Revolving Around Religions By: Trejean Bowman

The first religion that was in my path was my own, Christianity. To learn more about my own religion, I went ot the heart of it, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem

In the Christian faith, they worship a God also known as Jesus, who lived on the earth for 33 years. There are many different different groups under the Christian umbrella, but they all celebrate Jesus and his teachings. The main Christian holidays are Christmas and Easter.

Christmas is celebrated by most Christian groups. It is celebrated every year on December 25. This was the day the Jesus was born .
Easter does not has its own date, however it is generally celebrating during either March or April. The reason for Easter is that 3 days after Jesus was crucified, he rose again alive.
Islam

Next, I took my travels to Saudi Arabia, where I visited the great city of Mecca to learn more about the Islamic Religion.

Muslims, or people who follow the Islamic religion believe and follow the 5 Pillars of Islam, which are: Shahadah-sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith; Salat-performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day; Zakat-paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy; Sawm-fasting during the month of Ramadan; and Hajj-pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Islamic God is named Allah.

The holy text of Islam is the Qur'an. It talks about the history of Islam and how it's evolved through the years. Whenever Muslims are praying, which they have to 5 times a day, they must face Mecca, their sacred site. In order to know where Mecca is at all times, they either have physical compass or an app.

This is Mecca during Ramadan

During Ramadan, which is a major holiday in the Islamic faith, many Muslims come to Mecca to pray towards the Black Stone of Mecca. It is very crowded but all of these people have come to serve their religion.

Varanasi

I now take my leave of Mecca and move on to the city of Varanasi, which is known for being the most spiritual city in all of India. Here many Hindu's visit to see the Ganges river.

The Ganges River in Varanasi

The Ganges River is a sacred site to the followers of the Hindu religion. Another name for the River is Ganga, and the people worship it as a goddess. This river is worshiped by those that believe that bathing in the River will wash away sins and facilitates the life and death cycle. The water from this River is considered very pure.

The Festival of Light

The major holiday in the Hindu religion is Diwali. Diwali is also called the Festival of Lights. It is celebrated to honor the seventh avatar Rama-chandra, who is an incarnation of the god Vishnu. They believe that on this day Rama-chandra returned after 14 years of being exiled. During that time, he fought and won a battle against demons and the demon king, Ravana.

The many Hindu Gods

The Hindu's also worship many gods. They worship a large amount of personal gods, who are either aspects of the supreme Brahman, or avatars of the being. The could also be very powerful entities known as devas.

Lumbini

After Varanasi, I took a trip to the Hindu's sister religion, Buddhism. My destination of choice was Rupandehi district of Nepal. Here lies a sacred site of the Buddhist, the Lumbini temple.

The Lumbini Temple at night

The Lumbini Temple is said to be the birthplace Siddhartha Gautama, whose mother was Queen Mayadevi. The importance of this temple is that it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

The holiday Vesak in Indonesia

The major holiday/festival in the Buddhist religion is Vesak. Vesak is celebrated because it is the birthday of Buddha. I is celebrated on the first full moon of May, or the fourth lunar moon, which is usually in May or in some cases, June.

The Buddhist god, Buddha

The god that the Buddhist worship is Buddha. He is the central figure of Buddhism. During his lifetime he traveled and preached the Dharma. His teachings ended up growing into a large world religion.

Jerusalem

I now wrap up my trip by going back to the city of Jerusalem, but this time to learn more about Judaism. The followers of Judaism are called Jews. The Jews were the first people to develop the idea of monotheism.

The Western Wall

A sacred site of Judaism is the Western wall, which is in Jerusalem. The Western Wall is holy because of its connection to the Temple Mount. It is the holiest place where Jew are allowed to pray, however, the holiest site in Judaism is behind it.

YHWH is pronounced as "Yahweh"

The Jewish people worship the god YHWH, which is their sacred name of God, which was revealed to the prophet Moses in the Torah. The God is a combination of the past, present, and future tense of the word 'howa' which means "to be".

A menorah, holding up candles.

During the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, Jew fill the menorah with nine candles, each representing one day of Hanukkah. The center candle or the ninth candle is used to light all of the other candles when the day comes to light them. Hanukkah is celebrated as remembrance of the re-dedication of the second Temple in Jerusalem.

The 5 major religions covered in this blog post.

And that completes my revolution around religions. I hope you learned at least a little bit about all the religion in this post. See you next time!

Trejean Bowman

Credits:

Created with images by Camera Eye - "Holly Ka'ba"

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