http://www.UrbanDharma.org ...Buddhism for Urban America


The Urban Dharma Newsletter... December 30, 2003


In This Issue: Buddhist New Year

1. Buddhist New Year ...Author: Yeshe Chodon
2. Gonging in the New Year at a Buddhist Temple
...The Chosun Ilbo
3. Cambodian New Year
...Author: Kathy Moss
4. Why celebrate New Year's only once a year?

5. Temple/Center/Website- of the Week:
6. Book/CD/Movie Review: e-Book -
Benedict's Dharma 2 in a Text Only Version - PDF (425 KB)


1. Buddhist New Year ...Author: Yeshe Chodon


What do we do every year, be we Jodo Shinshu Buddhists,-- the local Jodo Shinshu group informs us that this is the year 2487 according to the Buddhist Calendar and the year of Horse -- Mahayana or any other …yana Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Muslims or Hindus? We “reflect upon and correct our past mistakes and look forward to a better life in the new year. Reflection, hope and resolution are some of the basic elements of an active religious life.” That quote is lifted from http://shinmission_sg.tripod.com/honganm... Religious Observances in Jodo Shinshu, but it is a universal statement about the meaning of New Year’s for any of us who are looking to experience more than loud noise and stumbling drunks this holiday. Any religious observation around this time will include reflection, formulation of resolutions, and ceremonies to invoke higher energies to strengthen our resolves and to carry the work into higher spheres.

So in general terms, Buddhist New Year is more like any other New Year than it is different. However, within Buddhism, because this religion covers so many countries and exists amid so many host cultural traditions, there is an amazing diversity in the timing of the New Year and in the observances. The Buddhist Calendar is calculated differently in various parts of the world. Visit http://www.dailyglobe.com/buddha.html The Daily Globe Buddhist Calendar for a thorough and lucid explanation. A sample:

The most common type of Buddhist calendar is lunar and begins roughly in December or January of the Gregorian calendar. Each month is approximately 29 or 30 days, depending upon the length of the each moon. In essence the Buddhist calendar is similar to the Hindu calendar but uses a different moon to begin the New Year. Every few years an extra intercalary or leap day is added after the 7th Month. Occassionally, an extra month is added there as well. Because of this system, it is often quite difficult to predict when Buddhist holidays will be celebrated from year to year. Most areas simply use numbers for the months, an exception being Sri Lanka which has its own names.

Theraveda Buddhists begin the New Year on a solar basis calculated upon the zodiac from the point at which the sun enters Aries, which is often between April 13-18. Some Buddhists use the Gregorian calendar. Mayahana Buddhists celebrate Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death according to the Gregorian calendar.

The website includes a chart of Buddhist holidays and their dates this year.

Confusing? We're just getting started. Here are a few other tidbits about the timing of the new year in different parts of the Buddhist world.

One website, http://www.khonkaen.com/english/festival... informs us that Thailand celebrates new years on Jan. 1. But at http://critters.www4.50megs.com/holiday/... Origins of New Years Festival, we are told:

Pre-Buddhist indigenous and Hindu influences are prominent in Southeast Asian festivals. In Thailand, Trut, or New Year (March/April), is of a mixed character. Buddhist monks exorcise ghosts from the vicinity and are presented with gifts. Oblations are made to various gods of Hindu origin. As people meet, water is playfully thrown by one on the other. Gambling, usually frowned upon, is permitted for the three-day festival.

As for India, the variation in timing and observance is even greater:

Most Eastern New Year festivals retain a distinctly religious character. In Dravidian southern India, the Tamil New Year is celebrated at winter solstice with the three-day Pongal festival, marked by religious pilgrimages and the ritual boiling of new rice. In Bangladesh the New Year is marked by the worship of the Ganges.

Evidently, a Buddhist living in these regions would have several choices of celebrations, and would possibly celebrate both their own religious holidays and the regional cultural holidays, even as Jews celebrate Christmas in the USA.

