The holiday season

Highlighting some of the upcoming holidays for Ferris students

Winter break is right around the corner, and students are ready to go home and celebrate the holiday season.

The Ferris student population has a range of diversity, such as background, race, religion and culture. When winter break starts, students are also beginning to celebrate the different winter holidays.

Christmas is always celebrated on Dec. 25, although Dec. 24 is also celebrated as Christmas Eve. The idea behind the holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which means this holiday has been around for centuries.

According to Henery O’Donald in his article with Hearinnh, the first known documented Christmas was celebrated in Rome in 336 A.D. Although the holiday originated as a Christian holiday, many around the world celebrate Christmas with no ties to the religion. This allows many traditions to happen over the season that vary from family to family.

Graphic design freshman Hailey Nye makes sugar cookies and cinnamon candy glass with her family as their holiday tradition. Since it’s her first year away from home, Nye is excited to celebrate Christmas Day with her dad this year. 

“My dad is a pilot, so we usually have to celebrate after the holiday,” Nye said. “It’s the first time in forever, and it will probably never happen again.”

Kwanzaa is a Pan African-originated holiday that’s celebrated for seven days, starting on Dec. 26 and ending on Jan. 1. The holiday is a celebration of family, culture, community and the harvest of the first fruits. The Kwanzaa holiday is focused on one principle each day that starts with one candle from the unity candle being lit. These principles are important to oneself.

“It’s more about discovering yourself,” business administration freshmen Ashley Jordan said. “For me, it gives you a chance to reevaluate what you’ve done and plan forward [with] what you want to do.”

Jordan celebrated Christmas for years, but she always felt as if something was missing. She feels as though Christmas has become mainly centered around gifts.

“It didn’t feel like something I could actually connect to,” Jordan said. “[Kwanzaa] is more about collaborating and coming together in unity.”

Kwanzaa isn’t the only holiday where candles are lit. Yule is a twelve-day-long Pagan holiday that typically starts on Dec. 21 and ends on Jan. 1. The holiday begins on the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Yule is a celebration of the return of light. Each of the twelve days, according to Selena Fox’s article “13 Ways to Celebrate Yuletide,” is filled with different Yule activities such as feasts, the burning of the yule log by candle or bonfire and wreath making.

A source that wanted to remain anonymous celebrates the Pagan holiday. She used to celebrate the same holiday with her family for most of her life, but for the past two years she’s been celebrating Yule. This change is about more than just the holiday, it’s about religion.

“The religion I was a part of did not make me feel whole,” the anonymous source said. “The religion I switched to makes me feel a lot more whole and better as a person.”  

Since she grew up celebrating a different religious holiday with her family, it is no longer an option to celebrate with them because of differences in beliefs. Instead, she chooses to celebrate with friends.  

“Each day we make something new to contribute to the holiday,” the anonymous source said. “Usually, you set the wreathes on fire and roll them down a hill.”

However, because of her city’s regulations regarding fire, she and her friends are only able to make their wreath. The bonfire during Yule is traditionally lit for all twelve days, however, this is something that has also changed because of her city’s regulations.

Instead of having a continuous 12-day bonfire, she lights the fire in her fireplace and puts it out every night to be relit in the morning. 

The holiday season can be celebrated in so many different ways, each unique in its own way.