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A wish for all

Hime Themis

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[center][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]Gentle Persons

At this time of year many of diverse backgrounds and cultures enjoy celebrations that honour their own traditions and values. What is deemed to seperate us in fact binds us together. The celebration of life, values and friendship is universal as the following list will confirm. May you find in this season that which you find most dear to celebrate and please ensure that you share those feelings of warmth and friendship with all you meet.
Dame Hime Themis[/font][/size][/center]
[center][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]The Order of the Black Rose[/font][/size][/center]
[center][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]The Realm of the Rose

The month of December is a time of many religious celebrations. In alphabetic order, by religion, they include:

Some Atheists in the U.S. have begun to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This is the day of the year when the nighttime is longest, and the daytime shortest. Lately, it has been falling on DEC-21 or 22. However it can be as early as DEC-20 and as late as DEC-23. American Atheists and many local Atheist groups have organized a variety of observances at this time.
Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day (a.k.a. Rohatsu) on DEC-8, or on the Sunday immediately preceding. It recalls the day in 596 BCE, when the Buddha sat beneath a Bodhi tree -- a type of fig tree -- and is believed to have achieved enlightenment, thus escapeing the repeating cycle of reincarnation: involving birth, life, death and rebirth. A descendent of the original tree is the most important of four holy sites of Buddhism.
Christians in the West celebrate Christmas on DEC-25, as the day when the Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ) was born. He is regarded by most Christians as a deity and savior of humanity. The Eastern Orthodox churches currently celebrate Christmas on DEC-25 according to the Julian calendar, which is JAN-07 in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. It is not actually the date of Jesus' birthday. That probably happened in the spring or fall. Its origin can be traced to an ancient Roman Pagan celebration called Saturnalia. It was a commemoration of the dedication of a temple to the God Saturn. Saturnalia was originally celebrated as a one day celebration on DEC-17. It became so popular that it was expanded to seven days. This celebration was picked up by the followers of Mithraism where it became the Feast of Sol Invicta, (the Unconquered Sun). It started on DEC-25 of the year 274 CE.
Jews celebrate Hanukkah, (a.k.a. Chanukah; "Feast of Dedication" and "Festival of Lights"). This is an 8 day observance which recalls a miracle in the Jerusalem temple during a war fought by the Maccabees in the cause of religious freedom. Temple candles only had enough oil to burn for a single day. Yet they burned for eight days. Jews light candles on a menorah -- two on the first day, three on the second, to nine on the eighth day. Between 1996 and 2008, the first day of Hanukkah fell, or will fall, between NOV-30 and DEC-26.
Followers of Kemetic Orthodoxy celebrate the Day of the Return of the Wandering Goddess. This religion is a recreation of the faith of ancient Egypt, observed since about 4500 BCE This day celebrates the return of the Goddess Hathor to her father Ra and the healing of their relationship. It is held on the Winter Solstice
Muslims' holy days are fixed to the lunar calendar. On successive years, the days migrate about ten days earlier as viewed on the Gregorian calendar. Id al-Adha (a.k.a. the Feast of Sacrifice or Day of Sacrifice) occurs during the 12th lunar month of the Islamic year. This immediately follows the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). It recalls the day when Abraham intended to follow the instructions of God, and sacrifice his son Ishmael. It is an unusual ocurrence to have two Id al-Adha holy days during one year; it happens only about three times each century.
Some Native Americans and Aboriginal groups elsewhere in the world also observe the Winter Solstice. They associate different beliefs and rituals with it. For example, the Hopi tribe celebrations are "...dedicated to giving aid and direction to the sun which is ready to 'return' and give strength to budding life." Their ceremony is called Soyal. It lasts for 20 days and includes "prayerstick making, purification, rituals and a concluding rabbit hunt, feast and blessing..." 1
Nova Romans (a.k.a. Romana) celebrate Saturnalia, a seven day feast starting on DEC-17. 1,2 Romana are Neopagans who worship the ancient Gods of Rome and who celebrate the ancient Roman holy days.
Wiccans and some other Neopagans celebrate Yule at the time of the Winter Solstice. Some may celebrate the Sabbat (one of eight days of celebration) on the evening before, at sunrise on the morning of the solstice, or at the actual time of the astronomical event.
Zoroastrians observe Zartusht-no-diso on DEC-26, "the day in the sacred calendar when worshippers remember the death anniversary of Zarathustra. Special prayers are recited and a visit is paid to the Fire Temple as a mark of remembrance." 5
Also, in ancient times, Druids and followers of the Pagan and Polytheistic religions of Greece, Rome, and other countries held celebrations at or shortly after the Winter Solstice. Some Neopagans have recreated these religions and are following them today.
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[b][font="Times New Roman"]Andean</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inti_Raymi"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Inti Raymi[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: Festival of the Sun in [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quechua_language"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Quechua[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"], winter solstice festival in areas of the former [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inca"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Inca[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] empire, still celebrated every June in [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusco"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Cusco[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"].[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Buddhist</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi_Day"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Bodhi Day[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 8 December - Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Guatama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Celtic</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice#Mean_Geimrech_.28Celtic.29"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Winter Solstice[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 21 December-22 December – midwinter[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Chinese</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Signature of the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Republic_of_China"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Constitution of the Republic of China[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] ([/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Taiwan[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]): 25 December - a secular national holiday, which due to its date is celebrated in some respects like [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas[/size][/font][/url]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Christian</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Advent[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: four weeks prior to Christmas.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saint Nicholas[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]' Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 6 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Eve"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas Eve[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 24 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 25 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasia_of_Sirmium"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Anastacia of Sirmium[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] Feast Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 25 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]12 Days of Christmas[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 25 December through 6 January[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Stephen"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saint Stephen[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]'s Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 26 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John_the_Evangelist"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saint John the Evangelist[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]'s Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 27 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Innocents"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Holy Innocents[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]' Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 28 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester_I"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saint Sylvester[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]'s Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 31 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch_Night"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Watch Night[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: 31 December[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saint Basil[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]'s Day[/size][/font][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: 1 January (Christian Orthodox) In Greece, traditionally he is the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Father Christmas[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] figure.