Chinese New Year is celebrated officially for a month beginning in late January or early February. It is preceded by an expulsion of demons and by theatrical performances. Offerings are made to gods of hearth and wealth and to ancestors. Tibetans observe the New Year in February with feasting, visiting, and a relaxation of monastic discipline.

http://camden-www.rutgers.edu/~wood/wors... Worshipping and celebrating with Southeast Asians gives information about some Buddhist traditions currently followed in the USA:

The most visible Southeast Asian celebrations in the Philadelphia area focus on the New Year. The Vietnamese follow the Chinese in celebrating the New Year on the second new moon after the winter solstice, which generally occurs in late January or early February. Several of the local Vietnamese restaurants have special New Year's dinners; even some of the Atlantic City casinos have Vietnamese New Year's events (aimed at a Vietnamese clientele; the ads are only in Vietnamese). Laotians and Cambodians use a Buddhist calendar that generally places New Year's in April. The Hmong generally celebrate New Year's in late December. The Balinese have a 210 day year, with New Year's occuring every thirty weeks, so New Year's occurs at a different time each year--and it is possible for two Balinese new years to occur within one of our calendar years!

If you really want to nail down all these calendars, visit http://www.ecben.net/calendar.shtml When do you want to go today? This award-winning site gives all the major religions and calendars and tons more, most in handy chart form.

For those who particularly love this holiday (referred to as “revelers” in the media), why not endure the security checks, hop a few jetliners and chase the holiday across the meridians? Maybe that will be my resolution next year, instead of the tired old “clean up my diet” which never seems to happen.

2. Gonging in the New Year at a Buddhist Temple ...The Chosun Ilbo, Dec 27, 2003


Seoul, South Korea -- Twelve temples nationwide, including Suncheon's Songgwang-sa Temple, are hosting temple stays for the New Year. Magok-sa Temple, in Kongju, is holding a special mediation session to bring in the New Year, while at the Uisang-dae Pavilion of Yangyang's Naksan-sa Temple, one can take in the first sunrise of the year over the East Sea.

Moreover, the temples have various programs planned to ring in the New Year, including temple bell-tolling, meals, lantern festivals, meditation sessions, tea and candle ceremonies, releasing balloons and writing down wishes.

At Golgol-sa Temple, you can greet the New Year in front of the tomb of King Munmu the Great and practice the Korean martial art of Seonmu-do. For specific information, visit their homepage at (http://info.ibuddhism.org).

3. Cambodian New Year ...Author: Kathy Moss


Background: Cambodia is a country located in South-East Asia. On some maps it is referred to by its former name, Kampuchea (kam-poo-CHEE-uh). It is mostly flat land with a few mountains on the southern border. Some of the countries surrounding Cambodia are Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh (puh NAWM pen). Khmer (cah'MY) is the official language. The population is 7.1 million people.

Cambodia has undergone conflict and invasions for several years. Because of these wars, hundreds of thousands of educated people have fled the country to find safety. With the loss of so many skilled workers the country has been weakened. As a result of this loss Cambodia is very poor.

Agriculture is a way of life in Cambodia. There are many small farms and plantations. Many farmers harvest rice. Cambodia is also one of the major world producers and exporters of rubber.

The people of Cambodia are concerned about the well-being of others. Helping one another is a custom of the South-East Asian people.

The main religion of Cambodia is Buddhism. With this religion comes the belief that one can be freed from the pain and suffering of the world through righteous thinking and living. Buddhists believe that a person's life in the hereafter will be better if they fill their present life with good conduct and good deeds. The Buddhist monks teach them how to live a moral life and aid them in understanding the teachings of Buddha. Cambodian families often go to the Temple to pray to Buddha. Many families have small altars in their homes where they can pray to Buddha and their ancestors.

The Cambodian New Year is one of the major celebrations in the Cambodian culture. It is based on the lunar calendar, and is celebrated in mid-April, which is the first month of the year in Cambodia. This time of year also represents the end of the harvest. It is a time for farmers to enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins. An astrologer determines the exact date for which the celebration will be held.

