It is really important to have an awareness and respect for other people’s religions, beliefs and traditions in the same way you would expect others to have an awareness and respect for your own beliefs.

Some people do not believe in a god or gods, this can be known as Atheism, the word Atheism comes from the Greek words a (which means ‘without’) and theos (meaning ‘god’)

Some people decide it’s just not possible to truly know if god exists, this can be known as Agnostic, the word Agnostic comes from the Greek for ‘not knowable’

There are thought to be hundreds if not thousands of different religions in the world. I thought it would be a good idea to start by looking at the six main religions and what the main practices, scriptures and festivals were.

You might at this point be thinking what are Scriptures?

Scriptures are the Holy Books of a religion. Many Scriptures were originally oral (spoken) but later written down. This helps to preserve them and keep the teachings consistent.

ReligionMain PracticesScripturesMain Festivals
BuddhismLiving by the 5 precepts and the Noble Eightfold Path.
Meditation, mandalas and mantras help people to achieve enlightenment
TipitakaBuddhist New Year
Vesak

(Buddha’s Birthday)

Ulambana

(Ancestors Day)
ChristianityPrayer, Church attendance, Holy Communion (Eucharist)Bible(Old and New Testament)Lent

Easter

Christmas
HinduismLiving according to their role in life (dharma)Worship of a god (Puja)Meditation and YogaVedas(including Upanishads)Bhagavad GitaJanmashtami(Krashna’s birthday)
Dussehra

(Rama’s victory over evil)

Diwali

(festival of light)

Holi

(spring festival)
IslamLiving by the Five Pillars, including prayer 5 time a day, eating Halal food, no alcohol, no pork.Qur’anRamadan(month of fasting)
Eid ul Fitr

(end of Ramadan)

Eid ul Adha

(Festival of Sacrifice)
JudaismFollowing the commandments of the Torah, including eating Kosher food and praying 3 times day, and observing the ShabbatTanakh(Hebrew Bible, including the Torah)Rosh Hashana(new year)
Yom Kippur

(day of atonement)

Pesach

(Passover)
SikhismThe five K’s (symbols worn by members of the Khalsa)Importance of doing good deeds and keeping god in mind at all times, selfless service to others and equalitySri Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam GranthGurpurbs(anniversaries of birthday or martyrdom of Gurus)
Baisakhi

(birthday of the Khalsa)

Hola Mahalla