Winter Break is here! People can’t wait for Christmas or New Year’s but some don’t realize there are other holidays during winter break too. Most of…

Winter Break is here! People can’t wait for Christmas or New Year’s but some don’t realize there are other holidays during winter break too. Most of us know what Christmas and New Year’s is, so I’m going to skip to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.   A Jewish holiday called Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights. The festival is observed by the lighting of the lights on the Menorah. One light is lit on each night of the holiday, making a total of eight days. The extra light is called a Shamash and is usually higher or lower than the others. For these eight nights children receive presents. They usually get one present a night.   Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebrated throughout the world, honoring African heritage, marked by participants lighting a kinara. It is observed from December 26 to January 1 of each year. Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting, pouring of libations, feasts and gift giving. An African-American scholar and social activist, Ron Karenga, created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first African-American holiday. His goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.”   HAPPY HOLIDAYS!   – Tatiana

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