Various religions will be marking observances in the next two weeks. Here’s a look at some of those upcoming occasions:
Chabad.org calls Tish'a B'av “the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray.” The day is observed on the ninth day of the month of Av, which is Aug. 10-11.
“It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem,” according to the website.
The site lists multiple tragedies that befell the Jews on Av 9 through history. It also describes the fasting and other activities many Jews follow on this day of mourning.
Visit chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/144575/jewish/What-Is-Tisha-BAv.htm for details about the observance.
Islam has several observances going on now during the month of Hajj, the time when those who can make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Within the Hajj, some days are given special attention.
Among them is Waqf al Arafa, or day of Day of Arafat or Arafah, the ninth day of the month of Hajj. This year, it is Aug. 10, but the lunar Islamic calendar floats through the Gregorian calendar, so the day changes every year.
Learnreligions.com says, “The Day of Arafat falls on the second day of pilgrimage rituals. At dawn on this day, nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims will make their way from the town of Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat, which is located about 12.5 miles from Mecca, the final destination for the pilgrimage. Muslims believe that it was from this site that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life.”
Those not on the pilgrimage also observe the day with fasting and devotion.
Visit learnreligions.com/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-day-of-arafat-2003768 to read about the observance.
The following day, Muslims in the United States will observe Eid al Adha. The date varies some by country.
This is one of the two major festivals of Islam and marks the end of the rites at Mina, near Mecca during the Hajj. It is celebrated worldwide, not just by pilgrims.
The festival also marks the sacrifice by Ibrāhīm’s (Abraham) to ransom his son Ismāʿīl (Ishmael), a difference in the story between Muslims and Christians. Christians teach Issac was the son ransomed.
For a look at details and customs of Eid, visit britannica.com/topic/Eid-al-Adha and cnn.com/2018/08/21/world/eid-al-adha-tradition-celebration-trnd/index.html.
Orthodox Christianity observes Dormition of the Theotokos on Aug. 15. Theotokos is the mother of God.
Orthodox Church in America’s website says: “The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the fifteenth of August, preceded by a two-week fast.”
It explains the feast is also called the Assumption.
“It proclaims that Mary has been ‘assumed’ by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence,” the site says. The day marks the death, Resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother.
The site explains there is no biblical or historical source for the observance.
Visit oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-church-year/dormition-of-the-theotokos for details about the day.