Holidays at Hall

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Holidays at Hall

Amy Zazon and Jason Chan

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During the holidays, there are many different festivities celebrated all throughout Hall High School. We decided to interview students and ask them about their holiday experiences and see the differences and similarities between different students’ holiday lifestyles.


Diwali-Wednesday, November 7

Clay lamps are lit during Diwali


Samiksha, a senior at Hall High School, shares her Diwali holiday experiences with us. She says, “My family is Hindu, so we don’t really celebrate any holidays during the late fall or winter time. However, some of our major holidays like Diwali and Dashain, have just passed in late October and early November. The typical ‘holidays’ becomes a time for me to relax and hang out with friends. In the winter, we get a Christmas tree to get into the spirit and we play secret Santa within our family; There’s nothing big besides that though.” Even though she enjoys her relaxation time during breaks, she also admits that once she gets a job she plans on working during the holidays.


She explains to us that for every New Year’s celebration the people in her Nepali community divide up the responsibility to host a party. During these parties, she explains that the community eats and dances until around 2 am the next day. “This is the only holiday ‘experience’ I have.. there is literally nothing else that’s special,” she responds.

Next, she describes the different foods made during her holidays, which is usually of Nepali/Indian culture like the music played during these holidays. She even states, “Rice- my family can’t have a feast without rice.”


Lastly, we asked Samiksha how she felt about her holiday experiences. She says, “ Holidays are always fun even though I don’t really celebrate anything. Everyone seems to be happy, and I love seeing all the decorated houses. I also love all the Christmas songs (who doesn’t?). Winter break becomes a time for me to catch up with my closest friends and also with sleep. Being a senior, I’m especially looking forward to just relaxing this year.”


Thanksgiving- Thursday, November 22


David(left) posing next to his master(right)

David’s Dog

David, a junior at Hall-High School, gave us a view of his Thanksgiving holiday lifestyle. He admits that during Thanksgiving he stayed home. For him, the holiday was more about spending time with his family and his adorable puppy. Even so, he explains that sometimes his holiday breaks are more stressful, especially when he teaches children karate during this time. He says, “Dealing with younger children and teaching them is exhausting but fun. Even so, in the end, I really enjoy the holidays because I get to go home and hang out with my puppy.”  However, he admits that this joyous holiday spirit depends on the holiday and that sometimes school can affect his holiday spirit. He states, “Practicing singing songs about photosynthesis really ruin my holiday spirit.”


Guru Nanak’s Birthday- Friday, November 23 and Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji- Saturday, Nov 24 

Guntaas at a relative’s wedding

Guntaas Singh is a senior at Hall High School who celebrates many different holidays such as Diwali(celebration of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance), Guru Nanak’s birthday(First Sikh Guru), Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji(Ninth Sikh Guru), and Christmas. He describes these holidays saying,  “They’re like festivals. A bunch of food, reciting poems written by the dead people. These poems are Shabad Gurbani: sacred poems, kinda like a bible for Sikhs.” He also explains that all these holidays are spent at church with food served in a tent. He says, “The community is nice. People bring food to church. It’s like a get-together and party.”

We asked him what type of food is usually given during these holidays, which he explains, “Chole (chickpeas w/ curry), paneer tikka masala (cheese with chicken tikka masala curry), rajma chol (rice w/ beans), aloo tikki (potato patty/ Indian hashbrown), popcorn, and cotton candy.”


Hanukkah- Sunday, December 2 through the evening of Monday, December 10


Will Schoen at Blue Back

         Will Schoen, a sophomore at Hall High School, introduced us to his Hanukkah celebration. He explained to us what exactly occurs during this time,  saying, “ First night (there are 8) we say some special prayers and light candles. There is a bunch of dim candle-lighting, guessing games, and presents. We eat latkes during this holiday, which is fried potato pancakes and kind of like hash browns.”  

We asked Will what he usually does during the holidays, which he explains that it usually consists of occasional visits to his mom’s travel agencies. He says this is because it usually gets very busy before holidays, and he enjoys greeting customers with, “Hello *travel agency* Will speaking.”

And finally, he tells us that he loves holidays. He says, “They’re lots of fun. I love responding to people saying ‘Merry Christmas!’ with ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ because it catches people off, guard. Also, I like Christmas music because 90% are made by Jews.”


