Holidays OHS students celebrate that get overshadowed by Christmas

Christmas+decorations+in+the+OHS+student+commons

Syd Hall

Christmas decorations in the OHS student commons

Syd Hall, Writer

The holiday season is something many can agree on as the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world, so it gets a lot of attention that not other holidays may get during this time. It is important to remember that other holidays are celebrated in addition to or instead of Christmas and those religions and groups that celebrate are just as important. 

Hanukkah is a holiday that most people know of, but do not know exactly what it is. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. This is a Jewish festival, commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the second century BCE. OHS Foreign Language teacher Ms. Suzanne Jokela said, “In the original story where Jewish people couldn’t be themselves and then they could be, it’s an opportunity to assert your identity when everyone around you is doing something else.” 

In the original story where Jewish people couldn’t be themselves and then they could be, it’s an opportunity to assert your identity when everyone around you is doing something else.”

— Suzanne Jokela

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days usually in November and/or December. It is different every year based on the lunar calendar. This is a holiday for family and friends to come together and celebrate. The menorah lighting is one of the most common traditions practiced over the eight days of the celebration. The menorah, the Hebrew word for lamp, has nine candles with one being in the middle to light each individual candle. The candles are lit each night to celebrate the miracle of oil lasting eight days. This year Hanukkah was celebrated Sunday, Nov. 28 – Monday, Dec. 6. 

Outside of the Christmas season, Jewish people celebrate holidays in addition to Hanukkah. These additional holidays are Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Ms. Jokela said, “Hanukkah is not actually the most important jewish holiday, but I think because of the timing falling near when other people celebrate Christmas it has become bigger in America.” 

A holiday that is not celebrated in December, but is the holiday of the Muslim culture, is Eid al Adha. Eid is a festival and celebration that is celebrated within the Muslim culture. Muslims across the world celebrate this holiday. This year it falls on July 9, it differs every year based on the Islamic calendar. Senior Fardouza Farah said,”My favorite thing about the holiday is the amount of charity that happens. Most Muslim families donate money or food to people who celebrate the holiday.”

My favorite thing about the holiday is the amount of charity that happens. Most Muslim families donate money or food to people who celebrate the holiday.”

— Fardouza Farah

 

Eid is the Muslim festival marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and commemorating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmail as an act of obedience to God’s command. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad reported to have said that it is a tradition that has come down from Abraham. Farah said, “Muslims across the world celebrate this Eid as a way to give back to our communities and to honor the people making the journey now, and our prophet Muhammed who made this same journey to the holy land over 1,400 years ago.” 

The holiday season has arrived in full force and celebrations are coming up. During the season of giving, it is important to remember to recognize the other religious holidays celebrated that are just as weighty as Christmas in the Christian faith.