22nd December 2000 at 00:00
January 1 - 3

Ganjitsu (Japanese) The Japanese New Year celebrations last for three days. Arrangements of pine and bamboo - kadomatsu - are placed outside houses. People try to visit a Shinto shrine - the first visit of the year. It's a happy festive time.

January 5 Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (Sikh) The births and deaths of all 10 Sikh Gurus are marked as "Gurpurbs". The dates vary from year to year, depending on the lunar calendar. The birth of Gobind Singh, the last human guru, is celebrated throughout the Sikh world.

January 6 Epiphany (Christian) The word means "manifestation" - acts or events showing that Jesus is the son of God. Western Christians usually associate Epiphany with the visit of the three kings to the infant Jesus - the manifestaton of Christ to the Gentiles. The 12 Days of Christmas last from Christmas Day to Epiphany.

January 12 Makar Sankrant (Lohri) (Hindu) This is an auspicious day in the Zodiac. It's kept in various ways across the Indian subcontinent. In the Punjab, where it's known as Lohri, children collect money from neighbours.

January 24 - 26 Yuan Tan (Chinese New Year) This is the most important of the traditional Chinese festivals. In China it is a family day. On the following days, people visit friends and exchange presents. Children are given money wrapped in lucky red paper.

He is respected for having established the Sikh identity, marked by the "Five Ks" - Kes, uncut hair and beard; Kachh, shorts; Kara, bangle; Kirpan, short sword and Kangha, comb.

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