The Fast of Esther (Ta'anit Ester, Hebrew: תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר) is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim. It is a common misconception that this fast was accepted by the Jews for all future generations during the time of Esther, as it is stated in the Book of Esther: They had established for themselves and their descendants the matters of the fasts and their cry (Esther 9:31). This verse actually refers to the four fasts which relate to mourning for the Temple. Rather, the first mention of this fast is a Minhag that is referenced in the Gaonic period. However, the fast itself is considered a law, that developed under the authority of the last legitimate Sanhedrin.
The Fast is observed on the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. If the date of the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbat (Saturday), the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday, as is the case in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
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A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.
The term has more recently been expanded to cover public meetings that draw people in a geographic area to discuss issues but not vote on any legislative or administrative action. Notably, the term is commonly used by politicians in the United States to describe forums at which voters can ask questions.
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Myrtilla Miner (March 4, 1815, near Brookfield, New York – December 17, 1864, Washington, DC) was an American educator and abolitionist whose school for African Americans, established against considerable opposition, grew to a successful and long-lived teachers institution.
Miner was educated at the Clover Street Seminary in Rochester, New York (1840-44), and taught at various schools, including the Newton Female Institute (1846-47) in Whitesville, Mississippi, where she was refused permission to conduct classes for African American girls. In 1851, with encouragement from Henry Ward Beecher and with a board of trustees which included Johns Hopkins and other Quaker philanthropists, Miner opened the Normal School for Colored Girls in Washington, DC. The school was eventually merged with other local institutions to form the University of the District of Columbia.
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the spring festival
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western Carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēngyuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chúxī (除夕) or "Eve of the Passing Year." Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".
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Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter). In many ways Great Lent is similar to Lent in Western Christianity. There are some differences in the timing of Lent (besides calculating the date of Easter) and how it is practiced, both liturgically in the public worship of the church and individually.
One difference between Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity is the calculation of the date of Easter (see Computus). Most years, the Eastern Pascha falls after the Western Easter, and it may be as much as five weeks later; occasionally, the two dates coincide. Like Western Lent, Great Lent itself lasts for forty days, but unlike the West, Sundays are included in the count. Great Lent officially begins on Clean Monday, seven weeks before Pascha (Ash Wednesday is not observed in Eastern Christianity) and runs for 40 contiguous days, concluding with the Presanctified Liturgy on Friday of the Sixth Week. The next day is called Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. However, fasting continues throughout the following week, known as Passion Week or Holy Week, and does not end until after the Paschal Vigil early in the morning of Pascha (Easter Sunday).
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Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, "fortieth") is an observance in the liturgical year of many Christian denominations, lasting for a period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter. In most Western denominations Lent is taken to run from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) or to Easter Eve.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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