Christmas is celebrated all around the world. Everyone has their very own traditions though. Some American traditions include putting up and decorating a tree, hanging lights, and getting ready for Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, or as you might better now him, Santa Clause. Have you ever wondered what others do? Well I think it is about time you learned.
Some of the Chinese put up trees and decorate them with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. They call these “ Trees of Light. ” They also use the lanterns to decorate their houses along with the muslin stockings that the children hang. The Chinese also have their own version of Santa Clause. They call him Dun Che Lao Ren ( dwyn - chuh- lau - run ), which means “ Christmas Old Man.” Although Christmas is bigger here, the Chinese New Year is their big holiday. Now called the “ Spring Festival ” is when children get new clothes, eat luxury foods, watch firecracker shows, and get new toys.
In Italy, Christmas is called Novena. The season starts eight days before and lasts for three weeks. Children go around to sing and recite poems. In the week before Christmas they do this dressed as shepherds and playing pipes to earn money for presents. They have a celebratory feast that usually features a light Milanese called panetoni. At twilight candles are lighted around the family Presipio, prayers are said, and children recite poetry. Noon on Christmas is when the pope gives his blessing to the crowds in the Vatican square but, the children have to wait until January sixth to open presents. This day is called Epiphany. The tale is that an ugly, but kind, witch named Befana rides on a broomstick delivering presents. She missed the star over Jesus and leaves presents at all houses with children in case he is there. Only thing is, she brings only coal to the bad kids. Does this sound at all familiar?
One of our eighth grade English teachers is Mr. Harriot. He may be familiar with some of these traditions because he is Jamaican. Jamaican traditions include dancers. Women would be called “ set-girls,” and dance to fifes, gourd rattles, tambourines, and triangles. The men were called “ koo-koo boys,” they wore masks and headdresses. The most colorful dancer was the “ John Canoe,” he wore a wig, mask, and a military jacket. He had to be the most skilled dancer because he had to wear a pasteboard houseboat on his head, which was usually pretty big in size.
Traditions are found all around the world. They are there for every holiday and celebration. Every country, state, city, and family has their own traditions. Some are as simple as hanging a stocking, others are complex as a play involving everyone in the city as a character. So next time you are celebrating a holiday or following a tradition, think about those all around the world.
We are getting further into the school year right now. It is almost the middle of the year. For 8th graders this might be your hardest year. Here are some tips to successfully get through the school year. The tips are, to have good behavior, good grades, and to work hard.
The first tip is to have good behavior. If you have good behavior it will make it very easy for you to get through the day. It is hard to get through the day when you are constantly getting in trouble. The teachers and administration are not going to deal with you like they did in 6th and 7th grade. Thy expect a lot out of you when you get to 8th grade.
The second tip is to get good grades. Good grades can help you a lot when you are in middle school. It gets very challenging at this grade level. So if you can get good grades in 8th grade it is a possibility that you will continue to get them in high school. They are preparing you for a greater challenge in high school.
The third and last thing is to work hard. Working hard can help you with anything. If you are lazy and just slack off all of the time it will be hard for you to cooperate next year. Also you can’t slack off next year or you will have horrible grades. Also just remember hard work pays off.
I hope you are having a great 8th grade year so far. Also hopefully you can get through successfully. We are preparing for high school this year so it is higher standards. If you take these tips hopefully you will be able to make it through the year.
Today, college is a controversial topic. Some people say that a college degree is not necessary but here are some things that may change your mind if you are one of those people. Getting a degree can give you better career opportunities, job security and satisfaction, along with the possibility of reaching your goals.
Getting a college degree is the best way to have a better career in today’s society. Job options are being given to people who have more than a high school diploma. It can give you better opportunities of getting promotions or maybe even better job than one would have without a degree.
A better job also goes along with job security and satisfaction. Data shows that college graduates are less vulnerable to job layoffs. People who suffer the most from job cuts are mostly low level employs who only have a high school diploma. If you have a college degree you would not suffer a long time career layoff.
Lastly, a college diploma gives you the possibility of reaching your goals. Attending college is a major dedication of time and money, but it is also a payment of success. College will help you realize your goals in the future in general. If you get a good college diploma it gives you the chance to go for the things you want to succeed at.
In conclusion, these are the reasons why college matters. Be smart and make the decision to have better career opportunities, job security and satisfaction, and the possibility of reaching your goals.
Fall is a time for fun, family, and togetherness. The leaves change colors, children go to the pumpkin patch, and mothers and grandmothers make some of the most delicious food that you have ever tasted. The holiday season brings wonderful traditions and family gatherings.
Halloween- Halloween is every year on October 31st. The origins of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtics when they celebrated the harvest and the end of summer. They believed that winter was an evil spirit that brought cold and despair. The Celtics believed that on October 31st, the ghosts of the dead would come and cause trouble such as damaging crops. Later, in 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV declared November 1st to be All Saints Day and October 31st became All Hallows Eve which was later shortened to Halloween. The celebration of Halloween eventually came to America and Americans started their own customs such as dressing up, bobbing for apples, and trick-or-treating. Those traditions live on today.
Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving started in the 17th century in 1620 when a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England carrying 102 passengers. Most of the passengers were pilgrims who left religious persecution in England. They wanted to find a new life in America, so they could worship freely. Other passengers on the ship were sailors and crew who helped navigate the Mayflower. The journey was long and treacherous as they all sailed across the Atlantic. For 66 days the pilgrims battled storms, sickness, and damage to the Mayflower that may have sent then back to England. Finally, the pilgrims made it to America on the tip of Cape Cod Massachusetts, where they made a settlement called Plymouth. The first winter in Plymouth was hard on the pilgrims. Many people were getting sick and dying, food was scarce, and shelter was not complete and livable. The next spring, only half of the original population on the Mayflower were left. The ones who did make it tried to grow the little settlement that they started the previous fall. Then one day, the pilgrims were visited by a Native American named Squanto. Squanto was very friendly and taught the pilgrims how to plant corn, catch fish, and grow pumpkins. That fall, the pilgrims had a bountiful harvest full of food. The pilgrims were very thankful for Squanto’s help and they invited him and his tribe to a great feast. The pilgrims and Native Americans came together and ate for 3 days with food leftover afterward. The first Thanksgiving is a great symbol of how to come together in peace and flourish and thrive. Thanksgiving today is also a time of togetherness where family and friends enjoy a great meal like the one 200 years ago.
Fall holidays are a wonderful time of tradition, family, friends, and fellowship.