If you don’t practice Islam, you’re probably incredibly unfamiliar with the faith’s holidays, celebrations, and traditions outside of the call to prayer, the hijab, and maybe you know that Mecca is important. And maybe, perhaps because you live in Alabama (or at least in America) in a time of great cultural exchange and diversity, you have heard of Ramadan.
At least you’ve heard the word. You might automatically say that it’s a fast and that it lasts for a month. And no, that is not incorrect!
I know, as my peers have described, comically little about Christianity. As a religion major, my focus has been mainly on Islam and Jewish text with a little Buddhism and Hinduism thrown in. I cannot, perhaps shamefully, tell you the differences between most protestant denominations. I have had a lot of Catholic friends and I live across from a Catholic church, so I have the most proficiency in Catholicism, but it is still not entirely conversational. When it was recommended that I write about Birmingham churches, I panicked much in the same way a kid who forgot to read that night’s chapter panics when the teacher announces a pop quiz. I am the religion writer, after all.
Continue reading “Orthodox Churches of Birmingham: Hidden Gems”
This year two holiday traditions overlap, and I think that’s just perfect for Christmas in America, 2016 style. Christmas Eve and Hanukkah begin on December 24. What a time to celebrate with one another, no?