Different Holidays Are Celebrated Differently Among Many Cultures

There are many schools across the country that celebrate/represent different holidays.  These holidays are: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Paganism, and many other religions.

Christmas is a Christian holiday which is represented by many things. The Nativity scene is one of the most important ones which is a special exhibition that represents the birth of Jesus. Christmas can also be represented by many other things including the star, lights and candles, trees, ornaments, poinsettias, wreaths, holly, candy canes, bells, stockings, and gifts.

One important representation of Hanukkah, which is a Jewish holiday, is the Menorah. This is a sacred candelabrum, or lamp/candleholder, with eight branches and a central socket used in Jewish worship. However, Hanukkah can also be represented by the Star of David, Dreidel, candles, gifts, coins, and sacred oils.

Kwanzaa and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah have a lot in common especially because of the use of the candelabrum during festivities. This holiday is represented by many different things. These include Mkeka (a mat), Mazao (fruits and vegetables), Muhindi (ears of corn), Kinara (a candleholder), Mishumaa saba (the seven candles), Kikombe cha umoja (the unity cup), and also Zawadi (the gifts).

Winter Solstice is recognized by various cultures. It can be referred to as “midwinter”, “Yule”, “the Longest Night”, or “Jól”. It is a time when people celebrate the Earth, living creatures, nature, and other things. Other celebrations include festivals, spending time with loved ones, feasting, singing, dancing, and fires. Winter Solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days and shortening night.

Caption: The Edison lobby displays scenes that represent different holidays. Photo Credit: Gloria Mourcous

Caption: The Edison lobby displays scenes that represent different holidays.
Photo Credit: Gloria Mourcous

There are many ways in which the Holiday Spirit is being expressed at Thomas A. Edison High School. There are different religious displays that are put up to represent the different religions. For example, at Edison, Christmas is represented with Christmas trees, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are represented by Menorahs, and for people who associate with Paganism, this is represented by a Thanksgiving basket.

Also at Thomas A. Edison High School, most of the students and staff show holiday spirit by dressing up or wearing festive things such as Santa hats, reindeer ears, holiday sunglasses, light-up necklaces, and also other things. Some teachers also gave out candy to their students. Also in the Edison Cafe, cheerful holiday songs were played through the loudspeaker during lunch periods throughout the day before the vacation started.

Students and staff also showed holiday spirit by participating in the ugly sweater day that the school was hosting. This is an event where people got to wear fun and festive holiday sweaters to be more in the festive spirit mood.

Also, the candy cane express was another event that was hosted at the school to not only fundraise but show someone/many people that you are thinking about them through the holiday season by sending them a candy cane with a handwritten note attached to it.

Another event that was hosted at Thomas A. Edison High School was the holiday gym show. This was a show that took place during gym periods that seemed to warmly welcome the holiday season. There were many different performances by different performers all throughout the show. The diverse music, dancing, and acts performed all seemed to bring joy to the audience that was eagerly watching.

According to Michelle Chew, a senior at Thomas A. Edison High School, “Some events that show the holiday spirit is Christmas or just having a nice family dinner where everyone is meeting up at one place and getting to know each other. All faiths and religions can be included since it’s your tradition and you’re happy with it. I don’t really feel a closure with holiday spirit at school since I don’t see everyone there and my family aren’t there either.”  

There are many ways in which the holiday spirit has been shown/expressed at Thomas A. Edison High School. Because of the different activities and events that take place frequently around this time of year, Thomas A. Edison is one of many places where students and staff can both feel closer to the holiday season and also feel a great sense of the holiday spirit being displayed all throughout.  

Gloria Mourcous

Hello! My name is Gloria Mourcous. I write for the features section in the Edison Light. In my free time, I enjoy drawing/sketching while listening to music. I also like watching movies and different T.V series. In school, I’m enrolled in the Computer-Aided Design (AutoCAD) / Manual Drafting (MechTech) shop. I decided to be a part of this program because I aspire to pursue architecture and my career in the future.