Holidays at Holy Trinity


Risa Vinarub

Hanukkah is celebrated at the end of December. Many students at Holy Trinity celebrate different holidays.

Payton Vinarub, Staff Reporter

During the holiday of Hanukkah, Michael Helft can be found sitting with his family playing with Dreidels and auctioning off the Gelt, chocolate coins, while hoping he doesn’t get the unlucky chance of losing them all.

Holidays look different for students at Holy Trinity. 

For senior Dhyana Mishra, Diwali occurs from mid-October to mid-November according to the Hindu Calendar known as the Lunar Solar calendar. During the holiday, Mishra can be found eating her favorite food Pani Puri. These are crispy dough shells filled with veggies and chickpeas, a tradition her mom makes for Diwali every year.  The holiday of Diwali takes place over the course of five days with each day holding its own significance. “On day two, we do Rangoli (elaborate flower designs) using colored powder on the sidewalk,” Mishra said.

On day three, which is known as Lakshmi Puja, the main day of celebration, she lights candles and prepares for her favorite holiday celebration of lighting fireworks. Mishra and her family light the Diyas, a kind of Hindu candle, to represent the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. 

“One year we had guests come over and had a big Diwali celebration which was super fun,” Mishra said. 

Micheal Helft celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas with his family. “I  enjoy eating Gelt during the Dreidel game,” Helft said.  Gelt are chocolate coins covered in gold tin foil.  The traditional Dreidel game consists of four Hebrew letters on all sides of the dreidel (Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin)  Depending on which letter is rolled, the player can roll anything from Nun to Gimel. Gimel means you get all the money in the center. Nun meaning you get nothing. Each family can play with chocolate or money.

Helft also wears a special Hanukkah hat, which has nine candles to represent the Hanukkah Menorah. Helft also celebrates Christmas with his family as well.  

“During my holidays, which are both Hanukkah and Christmas, I play with the dreidel with my family or every Christmas Eve I’ll open one gift instead of just opening them all on Christmas morning.” 

Hanukkah is celebrated on a course of eight nights to remember how the Maccabees (relating to the leader who led the revolt against the king) , after the war they found  oil which was expected to only burn for one day instead lasted eight nights.  Which in itself was a miracle.  One candle is lit every night. After blessings  comes the presents. One present each night for eight days in total. 

  Another popular food during Hanukkah is potato pancakes called latkes which you can eat with sour cream and applesauce, where there is an ongoing debate between which is better. Freshman Jules Holleran celebrates Christmas. “My favorite Christmas memory is from when I was little. My older brother and I would set up a train set under our Christmas tree and play with it for hours, taking  turns being the conductor”.

 Giving gifts under the Christmas tree is Holleran’s favorite part of Christmas. 

“My favorite part of the holidays is giving gifts, I love when I get a person a gift and it makes them happy, and feel loved.”  

There are many foods to love during Christmas time from Christmas Ham to pies. Even sugar cookies are sometimes decorated with cute Santas or snowmen. For Jules her family holds a cookie decorating contest every Christmas, “ I love it because we’re all good at baking and I love competition.”  

Additionally, there are many ways to get into the holiday spirit. With music like beloved“Jingle Bells” all the way to Mariah Carey’s famed “All I want for Christmas Is You,” or watching holiday movies and decorating the tree. 

However, simply being with family is what makes Christmas truly special. “Holidays are a time to reflect on the year and spend time with friends and family, and then to enjoy getting through the year,” said Helft.