How Skyline Students Celebrate During the Holiday Season

How Skyline Students Celebrate During the Holiday Season

Sanskriti Sudip, Forum Writer

December is known as the beginning of the holiday season. Holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas are happening within weeks of each other. With Skyline’s diverse student body many students have the pleasure of celebrating more than one holiday during the season because of parents coming from different religions and/or cultures.

The two most popular holidays during this season are Christians and Hanukkah. For Cody Chaves, a junior at Skyline High School, he has the firsthand experience of celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas.

“I celebrate both ”, said Chaves. “My mom’s Jewish and my dad is Christian. I feel like I pay attention to Hanukkah though because I grew up going to Hebrew school and Hanukkah lasts multiple days.” 

This year Hanukkah occurred on December 18th and ends Monday December 26th. Hanukkah is to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights which lasts for 8 days to honor a 2,000 year old miracle in which light won out darkness. About 2.4% of the US population is Jewish which means around 7.6 million people in the country celebrate this holiday. 

Christmas is a day before Hanukkah ends. December 25th. 

Hanukkah like Chaves mentioned is celebrated over multiple days. Each day you light one candle to a menorah. A menorah is a seven branched candelabrum used in this holiday.

A dreidel is also an important tradition as well. It’s one of the most popular traditions in Hanukkah. It’s used to study the Torah, and learn the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Christians called this the Old Testament. 

There are a lot of commonalities between Christianity and Judaism so when celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas both holidays share similar features. 

Christmas is a huge holiday for the Christian and Catholic community worldwide. The message behind this holiday is to celebrate peace, love and goodwill towards others. December 25th marks the birth of Jesus Christ who was the founder of Christianity. As this holiday is rooted in religious celebration billions of people worldwide regardless of their devoted background participate in this holiday. 

Adrian Gelfuso, a senior at Skyline unlike Chaves, is strictly only Christian.

“I feel personally connected to Christianity when celebrating Christmas”, said Gelfuso. “The holiday means many things but specifically the story of the three wise men and the birth of Jesus Christ is what comes to mind. This day is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth.”

Before Christmas caroling where groups of people used to go door to door singing Christmas songs and spreading cheer it originally originated from Christians singing carols to further celebrate the birth of Jesus. With time going by, Music composers began to alter some songs and change them to Christmas carols.  

As these two major holidays end Kwanna begins a day after Christmas. December 26th. This holiday comes from African American culture in which people who participate in this holiday will contribute to a communal fest in celebration. Kwanna doesn’t have as much recognition as Hanukkah and Christmas. It ends on January 1st which is also  New Years day. As the holiday season New Years’ day follows behind bringing all people from different backgrounds together once again.