Advent: Period of 40 days prior to Christmas during which time Christians prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ and his Second Coming.
Ashwin: The month in the Hindu calendar (October/November) at the end of which falls the festival of Divali.
Avalokitesvara: The One who Hears the Cries of the World. This Indian title was given to the notion of the compassionate Bodhisattva who, hearing the cries of the world, does not seek his or her own release but strives to save all suffering life. Avalokitesvara is the most popular deity in Guanyin and Kwannon in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, respectively.
Black Death: Plague that swept through Central Asia and the Middle East and into Europe during the late 1340s and killed an estimated one-third of the population.
Bodhisattva: In Buddhism, an enlightened soul who could cease existing, but who decides to continue in order to use the store of merit gained by many virtuous lives, to help suffering creation escape the terrible cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
Bronze Age: Period of human history when stone tools were replaced by bronze tools, roughly 2000–500 B.C.
Canterbury: Famous pilgrimage site in England, renowned as the seat of the head of the English Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and as the site of the martyrdom of St. Thomas à Becket, murdered in the twelfth century for resisting the power of the king. It became the most popular pilgrimage site in Britain during the Middle Ages.
Christmas: Christian festival on December 25 celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.