[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Germanic</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C5%8Ddraniht"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Mōdraniht[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: or Mothers' Night, the Saxon winter solstice festival.[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Jewish</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hanukkah[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: Starting on 25 [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kislev"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Kislev[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] ([/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Calendar"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hebrew[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]) or various dates in November or December ([/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Gregorian[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]) - eight day festival commemorating the miracle of the oil after the desecration of the Temple by [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Antiochus IV Epiphanes[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] and his defeat in 165 [/size][/font][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]BCE[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Persian</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalda"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Yalda[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: The turning point, [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Solstice"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Winter Solstice[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] (December 21). As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā (Persian: یلدا) or Shabe Chelle (Persian: شب چله) is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. 'Shabe yalda' means 'birthday eve.' According to Persian mythology, Mithra, the sun god, was born at dawn on the 22nd of December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalda"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Yalda[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] by staying up late or all night, a practice known as 'Shab Chera' meaning 'night gazing'. Friends and family gather to feast and read poetry. [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliomancy"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Bibliomancy[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] may be practiced with the poetry of [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafiz_Shirazi"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hafiz[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons. The red color of these fruits invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolizes Mithra.[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Roman</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Saturnalia[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: the Roman winter solstice festival[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies_Natalis_Solis_Invicti"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Dies Natalis Solis Invicti[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] (Day of the birth of the Unconquered Sun): late Roman Empire - 25 December[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Sikh</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Gobind_Singh"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Guru Gobind Singh[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurpurab"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Gurpurab[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"], birthday of the Guru Gobind Singh, generally falls on December or January.[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Slavic</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_New_Year"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Old New Year[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] includes a winter ritual of strolling and singing that was later incorporated into the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_carol"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas carol[/size][/font][/url]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malanka"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Malanka[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] caps off the festivities of the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] holidays[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Secular</SPAN>[/font][/b]
· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Thanksgiving[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: The celebration of the early colonization of the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]United States[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] and the camaraderie of the settlers and the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Native Americans[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]. Occurs on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada, second Monday in October.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamenhof_Day"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Zamenhof Day[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: (15 December) - Birthday of [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Zamenhof"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Ludwig Zamenhof[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"], inventor of [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Esperanto[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]; holiday reunion for Esperantists[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Festivus[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: (23 December) - Holiday celebrating the season without the pressures or [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercialism"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]commercialism[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] of the other holidays. At first a family holiday, later publicized on the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seinfeld"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Seinfeld[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] television show, now celebrated independently.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HumanLight"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]HumanLight[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (23 December) - Humanist holiday originated by the New Jersey Humanist Network[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaid-e-Azam"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Quaid-e-Azam[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]'s Day[/size][/font][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (25 December)[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malkh-Festival"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Malkh-Festival[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (25 December)[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Boxing Day[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (26 December) - Gift-giving day after Christmas.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Kwanzaa[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: (26 December - 1 January) - [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Africanism"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Pan-African[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] festival celebrated in North America[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yulefest"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Yulefest[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"], [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midwinter_Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Midwinter Christmas[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] (around late June or July) - Australian New Zealand winter 'Christmas/Yuletide' (Although this is sometimes celebrated in the USA, where celebrations generally begin on [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_July"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]4th July[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"].[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]New Year's Eve[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: (31 December) - Last day of the [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Gregorian year[/size][/font][/url]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogmanay"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hogmanay[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (Night of 31 December - Before dawn of 1 January) - Scottish New Year's Eve Celebration[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Day"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]New Year's Day[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: (1 January) - First day of the Gregorian year[/font][/size]

