Lighting up the season


While Christmas is one of the more commonly anticipated holidays in December, there are other less familiar, yet equally celebrated holidays that occur during this month. Etowah is a school of various student backgrounds, and the excitement of Christmas does not apply to all. Learning about others religions is a crucial part to understanding diversity, especially in 2020. 

“I think it is very important to learn about other holidays because if you run into someone at school who celebrates a different holiday, it would be nice to talk about what they believe in instead of making them feel uncomfortable about your differences,” Abby Hanes, freshman, said. 

With blue, white, and gold decking out the holiday, Hannukah brings light to the December festivities with a variety of different traditions. decorated tree is the main event for Christmas, but for Hannukah, it is the menorah, ninebranched candle holder used to pray over and begin the eight-night celebration. Those who celebrate the Jewish holiday play dreidel, a top spinning game played for holiday gelt (chocolate coins,) and make foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and gefilte fish 

We spend the nights playing dreidel [a top spinning game played for chocolate coins or gelt,] going out to eat, and getting gifts for the family to share. My favorite part would be having a celebration that unites us,” Riley Warren, junior, said. 

Kwanzaa is another holiday celebrated in the month of December; it began in 1966 in the United States to bring together the AfricanAmerican community. The seven days honor African culture and Black history through gift-giving, feasts, and lighting the kinara, a candle holder similar to the menorah but with only seven branches. Throughout the week, partiers will sing songs, perform dances, tell stories, recite poems, eat traditional meats, and play the African drums.  

Kwanza is a great holiday that helps bring my family… together to celebrate our heritage with music and stories,” Maya Gibbins, senior, said.  

In a predominantly Christmascelebrating environment at Etowah, other religions, traditions, and ceremonies may be lesser known; however, the holiday season is filled with a variety of festivities to enjoy and learn about in December.