By — Njeri Jackson
Last Tuesday, December 1st, the Loudoun County school board voted 7-2 to add a few new religious holidays to the next school year. It is a step to appreciation and recognition of different people and their beliefs.
The days off will be September 16th, November 4th and May 3rd. They are off to offer students and faculty that wish to participate or recognize Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Eid-al-Fitr. These are three major Jewish, Hindu, and Muslin Holidays.
Yom Kippur is regarded as the most holy day in Judaism, and a day or repentance of sins. Followers of Judaism believe that this is the day that God is deciding their faith, so it is encouraged to repent their sins of the past year. There is usually a fast, special religious service, and intensive prayer during this time.
Diwali is a holiday for millions of Indians,notably Hindus celebrate. It is a five day celebration of a festival of lights. The holiday origins vary depending on who is being asked. In western India, for example, they believe that this was the day the Lord Krishna (another version of Vishnu) sent King Bali to rule the nether world.
Eid-al-Fitr is the day that marks the end of the Muslim holiday Ramadan. It translates to “Festival of Breaking Fast” and it is the day when Muslims break their month-long dawn-to sunset fast. On this day there are usually more prayers, small celebrations, gift-giving, and special meals.There is no fasting allowed on this day, and the only day in the month of Shawwal where they are permitted to do this.