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Religious Holidays

July 15, 2001
Banking and government offices will be closed or services curtailed in the following countries and their dependencies this week because of national and religious holidays: * Monday: Botswana * Tuesday: Iraq, South Korea * Wednesday: Uruguay * Thursday: Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua * Friday: Australia, Colombia, Japan, Cyprus * Saturday: Belgium, St. Martin * Sunday: Swaziland Source: Thomson Financial Publishing
December 18, 2011 | David Greenberg, David Greenberg is associate professor of history and of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University and the author of several works of political history, including "Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image."
We Americans pride ourselves on our religious pluralism and toleration. Although presidents do feel obliged to end every speech with the title of an Irving Berlin song ("God Bless America"), by and large they adhere to the Founding Fathers' ideal of separation of church and state. But contrary to this general rule there each year arises the exceptional custom of White House Christmas cards. Should the president and first lady really be issuing messages to celebrate a religious holiday that not all Americans celebrate?
January 25, 2011 | By Ned Parker and Salar Jaff, Los Angeles Times
Two car bombs exploded Monday near Karbala as Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority visited the shrine city for a major religious holiday, security and medical officials said. The blasts killed at least 22 people. The bombs went off as thousands of pilgrims marched into Karbala to mark Arbaeen, the end of the 40-day mourning period for the Shiite religious figure Imam Hussein, whose 7th century death in battle cemented Islam's Shiite-Sunni schism. It was the second major attack in the religious city since Thursday, when a pair of bombs killed 56 people and wounded 189. On Monday, the first bomb went off in a car parked south of the city, close to one of Thursday's blast sites, killing at least eight people and wounding 35. The second bomb went off east of the city, killing at least 14 and wounding at least 40, officials said.
January 21, 2011 | By Salar Jaff and Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
At least 56 people were killed Thursday in a pair of suicide car bombings that targeted pilgrims marching on foot into the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Karbala ahead of a major holiday. The attacks in the lead-up to Arbaeen, a holiday honoring Shiite icon Imam Hussein, also wounded at least 189 people, said medical officials who provided the death toll. The blasts horrified and angered members of the country's Shiite religious majority, many of whom are still scarred by memories of major bombings by Sunni extremists that devastated their community.
December 23, 2009 | By Patrick Comiskey
Believe it or not, there are some thirsty souls in this world who take in the strings of colored lights, the dangling snowflakes and overdressed fir trees and do not think of Christmas morning. They hear the strains of "Good King Wenceslas" or "The Wassail Song" and are not filled with good cheer. Instead, they are overcome by Pavlovian symptoms -- dilated pupils, wetted lips, excessive Homer-like salivation. They gather snack bowls. They frost steins. They stand in the kitchen gazing expectantly at refrigerators, fondling bottle openers with a discreet lasciviousness.
October 7, 2008 | Laura King, Times Staff Writer
A suicide bomber set off his explosives Monday while trying to force his way into an opposition politician's home in eastern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 60 others during a holiday celebration. The targeted lawmaker, Rashid Akbar Khan Nawani, who is a member of Pakistan's minority Shiite Muslim community, was injured but survived, police said. Hundreds of people were attending a party inside the compound to mark the end of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr.
December 24, 2004
Re "School Yuletide Observances Shift Into Neutral," Dec. 22: I don't have a problem with teaching in the schools what Christmas is or celebrating it alongside all the other traditions in the public square. But we have to recognize that excluding Christmas and Christian references is simply an overreaction to the historical oppression, destruction and denigration of competing traditions by centuries of faux Christian activity; exactly the sort of faux Christian activity once again being foisted on us by the religious right today.
October 6, 2002
Banking and government offices will be closed or services curtailed in the following foreign countries and their dependencies this week because of national and religious holidays: Monday: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Libya, Namibia Tuesday: Haiti, Peru Wednesday: Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Uganda Thursday: Cuba, Fiji, Kenya, Taiwan Saturday: Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela Sunday: Burundi,
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