News Traditions Package

Tradition reigns as students illuminate holiday customs

By Jeffrey J. Kimball Erdely ’14
THE ROUNDUP 

Diversity among students is present during the holidays.

With so many different beliefs and traditions coming into play, students have a variety of customs, religious beliefs or practices they celebrate during the holiday season.

Noe Medrano ’14 shares a custom his family is familiar with—the Spanish tradition of Las Posadas.

“A couple is picked to represent Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus,” Medrano said. “They go around the neighborhood seeking refuge and people are told to say no to them until they come to a designated house that does let them in. I think it lasts nine days.”

Las Posadas is a Spanish tradition but as Medrano points out, “It started in Spain but I think a lot of people in Mexico celebrate it too.”

Sahil Kapur ’14 brings some unique traditions from India to celebrate during the holidays. One of these traditions is the Diwali Festival.

“It is the celebration of Lord Rama and his wife Sita and his triumphant return is the festival of light. It’s an Indian tradition,” Kapur said. “It’s in November usually.”

Kapur’s family celebrates several unique Indian holiday’s, including Teej, a fasting festival for women.

“It’s like saying good luck for your husband,” Kapur said. “A wife fasts until the sun goes down and the moon comes up … so that your husband lives a long prosperous life. My mom does that.”

Other traditions around campus are not so unfamiliar.

 “Me and my family go to Santa Monica in L.A every Thanksgiving,” said Matthew Levine ’16. 

Levine is Jewish and said there are numerous holidays that occur during this time of year.

“People see Hanukkah as the biggest holiday but it’s actually one of the smaller ones,” Levine said. “You have Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Simchat Torah … there are actually a lot of them when you think about it.”

Levine also has a Thanksgiving tradition too.

“This sounds a pretty ordinary, but my uncle has always been the one to carve the turkey on Thanksgiving. Literally every year,” Levine said.

Jacob Peterson ’16 has fond memories of his family decorating for Christmas. 

“Every Christmas we like put up all our decorations … we have this basket of nutcrackers and Christmas stories that we’ve had since me and my brother were really young … it’s really nice being able to read these Christmas books that have gathered over the years,” Peterson said.

Max Sarver ’16 has a sports related Thanksgiving tradition.

 “When we go to Tucson and we get back that night, me and my brother play my other brother and my dad in basketball on Thanksgiving,” Sarver said. “We do that every year.”