The celebration lasts for three days. During this time several people take work off to commemorate the new year. They spend time visiting family and friends, as well as the Buddhist pagodas. The Buddhist religion plays a major role in many of the celebrations activates.

The New Year is a celebration that is prepared for long in advance. Part of this preparation includes the cleaning of their homes. The people clean them thoroughly to rid them of any unclean spirits. They also buy silk to make new clothes. The men and boys wear black pants with white rounded-neck shirts, while the women and girls wear skirts with colorful, decorated robes. The clean house and new clothes represent a new beginning.

The celebration lasts for three days. Each day has a name and activities attached. Day one is called Maha Sahgkrant (MOH-hah sahng KRAHN). It is the entry into the New Year, signaled by the drum or bell of the Buddhist temple. With the sounding, it is believed that the New Angel arrives. Throughout the day the people participate in ceremonies and games. One of these activities is the building of a small sand "mountain." Each piece of sand that is added is believed to produce more health and happiness in their lives. The people bring food for the monks and pray with them. There is a feast of traditional foods such as peanut curries, noodles and tree mushrooms.

The second day is Vana Bat. It is a time for more praying. This day is a day to show consideration to elders. Parents, grandparents, and teachers are given gifts from children out of respect. It is also a time to serve. Cambodians offer charity to the less fortunate, participate in service activities, and forgive others of misdeeds that may have been done to them. The people continue to add to their sand mountain.

The final day is called Loeung Sack. On this day the monks bless the sand mountain. This is also the day for the cleansing of the Buddha statues. The people wash their statues with perfumed water. It is thought to be a kind deed that will bring good luck, long life and happiness. The bathing also symbolizes hope for sufficient rainfall for the rice harvest.

The Cambodian New Year is observed in other countries, including the United States, by many Cambodian immigrants. In the United States the celebration only lasts for two days. Many of the same ceremonies and activities are planned for and participated in. This allows for those who fled their country to remember their culture and share it with their children.

4. Why celebrate New Year's only once a year?


It’s possible to celebrate New Year's every month of the year (101 New Year's Days each year!). Celebrate Sekhmet in January, Chinese New Year in January or February, Noruz in March, Baisakhi in April, Buddhist New Year in May, Runic New Year in June, Armenian New Year in July, Shenshai New Year in August, Rosh Hashanah in September, Samhain in October, Dipavali in November, and Papal States New Year in December. Please note that the New Year's listed below are for 2002. Many New Year's Days, especially religious ones such as the Chinese, Jewish, and Muslim, change from year to year. We have tried to be as accurate as possible. If you find any discrepancies, please email the International Special Events Registry.

Nothing requires we celebrate New Year's only once a year. Indeed, before 1752, Americans celebrated New Year's Day on March 25th (Lady Day according to the old Celtic religion and the Feast of the Annunciation according to the Christian religion). Great Britain and its colonies changed their New Year's celebrations to January 1st when they changed from the old Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1751.

For more information on other special events throughout the year email: JohnKremer@bookmarket.com.


1 — New Year’s Day — The world's most widely celebrated holiday, New Years was set on January 1 by Julius Caesar because that was the date the Roman consuls took over their duties.

1 — Japanese New Year's Day — Also known as Gantan-sai or Oshogatsu, this Shinto holiday celebrates the new year with prayers for renewal, good health, and prosperity.

2 — Happy Mew Year for Cats Day — I found this celebration in a veterinarian's calendar.

7 — Egyptian New Year’s Day (Sekhmet)

7 — Mahayana Buddhist New Year — In Mahayana Buddhist countries, the new year starts on the first full moon day in January. Web: http://www.buddhanet.net/festival.htm.

8 — Druidic New Year

11 — Old Scottish New Year — On the old Scottish New Year, Scots celebrate the Burning of the Clavie (a tar-filled barrel). This burning is symbolic of purification. For details: http://www.tartans.com/articles/clavie.html.

