by Ishani Ghosh ’23
Published Dec. 1st, 2021
As November closes up with a frigid boom, the students of MHS are gearing up to celebrate their favorite winter holidays. From Diwali and Hanukkah all the way to holly-filled Christmas, MHS students are celebrating holidays from all over the world.
Daedalus Arnold ‘23 celebrates Hanukkah. He describes that he values Hanukkah because of the time it gives him to spend with his family.
“Hanukkah isn’t actually that important within the Jewish list [of holidays]. It’s a minor, more modern addition, so it’s special not because of ritual, but because of personal family tradition. It’s a cozy holiday.” In terms of tradition, Daedalus adds that “typical Hanukkah practice is to sing 2-3 prayers, light the menorah, and then do the fun parts. This can mean eating gelt (chocolate coins), playing dreidel, or opening presents.”
Daedalus also mentions that there’s a misconception that Christmas and Hanukkah are akin. The reality is that “Hanukkah really isn’t analogous to Christmas in any big way. Getting presents is a very modern thing, and it’s far from being our biggest holiday.”
Similarly, Andrew Lim ‘23 explained that while he celebrates Christmas, it “is not something profoundly religious.” Instead, “it’s important to me sort of as a season of giving and as a time to spend with friends and family.”
MHS also has a very large South Asian population, which is why Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated by many MHS students and families.
Suhani Hota ‘23 says that “Diwali is a celebration where I can spend quality time with my friends and family, allowing me to connect with the ones I don’t get to see very often.” Like many celebrations in the winter time, Diwali also has a religious aspect to it. Suhani explains that many people tend to know Diwali “to simply be an Indian holiday.” However, in Hindu culture, Diwali is actually also “a celebration of good over evil.”
Whether it be lighting diyas, hosting a Christmas party, or indulging in chocolate coins, students throughout MHS are following their annual traditions while enjoying the time they get to spend with their friends and family during the holiday season.