Winter Celebrations- A World of Paw Prints on One Campus


Photo by: Artist: Joseph Lopez

By: Zoey Jares and Joseph Lopez

Hey there Wolves! As you probably know, we are now entering the holiday season, but are you aware of all of the holidays being celebrated around our community? Sometimes we are so caught up in celebrating our own holidays that we don’t take a moment to learn about what others are celebrating as well. There are so many holidays being celebrated around this time and it’s hard to find all the information at once, but luckily the Timberline Paw Print is here to help you out with a short description of each one!  Here at Timberline, we care about each and every one of our fellow students so we want to make sure to represent their cultures during this year’s holiday season! This is the perfect opportunity for you to take a few minutes out of your day to learn a bit more about who some of your peers might be. Happy Holidays Wolves!


Christmas is originally a Christian holiday celebrated around the world for religious and cultural reasons. Christmas day falls on December 25th, celebrating Jesus Christ’s Birthday, however, many people celebrate it for secular reasons. Common Christmas traditions may include putting up a Christmas tree, hanging lights, and giving gifts. Celebrations vary between countries, but most center around two special people, Jesus Christ and St. Nicolas (AKA-Santa Claus). The American version of Santa Claus is loved by many children who receive gifts from him on Christmas Eve.



Hanukkah is originally celebrated by Jewish people, it is an eight day holiday celebrated around the world that recognizes the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. A common symbol of Hanukkah, the menorah, is a lamp that is used for nine candles, one lit each day of the celebration. This tradition originated from the Maccabean revolt when the miracle of light was witnessed and the Second Temple was built. Those who celebrate typically sing songs and exchange presents with loved ones.



Following the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga established the African holiday: Kwanzaa. The week of Kwanzaa was started to honor African heritage. Those who celebrate decorate their homes for the week of December 26th, hold candle lighting ceremonies, which ends on January 1st with a massive feast and gift exchange.


Winter Solstice

Whether you celebrate winter holidays or not you’ll still know that winter is a delightful time of year for all! Those who don’t celebrate these holidays can still look forward to the Winter Solstice to begin this wonderful season. This year’s Winter Solstice will be on December 21. That date marks the beginning of the winter season and the longest day of the whole year!


Las Posadas

Las Posadas is a Hispanic winter holiday mainly celebrated in Mexico. It is a nine day celebration where procession is exchanged between houses. Typically, a procession is a candle inside of a paper lampshade and it stops at each house and everyone joins in prayer. Each procession ends at a church or home and from there the celebration is continued with caroling, feasting, and pinata breaking! 



Soyal is celebrated in the United States by Native Tribes. Soyal lasts nine days in December, the Hopi tribe believes that the month of December is the time of year where Katsinas, or spirits that guard the Hopi, come down for winter solstice. These spirits can be hosted in animals, plants, or natural phenomena. The Hopi celebrate their guardian spirits by dancing, singing, and praying. 


Boxing Day

Boxing day may not be what you think it is. It’s not about packaging items or throwing hands, Boxing day is a day for shopping! Typically, Boxing day is celebrated in the UK to recognize the working class. The traditions began in the middle ages, servants and workers were given the day off along with a box of goods for their families. However, times have changed so the tradition did too. Currently the residents of the UK spend Boxing day shopping; similar to black Friday in the U.S.



Omisoka is the New Year’s Eve holiday that is celebrated in Japan. Many like to consider it the second-most important holiday in Japanese culture. Tradition is to celebrate with family and friends the night before the new year starts. Together people enjoy bowls of long noodles called toshikoshi-udon to symbolize crossing over the years. On New Year’s day the Japanese visit temples and shrines for Hatsumode. 



One of the most important Islamic holidays is Eid-al-Adha, which means ¨Feast of the Sacrifice.¨ Eid-al-Adha is celebrated worldwide to celebrate prophet Abraham sacrificing his first-born son on God’s command. On this day families dress in their finest clothes to join in prayer and sacrifice their best animals to symbolize Abraham’s sacrifice. After the animal is  killed, it is eaten and the meat and share it with those who have none. 



Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival that begins on November 13. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is a time to celebrate attaining Nirvana (define Nirvana) by lighting a row of candles. Hindu families spend the festival in their nicest clothes and share sweets together while firecrackers go off everywhere. It is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, but is celebrated in many other places as well!


It is important that we recognize our different cultures at school and learn to appreciate other people’s customs. No matter which holiday you choose to recognize (or not), the Timberline Paw Print would like to wish you a delightful Winter Season. We also understand there are those who do not celebrate these customs, but regardless we wish a relaxing break, one of appreciation and gratitude to ALL Timberline High School Students and Staff. Happy Snow Days Wolves!!