By one of those odd coincidences, today marks not just Christmas Eve, but Eid Milad ul-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar, and Friday — that would be Christmas — also is a full moon. It’s the first time there’s been a full moon on Dec. 25 since 1977. As fans of Luke, Leia and Han know, that also was the year the first Star Wars film opened.
But wait — there’s more. In the Pagan tradition, the December moon is the Long Night Moon. That moon suggests a time to seek comfort among family and friends as well as pausing for reflection.
Muslims honor the birth of the Prophet with communal meals, lectures and sometimes parades. Men and boys wear green clothing or headgear and girls wear pink-and-white clothes. Muslims also honor the birth of Jesus, who they consider the Messiah.
All of which goes to show that in this world often divided by religions, sometimes we can find common ground. Our world’s religions arose out of holy people inspired by the divine who tried to bring peace and light to a world often violent and dark. Great women and men opened their minds to the grandeur of something beyond mere human existence.
In this season of magic and wonder, with that great big moon shining down upon us, is it too much to hope that for one weekend we might enjoy peace? Can we build bridges instead of walls?
Happy birthdays Muhammad and Jesus. Today the sun shines brighter and the daylight hours grow longer. Enjoy the meaning of the season, however you find it, with these Best Bets:
BEST LAST CHANCE BET: On Tuesday night the Betster saw Santa Claus caroling at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Today the Man in Red makes a final appearance at the free Christmas Eve Skate from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. Bring a donation for the Homer Community Food Pantry.
BEST BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER BET: That would be “A Christmas Story,” the one about Ralphie, the boy who really wants a BB gun, even though everyone says, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The Homer Theatre has a free showing at 1 p.m. today.
BEST GO FOR 100 BET: The late Margit Andersson, bless her soul, skied her age at 100. Yup, that’s pretty awesome, but to join the Century Club you ski 100 kilometers minus your age. Margit just had to strap on skis. Take up the challenge from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Lookout Ski Trails.
Try the Century Club, ski your actual age or ski as a family. The event is a fundraiser for the Homer High School Mariner Ski Team.
BEST IT’S ALL IN THE WRIST BET: Not all sports events involving ice require skates. If you haven’t tried it yet, check out the weekly Curling Club at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. Learn about the sport and how zipping big rocks across ice might look easy, there’s a bit of finesse required. The first visit is free and the regular rink fee of $15 applies after that.