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The Highway Herald

The Highway Herald

Holiday Traditions that have stood the test of time!

As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to celebrating a generation’s worth of traditions honored with family and friends. From decorating the Christmas tree to lighting the menorah to the celebration of  Kwanzaa, these rituals have been passed down from generation to generation and continue to hold special meaning for many people. Here are some of these truly immortal holiday traditions.

Starting with one of the most common holiday traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. The practice of decorating evergreen trees dates back to ancient times, the modern-day Christmas tree tradition can be traced back to 16th-century Germany. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. Today, families across the world gather to decorate their Christmas trees with ornaments, lights, and tinsel, creating a festive and joyful atmosphere. 

 Another popular holiday tradition is exchanging gifts. The practice of giving gifts during the holiday season has been around for centuries and is present in several cultures and religions. Ranging from a small token of appreciation or a grand gesture, the act of giving and receiving gifts brings joy and happiness to many during the holiday season.

 Additionally, observing Hanukkah, and lighting the menorah is a cherished tradition. The menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum, is lit each night of the eight-day holiday to commemorate the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days in the Temple. Families gather to light the candles, sing songs, and enjoy traditional foods like latkes and sufganiyot. 

In many cultures, holiday meals are an important part of the celebration. Whether it’s a turkey dinner with all the fixings or a feast of traditional dishes, gathering around the table with loved ones is a time-honored tradition that brings people together.

Furthermore, there is the celebration of Kwanzaa, a name derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, which is a Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions across the world. It is a tradition that celebrates the values of African culture to focus on rebuilding and enforcing a sense of community for African Americans. It consists of seven core principles that center on positive themes of self-determination, faith, unity, and much more. 

So during this holiday season, let us learn to appreciate just how special and unique these holiday traditions from the familiar ones of exchanging holiday gifts and decorating the Christmas tree to celebrations like Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and even simple ones like just coming together to enjoy a meal. Let us learn to preserve these traditions and continue to pass them on to future generations.

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