SCHOOL CLOSED for Winter Recess from Monday, December 25 - Monday, January 1, 2018
School resumes on Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Nat Geo Kids has a nice description of the various holidays celebrated during this season.
Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, a holiday honoring the Maccabees's victory over King Antiochus, who forbade Jews to practice their religion. For eight nights, Hanukkah is celebrated with prayer, the lighting of the menorah, and food. A Hanukkah menorah has nine candles, a candle for every night, plus a helper candle. Children play games, sing songs, and exchange gifts. Potato pancakes, known as latkes in Yiddish, are traditionally associated with Hanukkah and are served with applesauce and sour cream. The dates of Hanukkah change because this holiday follows the lunar cycle.
In 2017, Hanukkah starts the evening of December 12 and ends on December 20.
The Winter Solstice occurs on either December 20, 21, 22, or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year. People all over the world participate with festivals and celebrations. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas in the United States brings together many customs from other countries and cultures. Around the world, family members help to decorate the tree and home with bright lights, wreaths, candles, holly, mistletoe, and ornaments. On Christmas Eve, many people go to church. Also on Christmas Eve, Santa comes from the North Pole in a sleigh to deliver gifts. In Hawaii, it is said he arrives by boat; in Australia, the jolly man arrives on water skis; and in Ghana, he comes out of the jungle.
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26 through January 1. It is a holiday to commemorate African heritage, during which participants gather with family and friends to exchange gifts and to light a series of black, red, and green candles. These candles symbolize the seven basic values of African American family life: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
New Year's Day is January 1, the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. Fireworks are often set off at midnight to celebrate the new year. Commonly served in the southern part of the United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring luck and prosperity for the new year, greens (usually collards) to bring wealth, and pork to symbolize moving forward.