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The season of high holidays for Muslims, Christians and Jews worldwide is in full swing, and with that comes individuals, families, organizations and even retail establishments, acknowledging or practicing customary and, oftentimes, sacred traditions.
With Ramadan beginning March 22 and lasting through April 20; Palm Sunday, which was on April 2, kicking off the Christian Holy Week, leading up to Easter Sunday on April 9; and Passover April 5- 13, public spaces are filled with Americans who are working to simultaneously balance religious values and quotidian work responsibilities– which can at times be as hard as patting your head and rubbing your belly at once.
According to the 2020 Census of American Religion “American Religious Landscape in 2020,” 70% of Americans identified as Christian and 5% – with 1% Jewish and 1% Muslim– accounted for other religious U.S. citizens. While the bit less than quarter of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated aren’t necessarily practicing any sacred traditions, many people are fasting, meditating, worshiping, meeting with family and friends and working to appreciate the holiness of the moment.
Notwithstanding the constant commercial reminders that Easter season is upon us– with advertisements for specialty greeting cards, bunnies, egg dyes, baskets, and sweets found in most major grocery and big box stores, all people should be mindful that many of their colleagues are concluding, beginning or in the middle of their holy season.
Consider the same holiday cheer that comes with ChrismaHanuKwanzakah season. People are extra merry and bright, and use the safe, catch-all “happy holidays,” to spread seasonal greetings and joy.
The ChrismaHanuKwanzakah spirit can be applied to this season— let’s call it EasteRamaPassodan. Perhaps instead of intense cheeriness, during EasteRamaPassodan, people can work on being intentionally respectful, mindful, develop better lifestyle choices and consider a history of pain and trials, while commemorating resilience and freedom and celebrating new and restored life.
Even those who consider themselves religiously unaffiliated should know what’s happening during the EasteRramaPassodan season in order to be respectful to and supportive of those around them– perhaps honoring fasting friends’ practices by not tempting them with food or vices, ensuring that Jewish coworkers are off in time to go to Seder dinner, or acknowledging that some colleagues might have to head to Good Friday service during a regularly scheduled workday are some of the many ways others can be considerate of others during this high holy season.
Further, in beginning to be intentional about recognizing and respecting others’ values, people will begin to adopt such thinking in their daily lives.