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Tag: tradition

12 Days of Traditions – Day 12: Lesya Kostyuk

Among Ukrainians, the most beloved of all festivities is Christmas, which covers a cycle of important feast days, all centering around the family. The main event is the evening meal called “Holy Supper” (Svyata Vechera). According to the custom, all members of the family should be present that night for a family reunion. Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. Many people wonder why the Ukrainian date is thirteen days later and only a...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 11: Cami Sia

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Romanian Christmas is filled with traditions, superstitions and customs transmitted from generation to generation. Family, food, caroling and traditional outfits (picture below depicts traditional outfits from Transylvania) can be found in each corner of Romania, especially at the country side where customs are more preserved. I am from Transylvania and, for me, the excitement of Christmas begins on December 5th. This is the day every child...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 9: Joanne Spencer

Each year as the season approaches, I have a few traditions that bring out the holiday spirit in me. The first tradition I’d like to share is that I go downtown to Montclair and Newark dressed in an elf hat and deliver gospel tracts with candy canes. I also bake holiday cookies and take them to Penn Station. My second favorite tradition is helping out those in need around this time of year, so I buy and wrap gifts for those who don’t have a roof over their head. I will gift hats,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 8: Mike Marin

Christmas traditions can vary all around the world, but celebrating the holidays outside of your own country, or 3,000 miles away from the rest of your family can be overwhelming and a different experience. During the holidays, many of us realize the importance of keeping our traditions in order to build strong family relationships that will then be passed on to future generations. In my beautiful country, Colombia, Christmas celebrations start on December 7,  a day known as “El...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 7: Judy DeJesus

In Puerto Rico, the Christmas celebrations start early! We call Christmas Eve “Nochebuena,” and that’s when my family gathers to eat traditional foods of lechón asado (roasted pork) and pasteles (similar to tamales), arroz con dulce and our famous Coquito! We usually sit around and sing Alguinardos, what we call Christmas Songs. My family celebrates through Dia de Los Reyes, (Three Kings Day on January 6th) and that’s when the kids receive their Christmas presents. On the eve...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 6: Jonssen Angbetic

Filipinos have always been superstitious, especially when it comes to the holiday seasons, and the New Year brings a lot of superstitious beliefs into action.  One of these beliefs/traditions is preparing what we call the “six bowls of blessings,” for a lack of a better term.  It consists of a tray with six containers/bowls of different items.  Each item has a different meaning for the upcoming new year: Rice – An abundance in food, in hopes that we will never go hungry Sugar –...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 5: Ruth Raftery

A Christmas Eve Tradition Growing up in a Carpatho-Rusyn Family and attending a Russian Orthodox Church – Christmas Eve Dinner (called the Holy Supper) was full of symbolism and ethnic traditions. First, the entire day was a strict fast day. That meant no meat or dairy was allowed.  The Supper consisted of 12 foods (no meat or dairy), symbolic of the 12 Apostles.  Foods included Kesalicha (a thick soup made with oats – that my cousin and I referred to as wallpaper paste), pierogi...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 4: Jenna Sanfilippo

Growing up I was always that little kid who drove my family nuts around the holidays. Either it was making a list for Santa that was taller than me or the Christmas Eve nights where I forced my sister to stay up and stake out the living room to catch Santa in the act. Even though, at the time, my family wanted to tie me up to make sure I wasn’t getting into any trouble, those are the silly memories that we always reminisce on each and every Christmas holiday! Since I was a baby,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 3: Chrissy Giamanco

One of my favorite holiday traditions is one that our family looks forward to each year. It is not my personal family (Giamanco) tradition, but rather one that developed when my brother married his wife in 1982. My brother was in the Navy stationed in Virginia Beach and spent several weeks and months out to sea. During that time, funds were limited, so my sister-in-law started making Christmas ornaments to gift to our entire family. It started the first year, became her family tradition,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 1: Andrea Saenz

My personal traditions include kicking off the holiday season as early as Thanksgiving. I join my church in collecting items that would make for a great Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, even including a Turkey! We put it all together and deliver each basket to families in need. Below is a picture of some of the baskets we were able to put together. During the month of December, I gather with my church to put on our Santa Hats and hit the streets! We set up a stand and...

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