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Holiday Celebrations: Home

Who

Christians


What

Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.


When
December 25, 2020


How

Christmas is celebrated by familial gatherings, the exchange of gifts, and in some countries, such as the United States, the lighting of the Christmas tree. The Twelve Days of Christmas (Christmastide) is celebrated by different branches within the Christian community, like the Roman Catholic Church, and culminates on Epiphany Eve (January 5th).


Symbols

Stars, Evergreen trees, angels, bells, and Santa Claus


Colors

Red and green

 

Who

Jewish people


What

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "rededication" of the Temple in Jerusalem.


When

December 10-18, 2020


How

Hanukah, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by familial gatherings, the exchange of gifts, playing games, and the lighting of the candles in the menorah (nine-branched candleholder). One popular game is dreidel, a four-sided top.


Symbols

Menorah, dreidel, latkes


Colors

Blue and white

 

Who

African Americans


What

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African culture that is based on the African harvest festivals of First Fruit.


When

December 26, 2020-January 1, 2021


How

Kwanzaa is celebrated by familial gatherings, the exchange of gifts, and the lighting of the mishumaa saba. The candles represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).


Symbols

Kinara, Mkeka, Kikombe cha Umoja, mishumaa saba, munhindi, mazao, and the zawadi


Colors

Red, green, and black

Sources

"Christmas." In Holiday Symbols and Customs, edited by Helene Henderson. 5th ed. Omnigraphics, Inc., 2015. https://ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/ogiholiday/christmas/0?institutionId=2983.

"Hanukkah (Chanukah, Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights)." In Holiday Symbols and Customs, edited by Helene Henderson. 5th ed. Omnigraphics, Inc., 2015. https://ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/ogiholiday/hanukkah_chanukah_feast_of_dedication_festival_of_lights/0?institutionId=2983.

"Kwanzaa." In Holiday Symbols and Customs, edited by Helene Henderson. 5th ed. Omnigraphics, Inc., 2015. https://ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/ogiholiday/kwanzaa/0?institutionId=2983.

"Official Kwanzaa Website." Official Kwanzaa Website. Accessed November 21, 2020. http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/.

Roop, Peter, Connie Roop, and Katy Keck Arnsteen. 1997. Let’s Celebrate Christmas. Brookfield, Conn: Lerner Publishing Group. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=28783&site=eds-live.

Wasserman, Tina. "Hanukkah." Reform Judaism. December 24, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2020. https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/hanukkah.