“The Sed festival (ḥb-sd, conventional pronunciation /sɛd/; also known as Heb Sed or Feast of the Tail) was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh. The name is taken from the name of an Egyptian wolf god, one of whose names was Wepwawet or Sed.
The less-formal feast name, the Feast of the Tail, is derived from the name of the animal’s tail
that typically was attached to the back of the pharaoh’s garment in the early periods of Egyptian history.
Despite the antiquity of the Sed Festival and the hundreds of references to it throughout the history of Ancient Egypt, the most detailed records of the ceremonies—apart from the reign of Amenhotep III—come mostly from “relief cycles of the Fifth Dynasty king Neuserra… in his sun temple at Abu Ghurab, of Akhenaten at East Karnak, and the relief cycles of the Twenty-second Dynasty king Osorkon II… at Bubastis.”
Eventually, Sed festivals were jubilees celebrated after a ruler had held the throne for thirty years and then every three (or four in one case) years after that.
They primarily were held to rejuvenate the pharaoh’s strength and stamina while still sitting on the throne, celebrating the continued success of the pharaoh.
In the Pyramid of Djoser there are two boundary stones in his Heb Sed court, which is within his pyramid complex. He also is shown performing the Heb Sed in a false doorway inside his pyramid.
Sed festivals implied elaborate temple rituals and included processions, offerings, and such acts of religious devotion
Osorkon I, who had his second Heb Sed in his 33rd year, and Osorkon II, who constructed a massive temple at Bubastis complete with a red granite gateway decorated with scenes of this jubilee to commemorate his own Heb Sed.
Pharaohs who followed the typical tradition, but did not reign so long as 30 years had to be content with promises of “millions of jubilees” in the afterlife.
Several pharaohs seem to have deviated from the traditional 30-year tradition, notably two pharaohs of the eighteenth dynasty, Hatshepsut and Akhenaten, rulers in a dynasty that was recovering from occupation by foreigners, reestablishing itself, and redefining many traditions.”
JEWISH HANNUKAH – DECEMBER JEWISH TRADITION:
“Hanaka” redirects here. For the village Hanaka, in Iran, see Honeg-e Pain.
A Hanukkah menorah
|Official name||Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה or חנוכה
English translation: “Establishing” or “Dedication” (of the Temple in Jerusalem)
|Significance||The Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. According to the Talmud, a late text, the Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day’s lighting.|
|Celebrations||Lighting candles each night. Singing special songs, such as Ma’oz Tzur. Reciting Hallel prayer. Eating foods fried in oil, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods. Playing the dreidel game, and giving Hanukkah gelt|
|Ends||2 Tevet or 3 Tevet|
|2014 date||Sunset, December 16 to nightfall, December 24|
|2015 date||Sunset, December 6 to nightfall, December 14|
|2016 date||Sunset, December 24 to nightfall, January 1|
|Related to||Purim, as a rabbinically decreed holiday.|
Chanukkah or Ḥanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/ HAH-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה khanuká, Tiberian: khanuká, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə] in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Ḥanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched menorah or hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical menorah consists of eight branches with an additional visually distinct branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, “attendant”) and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating upon Hanukkah is forbidden. ”
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN “KWANZAA” TRADITION – CREATED IN 1965:
History and etymology
Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1965 as the first specifically African-American holiday. According to Karenga, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, although most East African nations were not involved in the Atlantic slave trade that brought African people to America.
Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the “seven principles of African Heritage” which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy”.
During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an “oppositional alternative” to Christmas. However, as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so that practicing Christians would not be alienated, then stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, “Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.”
Many African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.
SOURCE: ENCYCLOPEDIA WIKIPEDIA