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Celebrating holidays that involve candles in the dorms

By Madison Serapilio, Features Contributor

With the arrival of December, it’s time to start celebrating holidays like Advent and Hanukkah. Seeing as both of these holidays started on Nov. 28, I wanted to shed light on the difficulties some might have while celebrating in their dorms. For instance, as many Canisius College residents are aware, candles are not allowed to be lit inside of the dorms. This puts limitations on people who want to freely celebrate their holidays, because both Advent and Hanukkah involve lighting candles.

This year, Hanukkah runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6 and it is in celebration of the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem. According to the Talmud, after retaking the second temple, there was only enough “untainted” olive oil to keep the menorah burning for one day, but somehow the candles stayed lit for eight nights. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting one candle for each of the eight nights that the Menorah burned. The lighting of the candles is accompanied by gift-giving and dreidels, and traditional Jewish foods like latkes (potato pancakes). Advent, on the other hand, basically serves for Christians as an anticipation for Christ’s birth leading up to Christmas: it runs for four Sundays leading up to Christmas day. This year in particular, it began on Nov. 28. Advent can include a multitude of things, like the common advent calendars with a piece of chocolate for each day, but for some, it is celebrated by lighting a candle each week leading up to Christmas. These four candles can be lit every night and an additional candle is lit each Sunday.

Going back to the beginning, not only is it difficult to celebrate these holidays in the dorms because of lack of family, but also because they both involve lighting candles. For me, Hanukkah is the only Jewish holiday I celebrate because my family isn’t very religious, so I wanted to find a way to celebrate it here. I decided to draw a menorah on my whiteboard and color in a flame for each of the days. Although it seems a bit stupid, I was very glad that I was able to find away to participate in this holiday. Although I’m unsure about how people would celebrate Advent in the dorms, I’m hoping that people who take part in Advent have found a way to celebrate in the residence halls.

Through this article, I’m hoping that Canisius will look into these two holidays and potentially make exceptions to the candle rule, allowing students to participate in these celebrations in some way. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

P.S I would like to add that I am still open to writing about people’s special interests and I would love to hear from people coming up

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