Trinity has previously been named one of the most international institutions of higher education. Declared the 6th most international university in Europe and 8th most international in the world, the holiday season on campus sees an increasingly wide variety of cultural and religious festivities taking place, especially within societies.
Over the course of the 21st century, the movement to wish someone “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas” has gained traction as we have become more aware of global holidays and traditions beyond Christmas, and not everyone celebrates the holiday. To explore this change of phrases, The University Times spoke to students on campus about their holiday traditions and reflected on some of Trinity’s own December traditions.
Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the annual Christmas tree lighting in Front Square, due to take place in early December. In addition to this, however, campus is also abuzz with different activities and other celebrations are underway.
One such celebration that also happens this time of year is the Jewish festival Hanukkah. Hanukkah, or the “festival of lights”, was originally celebrated to commemorate the Maccabean Rebellion in response to the Greek Seleucid Empire’s suppression of Judaism as well as the destruction of the Jewish Temple. Over thousands of years, however, it has become a very important celebration for the Jewish diaspora and is celebrated over eight days.
Speaking to Moria Crowley, a former member of the Trinity Jewish Society, she commented: “We had a lovely Hanukkah. It was a wonderful opportunity to cook and celebrate with society members and family.”
Moria went on to say what the celebration means to her personally. “To me Hanukkah is about community and the wonderful opportunity every year to keep a tradition alive. For me it’s an honour to be part of such a long practice centred in life and representation.”
Jana AlKhabouri is a Trinity graduate and a member of Trinity’s Arabesque society. While the Arab world is comprised of various different religions and cultures, The University Times asked Jana about what the society does to celebrate the Muslim celebrations Eid and Ramadan.
“As someone who lives away from my family and those I love, being able to celebrate Ramadan and Eid with people from the Arab society and with the Arab community here makes me feel at home”, she said.
“Eid and Ramadan are times in which us Muslims gather together to celebrate these holy times and it means so much to be able to do that even if away from my own country.”