Ruz.

Many attendees remarked on the similarities between these joyous spring festivals – including family gatherings, spring flowers, special foods and fellowship.