12 — Age of Enlightenment New Year's Day — In 1985, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi announced the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. This day is now celebrated as the New Year's Day for the Age of Enlightenment.

12 — Hen Galan New Year's Day — For the 200 inhabitants of Gwaun Valley, near Fishguard, Dyfed in Wales, the new year does not begin until January 12th because they've stuck with the Julian calendar and did not give up the 11 days lost when the rest of Great Britain switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752. They call their New Year's Day Hen Galan.

14 — Eastern Orthodox New Year's Day — Some Eastern Orthodox churches, such as the Russian Orthodox church, celebrate New Year's Day on this date (which is the new year for the Julian calendar as of this year).

14 — Julian Calendar New Year — The Roman Era year of 2756 begins on January 14, 2004. During the 20th and 21st centuries, this is the New Year's Day (January 1st) for the Julian calendar. Some Eastern Orthodox churches still celebrate New Year's on this day. Web: http://serendipity.magnet.ch/hermetic/calstud/calart.htm.

15 — Procrastinator’s New Year — If you are a procrastinator, you should be getting around to celebrating the new year today. Do it today. Or tomorrow. No hurry.

21 — Celtic New Year — Today is the first day of the month of Luis (Rowan) in the Celtic Tree Calendar.

22 — Chinese New Year (Sun Nin) — The Chinese New Year of 4639 (in 2002) is celebrated at sunset on the day of the new moon in the sign of Aquarius. Web: http://www.hkta.org/cny.

22 — Korean New Year (Sol-Nal) — The Lunar New Year is celebrated at sunset on the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. The Koreans celebrate this new eyar day as Sol-Nal, the most important of their annual holidays.

22 — Lunar New Year — The Lunar New Year is celebrated at sunset on the day of the new moon in the sign of Aquarius.

22 — Tibetan New Year (Losar) — Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is held at the same time as the Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year. Note: Some Tibetans celebrate their New Year a month later as Ugyen Thinley Dorje. The Karmapa Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, led prayers to mark the new year.

22 — Vietnamese New Year (Tet) — On the day of the lunar new year, the Vietnamese people celebrate the most important holiday of their year. They believe that what happens during the coming year is established by what happens during the first three days of the year.


1 — Bombadier New Years Day — The Canadian aviation company Bombadier begins its new fiscal year on February 1st.

1 — Dell New Years Day — Dell Computers begins its new fiscal year on February 1st.

1 — Retailers New Years Day — Many retailers begin their fiscal new year on February 1st, including Staples, Toys ‘R’ Us, Gap, Federated Department Stores, May Department Stores, Home Depot, Target, Albertson's, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Wal-Mart, and Lowe's.

3 — Setsubun (Bean Throwing Festival) — According to the Japanese lunar/solar calendar, this festival marks the last day of winter. As such, it is often referred to as New Year's Eve (even though it rarely coincides with the Lunar New Year since it is officially held on the day before the Japanese spring). People crowd the temples to throw beans to drive away imaginary devils, shouting “Fortune in, devils out!” Web: http://www2.gol.com/users/stever/setsubun.htm.

7 — Tu B'Shevat (New Year of Trees) — The Jewish Arbor Day or New Year of Trees (one of four Mishnaic new year's feasts) was originally the time to set the tithe for fruit trees. It now allows us to show respect to trees and other plants, celebrate our connection to the environment, and appreciate the fruits of the land. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Shevat in the Hebrew calendar (although it was once set for the 1st of Shevat). Plant a tree or eat a piece of fruit on this day. Web: http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday8.htm or http://aish.com/holidays.

21 — Aeon Fiscal New Year — The Japanese company Aeon begins its new fiscal year on February 21st.

22 — Tibetan New Year (Ugyen Thinley Dorje) — Some Tibetans celebrate their New Year a month later than the Lunar New Year as Ugyen Thinley Dorje. The Karmapa Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, led prayers to mark the new year.

