By Christine” ECKO” Ho, Staff Writer

Everyone knows all about Christmas and its origins. It is described as the season of giving, the time to give presents as well as (hopefully) receive them. It is celebrated by most, and is a season that traditionally deflates your bank account.

But I’m sure everyone remembers their fifth grade lessons about the different celebrations around the world. As fun as Christmas is, it tends to eclipse other celebrations out there such as Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. For eight nights, Hanukkah is celebrated by Jewish people with songs, prayer, games and gifts. Kwanzaa lasts a week and is more geared toward the celebration of African heritage. Gifts are also exchanged during Kwanzaa while family and friends gather together to light colored candles and eat.

A Christmas-related holiday I’ve never known about is Three Kings’ Day. After the 12 days of Christmas (which starts on Christmas day and ends January 5th) comes a day called Epiphany, or the day that the Three Kings saw baby Jesus and brought him gifts.

Now, let’s take it back to our roots. Buddhism celebrates December 8th for the day that Buddha became Enlightened.  And although Chinese New Year is celebrated in late January to early February, for Asians it is the end of the year then, according to the lunar calendar.

Lastly, let’s say you can’t choose, and would like to celebrate all of the possible festivals out there. Don’t worry, there’s even one for you. It’s called Christmahannukwanzadan, which merges the Christian Christmas, the Jewish Hanukkah, the African holiday of Kwanzaa, and the Islamic Ramadan, according to Wikipedia.

For a full list of possible winter celebrations to be thankful for, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals

Photo credit: Oanhie Pham