Holidays: Why Do We Do What We Do?


By Nikki Headley

You wake up and realize that it’s Easter. This can only mean one thing: the Easter bunny came to visit. You walk to the living room to see your youngest brother bouncing up and down with anticipation. You see a large basket in his little hands. You look at him and ask, “Where does the Easter bunny come from?”

Holidays and folklores, we all have them. Whether it’s Christmas, The Fourth of July or Easter, we all have traditions. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, and some people were asked why they wore green.

Katelyn Turner said that she wanted “to participate with tradition.”

Kelsie Miller said “you wear green so you won’t be pinched by annoying people.”

Traditions are fine, but the real question is where the tradition of wearing green came from? Avoiding be pinched is understandable, but where does this come from?

So many Americans celebrates July Fourth. Have you ever wondered why we shoot fireworks?

I asked Brittany Williams this question, and she said “It’s culture to shoot fireworks during July Fourth.”

Everything is coming back to words like “tradition” and “culture.” It seems as if both of these words lack meaning. A tradition is something you do with your family. As Americans we do so many things during our holidays. We wear green, put up Christmas trees and shoot fireworks. Do we really understand what started these practices?

Unfortunately we do not. What’s the point of doing all of these things if we don’t understand their origins? Are we just doing them to seek entertainment? Has the sacredness of a holiday been exchanged for a good time?

Most people do not know where pinching each other for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day comes from. During our big holidays movies will come out in theatre for us to go and watch. We entertain ourselves with the ideas that we have about a certain holiday. During winter break most college students are looking forward to the long break. This means we will get more time with the people that matter. While family-time is crucial, would one go so far to say that all of these distractions take away from the importance of what the holiday signifies?

When we forget the source, we forget the holiday. We have customs that are acted upon every year, but they no longer show us why we celebrate our holidays. We all seem to be more than willing to participate in these things without even knowing why we are participating. Do you really want to wear green and not know why you’re doing it?

What type of person do you want to be? Go out there and learn about why we celebrate. Stop asking other people and find out on your own.



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