22 — Islamic New Year (Muharram) — At sundown, year 1425 of the Islamic Era begins. The first day of Muharram commemorates Prophet Muhammad's flight from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira or Hijra), the first major event in the development of Islam. This date varies from year to year.


1 — Best Buy New Years Day — Best Buy, the electronics retailer, begins its fiscal new year on March 1st.

1 — Outpost.com New Year Day — Outpost.com, the online electronics retailer, begins its fiscal new year on March 1st. Happy New Year!

1 — Roman New Year — The Festival of Mars, aka Feriae Marti, honored Mars, the Roman god of war. It was also the New Year's Day in the old Roman calendar.

8 — Sun Rise Day — The world's most northerly village, Longyearbyen, Norway celebrates the first dawn of the new year (their New Year's Day). Around noon on this day, they celebrate their first glimpse of the sun since it sat in October. The long night of winter is compensated by the midnight sun of summer.

14 — Sikh New Year Day — The year 2004 is the year 536 in the Sikh Nanakshahi Calendar. It is the first day of Chet, the first month of the Sikh calendar.

20 — God's Holyday New Year — According to some Christians, the true New Year's Day should be celebrated on the first new moon after the vernal equinox (first day of spring).

21 — Astrological New Year — The astrological year begins with the first day of the sign of Aries.

21 — Baha’i New Year (Naw-Ruz) — The Baha'i new year is always celebrated on the 21st. 2004 is year 160 in the Baha'i religion.

21 — Hindu New Year — The Hindu New Year is on the day following the new moon on or after the spring equinox. Year 2004 is the year 2061 in this Hindu calendar. Also known as Bikrami Samvat. Note: Some people celebrate the Hindu New Year on Diwali.

21 — Persian New Year (Noruz) — The Persian or Iranian New Year is a national holiday in Iran and some other Middle East countries. Always held on the spring equinox, 2004 is the year 1383 in the Persian calendar.

21 — Telugu New Year’s Day — Also known as Ugadi, this day is celebrated on the day after the new moon following the vernal equinox (first day of spring).

21 — Zoroastrian New Year (Jamshedi) — The Zoroastrian New Year (Jamshedi) is always on March 21st. The year 2004 is the year 1374 in the Zoroastrian calendar.

22 — Indian New Year (Saka) — The official calendar of the country of India celebrates its new year (1926 in 2004).

23 — New Year for Kings — In Mishnaic times, the first of Nissan (the first month of the Hebrew calendar) was celebrated as the New Year for Kings and festivals. The Mishna also celebrated three other New Years's: Elul 1 (for animal tithes), Tishrei 1 (for vegetable tithes), and Tu B'Shevat (for tree tithes).

25 — Old British New Year — Before the Calendar Adjustment Act of 1751, Great Britain and its U.S. colonies celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25 because it is Lady Day as well as the Feast of the Annunciation.


1 — Old French New Year — The French used to celebrate the new year on April 1st. April Fool's Day got its name from people who continued to celebrate New Year's on April 1st even after the French switched to January 1st.

1 — Japanese Industrial New Year — Many Japanese industrial corporations begin their new fiscal year on April 1st, including Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sony, Matsushita, Nissan, Toshiba, Isuzu, and Seiko Epson.

1 — Safeway New Year — Safeway begins its new fiscal year on April 1st. Don't fool with your food!

3 — Seleucid Era New Year Day — In 309 B.C., the Seleucid Era began. Also, on this date in 245 B.C., the Era of Arsaces started.

5 — Theravadin Buddhist New Year — The Tharavadin Buddhists of Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Lao celebrate the new year on the first full moon day with three days of celebration. Web: http://www.buddhanet.net/festival.htm.

