What is Shavuot, Eid al Adha & Juneteenth - post

What is Shavuot, Eid al Adha & Juneteenth

image in article What is Shavuot, Eid al Adha & JuneteenthThe diversity of people, along with their indigenous #cultures and #languages, is why America is known as the "Melting Pot of the World." Newcomers and their cultures are often met with hesitation and a bit of apprehension. The most effective way to alleviate this anxiety is through learning about these new arrivals. The more one learns, the more one realizes there is nothing to fear. Often, new insights reveal more similarities than initially anticipated.


Shavuot is a Jewish holiday celebrated in spring that marks the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is one of the three major pilgrimage festivals, along with Passover and Sukkot. In ancient times, people would travel to the Temple in Jerusalem for communal prayer and celebration. The holiday's prayers prominently feature the recitation of the Ten Commandments and the reading of the Book of Ruth.

Agriculturally, Shavuot marks the season of the first grain and fruit harvests. Historically, pilgrims brought offerings of their grain and fruit to the Temple.

The name "Shavuot" means "weeks," referring to the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. The 49 days from Passover to Shavuot, spanning from planting to the first harvest, are counted in a tradition known as "Counting the Omer," with "Omer" representing the measure of grain and fruit presented at the Temple.

Traditionally, it is customary to study Torah all night and attend synagogue services to hear the readings of the Torah portion about the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth, which tells the story of Ruth the Moabite remaining with the Israelites after her husband's death. During Shavuot, families and synagogues often decorate with greenery and flowers. Dairy foods like cheesecake, noodle and cottage cheese dishes, and blintzes are holiday staples. Picnics are also a popular way to celebrate Shavuot among families and friends.

Eid Al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is a significant Islamic holiday, known in English as the Feast of Sacrifice. Islam observes two main holidays: Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is celebrated at the end of Ramadan and, along with Eid al-Fitr, is referred to as "the Two Eids."

Eid al-Adha honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismael (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God. In recognition of their devotion, God sent the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) to provide a ram from heaven as a sacrifice instead. Many Muslims perform the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, culminating in the celebration of Eid al-Adha.

Traditionally, the day begins with a bath, dressing in fine clothes, and attending Mosque for Eid prayers.

Friends and family often gather for a barbecue, enjoying traditional foods and sweets. According to Islamic tradition, the meat is divided into three parts: one-third for the host family, one-third for extended family and friends, and one-third for the needy. If distributing the meat isn't possible, a charitable donation is made in the spirit of Eid al-Adha


Juneteenth has become the latest federal holiday, with President Biden signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021. This holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and Juneteenth National Independence Day is the twelfth official federal holiday, the first since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983.

Juneteenth holds significant importance in both American history and African American history. The holiday's name derives from June 19, 1865, the day when the Union Army, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, and declared that all enslaved African Americans were #free.

Although the Civil War concluded in 1865, it took time for the news to reach Texas, the furthest western state. Despite the enactment of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, not all enslavers complied. It wasn't until June 19, 1865, that the proclamation was truly enforced, thanks to the Union Army's intervention.

On Juneteenth, it is traditional to eat red foods, symbolizing resilience amidst bondage. Commonly enjoyed red foods include watermelon, red velvet cake, barbecue, and strawberries. Other dishes served are considered "good luck foods," such as collard greens and black-eyed peas mixed with red rice.

Juneteenth is a time for communities to gather not only in celebration but also in remembrance and recognition of the history of slavery and the joy of #freedom. The festivities typically include cookouts, parades, church services, and various public gatherings.

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