There are so many holidays celebrated in winter. When most of us think of winter break, we think of Christmas, but for a lot of other people, there are Diwali, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, Santa Lucia Day, Three Kings Day, Winter Solstice, and New Years.
Diwali is a five day, Hindus Holiday that ¨celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance,¨ says the BBC. The people who celebrate Diwali love to clean their homes and open up their windows so the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, can come in. Some of the activities people do during Diwali are make paper chain links and paper flower garlands, create chalk designs on their doorstep, mold clay, play Indian music, and make sweet treats. Diwali is the most important holiday celebrated in India.
Hanukkah is celebrated for 8 days. In this Jewish holiday, Jews will light a menorah each day of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is mostly celebrated in Israel. During Hanukkah, Jews exchange presents, play dreidel games, and make latkes to serve with applesauce. Hanukkah starts December 12, 2017, and ends December 20, 2017. Hanukkah is celebrated to commemorate the brave Jews in the second century BCE who stood up to their oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. This holiday is very important to all that celebrate it.
Christmas is a Christian holiday meant to celebrate the day of Jesus, the Savior’s, birth. While we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, Christmas is still a day to spread love and thank God for sending his son down to save us. Christmas is celebrated every year on December 25.
Kwanzaa is very similar to Hanukkah. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga who teaches African culture at CSULB. Kwanzaa in Swahili means first fruit. Kwanzaa starts December 26 and ends January 1. During Kwanzaa, much like during Hanukkah, each night is to be celebrated with lighting one candle of the Kinara. Kwanzaa is meant as nights to spend with family, friends, and loved ones while also enjoying feasts, dancing, music, and poetry.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is used to represent the end of winter and the beginning of spring. People who celebrate this holiday by decorating their house with red cutouts and red lanterns. The Chinese New Year is also a time for giving. Friends and family will often give red envelopes with money to show luck for the new year. In certain places, there is a parade in which a huge dragon will walk down many streets to fill people with cheer for the upcoming new year. People who celebrate Chinese culture will make traditional dishes to serve throughout the day.
Saint Lucia’s day
Saint Lucia’s day is celebrated in Sweden. As the story goes, a young Christian girl in a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head was going to secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome. However, The Romans killed her for believing in Christianity in 304. Now the holiday is celebrated on December 13, to commemorate the girl’s bravery.
Three King’s Day
Three King’s Day is most often celebrated in the Hispanic culture to celebrate the day the three kings visited the savior. Three King’s Day is celebrated on January 6th every year. Three King’s Day is also known as Epiphany to most Hispanics.
Winter Solstice celebrates the first day of winter. The winter solstice has been celebrated since the BC era and is still celebrated today. The ancient Greeks used to believe that all the gods and goddesses that ruled over them would meet on that one day to discuss factors of life. Winter Solstice had a certain type of power to the ancient Greeks because they knew all the gods and goddesses were watching over them. Winter Solstice is also the longest night of the year. Winter Solstice is celebrated with ancient ceremonies honoring nature, festivals, and many parties.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s day is one of the biggest celebrations celebrated in the United States. There are major celebrations and traditions each family has. Some families write down their New Year’s resolutions, while others watch, send lanterns into the sky and watch fireworks. There are also some families that throw huge parties every new year and watch the ball drop in Times Square. New Year’s day is a great time to make new traditions and spend time with family. Many think of this as a time to start over and think of the future of the New Year.
There are so many holidays celebrated in Winter that we may not even know of. Some holidays celebrate different beliefs, religions, and cultures while other may just celebrate the first day of a celebrated event.
The main point of this is to respect other people’s religions and holidays because no matter what they celebrate. We are all people. We are all equal.