14 — Solar New Year (Songkran) — This new year's day is celebrated in many southeast Asia countries as Baisakhi in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (or Varushapirapu); Songkran in Thailand; Boum Pimay or Bun-Pi-Mai-Lao in Laos; Thingyan in Myanmar; and Bon Chol Chhnam in Cambodia. The exact time on the 13th or 14th is determined by astrologers. This day marks the celestial passage of Pisces into Aries, when Thagyamin, king of the celestials, visits the human world to judge each person's actions during the past year. This water festival is celebrated by spraying water on passer-bys and friends.

14 — Nepali New Year Day — The year 2004 is the year 2060 in the Nepali calendar. The specific time of the New Year is set by astrologers on the 13th or 14th. Web: http://www.nepalonline.net.

14 — Sikh New Year Day (Vaisaki) — The year 2004 is the year 306 in the Sikh calendar. On this day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh created the Brotherhood of the Pure.

14 — Sinhala/Tamil New Year’s Day — Sri Lankans celebrate their national new year's day (Puththandu in Tamil and Aluth Avurudhu in Sinhala). The specific time of the New Year is set by astrologers on the 13th or 14th. The sun moving from the house of Pisces to the house of Aries signals the dawn of the new year.

15 — National Equal Pay Day — Each year, the National Committee on Pay Equity organizes the national observance of Equal Pay Day to raise awareness about unfair pay in America. In 2003, Equal Pay Day will be observed on Tuesday, April 15. Tuesday is symbolic of the point into the new week that a woman must work in order to earn the wages paid to a man in the previous week. In other words, because women on average earn less, they must work longer for the same pay. In Hawaii, “Happy New Year” cards were sent out to mark New Year's Day for Working Women. Web: http://www.feminist.com/fairpay/epd.htm.

20 — Stoner's New Year — 420 is another name for marijuana. According to some legends, marijuana is supposed to have 420 different chemicals, plus the Los Angeles, California police department's code for a drug bust is supposed to be 420. However, according to Snopes.com, 420 began as slang in 1971 among a group of high school kids in San Rafael, Caifornia. This day is also known as Weed Smokers Day; Marijuana Vacation Day, or National Stoner's Day. Some drug users take a vacation on this date. If you are using drugs, why not take a vacation from drugs today? It may be the first day of the rest of your life. A good life.

22 — Parsi New Year Day — Celebrated on April 23 (April 22nd on leap years), this is one of the local new years celebrated in India. Also known as Pateti.

24 — Babylonian New Year — The Babylonian New Year begins the Nabonassar Era Year 2752 on April 25th (24th on leap years).


26 — Buddhist New Year — Buddha, the enlightened one, lived in India from 563 BC to 483 BC. Some Buddhist sects celebrate his birthday on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month as their New Year’s Day. Also known as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti. Note: Some sects now celebrate Buddha's birthday on April 8th.


1 — FedEx New Year — Federal Express begins its new fiscal year on June 1st.

1 — NFL New Year — The beginning of the fiscal year for the National Football League.

21 — Ancient Greek New Year — Some versions of the ancient Greek calendar celebrated the new year on the summer solstice.

21 — Aymara New Year's Day (Machaj Mara) — Bolivia's Aymara Indians celebrate their new year's day during the southern hemisphere's winter solstice. 2004 is year 5012 in their calendar. They call the new year Machaj Mara. Happy Machaj Mara! Web: http://www.boliviaweb.com.

21 — Neolithic New Year Day — Many neolithic cultures celebrated the new year on the first day of summer.

29 — Runic New Year — In the Wicca religion, this day marks the beginning of Feoh, the half-month of wealth and success. It is the first month of the runic year. This day is sacred to Frey and Freyja, the god and goddess of the earth.


1 — Cake Eaters' New Year — The frozen baked goods company Sara Lee begins its new fiscal year on July 1st. Enjoy a great cake today!

1 — Consumer Products New Year — The consumer products giant, Procter & Gamble, begins its new fiscal year on July 1st.

1 — Microsoft New Year — Microsoft begins its new fiscal year on July 1st.

