How Students Celebrate the Holidays All Over the World

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How Students Celebrate the Holidays All Over the World

Credit: Thomas Thibault '19

Credit: Thomas Thibault '19

Credit: Thomas Thibault '19

Credit: Thomas Thibault '19

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. For a couple of weeks every year the world takes on a magic glow, people seem merrier despite the bleak cold, and winter somehow feels cozy.

While the majority of students celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah during the winter break, the way international students celebrate differs from American students.

The basic religious principles are the same; many homes have a nativity scene set by a ornament-heavy Christmas tree, but many other details make the holiday unique to its country.

In Ecuador, family members try to go to every member of the family’s home, from aunt to uncle, finishing up at the grandparents house. Vicente Abbud, a senior from Ecuador, says that it is a great way to celebrate.

“We start with the younger adults who have houses, so older cousins and aunts,” Vincente said. “They join us after we stay for a couple of hours, and we go to the next one until everybody is there, and we go to our grandparents, the elders, to show respect,” Vicente explains. “it really brings the whole family together.”

Holidays around the world all have similar origin stories, but some cultures do not describe “father Christmas” as a jolly old bearded fella. Germany has the legend of Krampus, and Dominic Behrens ’20, says that this anti-Santa made sure that the kids behaved throughout the year.

“Our parents would use Krampus as a way of scaring us into not doing anything stupid, so we basically had the Christmas man, who was nice, and Krampus, for the bad kids,” Behrens told The Willistonian.

In some parts of Asia, such as Hanoi, Vietnam, people celebrate Christmas without any particular reason, as a minority of the population actually is Christian.

“We set up a fake Christmas tree and watch Christmas movies, but we really don’t do it for the sake of Christianity,” senior Nhi Nguyen explained.

While Wildcats hail from all over the world and have different holiday traditions, they all can look forward to coming back together after break.

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