Decorations of Celebrations

Lindsey Coralie Nguegang, Staff Writer

Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated every December 25th centered around Christianity, specifically the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated around the world by many Christians and non-Christians. Many parents tell their kids about Santa Claus, a legendary character who supposedly brings gifts to children who have been nice all year round. He is a jolly, big, white haired old man with a red outfit. To celebrate, people will meet up with loved ones, set up a christmas tree, and decorate it with ornaments, buy gifts for their kids and leave out milk and cookies for “Santa Claus” to eat them. On christmas morning it is custom for the whole family to sit together and exchange gifts. Other countries and religions have celebrations many would compare to Christmas like Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Los Posadas and much more.

Hanukkah which can also be spelled as Hanukka, Chanukah, and Chanukkah, is a Jewish celebration that is celebrated in December for 8 days. This year it’s being celebrated from December 11th to December 18th. Hanukkah commemorates/memorializes the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. To celebrate they light one candle on the menorah, a candelabra with 8 branches, each day until all the branches/candles are lit. Some Jewish families get together with loved ones and have meals together and share gifts and others celebrate by playing traditional Jewish games with their family members and giving out money to the children in the form of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil.

Diwali, also spelled as Divali, is a major Hindu festival. It lasts for 5 days from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina. To the 2nd day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. Diwali symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness. The way Diwali is celebrated is widely varied depending on the region and tradition During this time. The most common custom is to light diyas on the night of the new moon to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Many people put the lit diyas in rows along the bottom portion of their walls or set the lit diyas adrift on rivers or streams. They decorate their houses from top to bottom and they leave their windows and doors open so Lakshmi may enter and bless the residents with wealth and success.

Los Posadas is a religious Mexican festival to commemorate the journey that Mary and Joseph made from Nazareth to Bethlehem  in search of a safe place so she could give birth to baby Jesus. They were unable to find a secure place so Mary was forced to give birth to the son of man, Jesus Christ, in a stable. Los Posadas is celebrated from December 16th right up to December 14th. To celebrate, each evening during the festival a child dresses as an angel and leads a procession through the streets of the town. Mass is held after each procession and to finish it off children celebrate and break open pinatas filled with candy, toys, and sometimes money.

All around the world and in many religions there are different celebrations that happen for many different reasons.Other countries and religions have celebrations like Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Los Posadas that may get judged and disrespected by people who happen to not celebrate them. It’s extremely important that we be decent people and respect people of different cultures and celebrations.