It’s the Holiday Season!

Logan Pei, Staff Writer and Copy Editor

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday you probably agree that December is one of the hap-happiest seasons of all, but do you know the origins of these holidays?

Up first is Christmas. One of the first Christmas celebrations was in 336 when Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, held a festival to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. At this time, the event was not an official holiday. Christmas did become official in the United States on June 26, 1870. In recent years, people have celebrated by gift-giving, caroling, and hanging ornaments on trees. Kody Williams, an eighth-grader at McAuliffe Middle School, stated that “the holidays are one of my favorite times of the year!”

Second is Hanukkah. Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is a Judaic holiday to celebrate the Jewish people overcoming the Greek-Syrian people ruling over them. It is celebrated for eight days because while the Jews were taking over the Greek-Syrians, they saw the same candles burn for eight days without conditioning of any kind. The Jews were so surprised by these events that they began to celebrate Hanukkah. This holiday consists of celebrating for eight days, lighting eight candles, eating plenty of food, and some Jews celebrate by giving gifts. Sebastian Taylor, an eighth-grader at McAuliffe, says his favorite part is “celebrating a religious holiday with my family.”

Lastly, Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a cultural festival to celebrate African heritage. The celebration lasts for seven days from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa has seven core principles, which are Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani. In order, they are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperation, purpose, creativity, and faith. To those who celebrate Kwanzaa, these principles are the most important values that a person should have.

These holidays are celebrated all around the world by many, and are very prominent in our own society. They are important to many families and are some of the best reasons for the seasons!