Holidays Across Cultures

Melissia Mason
Holidays at Emma Willard School are a practice in multi-culturalism. During Morning Reports, students often share holiday experiences from their own backgrounds. Students have recently educated the community about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, significant days in the Jewish faith. A few weeks ago our global community learned about the Mid-Autumn Festival, a harvest celebration observed in Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. In the spirit of raising awareness of holidays celebrated by our international students (and to have a good time), Chinese Instructor Preston Sundin helped coordinate a campus event to celebrate this important East Asian holiday. Attendees shared customary foods and some students even dressed in traditional clothing.

As we move into late October and early November, some of our students observe Diwali, a Hindu celebration of the triumph of light over darkness. This past weekend, students gathered in the 2eCafe to celebrate with food and henna designs.

Others observe Halloween (sometimes dubbed “Emmaween” - watch for photos on our social channels) and All Saints Day, while still others remember Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). This week our art and Spanish classes are learning more about this Mexican holiday by creating Day of the Dead masterpieces, decorating an altar, and learning the history of the celebration from Mexico-native and Spanish Instructor Alejandro Saravia. 

As we come into a season full of holidays, we look forward to sharing each culture’s traditions with one another and participating together in a rich experience of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the New Year. This fellowship across cultures nurtures the qualities of character and moral strength leveraged by Emma Willard students to serve and shape their world.
    • Students celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival

    • Students share henna art at Diwali

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