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A year of celebrations.

JULY JUL 5 Birthday of Guru Hargobind. sixth of the 10 gurus of Sikhism.

JUL 8 Lailat al Mi'raj. Important date on the Muslim calendar which celebrates the Prophet Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Jerusalem on the winged steed Buraq.

JUL 13 Ratha Yatra. Hindu Festival of the Chariots in which Lord Jagannath (Krishna) and his siblings Balarama and Subhadra are celebrated with three highly decorated chariots being pulled through the streets of Puri in province of Orissa, India.

JUL 23 Birthday of Guru Har KrishenS. Eighth of the 10 gurus of Sikhism.

AUGUST AUG 1 Lammas. AS ncient festival of the first wheat harvest of the year, its name derived from 'loaf mass'. It was once customary to take a loaf to church which had been made from the new crop, while tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called "the feast of first fruits".

AUG 24 Raksha Bandhan Hindu festival celebrating the relationship between brothers and sisters; it is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother.

SEPTEMBER Harvest Festival. Celebration of the food grown on the land which takes place across several religions; in British churches and schools, people bring in food from their garden or allotment, which is then usually distributed among the poor and elderly in the local community.

SEP 2 Krishna Janmashtami. Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Legend has it that Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.

SEP 6 Laylat ul-Qadr. Anniversary of the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is also known as the night of excellence.

SEP 9/10 Rosh Hashanah. Commonly referred to as the Jewish New Year, it is always observed on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar.

SEP 10 Eid-ul-Fitr. Often abbreviated to Eid, this is the Muslim holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid means festivity while Fitr means to break fast. The celebrations last three days and are marked with special services and a celebratory meal - the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.

SEP 11 Ganesh Chaturthi. The birthday of Lord Ganesha, this Hindu festival lasts for 10 days.

SEP 23 Sukkot. Also known as the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles. Celebrated five days after Yom Kippur, it is one of the most joyous dates in the Jewish calendar. The word sukkot means huts, and building a hut is the most obvious way in which Jews celebrate the festival. No work is permitted on the first and second days of the holiday. Every Jewish family will build their own open air structure in their house in which to live during the holiday and where all meals are eaten.

OCTOBER OCT 8-16 Navaratri. Hindu festival of Nine Lights which is devoted to Durga, the Goddess of Motherhood.

NOVEMBER NOV 5 Diwali. One of the most important dates for Hindus, Diwali (which literally means row of lamps) marks the return of Lord Raama to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating Ravana (the demon king) - the ruler of Lanka in the epic story of Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. It is marked by decorating the home with lights, fireworks (for rocket sellers it handily falls around Bonfire Night), sweets and gifts.

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Last year's Diwali celebrations in Hall Green Picture: Emma Lee EL181009YEAR-12 OCT 31 Halloween. With roots in both the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, Halloween (the name derived from the OId Irish for summer's end) is now largely a secular celebration, centring on the tradition of Trick or Treat, wearing costumes, apple bobbing and carving lanterns from pumpkins.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 19, 2010
Words:698
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