The holidays are coming
By Sergio Perez (TheLorian)
Duhawks – we are at the start of the holiday season and soon we’ll be able to joyfully celebrate sacred traditions with those most important to us. At Loras College, we know the importance of traditions with our annual celebrations of Turkey Day, Advent, and Christmas. What we often don’t realize is that there are days that hold joy and traditions for individuals who aren’t Christian.
Some traditions include Diwali, the famed Indian “Festival of Lights” celebrating the victory of good over evil. Diwali was celebrated Nov. 14. Diwali is celebrated by many but primarily celebrated by members of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain traditions.
Our Buddhist siblings celebrate Bodhi Day on Dec. 8. Bodhi Day honors the day in which Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment officially becoming Buddha.
Hanukkah is celebrated by the Jewish community starting on Dec. 10 through Dec. 18. This tradition commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, also known as the festival of lights.
Kwanzaa is a week long tradition honoring African American/Black heritage from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” meaning “first fruits of the harvest.” The celebration was first started after the Watts Riots in California.
All this to say that there are so many different traditions and holidays in the coming days that we ought to be curious to learn more about them and make space for them alongside the holidays and traditions we hold close to our hearts. With so much division, a curious eye can help build bridges across different groups.
No matter the traditions – so many faiths point to positive values, behaviors, and hopes for the future. While I don’t hold any particular faith tradition myself these days, I do know that any positive prayer, any positive celebration, any tradition and it’s hopes are a blessing I welcome, and all should welcome to their lives.
Enjoy the holidays ahead of us and take time to get to know other traditions. Remember- a google search costs us nothing and can give us a key to a more loving and understanding world.