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SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Winter Holidays Around the World

Person Walking in a Snowstorm <br \> by NOAA, Department of Commerce, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Person Walking in a Snowstorm
by NOAA, Department of Commerce, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Bring out the coats, scarves, hats, and gloves–it’s almost winter! For many people, the winter season means cold, wind, and snow. Trees may be bare and the ground could be icy. The sun may set sooner, delivering darkness to our late afternoons.

Wonderful holidays full of light, warmth, family, and love have been created out of these cold, dark days. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights,  celebrates the miracle of light with family and communal rituals, including the lighting of a Menorah candle each night for eight nights. This year, Jewish families were able to celebrate an extra holiday–the very rare “Thanksgivukkah,” a combination of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving holidays! Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, is observed with family gatherings, songs, and trees decorated with lights representing the Star of Bethlehem. Some families take part in a Kwanzaa ceremony, which incorporates candles, music, food, and blessings. A beautiful luminary can be part of the Mexican observance of Las Posadas. The Hindu holiday Diwali is a five-day festival–and its name, “Diwali,” means row of lights!

Visit SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month and learn more about winter observances and holidays and the many ways that they light and warm our winter months.

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