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Beaver Tales

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Top 10 holidays

Pumpkins or Peppermint?

10. Father’s Day

Father’s Day was a late bloomer. It was first celebrated in 1910, but wasn’t official until 1972. Its inspiration is Mother’s Day, but in other countries is a different holiday. In places like Europe and Latin America, St. Joseph’s Day, a Catholic holiday, is also to honor fathers. Traditions for Father’s day would include gifts and cards.

I used to celebrate Father’s Day yearly and make my step-dad breakfast and make him a nice little homemade card. After his recent passing, I don’t have as deep of a connection with the holiday besides a pinch of grief and melancholy.

9. Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is actually held on different days worldwide. All of which, however, are to celebrate motherhood and includes giving moms flowers, cards, and other gifts. Mother’s Day can be traced all the way back to the Greeks and Romans as they would hold festivals for the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but is more clearly represented in the Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

Because I am not a mother, I don’t hold this holiday as close to my heart as some might, but I do enjoy gifting my mom and showing her that I appreciate all of the things she does for me on a daily basis.

8. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is originated in the legend of St. Valentine derived from Christian and ancient Roman tradition. The legend comes from Valentine being imprisoned and sending the first “valentine” to a young girl that he fell in love with. On this letter he signed “From your Valentine,” which is the expression we use today.

Valentine’s Day is not really a big deal to me. Although I used to enjoy the activities in school that came with it, it hasn’t had much meaning otherwise.

7. Easter

Easter was created by the Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but a lot of the traditions that we see today are a combination of many holidays. For instance, decorating eggs is, more than likely, a Pagan tradition and the Easter bunny doesn’t have a direct, clear link. Some of the other traditions include egg hunts, Easter dinner, baskets of candy, and more.

Easter is lower on my list now that I am older, but as a younger child it was one of my favorite holidays. One of my family’s traditions to this day is hunting for an Easter basket because of the excitement of a struggle to obtain a prize. Because it is usually warmer (although rainy) I feel like Easter is one of the best family picnic holidays.

6. Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patty’s Day was created to celebrate the Irish martyr, St. Patrick in whom is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. The holiday is now celebrated with parades, food, music, lots of dancing, and drinking.

While I don’t necessarily participate in St. Patty’s day activities anymore, I used to love the idea of trying to catch a leprechaun as a kid. Wearing green and setting up traps everywhere was a blast with all of my friends and the origin of the holiday is simply intriguing.

5. Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was actually a celebration of the Pilgrim’s first successful harvest after entering the “new world” (now America). It is said that many of the traditions were Native American and due to the lack of sugar, did not likely include the pies, cakes, or any desserts that we associate with Thanksgiving today.

While most people overlook Thanksgiving, I think it is one of the most important holidays to celebrate with family and friends. I personally love turkey and pie as well as the less chaotic atmosphere compared to many other holidays. Thanksgiving also has the straggling theme of Halloween mixed in, which makes me love it so much more.

4. Christmas

Christmas is definitely a crowd favorite holiday with most people enjoying the normal festivities like presents and large dinners. Traditionally, Christians celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday. However, most speculate that Jesus was not born December 25 and that it is more likely that he was born in the spring. More frequently, a lot of people lose sight of this origin and just see it as a time to spend time with family and friends.

Although Christmas is not my personal favorite holiday, I do still enjoy giving gifts and celebrating with family and friends. The food served around Christmas is also some of my favorite food, especially the deserts.

3. 4th of July

Also known as Independence Day, July 4th is a federal holiday in which Americans celebrate their independence from Britain. It is often celebrated with fire works, barbecues, parades, and concerts.

Independence Day is so high on my list because of the warmth of summer and the family gatherings. It is also, in my experience, on of the least stressful holidays, and I get to actually relax and enjoy games and food with my family.

2. New Year’s

New Year’s is one of the oldest holidays in the United States and dates back as early as Babylonians. It is used in current times to celebrate the end of the previous year and the rebirth of the new year. Some traditions include the parades, concerts nationwide, parties, and fireworks.

Recently, I started attending my best friend’s annual New Year’s party with some of our friends and it is one of my favorite times of year. Beforehand, my family would all stay up and eat Christmas desserts from the week before and watch the performances on TV or play board games until the ball drops as midnight.

1. Halloween

Halloween dates back thousands of years and comes from the Celtic celebration of Samhain. The festival was to celebrate their new year on November 1 because of the weather changes from warmth and harvest to the winter. The time of winter is often associated with death, especially back when there was less access to healthcare and medical supplies. The Celts would create a festival on the night of October 31 as they believed the ghosts of the dead would return and they would follow through with many traditional acts. As Christianity spread into the Celtic lands, their beliefs in All Saints’ Day blended with Samhain and eventually created Halloween.

Halloween is my personal favorite holiday because you get to dress up and have simple fun with friends. Even if you don’t go trick-or-treating, throwing and attending Halloween parties is a lot of fun and filled with lots of creativity.

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About the Contributor
Amber Straub
Amber Straub, Reporter
Amber Straub is a senior and first year Beaver Tales staff member. She enjoys writing small works, reading, art, and music. She has three older dogs and five cats total (two of those being rescue kittens). She is also a current member of the Corry Key Club and enjoys helping with volunteer work in her free time.