How do different cultures celebrate various events or days in the cycle of a year? We get wrapped up into thinking everyone does the same thing but, as seen in Fr. Jim’s article, “I No Longer Call You Friends But My Brothers and Sisters there are some slight variations on the theme!

Of course, January 1st is celebrated by the multitudes by rousing festivity at midnight, but this is a very special date for those in our Burundi circle. Not only do they celebrate as we all do, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, but another special remembrance as well. You see, documentation was not especially “noted” in the refugee camps. Minutes passed into days which passed into months and years. How did one know what their birthdate was? There were no seasons as we know it here in Cincinnati to say it was winter, summer, spring, or fall. Burundi is a very temperate climate. So when time came to fill out paperwork, the birthdates became January 1st. So as you see the balloons this New Year, consider singing happy birthday to those special celebrants in your heart! And Happy Birthday to our January 1st Celebrants!

- Stephanie Sepate