ITUFSD

ITUFSD

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Columbus Day

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Columbus Day
By Nicholas Isaacs

In seventh grade, we learn about the importance of culture. This year, Rosh Hashanah, Columbus Day, and Yom Kippur are being celebrated as important holidays for different cultures.

Rosh Hashanah literally means “beginning of the year” in Hebrew. This Jewish holiday lasts for 2 days and according to tradition, we are in the year 5777. You can wish people “Shana Tova”, which in Hebrew means “have a good year.” At Jewish Rosh Hashanah services, you can hear them blowing a ram’s horn like a trumpet. This is called a “shofar”. It is intended to sound like a crying voice to remind people to think about and repent for any sins they committed in the past year. That’s because 10 days later they will observe…

Yom Kippur. In Jewish tradition, this is the day of atonement when people ask forgiveness for anything they did wrong they did the previous year. People over the age of 13 will fast for 25 hours and refrain from any entertainment and luxury. It is a day that is somber and primarily for prayer.

Columbus Day became a Federal holiday in 1937, though people have been celebrating the voyage well before then. Columbus discovered the American continent in October, 1492, and is actually celebrated in many countries around the world! In Latin American countries, it is called “Dia de la Hispanidad”, and in Spain, it is “Fiesta Nacional”. Since 1970, the holiday has been observed in the U.S. on the second Monday of October every year. In some states, they don’t recognize Columbus Day at all including Alaska, Oregon, and South Dakota. In Hawaii however, they celebrate “Discoverers Day” in observance of the Polynesian discovery of Hawaii. For Italian Americans, Columbus Day is seen as a great celebration of their heritage.

It’s great to understand and recognize different cultural holidays and celebrate the diversity in our lives.