It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There are many different cultures and religions that have celebrations in the winter time - specifically the end of December! This week, we will explore 3 of the more commonly celebrated holidays that fall in December, so you can celebrate with friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones who celebrate something different.
Hanukkah: December 22 - December 30
- A Jewish Holiday, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days at the end of December every year. Also known as the Festival of Lights, a candle is lit on each day of the celebration and held in a menorah. This tradition is to commemorate the re-dedication of the Jewish Temple to the Jewish god which had been stolen from them by oppressive royalty for generations prior.
- Traditions that go along with this holiday are foods cooked in oil (like latkes [potato pancakes]) to honor the oil that burned for eight days during the original re-dedication of the Jewish Temple, as well as traditional songs and games like dreidel.
Christmas: December 25
- The most common winter holiday in the U.S., Christmas celebrates the birth of the Christian savior, Jesus, who will later (according to Christianity) sacrifice himself to save humanity. Adapted and altered to fit homes both secular and religious alike, the traditional root of the holiday is to celebrate the birth of the (at the time) “future savior.”
- Traditions like the decorated evergreen tree with a star atop, gift exchanging, and caroling have been adopted by non-religious holiday celebrators to make Christmas a “holiday for everyone.”
Kwanzaa: December 26 - January 1
- This seven day African holiday celebrates seven different facets of culture, one for each day: Unity, self-determination, collective work/responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The holiday is meant to strengthen the bonds between Africans across the continent, and has translated to mean the same for African Americans celebrating in the U.S.
- 7 candles (red, green, and black), corn, a communal cup, and a flag of the colors are used in traditional celebrations. Drumming, dancing, and community meals are traditions that happen in the Kwanzaa celebration.
I hope you learned something interesting about a winter holiday that you don’t celebrate, or saw some representation for your winter holiday. Let us know what you celebrated or learned about this winter on all social platforms @spinatospizza . As always, thank you for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute!