Religious Celebrations and Next DCIF Meeting
Special Edition Newsletter
Issue 45: A Month Full of Different Religious Celebrations
April Religious Celebrations
Mahayana flower festival to celebrate the Buddha Shakyamuni’s birthday. Shrines are erected and an image of the infant Buddha is bathed. Theravadins celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away later in the year, at the full moon in May.
In 1699, on Vaisakhi, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, founded the Order of the Khalsa. Five men (Five Beloved Ones), offered their lives when the Guru asked for volunteers. The ‘Five Ks’, the outward signs of Sikhism, were made obligatory and Sikh men took the name ‘Singh’ (lion) and women ‘Kaur’ (princess). The initiation ceremony, amrit, was introduced.
The birthday of Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, is celebrated at noon in the aarti ceremony, performed in front of a murti or of a picture depicting Rama swinging in a cradle
First day of Holy Week, when Christians remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In many churches the entry is commemorated by processions, with the congregation carrying symbolic branches of trees, or palm leaves folded in the form of a cross.
14 April: Maundy Thursday
Christians remember the Last Supper when Jesus blessed bread and wine and commanded his disciples to remember him whenever they did this. The name ‘maundy’ comes from a Latin term ‘mandatum’ (‘commandment’), signifying Jesus' new commandment to his disciples, as recorded in John 15:17.
This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Meditative services are held in church to mark the time that Jesus spent on the cross.
This is the last day of Lent. Special services involving the lighting of the Paschal Candle and the renewal of baptismal vows take place in the evening in preparation for Easter.
Easter Day is the most important festival of the Christian year, as it is when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Many Easter traditions, such as the giving of chocolate Easter eggs, symbolise the gift of new life.
An eight day festival when Jews commemorate the Exodus from their slavery in Egypt. The Seder meal is held in each family’s home at the beginning of the festival, when the story of their deliverance is recounted. Matzah (unleavened bread) is eaten throughout the festival.
16-17 April: Hanuman Jayanti
This Hindu festival recalls the birth of Lord Rama’s supreme devotee, the monkey-headed Hanuman, whose feats figure in the Ramayana epic. Hanuman’s birth is celebrated at sunrise on the full-moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra.
The most important Baha’i festival. In these 12 days, in the garden outside Baghdad after which the festival is named, Baha’u’llah declared himself the Promised One, prophesied by the Bab. The first, ninth and twelfth days are especially significant and are holy days, when no work is done. It is during this period that Baha’is elect all their governing bodies.
In the ninth day of Adar, the 9th month, Zoroastrians celebrate the birthday of fire. They pay visits to the fire temple to make offerings of sandalwood or incense, and to thank the holy fire for the warmth and light it has given throughout the year. Traditionally on this day food is not cooked in the house as the fire is given a rest and the Atash Niyayeesh or litany to the fire is recited in honour of the house fire or ceremonial oil lamp.
24 April: Pascha (Easter)
Easter Day, the most important festival of the Christian year, is when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. A vigil is kept during the preceding night and the resurrection is greeted with the lighting of candles and the glad affirmation, ‘Christ is risen’.
A day of remembrance for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. Memorial candles are lit and special services are held.
Spotlight: Archbishop Jackson's Easter Letter
Archbishop Jackson recently released an Easter message to the entire DCIF community. Writing about COVID-19 along with the ongoing war in Ukraine, he describes themes from the Christian Easter season that can be rippled throughout our interfaith community and throughout humanity.
"Easter, nonetheless, is a time of joy... As the story unfolds, people take up a new and a living story after a time of tension, bickering and fear. Yet again, all of this is familiar to any of us in the communities to which we belong, whether they be schools, homes, workplaces or residential homes and hospitals, and in the situations and relationships which form the bedrock of our everyday life."
To read the letter in its entirety, visit our website or click on the image above.
Safe Haven Antiracism Training
Safe Haven training aims to provide advocates to recognise, report and support victims of hate motivated incidents. Advocates learn to appreciate the significant impact on both individual victims of hate motivated incidents and the communities to which they identify. Though the initial victim suffers greater psychological distress, it goes to the heart of their identity affecting their sense of belonging.
To find out more, visit our website or email [email protected].
Mark your Calendars!
The next DCIF meeting will be held on
Wednesday, 4 May
from 10 am-12 pm
Important News and Updates
Important Immigration Updates
ICI Helpline Hours
The Immigrant Council of Ireland Helpline will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10am-1pm and Tuesday evening 7pm-9pm. The Helpline is open for any questions or concerns regarding immigration. Reach the helpline using this number: 01-674-0200.
First-Time Registration Appointments
To help meet the existing demand for first-time registration appointments in the Dublin region, the Department of Justice has introduced a new Freephone telephone booking system to ensure those who need an appointment can access one. For more information, visit the Official Irish Immigration website.
To stay up-to-date on the latest Irish Immigration news, please visit the Immigration Council of Ireland website at https://immigrantcouncil.ie/.
For children aged 5-11 years
Clinical trials show this vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in children. Though serious illness from COVID-19 is rare in this age group, they are even less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19 if they are vaccinated. The HSE has dedicated information for parents on hse.ie, which outlines the benefits and risks of the vaccine and is available here.
We continue to operate clinics for dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations (for people aged 12 years and over), and booster vaccine clinics. Find the full list of clinics by county here. You can also check @HSELive on Twitter for daily updates. All of our vaccination centres are offering online booking for booster appointments, which can be booked up to 5 days in advance. You can find more information here.
The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
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