The Meaning Behind Tradition

The Meaning Behind Tradition

Hannah Watros, Contributor

For most people, when growing up you never think about why you do certain things on holidays. For Americans, it isn’t weird to have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or to wear all red, white and blue on the Fourth of July. To outsiders it may be weird but Americans don’t think twice about why they do what they do.

For Easter, most people color hard boiled eggs and then hide them for a hunt which is perceived as normal. Easter is a Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so what do colored eggs have to do with it? For Christians, the egg represents the whole resurrection. Catholics dye the eggs red to represent the blood. The eggs are then blessed by a priest. The hard egg shell represents the seal on the tomb of Jesus Christ. The cracking of the shell represents his physical resurrection.

Christmas is celebrated by a large majority of people, not only Christians. Christmas is  a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas trees, which are traditionally a Fir tree, are meant to represent the everlasting life with God. “My favorite Christmas tradition is going to midnight mass with my grandpa,” Connor Adams said, graduate from Newfield’s class of 2018. The giving of gifts during Christmas is for the remembrance of the presents. The wise men gave to Jesus when he was born (Frankincense, gold, and Myrrh). Santa Claus was actually a real person. St. Nicholas was a bishop who lived in Turkey in the fourth century. He was a rich man who was known for his kindness to the poor. He helped so much that he was granted sainthood. His story was told for centuries. In the 16th century he was referred to as many things in different places of the world. In the UK, he was Father Christmas. In the US he was referred to as Kris Kringle. When Dutch settlers came over they took, “St. Nicholas” and “Kris Kringle” and turned it into “ Sinterklaas” which later developed into Santa Claus.

We learn about the meaning of Thanksgiving as small children, but rarely associate with the day. Thanksgiving dates back to 1621. It was created because the Puritans were set on practicing their own religious views and didn’t want any interfere from any other religious group. A colonist named Edward Winslow was at the first Thanksgiving celebration and wrote in his journal that the Pilgrims gathered wild fowl for their meal which is where the idea of having Turkey was born.

Some Americans grow up their whole lives not knowing the true reasons behind traditions that are celebrated annually. Parents should take the lead and start talking about why traditions are performed with their children.