What is Chalica, you ask? You wouldn't be alone in not having heard of this new holiday. In fact, I don't know that hardly anyone really celebrates it, and most people I talk to aren't interested in doing so. It smacks of a bit of misappropriation, or basically "a rip off", of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. And I already have plenty of candle lighting December holidays that I could celebrate - like Advent or Solstice (check and check, we already have a family tradition for both of those).
But I've been reading about Chalica, and I became a Facebook Fan of the Chalica page, and then this year Carbon said he wanted to celebrate it. OK, if he wants to celebrate it, I can't really see any good reason not to, and so we are.
Chalica is a UU holiday that starts on the first Monday of December and runs for 7 nights, corresponding to our 7 Principles. The idea is to celebrate it at home, with your family, and light a chalice each night as well as take an action that day that corresponds to the principle of the day.
Today is the first day of Chalica, and so the First Principle is "Respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people". We lit our chalice at the dinner table during dinner, and then I repeated the 1st Principle for everyone and shared a short reading (I'm taking all my readings this week from the book Come Into the Circle, but you could take readings from your hymnal if you own one, or find other sources, or just not do a reading). Then we all went around the table and talked about ways we could "live" this principle more. Carbon talked about following the rules at school more, trying to clean up after himself more and respect other people by "not annoying them". I talked about trying to see the dignity and worth of people, particularly the people that really annoy me - bad neighbors and drivers and folks like that. Hypatia and my husband didn't have much to add to the discussion, but they played along tolerantly.
Our reading for tonight:
This symbol of energy
of life, of light
to remind us
of the energy within us
of the light of our life
of the light that is in us
of the light that IS us
So Happy Chalica to you all, and tomorrow we will celebrate the 2nd Principle!