Winter Holidays

There are three main holidays in the United States during the winter. Those three holidays are Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. All three holidays are celebrated by different groups of people and have lots of history behind them.

Christmas is the most well-known holiday in the United States. It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Christmas is celebrated on December 25 every year. Even though it is a religious holiday, it is also celebrated by many people who are not Christians. 

There are many different ways that people can celebrate Christmas. Many people build gingerbread houses, buy a Christmas tree, decorate their Christmas tree with lights and different ornaments, and sing Christmas carols They buy presents for friends and family. These presents are placed under the Christmas tree and are opened on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, people hang up their stockings and leave milk and cookies on a table for Santa Claus.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated over eight days. The centerpiece of the holiday is the lighting of the menorah. The menorah is composed of nine candles. One candle is lit every night for eight nights. The ninth candle is used to light the other candles. Before each candle is lit, people say blessings. After each candle is lit, people sing traditional songs. During Hanukkah, people play with a dreidel. A dreidel is a toy is spun to win prizes.

Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African-Americans in the United States. This holiday was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a university professor, to bring African-Americans together after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. Kwanzaa is inspired by harvest celebrations of African cultures. 

Like during Hanukkah, candles are lit to celebrate Kwanzaa. There are seven candles on a kinara, a candleholder, that represent seven principles. One candle is lit every night and the accompanying principle is discussed. Along with the seven principles, there are also seven symbols of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is celebrated over seven days, from December 26 to January 1 of each year.


holidayun día feriado
winterel invierno
Christmasla Navidad
Hanukkahla Janucá
Christianel cristiano
religious holidayla fiesta religiosa
gingerbread housela casa de pan de jengibre
Christmas treela calabaza
ornamentel adorno
Christmas carolslos villancicos
presentel regalo
Christmas Evela Nochebuena
stockingslos calcetines
menorahla menorá
dreidelel dreidel
candlela vela
blessingslas bendiciones
traditional songscanciones tradicionales
to spingirar
African-Americansel afroamericano
harvest celebrationscelebraciones de cosecha
candleholderel candelero
principleslos principios
to accompanyacompañar
to discussdiscutir
symbolel símbolo


Cover Image: @anniespratt

Hillerbrand, Hans J. “Christmas.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., Editors. “Kwanzaa.”, A&E Television Networks, 14 Oct. 2009,

“What Is Hanukkah?”, Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center,

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