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The History and Traditions Around Winter Holidays

Every winter holiday and the origins and traditions around them.

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The History and Traditions Around Winter Holidays

To welcome people in ones home during the holidays, shiny, colorful ornaments welcome guests.

To welcome people in ones home during the holidays, shiny, colorful ornaments welcome guests.

Dylan Zilla

To welcome people in ones home during the holidays, shiny, colorful ornaments welcome guests.

Dylan Zilla

Dylan Zilla

To welcome people in ones home during the holidays, shiny, colorful ornaments welcome guests.

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Winter: the most wonderful time of the year because all of the special holidays and the feelings around them. There are many holidays involved in the winter time, six total, that have positive vibes and attitudes towards them: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Day, Three Kings Day, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice. Winter holidays are the most popular holidays of the year, because of all of the decorations, spirit, and positivity that surrounds them.

Christmas is the most celebrated winter holiday around the world.  It is said to be the day of the birth of Jesus. The history is as follows: Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.Christmas is a time where family visits to have a feast on Christmas Eve. Also on Christmas Eve, Christmas movies are commonly watched, kids sprinkle raindeer dust outside and put out cookies and milk for Santa.   Lafayette Junior Drew Ramos, shared what he does on Christmas: “I open up gifts and watch Christmas movies during Christmas.”  Then on Christmas day Santa is said to come down the chimney and deliver presents to all kids on the nice list, and delivers coal to kids on the naughty list.

Dylan Zilla
As a tradition of Christmas, people buy Christmas themed wrapping paper from the store to wrap gifts

Winter is especially popular in New York City. There the Christmas traditions are to celebrate Christmas by lighting a huge Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, and broadcasting it live on national Television. New York sets up a huge Wollman Rink, which is a public ice rink in the southern part of in Central Park. Also they broadcast the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. They also do a gigantic cheer. These are just some popular Christmas events, and there are many more.

 

LHS Junior Luke Clarke explained his Christmas traditions: “I play hide the pickle with my family, watch Christmas movies and open gifts.” Aaron Adam, Ledger editor and Lafayette Senior, has similar traditions.  “I watch Christmas movies and open gifts,” he said.

Dylan Zilla
A common holiday tradition, hanging lights on pine to make the holidays feel authentic.

During Hanukkah, Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the festival.  The history of Hannakah is an eight-day Jewish celebration which  commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.  Other Hanukkah festivities include playing a game of dreidel and eating oil-based foods, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods.

New Years Day is exactly what it sounds like: the day that starts the new calendar year. People celebrate by having huge parties and watching the ball drop in New York City on new years eve. The history of New Years day goes back to 45 B.C. Soon after becoming Roman dictator, Julius Caesar decided that the traditional Roman calendar was in dire need of reform.

Dylan Zilla
As “Santa” comes down the chimney, people hang stockings up get little goodies in them.

Three kings day is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. The history of Three Kings Day is as follows: January the 6th is a special day in Mexico, which is dedicated to Three Kings Day and represents the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus.

Kwanzaa is the celebration that honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles, Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. Kwanzaa History is as follows: the name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means first fruits in Swahili. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.

 

Mike Labella
While preparing for Christmas to begin, people buy Christmas trees as a tradition to celebrate.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice people honor the new solar year with light. The winter solstice, also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. Celebrators do a Solstice Eve ritual in which you meditate in darkness and then welcome the birth of the sun by lighting candles and singing chants and Pagan carols. If you have a indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log and save a bit to start next year’s fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The History and Traditions Around Winter Holidays