I wrote last year about how our family likes to celebrate Purim, the Jewish holiday celebrating Esther and the Jew's miraculous deliverance. Cocoa shared this great Purim video with me and I just have to share it because I think it does a good job of showing what Purim celebrations look like. My kids and I listened to it about a thousand times (we also loved their Hanukkah one). You just can't beat cute (orthodox) boys in skull caps making fun of pop songs.
This year as I was planning our festivities I came across a book in our local library that talked more in depth about the history of Purim. As I was reading I was surprised to discover that not only do Jews celebrate Purim but they also have a holiday they call Purim Katan, which literally means " little Purim". While Purim Katan refers to a specific day the term is often used by communities to describe the anniversary of the times when they saw the hand of God intervene on their behalf and delivered them from catastrophe, destruction, or evil. Some families even celebrate their own "Purim Katan's" to commemorate significant events or miracles that happened in their family.
The idea of giving thanks to God for the "Purim Katan's" , or the little deliverances, in my life really touched me. As I talked with my husband about it we realized that God has worked some incredible miracles in our lives and that, while he and I remember them, we don't have a formal way of recognizing them or expressing our gratitude for them. We realized that if we want our children, or even our great-grandchildren, to remember them we need to have our own little "Purim Katan" celebrations. Jon and I haven't really decided what our own "Purim Katan's" will look like yet, but I really love the idea of having family celebrations, events that perhaps might get passed down to our posterity just like Esther's story was.
The other thing I have been thinking about is how it is kind of sad that as Latter-day Saints we don't have very many formal celebrations of the many miracles and deliverances we have experienced as a people. I have always envied the Jews (and the Muslims for that matter) for having some really wonderful celebrations that honor their religious history. I think that it wouldn't hurt Latter-day Saints to celebrate our history a bit more. I mean we do celebrate the 24th of July, the day the first pioneers entered the Utah Valley, but other than that I can't think of any other events in LDS history that we acknowledge formally or with specific traditions.
My husband and I were chatting about this and came up with a few significant days that might be worth remembering and celebrating:
- April 6th- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Founding Day
- May 15th- Restoration of the Priesthood Day. This was the day that John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the Aaronic priesthood to the earth.
- June 9th-- The miracle of the seagulls and the crickets Day. I'm not sure about the actual date on this one, just that it was sometime at the beginning of June.
- September 21st-- Angel Moroni Day. This was the day that the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and gave him direction concerning the Gold plates. I actually had a professor at BYU whose family celebrated this day, I thought it was a great idea.
- It would also be neat for people in each country to celebrate the day when their land was first set apart for the preaching of the gospel, or some other day specific to their country.
I'd like to think of one that acknowledges LDS women (like the Esther story does) but I am getting tired and my mind is going blank. Any ideas?