As the days shorten and the weather begins to chill, many Colorado residents are beginning to think about the holiday season. At Trailhead Dental, we understand the important role of tradition in celebrating winter holidays. Today we’re looking at some of the more popular holiday traditions that will be celebrated throughout our nation this winter. In a time of such deep division, we believe that understanding the cultural practices of others is essential in reminding us that there are far more connections between cultural groups than divisions.
Christmas is a favorite holiday among many people, especially children. It is a religious and cultural tradition that many Christian families celebrate, both in America and around the world. Christmas has deep historical roots, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Although this is what the holiday was primarily about, its traditions have expanded and become enmeshed in the cultural practices of people around the world. Today, people celebrate Christmas by decorating a Christmas tree, exchanging gifts and spending time with friends and family. An entire industry of decorations, traditional foods and other merchandise has grown around the tradition. Families can choose from many different ways to make Christmas a unique experience that creates lasting memories.
In the Jewish tradition, Hanukkah is one of the most important seasonal celebrations. Hanukkah is an eight-day festival of light that celebrates the overwhelming power of light and purity to triumph over darkness. Hanukkah also has a deep historical tradition. It centers on the story of a small group of Jewish people who were able to defeat a massive army to reclaim the holy temple. As with Christmas, Hanukkah is focused on the celebration of a miracle. Hanukkah traditions include special foods and the incorporation of gift-giving, as well as many different decorations, crafts, music and other expressions of faith.
The winter solstice is yet another celebratory event that takes place during the holiday season. Many different cultures and traditions celebrate this astronomical event that marks the shortest day of the year, which is also the longest night. Winter solstice celebrations date back throughout human history and cross many cultural borders. They were often centered on celebrating the reawakening of the natural growing season, which was critical to the survival of ancient peoples. Today, celebrations often include festivals, preparation of special foods and even symbolic sacrifice rituals.
What all three of these winter holiday traditions have in common is a deep focus on family and community. At Trailhead Dental, we believe that the holiday season is an important time to reconnect with loved ones and examine core beliefs. Various holiday celebrations remind us all that there are many more things that unite us than there are that divide us.