S-mitten with the Holidays!

Looking at winter holiday traditions at W-L

Paper snowflakes created by WL students Kaitlyn Nowinski and Emma Ackleson.

Kaitlyn Nowinski

Paper snowflakes created by WL students Kaitlyn Nowinski and Emma Ackleson.

“Santa! I know him!” Buddy the Elf said. 


The winter holidays are coming up fast! There is so much to do during this season, whether watching a movie, playing a game, traveling, or seeing family and friends. Many students at school have traditions to celebrate their holidays. For some students,  these holidays have special cultural meanings. 


“I really enjoy celebrating Lunar New Year because it is part of my cultural identity, and it is another holiday with which I get to spend time with family, as well as eat foods specific to the holiday,” freshman Kedar Kambhampaty said.

What is the Lunar New Year and how do you celebrate it? 

“Lunar New Year is Jan 22 this upcoming year and symbolizes turning over a new leaf, if you will, ushering in a new year of prosperity and good luck. Generally, elders will give children a red envelope filled with money, called a hong bao, and the family wears red, symbolizing good luck. It is also customary to eat noodles as well as dumplings and spring rolls, among other things.”

Eating noodles represents long life, and spring rolls symbolize wealth, according to Kambhampaty. 

Kedar and his family celebrate the Lunar New Year with many traditions. Some general traditions include the Lantern Festival, celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations. It is a night where colorful lanterns light up the houses. It is also customary to celebrate with extended family.


Another student at school, freshman Charlotte Korb, celebrates Christmas and New Years. Christmas is celebrated on Dec 25, and New Years is celebrated on Dec 31.


“We have a lot of New Year’s traditions,” Korb said. “We usually celebrate because we don’t get together before New Year’s.”


Some of Korb’s family traditions include cutting open an apple. If the core is shaped like a star, then one will have good health for the New Year. 


“We also do this thing where you wrap a wick in wax and put it on a boat, and everyone makes those, and then you put it in a tub of water,” Korb said. “Wherever it goes determines how the rest of your year is going to go.” 


There is also a special food that relates to her family’s celebration.


“We make a Norwegian potato flatbread. I don’t think it relates to the holidays in any way, we just make it every year.” Korb said.


Korb also celebrates Christmas, along with freshman Maggie Page.


“Me and my friends do secret Santa a lot.” Page said. “So I give friends gifts, and they give me gifts.”

Secret Santa is a holiday tradition in which each group member writes their name down on paper. Each person picks a name randomly, and that becomes the person they will buy a gift for, thus becoming their secret Santa. Often gifts for secret Santa include candy or small gifts under twenty dollars.

Whether it is giving gifts, eating special food or celebrating with family members, holidays are a time that brings everyone together. It is always fun to have yearly traditions to make the holidays more memorable. 


Kambhampaty offers one final note, “For anyone wondering, this upcoming year is the year of the rabbit,” he said. 


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