By Linda Cortez and Vanessa Garcia
Celebrated: Starts 25th day of
Kislev (In 2011, Dec. 20-28)
Based in: Judaism
Began: 165 B.C.
Symbols: Menorah, Driedel, Gelt
In 165 B.C., the Jewish people removed the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restored their holy temple; thus, Hanukkah was born. Before the victory, the Syrian-Greek Emperor Antiochus ordered everyone to worship their god, Zeus.
The traditional symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah, which holds nine candles. The middle candle, the shammash, is a servant candle used to light the other eight candles.
The menorah represents the miracle of the lamp burning for eight days on barely enough oil for one.
A traditional Hanukkah game is played with a driedel and gelt, Hanukkah money.
The driedel is a spinning top with four Hebrew letters inscribed on its sides. The letters are translated to nun, gimmel, hay and shin, which stands for the phrase, “A great miracle happened there.”
Children play the game for gelt.
Driedel was popular during the ruling of Antiochus.
Jewish people were not allowed freedom of religion. They had secret gatherings to study the Torah and brought a spinning top with them.
When soldiers would see them gathered together, the Jewish people hid the Torah and pretended to play driedel.
Celebrated: Dec. 26-Jan. 1
Based in: African Culture
Mazao (The Crops)
Mkeka (The Mat)
Kinara (The Candle Holder)
Muhindi (The Corn)
Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles)
Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup)
An estimated 18 million African-Americans take part in Kwanzaa.
The celebration, which takes place Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, honors principles that are essential in building strong, fruitful families and communities in Africa.
The ritual begins with the Kinara, which is a traditional candleholder. It is placed on top of a mat, or Mkeka.
Traditionally, one black candle is placed in Read more [...]