[b][font="Times New Roman"]Winter festivals in popular culture</SPAN>[/font][/b]
[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Note: The festivals listed here have been created by popular culture. Many [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]parody[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] Christmas, and are not traditional celebrations.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chrismahanukwanzadan&action=edit&redlink=1"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Chrismahanukwanzadan[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: This is the modern-day merging of the holidays of Christianity's Christmas, Judaism's Hanukkah, African-American holiday of Kwanzaa, and Islamic Ramadan.[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Festivus[/b]: in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seinfeld"]Seinfeld[/url][/i]: An alternative event for those who prefer to avoid normal holiday expectations. "Festivus, for the rest of us".[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Flying Spaghetti Monster[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] Holiday[/size][/font][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: Around the time of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastafarians"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Pastafarians[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] celebrate a vaguely-defined holiday named "Holiday", which doesn't take place on "a specific date so much as it is the Holiday season, itself". Because Pastafarians "reject dogma and formalism", there are no specific requirements for the holiday.[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Snowflake Day[/b]: The Secular and politically correct holiday from the tv show [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clone_High"]Clone High[/url][/i], when in 2002, the United Nations declared that all exclusive Winter holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, and Quanza, should be abolished in favor of the all inclusive Snowflake Day. A day of celebrating snow and spices and the best dance known to mankind, the Cabbage Patch. On Snowflake Day, Snowflake Jake, the Spice Pirate, launches his spice cannonballs at the holiday's symbol of peace and celebration, the Target. Lamb tacos are eaten.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctrl%2BAlt%2BDel_(webcomic)#Winter-een-mas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Winter-een-mas[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: The annual week long celebration of video games and the people that play them.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals#cite_note-0#cite_note-0"][1][/url][/sup] Winter-een-mas is a holiday that takes place every year from January 25 to 31,[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals#cite_note-mertes20080124-1#cite_note-mertes20080124-1"][2][/url][/sup] but is also commonly celebrated for a month. The entire month of January constitutes the Winter-een-mas season, very similar to the "Christmas season", where people begin to gear up for the holiday, and get into the spirit of things.[sup][[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed"]citation needed[/url][/i]][/sup] The holiday was started by the fictional character Ethan in webcomic [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctrl%2BAlt%2BDel_(webcomic)"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Ctrl+Alt+Del[/size][/font][/url][sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals#cite_note-mertes20080124-1#cite_note-mertes20080124-1"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][2][/size][/font][/url][/sup][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] by Tim Buckley. Its stated goal is to "celebrate the joy of video gaming".[sup][[i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed"]citation needed[/url][/i]][/sup] Many gaming stores, such as EB Games, celebrate the holiday.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals#cite_note-mertes20080124-1#cite_note-mertes20080124-1"][2][/url][/sup][/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Wintersday[/b]: The annual winter holiday in the MMORPG [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guild_Wars"]Guild Wars[/url]. This holiday is based on Christmas and Yule and one can obtain festival related drops from monsters and collect gifts in select cities. Special quests are available and at the end players may get Wintersday related headgear.[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Starlight Celebration[/b]: The annual winter holiday based on Christmas/Yule/winter solstice in the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI (aka [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFXI"]FFXI[/url]). Players can collect various holiday equipment, Mog house furnishings, fireworks, and food.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Shoe[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"] Giving[/size][/font][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: - quirky holiday famously invented on the show [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperdrive_(TV_series)"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hyperdrive (TV series)[/size][/font][/url]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Freezingman[/b]: - 11 January - A [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man"]Burning Man[/url] inspired event held in Colorado as a Winter Arts and Music Festival.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals#cite_note-2#cite_note-2"][3][/url][/sup][/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Feast of Winter Veil[/b]: December 15 to January 2 - holiday in the MMORPG [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Warcraft"]World of Warcraft[/url]. This holiday is based on Christmas. Cities are decorated with Christmas lights and a tree with presents. Also special quests, items and snowballs are available. It features 'Greatfather Winter' which is modeled after [Santa Claus]. [/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Day of the Ninja[/b]: December 5 - A counterpoint to [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Talk_Like_a_Pirate_Day"]International Talk Like a Pirate Day[/url] founded by the creators of [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja_Burger"]Ninja Burger[/url].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Kwansolhaneidmas[/b]: December 19 - an interdenominational holiday celebrated by people on [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook"]Facebook[/url].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Feast of Frith[/b], in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watership_Down_(TV_series)"]Watership Down[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Holiday Number 11[/b], in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_(TV_series)"]Quark[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Xmas[/b], a twisted version of Christmas featuring a murderous Robot Santa in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurama"]Futurama[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Refrigerator Day[/b], in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaurs_(TV_series)"]Dinosaurs[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Life Day[/b], featured in [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Wars_Holiday_Special"]The Star Wars Holiday Special[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Slapsgiving[/b], a parody of thanksgiving made famous in the TV show [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_I_Met_Your_Mother"]How I Met Your Mother[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostica"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Agnostica[/size][/font][/url][/b][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"]: Agnostic winter festival created by Daren "Gav" Bleuel in the webcomic [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nukees"]Nukees[/url][/b] and celebrated by many of its fans.[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Alvistide[/b]: in the TV series [i][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealab_2021"]Sealab 2021[/url][/i].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Frostval[/b]: Adventure Quest, Dragonfable, AQworlds etc.[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Chalica[/b]: A holiday celebrated the first full week in December by some [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalists"]Unitarian Universalists[/url] to honor the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogswatch"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Hogswatch[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: a holiday celebrated on the fictional world of [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Discworld[/size][/font][/url][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]. It is very similar to the Christian celebration of [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Christmas[/size][/font][/url][size="3"][font="Times New Roman"].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]St. Yorick's Day[/b]: Holiday celebration/even celebrated by the members of [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zantarni&action=edit&redlink=1"]Zantarni[/url].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Xistlessnessmas[/b]: "anti-holiday" of the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius"]Church of the SubGenius[/url] [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody_religion"]parody religion[/url] usually held around the time of [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas"]Christmas[/url], but it can be any time of the year; sometimes its name is shortened to "Xmas". Instead of a celebration, it is a period of mourning the fact that "[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Day_(Church_of_the_SubGenius)"]X-Day[/url]" has not yet occurred and the "[url="http://www.poee.org/documents/Other_Religions/Church_of_the_SubGenius/Dictionary_of_the_Gods.htm#xists"]X-ists[/url]" have not yet arrived for the "[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture"]Rupture[/url]" to the "[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_saucer#In_popular_culture"]Pleasure Saucers[/url]" which will take all dues-paying "[url="http://www.poee.org/documents/Other_Religions/Church_of_the_SubGenius/Dictionary_of_the_Gods.htm#subgenii"]SubGenii[/url]" to [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictional_planets_of_the_Solar_System#Trans-Neptunian_planets"]Planet X[/url] according to SubGenius [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology"]mythology[/url]. Xistlessnessmas is the exact opposite of the SubGenius holiday "[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Day_(Church_of_the_SubGenius)"]X-Day[/url]".[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Crimbo[/b]: December 1 to December 25 - The season in which Uncle Crimbo (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) delivers toys, chocolates and disaster to the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Loathing"]Kingdom of Loathing[/url].[/font][/size]

