It’s Beginning to Look alot Like “Kwanz-Hana-Mas”

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It’s Beginning to Look alot Like “Kwanz-Hana-Mas”

David-Jared Matthews, Reporter

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NEWSROOM – The middle of the holiday season means we should take some time and think about the various types of holiday celebrations that take place during this time of year.

In American Culture,  three major holidays that are celebrated around this time are Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.  Many people may not be familiar with all of these holidays based on their own cultural experiences, however, each holiday does share certain similarities with the others.

Each of the three holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are about getting together with family to celebrate.  Both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are celebrations of light, whether that is lighting candles on the menorah, putting up lights on the Christmas tree or the seven candles on the kinara (Kwanzaa candle holder)- light becomes a central theme on the darkest days of the calendar year.

Gifts are given on each holiday, however, they are given a little differently depending on the celebration. Observers of Hanukkah receive a present on each of the eight nights of the celebration.  While on Christmas, you typically get all your presents on Christmas Day, with Kwanzaa gifts are given to be educational and to be a reminder of heritage.  Holidays are about coming together and spend time with families and give gifts to those who you love to celebrate and spread the gift of giving along to others.

Many people who celebrate Kwanzaa, also celebrate Christmas, as some who celebrate Hanukkah could also celebrate Christmas as well.  Sometimes Hanukkah and Christmas overlap, since Christmas is always on December 25th and Hanukkah occurs on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, according to Time Magazine.  Next year, the first night of Hanukkah will be December 22, making an overlap inevitable.

Kwanzaa is more of a cultural celebration than strictly religious.  Both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa recall the stories of the ancestors and what they were put through thousands of years ago, while Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa all celebrate happiness and the togetherness of relatives and loved ones.  No matter what holiday you celebrate, have a happy holiday season and enjoy your winter break.

Story by David-Jared Matthews, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Editor in Chief

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