Winter Holiday traditions reach Kerr

Many children in America will remember opening gifts under a Christmas tree when they think about the winter season. However, America is now a place of many cultures, each with its own unique traditions and celebrations, so there are other children who will remember the holidays quite differently.

One of those celebrations/holidays is the Muslim religious holiday Eid-al Adha . This holiday is a festival commemorating the willingness of a prophet named Abraham to sacrifice his son because he was obedient to God.

“God told a prophet named Abraham to sacrifice his son, and he did it without question,” says sophomore Mohammad B., “but then God replaced his son with a goat while he was cutting. The main point of this is obedience.”

Eid al-Adha has a special process that is followed every year.

“First, it begins with a prayer then we sacrifice an animal, either a goat, sheep or camel,” says Mohammad, “and you can distribute the meat to people who need it or to your friends, but you usually share it.”

Mohammad says that he likes spending time with his family but also enjoys the traditions.

“I like the get together and the reunion, but I really like when the goat gets cut.”

Among the culturally different holidays celebrations such as Eid-al Adha, is Chinese New Year. This celebration takes place in late January and early February.

Chinese New Year is typically celebrated with family members and large celebrations, including fireworks and large feasts. These celebrations are usually meant to bring in luck and happiness and get rid of ill fortune.

According to sophomore Jing W., Chinese New Year’s is a time of starting over with your life.

“We celebrate the New Year; it’s like starting over again when you chase away bad spirits when you start a new slate, just like when you start school.”

Chinese New Year’s has certain traditions that are followed every year, although traditions may vary depending on the culture of those who are celebrating it.

“We spend quality time with family and on the day before we have this feast and we pray to our ancestors and gods,” said Jing.” Our whole family then gets together on the morning of Chinese New Year’s and we don’t usually eat meat, but that’s only in the morning”

Part of the tradition for many people on Chinese New Year’s involves receiving money, hanging out festive decorations and traditional dances.

“I like getting money, the decorations, getting time to spend with my family, and the lion dancing,” says Jing.

Although traditions differ among cultures, something that many of them have in common is that they are a time that is usually spent with family.

“You could say they’re like a get-together, though not a party,” says Mohammad, “we all talk, play, have fun and eat.”