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The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

Winter Wonder Celebrations

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All over the world, people celebrate different holidays relating to the beliefs and faiths of their cultures. The winter season is a great example of how many families from different backgrounds come together during this season and spend time with one another. Let’s take a look at how students from our school celebrate their holidays!

Festa del’Immacolata Concezione & Feast of the Seven Fishes

 Celeste Turso, Junior

     1. What is the background/back story as to why this holiday is celebrated?

“One of the major holidays my family celebrates is Festa del’Immacolata Concezione, it’s a religious holiday in Italy celebrating Mary. We also do the Feast of the Seven Fishes, [which celebrates] waiting for Jesus to be born.”

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     2. What is the cultural significance of the holiday? (Why is it celebrated or what is the purpose of this celebration? 

“Both of these holidays are religious to [celebrate] Mary and Jesus and they are really big in Italy. A lot of stores close down.”

     3. From what days (or time period) is this holiday usually celebrated?

“[Festa del’Imacolata] is celebrated [on] December 8th. The Feast of Seven Fishes is the 24th of December.” 

     4. What are specific traditions or things that you do on this holiday? Any of them that you love?

“We just spend time with family.  A lot of my Italian family side (my dad) will come down to Connecticut or Florida and we celebrate. But for del’Immacolata Concezione, we celebrate on our own by having Mass service.”

     5. What is your favorite part of celebrating this holiday?

“My favorite part would have to be just getting to experience these traditions just like my ancestors did. I love to experience them in Italy and see how big it is over there, but spending time with family and seeing how important it is to them is nice too.”

 

Hanukkah

Molly Bryan, Senior

1. What is the background/back story as to why this holiday is celebrated?

“The backstory of Hanukkah is that the Maccabees rose up against Antiochus who abolished Judaism and Shabbat. He renamed the temple for Zeus which led to the war. When the Maccabees entered the temple during this time to reclaim it from the Greeks, they found a single jar of oil which should only last one day. It was a miracle that the jar of oil lasted for 8 days until they could get more.”

2. What is the cultural significance of the holiday? (Why is it celebrated or what is the purpose of this celebration? 

“The holiday is celebrated to remember the times of the Jews and what they fought for, as well as to spend time with family.”

3. From what days (or time period) is this holiday usually celebrated?

“Hanukkah lasts for 8 days and it is based on the Hebrew calendar in the month of Kislev. It can be anytime from November to December depending on when Kislev falls.” 

4. What are specific traditions or things that you do on this holiday? Any of them that you love? 

“Every year for one of the nights we have a Hanukkah party when all of my family comes over to exchange gifts with each other, as well as my best friend and her mother to let them see how Hanukkah is. We eat latkes and light candles together.”

5. What is your favorite part of celebrating this holiday?

 “My favorite part about the holiday is finding presents to give to my parents and brother. Giving is so much fun and I love to spend time with them and experience the traditions.”

 

Christmas

Camilla Kelly, Junior

1. What is the background/back story as to why this holiday is celebrated?

I celebrate Christmas because I am a Christian. On Christmas day, Mary had to [give birth] to Jesus in Bethlehem.”

2. What is the cultural significance of the holiday? (Why is it celebrated or what is the purpose of this celebration? 

“The reason that this holiday is celebrated is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is the son of God.”

3. From what days (or time period) is this holiday usually celebrated?

“Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December.”

4. What are specific traditions or things that you do on this holiday? Any of them that you love?

“I love spending time with my family. Christmas is the perfect holiday for doing that. I usually open presents with them and I get to be with them. One Christmas, my family and I decided to go to a vacation spot up in the mountains. That was a fun way to spend Christmas with them. This holiday is also a time when we get to celebrate our lives and new ones too, like my four-month-old nephew.” 

5. What is your favorite part of celebrating this holiday?

“I feel like most people say that opening presents is their favorite part of Christmas, which I also like to do. I like waking up with my family and rushing down with them to open presents, asking “What did you get?” and “What do you think is in here?” It’s a fun moment to bond to. I also like the whole routine of Christmas.”

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About the Contributor
Gardyth Bien-Aime is a sophomore staff member of The Oracle. She is the historian of HOSA and a member of the Red Cross club and Key Club at Olympia. In her free time, she likes to watch movies and shows by herself or with her family, read thrillers or any other genres and crochet different items from time to time.
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