December 2016: There’s More Than Christmas

By McKenna Dibble

It’s the holiday season! Some even call it “the most wonderful time of the year”. There is so much that is celebrated all around the globe during this time of year. Now, just to name a few holidays that other nations/religions commemorate during this season are: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Omisoka. You may recognize a couple, though you might not be aware what they signify. Throughout this article I’ll be shedding some light on the more unfamiliar holidays.

First, I will be focusing on Hanukkah, since many have at least heard of it. In fact, many of our own Greenfield Junior High students celebrate in joyous this holiday. What exactly do they celebrate? For those who are not aware, this holiday is based on the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Even though all the time that has passed between the second century and now, the same traditions are held for Hanukkah. Some examples are: spinning dreidels, making laches (potato dumplings), and eating chocolate gold coins, which is becoming more popular in America each year. It’s brilliant how celebrations like this can stay with us for centuries.

Now, moving on to a more uncommon celebration. Ramadan is a holiday centered around the region of Islam, it is a time of fasting and prayer. The entire month of December the people must fast from sunrise to sunset, then they will be allowed to share one meal during the night with family and friends. The purpose is to purify the soul and refocus the attention on God. When the streets are lit up with lanterns and laughter fills the air, it is truly a sight to behold.

Even though not everyone celebrates the same holidays or share the same customs, we do have one thing in common. There is a time once a year where we come together and celebrate just the good things in life. We are given a chance to refocus on what’s really important.

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