· [size="3"][font="Times New Roman"][b]Thanksgivoween[/b]. September 1 to January 1.[/font][/size]

· [b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decemberween"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Decemberween[/size][/font][/url][/b][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]: a parody of Christmas that features gift-giving, carol-singing and decorated trees. The fact that it takes place on December 25, the same day as Christmas, has been presented as just a coincidence, and it has been stated that Decemberween traditionally takes place "55 days after Halloween". [/size][/font][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestar_Runner"][font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Homestar Runner[/size][/font][/url]

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[quote name='Hereno' timestamp='1324745490' post='2885646']
Atheism is not a religion

Good Hereno

That would be a debate worth having.

Regardless of belief we wish that all find the joy of kith and kin be close by to heart and hearth.

Dame Hime Themis

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[quote name='Hereno' timestamp='1324745490' post='2885646']
Atheism is not a religion.

Happy holidays.

I'm an atheist and I don't mind it being called a religion. There's just as much proof there isn't a god as there is, ergo, atheists believe something unproveable just like theists.

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Happy holidays to all wherever you are and whatever you believe in and wish to celebrate.

I'm Muslim and will celebrate Christmas tomorrow in memory of my grandmother who was a protestant and passed away 10 days ago. Please do pray for her.

Merry Christmas to all :)

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