1 — Sun's Fiscal New Year — Sun Microsystems begins its new fiscal year on July 1st.

9 — Armenian New Year — The Armenian Era, an old way of measuring time, began on July 9, 552.

15 — Olympic New Year


1 — Cisco New Year — Cisco Systems begins its new fiscal year on August 1st.

1 — Winn-Dixie New Year — Winn-Dixie begins its new fiscal year on August 1st.

16 — Malayalam New Year — On the new moon in late August or early September (the first day of the Hindu month of Bhadon), the southern Indian state of Kerala celebrates its new year.

18 — New Year for Animal Tithes — The Mishna sets up the first day of Elul (Hebrew calendar) as the New Year for Animal Tithes, essentially the new year for taxes. This holiday (one of four Mishnaic new years days) has not been celebrated since the Babylonian diaspora.

23 — Zoroastrian New Year (Shenshai) — The Zoroastrian New Year (Shenshai) is always on August 23rd, for those Zoroastrians who follow the Shenshai calendar.

30 — Alexandrian New Year — The first day of the month of Thoth was the beginning of the new year in the Greco-Egyptian calendar of ancient Alexandria. As the secretary of the Egyptian gods, Thoth was the god of writing, languages, laws, annals, calculations, mathematics, scribes, and magicians. He also made the calendar.


1 — Costco New Year — The mass market retailer Costco begins its new fiscal year on September 1st.

1 — Druggist New Year — The drugstore chain Walgreens begins its new fiscal year on September 1st.

1 — Orthodox Christian New Year — This day marks the new year for some Russian Orthodox Christians. Web: http://www.interfaithcalendar.org.

1 — Old Russian New Year — In 1699, Peter the Great ordered the Russian New Year changed from September 1 to January 1.

7 — School New Year — Traditionally, the new school year in the U.S. begins on the day after Labor Day.

10 — African New Year — Approximately every 1,460 years Sirius, part of the Orion constellation, rises directly behind the sun. This event, which is traditionally celebrated annually on September 10th in some African countries, marks the beginning of the African new year.

11 — Ethiopian New Years Day — This is a national holiday in Ethiopia. 2004 is the year 1997 in the Ethiopian calendar. 11th most years, 12th in leap years. Web: http://www.ethiopianembassy.org.

12 — Coptic New Year — The Diocletian Era, an old way of measuring the years, begins on September 11th or 12th. Under this system, 2004 is actually year number 1722. This calendar measures the Coptic New Year.

14 — Byzantine New Year — The Byzantine Era year of 7513 begins on September 14, 2004. The Grecian New Year (Selucidae) also begins on September 14 (year 2316 in 2004).

16 — Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) — Rosh Hashanah, which begins on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishri (Tishrei), is also called the Day of Judgment and Remembrance. It begins the Ten Days of Penitance. Originally, it was the day of the creation of man and woman. In Mishnaic times, it was the new year for years, for release, and for vegetable tithes. Rosh Hashanah 2004 begins the year 5765 in the Jewish calendar. Web: http://aish.com/holidays.

23 — Ancient Egyptian New Year — Some versions of the ancient Egyptian calendar celebrated the new year on the autumnal equinox.


1 — Disney's New Year — The Walt Disney Company begins its new fiscal year on October 1st. Happy New Year Mickey, Donald, and Goofy!

1 — Siemens Fiscal New Year — Siemens and some other German companies begin their fiscal new year on October 1st.

1 — U.S. Government Fiscal New Year — The United States federal government begins its fiscal year on October 1st.

1 — USPS New Year — The United States Postal Service begins its new fiscal year on October 1st.

3 — Moroccan New Year's Day — Web: http://www.mincom.gov.ma.

4 — Supreme Court New Year's Day — The U.S. Supreme Court begins its annual term on the first Monday of October.

22 — Spiritual New Year — Sponsored by Eckankar.

