By: Fatima Mohamud and Sumaya Noor
Which holidays are celebrated this season?
In the months of November, December, and January, many celebrations and festivals are celebrated throughout several cultures and religions. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Diwali are some of the notable holidays in these festive months.
Who celebrates these holidays?
Christmas is celebrated by Christians of all backgrounds. The holiday is one of the biggest celebrations across the globe, with over 2 billion believers indulging in the festival. It’s from December 24 to December 25, and consists of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, sharing gifts, and spending time with family and friends. Decorations and festive treats are very popular during Christmas.
Kwanzaa is a tradition that honors African heritage and African culture and is viewed by Africans and African Americans. Kwanzaa isn’t a religious holiday but more of a cultural one as there is no religion tied to it. Celebrated for a week from December 26 to January 1, the holiday brings people together and shares gifts. Kwanzaa first became a holiday less than 60 years ago.
Hanukkah is a Jewish festival observed by Jews across the world. Hanukkah celebrates the recovery of Jerusalem. Although not the holiest holiday observed by Jews, (the holiest is Yom Kippur) it’s still very significant and is from November 28 to December 6 this year. During Hanukkah, Jews read the Torah and scriptures, recite the Psalms, light the Hanukkiah/menorah and bless themselves.
What are some other holidays observed during the festive times?
Diwali is a festivity that celebrates the light and its power over the dark. It is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists. To honor the light, people light candles and oil lamps while praying for their wellbeing. The festival goes on for 5 days, starting on November 4 and ending November 9 this year. On the night of Diwali, many Hindus pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and pride, and Ganesh the god of good luck and wisdom towards the coming year.
Many people who are not Hindu or Buddhists also take part in this holiday. In the days coming before Diwali, many people exchange gifts, foods and hang up decorations just like for other holidays. In north India, many people host parties late at night with cultural food, drinks and lots of games such as gambling, it’s an ongoing tradition for many. Although this is not a requirement, many people do so to get together to celebrate.
New Year’s Eve is a celebration for people all over the world. It doesn’t follow a specific religion or belief, only to those who feel like celebrating the coming year. Lots of people buy decorations such as the last two numbers of the incoming year and throw lots of parties that night.
In New York, every year at Times Square there is a very iconic late night show that hosts singing, performances, and games before the clock hits midnight. This tradition has been going for many years and lots of people stay up to watch or go in person if they have the chance.
Thousands of people come up with New Year’s Resolutions to set a goal or plan to overcome. It’s a great way to have something to look forward to.
Thanksgiving is a mostly American national holiday celebrated by most people of color, religion, or beliefs. It falls on November 25th and it’s not long before winter starts. This holiday consists of spending time with loved ones, family and friends to show appreciation and kindness. Others have big feats or harvests to celebrate the day and prepare for it nights before. People get together to enjoy turkey, a very common food that is usually eaten at this time of year where the animal is most popular before it migrates to the south.
During this holiday flights can get very expensive and traffic will become more common because of people wanting to go visit family or friends to enjoy the holiday.