Happy Mooish New Year & Enough With the Lanterns Already

Associated Ministries

Hello again. I just wanted to take a moment to say Shanah Tovah and Muharram Mubarak to all my Jewish and Muslim readers. This year, Jewish and Islamic new year fell on the same day so, naturally, I was a little excited.

Being a Jewish Muslim couple is always interesting, but when crossovers like this happen, it feels like a celestial high five. Or those episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Angel would come back and 15 year old you would be like, omgdjafagfgshdgfaghaaaaaaaaarfg *HEART EYES*

We don't really do much to ring in the new year in my family, possibly because the month of Muharram has become somewhat bitter sweet since the murder of Prophet Muhammad's grandson during the Battle of Karbala, in 680 AD. So, Muslims tend to start the new year on a solemn note and spend the last ten days of the month in mourning because of the massacre. We spend time together as a family, cherish each other, and wish our fellow Muslims well for the year ahead. Rosh Hashannah is all about having a sweet and prosperous new year. It also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a ten day period of self reflection and atonement, leading up to Yom Kippur. We usually have a big family dinner with Mr Imposter's family and eat challah, apples dipped in honey, honey cake etc. It's all very lovely, and incredibly fattening; but you won't hear me complaining so, pass me some more haluskis and don't be shy with the tsimmes, you hear?

Now, as someone creating an interfaith home, I try to honour our respective religions and cultures both privately and publicly. One of the smaller ways I do this is by making sure I acknowledge and recognise our religious festivals on social media; an Eid Mubarak here, a Chag Chanukah Sameach there, often accompanied with a festive social card. There's so many great options when it comes to Jewish greetings. Hanukkah is the festival of light so there's a lot of menorah based imagery, Passover cards are themed around matzah or Seder, and the new year is all about sweetness and apple and honey. So, there are a lot of different themes to play with when it comes to creating this content.

ooh menorah.

hello dreidels.

or, as we like to call it, 
Happy Palwins No. 10 Day.


In terms of Muslim celebrations; we have Ramadan which is the month of fasting, after that is Eid al Fitr which is all about food and celebration because, well, fasting. Then there's Eid al Adha which follows Haj and celebrates the story of Abraham and Ishmael and the sacrificial lamb. Then there's our new year, Muharram, So, there's a similar range in terms of origin and purpose of festivity. And yet, something curious keeps cropping up in my searches....

 Oh, look, it's Eid. That's nice.

Eid and a big lantern, alright then.

 Oh, there's another one

 And... three more.

Hmm. I'm sensing a theme here.

Yep. Much lantern.

Oh Jesus.

Ok, maybe we'll have more luck with Ramadan...

Oh, well at least there's some symmetry here
and it's not just a random cluster of three la-

 Never mind.

So, it's no wonder that, when searching for something for Muharram, my two best options were either, a butt load of lanterns

Or, one creepy-ass lantern dangling on a twig in the fog as, "Happy Islamic New Year" glares hauntingly at you from the swampy darkness.

Dearest Internet, what is it about lanterns that just make them so gosh darn Muslim-y? I know we're not into iconography but, every festival, always with the lanterns (unless, of course, you've got a big old boner for mosque vectors). I showed these cards to Mr Imposter, earlier and he said, "You know, when we were in Morocco, we saw lanterns like that everywhere."

So, because I'm me, I did a little bit of research:

Morocco is, on the whole, a Muslim country; but its population is about half the size of the UK's, at 35 million or so. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. I'm a Muslim and I have literally never seen a fucking lantern that wasn't from either:

(a) Selfridges
(b) John Lewis
(c) In a shisha bar
(c) In the movie Aladdin.

Now, I've said this once, and I'll say it again, Muslims are intersectional. We do not have one, homogeneous, Islamic identity and the population of Morocco accounts for approximately 1.95% of all Muslims on the planet. Saudi Arabia has an even smaller population at 32.28 million and the UAE is even smaller at 9.27 million. So, with all due respect, all this oldy worldy, Arabian Nights, magic carpet shit needs to stop or I'm just going to start Photoshopping Jafar into every Eid greeting until the end of time.

Or fish. Let's start putting fish on everything. Because Bangladesh is Muslim too, and they've got tonnes of fish there so, Happy Fishing Eid Fishy Fishmas.

Having said all of this, I don't actually have a viable alternative to the lanterns (although, I was very taken with all the Snoopy themed Hanukkah greetings I found). China actually has the world's largest Muslim population so.... I don't know, Mulan?? Or DRAGONS. I could definitely get on board with dragons.

That settles it, Happy Fire Breathing, Chinese Drogon Mubarak.

Ok. Rant over.
I wish you a sweet and prosperous Mooish New Year.

God bless you and, Dracarys.


My Life As An Imposter

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