31 — Druid New Year (Samhain) — This ancient feast of Sacred Fire celebrated the Druid New Year. It celebrates the reunion of Morrighan, a Celtic goddess, with Dagda, the good god. It is also known as the Celtic Feast of the Dead, the Feast of Souls, or Calan Gaeaf.


1 — Canadian Banks New Year — Many Canadian banks begin their new fiscal year on November 1st, including the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Bank of Nova Scotia.

1 — Deere New Year — The John Deere company begins its new fiscal new year on November 1st.

1 — H-P Fiscal New Year — Hewlett-Packard begins its new fiscal year on November 1st.

12 — Hindu New Year (Diwali) — Celebrated at the new moon in late October or early November, this Festival of Lights celebrates the return of Lord Rama after a 14-year exile and his defeat of the evil king Ravana (symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness). Also known as Hindu Solidarity Day, Divali, Dipavali, Deepavali, Laxmi Puja, or Mahalakshmi, it also honors Lakshmi, goddess of good fortune, wealth, and prosperity. In India, the celebration goes on for a few days before and after the new year. It is considered by some as one of the Hindu New Years (sometimes celebrated the day after Diwali as Vikram New Year).

13 — Jain New Year — Celebrated on the day after Diwali, this is the new year's day for the Jain religion (year 2531 in 2004). It is the day after of the attainment of Moksha by Mahavir Swami and the day when his chief disciple Gautam Swami attained Kevalgnan.

28 — Liturgical New Year — The season of Advent begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends with Christmas Day. It is a preparation time before the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is also the beginning of the new liturgical year for Christians of the West.


1 — Stockbroker's New Year — Many American financial instutions and brokerage firms begin their new fiscal year on December 1st, including Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs.

12 — Sikkimese New Year — The Sikkimese New Year or Losoong is celebrated from the first to fifth day of the Lunar 11th month. It is also called Sonam Losar or the Farmer's New Year.

25 — Papal States New Year — Before 1582, the Papal States and some other Italian city states celebrated New Year’s Day on Christmas Day.



This guide has been prepared by Professor Robert Wood at Rutgers-Camden for use by students in his Southeast Asian Societies course and by others who share a fascination with this unique part of the world. It is illustrated with slides from Professor Wood's visits to Southeast Asia between 1972 and 1999.

Table of Contents

* Introduction: Southeast Asia in the Delaware Valley
* Tasting the Food of Southeast Asia
* Vietnamese and Cambodian Restaurants in the Delaware Valley
* Thai Restaurants in the Delaware Valley
* Burmese, Malaysia, Singaporean, Filipino & Pan-Asian Restaurants
* Seeing the Artistic Treasures of Southeast Asia
* Exploring Southeast Asian Neighborhoods
* Couch Potatoing Southeast Asia (videos)
* Worshipping and Celebrating with Southeast Asians
* Working with Southeast Asian Communities

This is the fourth edition of a guide intended to supplement the Southeast Asian Societies course offered in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice at Rutgers-Camden. Its purpose is to direct students and other interested people to the various ways in which the world of Southeast Asia can be experienced right here in the Delaware Valley. Nothing of course can replace the experience of traveling to Southeast Asia itself, but thanks to the influx of Southeast Asian immigrants over the past two decades, the range of local possibilities has greatly increased.

6. Benedict's Dharma 2 in a Text Only Version - PDF (425 KB)


The text of Benedict's Dharma 2 is now available in a printable/readable PDF format. You can now save Benedict's Dharma 2 on you hard drive and read/print it at your convenience.

Benedict's Dharma 2... Forty Episcopalian men and women from around the country gathered for this very special "Benedictine Experience" inspired by the book, "Benedict's Dharma," in historic New Harmony, Indiana. Join Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, executive director of MID (Monastic Inter-religious Dialogue), Rev. Kusala Bhikshu a Buddhist monk, and Mr. Karl Peterson a specialist in early Christian music as they guide participants through a week-long Benedictine Experience.


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