Holiday Traditions at Leesville

One common tradition around the holidays is hanging colorful lights on the outside of houses for decoration. Some neighborhoods hold competitions to see who has the best lighting displays. (Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Stocum)

Holidays for high school students are a time to relax, pretend to study for exams, and spend time with friends and family. Of course traditions play a big part in a student’s holiday break, whether they travel or stay in Raleigh. As Leesville is such a diverse school, it’s no surprise that its traditions are just as unique as the students.

“Me and my family, at midnight we go outside into our front lawn, grab all our pots and pans. We just start banging the crap out of them,” said Brian Clarke, a sophomore.

He and his family participate in this tradition every single New Year’s. In ages past, pots and pans were banged together to scare off evil spirits and ensure a more positive new year. Today, Clarke’s family does it just for fun. “I feel weird when I do it publicly because I feel like my neighbors hate me. But I still do it because hey, it’s fun — it’s a tradition.”

Another typical New Year’s celebration, setting off fireworks, has a similar history. When fireworks were first used in first century China, the noise of the fireworks was meant to scare away evil spirits and signify future prosperity. Even today, fireworks are typically used to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is typically celebrated in late winter. In 2018, it will be celebrated on February 18.

Hannah Bailey, a freshman, celebrates the holidays in Florida with her relatives. “I usually go to Florida with my family. and I spend New Year’s with them. Then at midnight, we set off fireworks to celebrate the new year.”.

Zach Burgess, a sophomore, has multiple traditions that span between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and take place in various locations. He and his family have done the same tradition every year for nine years, even looking at the same lights on the same houses every year.

“Christmas Eve we spend at my mom’s house, and Christmas morning we open presents. We then drive to my dad’s house and have brunch there. We always have the same thing every year: bagels, lox (a brined salmon dish), and cream cheese. We usually have some extravagant meal for dinner and from 6-11, me and my sister drive down to Cary and look at Christmas lights,” said Burgess.

Holiday traditions don’t just have to be with family members or relatives –you can always celebrate with friends.

Anna Mims, a senior, celebrates New Year’s Eve every year by opening presents every hour on the hour with friends.

“Basically my mom has these little bags, and she has one for every hour leading up till 12 o’clock and so at every hour you open the bag. It’s something to do for the hour, so you’re not just waiting,” said Mims.

From eating bagels and lox on Christmas morning to banging pots and pans for fun to celebrate the New Year, Leesville students all have fun and meaningful ways to celebrate the holidays.

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