Popular holidays in december

Trinity Miller, Assistant Business Manager

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Hanukkah Kwanzaa and Christmas, all popular winter holidays.

It is the holiday season and many different traditions are being celebrated all around the world. Holiday traditions are different for certain countries and religions. The most popular winter holidays celebrated in the United States are Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25 was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. On this day gifts were exchanged between families and friends and everyone comes together for a feast, this tradition is still continued today.

Kwanzaa is a seven day holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. The holiday is celebrated for Africans and African Americans to recognize the culture and history. During these seven days, a candle holder called a Kinara is set up with a black candle in the middle, three red candles on the left and three green candles on the right. On the first night the black candle is lit and it represents the unity of the family and the community. Every night after, another one is lit starting with the red outer candle and moving to the green outer candle. When the family lights the candle, they mention one of the seven principles; self determination, collective work and responsibility, collective economics, remembering and restoring the culture customs and history, using creative ways to make the community better, and faith.

Hanukkah is a historical, nationalist holiday. Hanukkah is an eight day Jewish holiday that starts on the evening of December 12 and to the evening of December 20. It recalls the successful rebellion, in the second century B.C.E., of a clan of Jewish freedom fighters called the Maccabees. The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the hanukkiah or menorah, a


candelabra that holds nine candles. Eight candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed. The ninth candle is called the shamash and it serves as the helper to light the other candles. The menorah is either store-bought or homemade and is filled from right to left, but lit left to right so each new candle is lit first. When each candle is lit there are a set of carols that the family sings around the glowing.

With Christmas Kwanzaa and Hanukkah all being very popular winter holidays, it is nice for everyone to be familiar with and know the concept of them. Most people overlook a certain holiday when they see it pop up on their calendar, but looking into it and actually finding the meaning is interesting. The knowledge of different religions could always be a lesson to everyone.


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