Jake after crushing a race

Jake Long is a freshman at Hall High School who celebrates many different holidays such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. He shares with us each individual experience, telling us that during Thanksgiving he ran the Manchester road race with his friends and family. He said, “On the first day of Hanukkah I played board games with my family.”

Jake shares with us that he finds holidays fun, saying, “Holidays are fun. It’s a break from school. I spend quality time with my siblings and friends.  I like all food except anything with seafood. I love turkey on Thanksgiving with stuffing and cranberry sauce. For Hanukkah, I like eating Jewish hash-browns (latkes).”


Christmas- Tuesday, December 25

Patrick enjoying nature with his friends

Patrick Keith is one of the many students at Hall High School that celebrates Christmas. However, he also lets us know that he celebrates Thanksgiving and Halloween as well.  When asked about the holiday experiences he explains, “Big feasts. Food is a big part of our holidays.” During Thanksgiving, he looks forward to ‘stuffing sandwiches’, which he explains to me, “Bread rolls and stuffing combined.” During Christmas, he enjoys fried chicken, and during Halloween, he indulges in candy. Even though Patrick enjoys the food aspect of holidays, he explains that he does work during holidays: working even two shifts last year during the break. When he’s not working, he enjoys holiday mornings, saying, “Holiday mornings are the best. Great vibes. During holidays, good vibes with friends and family.”


Ramadan- Sunday, May 5th


-Oidinai Tashimhanduv


Oidinai Tashimhanduv is a Junior at Hall High School who celebrates the Muslim holiday Ramadan.  She explains Ramadan says, “This year begins in around early May or late June, but it depends on how our lunar calendar works. During Ramadan, you don’t eat food or drink from around 3:30 am to 8:30 pm. But after 8:30 pm you can eat and drink, then again close the fasting at 3:30 am. And the cycle happens for a month. Also, if you break a fast it’s okay, but you have to pray and ask God for forgiveness.” However, there are some exceptions to the fasting cycle, as she explained, “When women have their periods, they cannot fast or touch Quran. After their period is finished, they have to make up the days they’ve missed.”  

We asked what else she does during Ramadan, which she then explained that her family prays fives times a day during this holiday. “This is especially important to do before and after eating, “ she informed. Oidinai also told us that the purpose of Ramadan is because “God wanted to show that even the upper class and middle class and lower class are all equal. People also used fasting as a method of forgiveness of sins “.  She also tells us that during Ramadan, she enjoys hanging out with her friends in Blue Back Square, regardless of her fasting.

Oidinai says she finds holidays fun and exciting, and that school does not affect her holiday spirit. There is an exception to this though, and she explained, “Because usually, I don’t have homework for school on holidays, I don’t worry too much. But on winter break, I have to study for midterms that are after the break.”


Kwanzaa- Wednesday, December 26 and ends Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Kwanzaa Kinara clipart

A freshman at Hall High School who prefers to be anonymous shared with us their Kwanzaa holiday experiences. When asked about which holidays they celebrate, they explained, “Kwanzaa (kinda like Hanukkah, but has 7 candles) and I usually stay home. During this holiday, we usually pass presents, kinda like a gift-share as each present is made specifically for each family member. (family preference: passing presents in a circle)”.

The freshman also explained that they find holidays generally fun, and enjoy listening to Kwanzaa music which is played on their Mom’s playlist. They also shared that they enjoyed the food aspect of Kwanzaa, saying, “Holidays are generally fun because we feast for each of the holidays being celebrated. Ham and turkey and baked mac n cheese (which we don’t eat it very often so it is served on Kwanzaa)” are both dined on during the holidays.


New Years (December 31)

-Heba Kafar


Heba Kafar is a junior at Hall High School and celebrates both Ramadan and New Years. We asked Heba what she usually does during the winter holidays, which she responded to by saying, “I watch Christmas movies and read books during the holidays. I don’t work during the holidays, and instead, I usually relax. But it usually depends on the type of holiday.” Lastly, we asked Heba if school affects her holiday spirit. She smiled, saying, “Sure, any days off from school make me enjoy the holidays more. It’s less stressful and lets me relax.”