December Holidays

Juliet Slater and Avalon Beltran

There are many different holidays celebrated in December including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas. All of these holidays are important to many different people, and it is important to know all of the holidays people celebrate other than your own.


Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that’s celebrated for eight days and nights, beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. This is on Thursday, December 10, all the way through  Friday, December 18. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was retaken by the Maccabees, a group of Jewish warriors, from the Greeks. The celebration starts with lighting just one candle on the menorah on the first night of the holiday as a blessing. Then on the second night two candles are lit, and on the third three candles, until all eight are lit on the last night. There’s a ninth in the middle of the menorah called the shammash, which is used to light all the other candles. Some things that you can do to celebrate Hanukkah are music, stories, movies, baking, and gifts.


Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st, and consists of gift giving and a big feast. The holiday is relatively new, compared to other holidays celebrated in the U.S. Kwanzaa is mostly celebrated in the United States. During Kwanzaa a special candle holder called a kinara is used. A kinara holds seven candles, three red ones on the left, three green ones on the right with a black candle in the center. Each night during Kwanzaa a candle is lit.


La Pasados is a holiday celebrating hispanic heritage. It is celebrated in Latin America, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Spain, and by Hispanics in the United States. It is typically celebrated each year between December 16 and December 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refugee where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. Some things that you traditionally do during Las Posadas are listening to special songs, baking, or breaking piñatas. After the piñata breaks there is a large feast, traditional Posada fare is tamales, buñuelos, atole and café de olla.