Damon Melton (8th Grade) serves as the Student DEI Liaison as part of his membership in Junior Rho Kappa. Led by Middle School Sponsor Ms. TeNikka Roberts, Junior Rho Kappa is the National Social Studies Honor Society.Below, Damon shares a list of resources for various global holidays.
This month, many cultural and religious holidays are taking place. The following is a list of holidays from around the world, and ways you can learn more about them:
Hannukah: Beginning on Thursday, December 7, and ending on Friday, December 15, 2023, Hanukkah is the celebration of the Maccabees victory over the Greeks. It is celebrated by lighting a candle on the menorah, to symbolize the oil that burned for eight days in the Holy Temple during the Maccabean Revolt. One candle is lit for each night of Hannukah, and the candles are lit starting on the right and ending on the left, just like Hebrew is read. Other ways to celebrate this holiday include eating traditional Jewish dishes, saying prayers, and singing hymns.
Christmas: Christmas is a sacred Christian holiday celebrated on December 25th and is the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. December 25th —Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
Popular Christmas customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends, and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around A. D. 280.
Kwanzaa: Kwanzaa is a celebration of African and African American culture and traditions. Beginning on December 26 and ending on January 1, the word Kwanzaa is a Swahili word meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. Kwanzaa is celebrated by lighting red, green, and black candles on the kinara, which is the candle holder that represents different values. The values of Kwanzaa are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), and Nia (Purpose). Other ways to celebrate include drumming, praying, bonding and spending time with family, wearing traditional African dress, and reflecting upon the daily principles.
Los Posadas: Los Posadas is a novenario (meaning extended devotional prayer) and is celebrated mainly in Latin America. Los Posadas begins December 16 and ends December 29. Los Posadas consists of a re-enactment of the Nativity, or the birth of the Christ as described in the Bible. You can also celebrate by singing pidiendo posado (the traditional Los Posadas song), listening to other traditional music, playing with piñatas, eating sweets and food (like tamales, atole, and buñuelos), and having traditional drinks like ponche and café de olla.