|New Year's Day
In countries which use the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Day is usually celebrated on 1 January. The order of months in the Roman calendar has been January to December since King Numa Pompilius in about 700 BC, according to Plutarch and Macrobius. However, Roman writers identified years by naming the year's consuls, who did not enter office on 1 January until 153 BC. Since then 1 January has been the first day of the year, except during the Middle Ages when several other days were the first (1 March, 25 March, Easter, 1 September, 25 December). With the expansion of Western culture to the rest of the world during the twentieth century, the 1 January date became global, even in countries with their own New Year celebrations on other days (e.g., China and India). At present, the celebration of the New Year is a major event worldwide. Many large-scale events are held in major cities around the world, with many large fireworks events on New Year's Eve (31 December). Sydney launched over 80,000 fireworks at midnight, and had more than one and a half million attendees; it was also the most-watched event on television worldwide last year. In Valparaiso upwards of two million visitors witnessed the largest fireworks display in a natural setting; a total of more than 21 kilometers of fireworks on the bay, from the commercial port city of Valparaiso to Concon, Chile, all in 25 minutes of entertainment. London's New Year celebrations centre around the London Eye, with an impressive fireworks display while Big Ben strikes midnight. In New York, the celebration is focused around a large crystal ball that descends in a one minute countdown in Times Square. Edinburgh plays host to one of the world's largest Hogmanay events. The celebrations last for four days and attract visitors from around the globe to take part in street parties and attend concerts. In the culture of Latin America there are a variety of traditions and superstitions surrounding these dates as omens for the coming year. January remains a symbol of the New Year's celebration. According to the Christian tradition, 1 January coincides with the circumcision of Christ (eight days after birth), when the name of Jesus was given to him (Luke 2: 21).
|Day of Unity
|Ascension of Jesus
The Christian doctrine of the Ascension holds that Jesus ascended to heaven in the presence of his Eleven Apostles following his resurrection, and that in heaven he sits at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus died circa 30. In the Epistle to the Romans (c. 56-57), Saint Paul describes Christ as in heaven and in the abyss[Rom. 10:5-7] the earliest Christian reference to Jesus in heaven. The most influential account of the Ascension, and according to the two-source hypothesis the earliest, is in Acts of the Apostles[1:1-11] where Jesus is taken up bodily into heaven forty days after his resurrection as witnessed by his apostles, after giving the Great Commission with a prophecy to return. In the Gospel of Luke, the Ascension takes place on Easter Sunday evening. The Gospel of John (c. 90-100) refers to Jesus returning to the Father.[Jn. 20:17] In the First Epistle of Peter (c. 90-110), Jesus has ascended to heaven and is at God's right side. Pet. 3:21-22] The Epistle to the Ephesians (c. 90-100) refers to Jesus ascending higher than all the heavens.[Eph. 4:7-13] The First Epistle to Timothy (c. 90-140) describes Jesus as taken up in glory.[Tim. 3:16] The traditional ending of Mark[16:19] includes a summary of Luke's resurrection material and describes Jesus as being taken up into heaven and sitting at God's right hand. The imagery of Jesus' Ascension is related to the broader theme of his exaltation and heavenly welcome, derived from the Hebrew Bible. The image of Jesus rising bodily into the heavens reflects the ancient view that heaven was above the earth. Belief in the Ascension of Jesus is found in the Nicene Creed, and is affirmed by Christian liturgy and, in the West, by the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into heaven. Ascension Day, celebrated 40 days after Easter, is one of chief feasts of the Christian year. The feast dates back at least to the later 300s, as is widely attested. The canonical account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds contrasts with the gnostic tradition, by which Jesus was said to transcend the physical realm and return to his home in the spirit world. It also contrasts with the beliefs of Docetism, in which matter is intrinsically evil and Jesus was said to have been pure spirit.
|Assumption of Mary
According to the belief of Christians of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches and by some Anglicans, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that Mary, "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." This doctrine was dogmatically and infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. This belief is known as the Dormition by the Orthodox. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major festival, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many countries it is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation. In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.
Prince Louis Rwagasore (10 January 1932-13 October 1961) is Burundi's national and independence hero. He was a Burundi nationalist and prime minister. He was the son of Mwami (King) Mwambutsa IV. He briefly attended university in Belgium, but left to spearhead his country's anti-colonial movement. He founded a series of African cooperatives to encourage economic independence, but these were quickly banned by Belgium in 1958. That same year, Rwagasore established a nationalist political movement, UPRONA (Union for National Progress). Believing that the role of the royal family should transcend partisan politics, his father promoted him to Chief of Butanyerera, but Rwagasore turned down the appointment so that he could devote himself fully to the nationalist cause. Rwagasore was married to a Hutu woman, and it was hoped he could bridge the differences between the two groups, Tutsi and Hutu, in an independent Burundi. At the first UPRONA Congress (March 1960), he demanded complete independence for Burundi and called on the local population to boycott Belgian stores and refuse to pay taxes. Because of his calls for civil disobedience, he was placed under house arrest. Despite the setbacks, Rwagasore and UPRONA won a clear victory in elections for the colony's Legislative Assembly in 1961, winning 80 percent of the vote. The next day, he was declared prime minister, with a mandate to prepare the country for independence.
Melchior Ndadaye (March 28, 1953 – October 21, 1993) was a Burundian intellectual and politician. He was the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi after winning the landmark 1993 election. Though he moved to attempt to smooth the country's bitter racial divide, his reforms antagonised soldiers in the Tutsi-dominated army, and he was assassinated amidst a failed military coup in October 1993, after only three months in office. His assassination sparked an array of brutal tit-for-tat massacres between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups, and ultimately sparked the decade-long Burundi Civil War.
All Saints' Day (in the Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. In terms of Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls' Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries.
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on December 25, but this date is not known to be Jesus' actual birthday, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, a historical Roman festival, or the date of the northern hemisphere's winter solstice. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days
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