• Corrine Zahra

This Is Why People Say “Happy Holidays” Instead Of “Merry Christmas”

Not Everyone Is Christian

December is always inherently associated with “Christmas”, however it’s not as much of a worldwide thing as most people think it is. A lot of people actually don’t celebrate Christmas at all.

The fact that some think Christmas is the default holiday during December is a reflection of our Westernised culture. Nowadays, Christmas is so widely commercialised that even people who aren’t Christian celebrate it.

But that doesn’t mean we should neglect to celebrate & empower other holidays belonging to other religions. Which is exactly why many are opting to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”.

Different Holidays

Hanukkah: This is a feast celebrated by Jews for 8 days every year between November & December. It is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with 9 branches & is celebrated to commemorate the rededication of Jerusalem. In 2021, it was estimated that there are around 15.2 million Jews worldwide.

Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, created as a reaction to Christmas. Kwanzaa has no religious roots, but rather cultural ones set to unite & empower the African-American community. The phrase is derived from the Swahili “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.”

Different Cultures

Most people know it as Chinese New Year, but the right term is Lunar New Year. Celebrated in most Asian countries, the festival varies in several countries, regions & provinces.

The similarity between all of them is that after a long winter, everyone joins together to eat & feast as a new spring comes along. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon.

Fireworks are usually set off usually to scare demons away. Scrolls are hung up on door fronts with words like “luck” & “wealth” with the lantern festival indicating the end of the Lunar New Year festivities.

Different Christmases

Christianity itself is only an umbrella religion for a lot of specific religions. Eastern Europe has several different traditions. For example, the Orthodox Church recognises January 7th as the day that Jesus was born.

Bulgarians eat 12 meatless dishes on Christmas Eve & are famous for their religious songs. Wood carving is a national holiday pass time in Slovakia.

In the old Czech tradition, a bowl of garlic is placed under the Christmas Eve dinner table to provide protection to all the family against evil spirits. In Ukraine, Christmas is actually called, "The Nativity.”


What’s Your Opinion On The ‘Happy Holidays’ Debate?