The Diverse Holiday Traditions of CBL Undergrads
Updated: Dec 11, 2021
Our students represent a vast number of different cultures and share some of their favorite holiday traditions.
I am Mexican American, and a holiday tradition my family holds is that for November 2nd. On Dia de Los Muertos, we celebrate the lives of our friends and family who have passed away. The only two close relatives who have died in my family are my uncle Joaquin who died in 2015 and my grandma who died this year on January 2, 2021. This year my mom and I created a small altar by placing pictures of my uncle and grandma in the alatar next to the Virgin Mary while surrounding the pictures with things my dead relatives liked when they were alive. Another major component of our altar was decorating it with orange marigolds. We then talked about memories of time shared with my uncle and grandma and then prayed for their souls. Also, for this year, I decided to make a canva post altar for each of them and sent it to the family group chat as a tribute and also so my mom and I could put it as our WhatsApp profile picture for Dia de Los Muertos.
A holiday tradition that my family and I have is making tamales on the morning of Christmas Eve. My mom, sister, aunts and I spend many hours making the tamales to have them ready in the evening as we await for Christmas Day. It is a very fun tradition that we have held for many years now because we get to hear Christmas music and get into a holiday spirit as well as just spending quality time with family
I come from a traditional Mexican family and we have a couple of holiday traditions. For Thanksgiving we try to get as much of the family as we can together at my mom’s house and we have a big turkey dinner and then watch movies until midnight. The second is making tamales for Christmas. All the aunts and cousins get together in the kitchen and we create an assembly line to make as many tamales as possible. There are always leftovers and everyone gets to go home with a plate of tamales. The third tradition is called “The Twelve Grapes” and this is done on New Years. Starting at the first stroke of midnight as one year ends and another begins, you must consume the twelve grapes. You have twelve seconds to finish all twelve grapes. As you are eating the grapes you ask for twelve things you want in the upcoming year. It is really funny to see everyone trying to eat their grapes in time and make their new year wishes/resolutions.
I grew up with an abuela who liked to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. On December 6th, every year that I was in elementary school, she and I would come home from church late in the evening. She would rush me through my dinner and to get me in the bath. Once I was ready for bed, she would take me outside to place a pair of my shoes on the front porch. When I woke up in the morning, my shoes would be filled with what other kids typically find in their stockings on Christmas. She would then lead me in a morning prayer thanking St. Nicholas, and I would be rushed inside to get ready for school and continue on with the holiday season.