Holiday Diversity at West

Samuel Kwong

There are many different cultures throughout the world and they all celebrate holidays in their own unique ways.

But it’s not just the cultural differences that affect how holidays are celebrated. Different generations celebrate events and holidays differently. “Older generations like to celebrate holidays more traditionally with family. While the younger generations enjoy going out with friends and celebrating less traditionally,” says Chloe Mendoza, a senior at West High and also a writer for the Eagle’s Cry. The ways to celebrate these festive times are not all similar.

A major holiday that is celebrated throughout the world is Christmas. Even though Christmas is considered a religious Christian holiday, many people that are not Christian or even the least bit religious celebrate this holiday as well. Christmas is celebrated globally from pole to pole. The religious celebration of Christmas is to honor Jesus Christ’s (If you do not know who that is, you live quite the sheltered life) birth into the world. But that is not what is majorly celebrated.

To many, Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends and give gifts to each other; the gift of giving. But that is not all. There are many different variants of Christmas and what the holiday stands for. For example, a variant of Christmas was celebrated in Scandinavia before modern times. Their version of Christmas was named Yule, and it was quite an extraordinary celebration.

A popular media outlet for history and an incredible amount of other interesting information, www.history.com, says, “In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.” This celebration of the Norse was a variant of the holiday Christmas. They even gathered and had huge lengthy festivals much like how modern people celebrate Christmas. But we just don’t go out and cut down an entire tree to burn for a couple weeks.

Christmas is a great time to just relax and enjoy the company of your close ones. Not to mention all the foods and treats that are available during Christmas. According to Cindy Tabares, a student of West Anchorage High School and a writer for the Eagle’s Cry, and others, during Christmas they like to have get-togethers with family and friends to give and accept gifts whilst feasting with much merriment.

Students of West, and the majority of students in the United States of America, are also able to celebrate this blissful holiday with a couple weeks of freedom from the monotonous cycle of school; the teachers as well, who probably enjoy these several weeks off from dealing with their peers and students alike just as much.