WJ students prepare for upcoming holiday celebrations


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A young girl participates in an Easter egg hunt. Easter is one of the many upcoming holidays that WJ sudents will be celebrating.

WJ is an extremely diverse school. Therefore, students celebrate a multitude of holidays with different practices and traditions.

One holiday is Holi, which is the Hindu festival of colors that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, good harvest and fertility. Holi takes place this year on March 9.

Another holiday is Purim, on March 10, which marks the Jewish people’s deliverance from a royal death decree around the fourth century BCE. Many Jewish people in the United States use this holiday as an opportunity to listen to the Megillah to relive the events that are told about the story of Esther, Mordecai and Haman. It is customary to shake or twirl graggers (Purim noisemakers) and stamp one’s feet when Haman’s name is mentioned.

For the luck of the Irish, Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a religious and cultural celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick. The holiday remembers St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who in the fifth century ministered Christianity in Ireland.
Senior Meghan Rinehart is Irish and generally celebrates the holiday with friends.

“I went to the ShamrockFest in DC my sophomore and junior year and it was so fun,” Rinehart said.
In addition to Purim, Passover, another Jewish holiday, is one of the Jewish religion’s most sacred and widely observed holidays. The holiday takes place on April 8 and commemorates the story of the Israelite’s departure from ancient Egypt. Individuals observe the holiday by having a traditional Passover meal known as a seder. During the seder, the 10 plagues are recited. The observers of the 10 plagues have believe God imposed on the Egyptians to convince their brutal leader to let the Israelites go. Jews tend to go all out on their Passover seders.

“For Passover every year my parents cook the seder food and then we have our own seder with family. I enjoy eating the matzah with haroset on top, it is definitely my favorite Passover food I eat,” senior Ava Barrios said.

Many Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, March 12. Many churches hold special services on Easter Sunday and kids participate in Easter egg hunts. Senior MacKenzie DeGraeve celebrates Easter with a family tradition.

“We celebrate with family and a big feast of homemade and some good European food, then we have an Easter egg hunt and paint Easter eggs and spend time with family,” DeGraeve said.

People typically go to church on Easter, but other families participate in other events.
“For Easter sometimes we’ll go to the beach with family and have brunch and do other Easter related things,” Rinehart said.