Christmas and Hanukkah Traditions

Christmas is a wonderful time of year with many lovely traditions

Christmas is a wonderful time of year with many lovely traditions

Samantha Brown

Does your family have a certain schedule you fallow during the Christmas holiday? Mine does, we have the same traditions every year that we do. Traditions are a big part of every holiday and Christmas is no different. What traditions do others take part in around the world?

One popular tradition is putting up lights outside of your house. Lots of people take part in this and it lights up the road as your driving down the street at night. This tradition comes from dates back 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe. Putting up a tree Is another popular tradition that started in Germany in the 16th century. This started when devoted Christians brought trees decorated into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if the wood was scarce. Another holiday tradition is opening presents. Gift-giving started out as a pagan ritual held during wintertime. The justification for bearing gifts was to show what the wise men did for the baby Jesus.

Most people celebrate Christmas and all its traditions, but what about people who don’t and celebrate something else like Hanukkah. Most people don’t know much about Hanukkah if they don’t celebrate it. 

Hanukkah is a Jewish Festival of Lights and it remembers the reeducation of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This happened in the 160s BC (before Jesus was born). Hanukkah traditions are a part of Chanukah traditions, and these traditions include lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating gelt, cooking and baking delicious foods, and enjoying the fun of Hanukkah gifts. Lighting the menorah happens each night for 8 nights and a candle is light each night. Popular gifts given during Hanukkah are dreidel, gelt-chocolate coins, or a menorah.

Traditions for the most wonderful time of the year can be anything from gift exchange to a menorah lighting every night for 8 nights. This time of year is a time to be happy and give back and neither you’re doing that with presents or money just remember to appreciate everything you have through this holiday and its traditions.