September 11, 2017 – Coptic New Year
I would like to take this opportunity to extend to members of the Coptic Orthodox community in Canada a blessed Coptic New Year.
The first day of the Month of Thoout marks the start of the Coptic New Year and the celebration of The Feast of El-Nayrouz. On this feast day, Coptic Orthodox Christians honour those who have stood and confessed their faith in God and have given their lives for their convictions.
The word “Nayrouz” is of Coptic origin and means ‘the rivers’. In mid-September, the waters of the Nile River usually rise and prayers are offered to God that the increase of water will help the irrigation of the land.
As well as religious observances, Copts celebrate the New Year by eating red dates, believing the red symbolizes the martyrs’ blood while the white date heart symbolizes the martyrs’ pure hearts.
We have witnessed a rise of religious intolerance, violence and hatred towards the Coptic community in Egypt and I am calling upon the Egyptian government to do everything possible to protect the Coptic community.
Toronto is a proud multicultural city that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths. Our city flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. As we celebrate Canada 150 this year, it is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.
As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.
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