College to Host Virtual Program on Holiday Traditions

December 16, 2020

Annual Event to Focus on Christmas, Hanukuh, Advent, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Epiphany

December and January not only mark the end and beginning of the calendar year but also represent a special time in which persons of various faiths, ethnicities and nationalities observe holidays and long-held traditions.

PICTURED: Biology Professor Savitha Krishna will share insight into the tradition of Dawali at the Winter Holiday Celebration. She is pictured giving a presentation at an International Club program in 2015.

Wilmington College is hosting its annual Winter Holiday Celebration program, albeit virtually, highlighting some of these religious, cultural and secular events. It will be available starting Friday (Dec. 18) evening via a video posted on the College’s website, which will be accessible through the end of the month by scrolling down WC’s homepage at <>.

While the religious and secular observance of Christmas is the central focus for most Americans, many also observe Christian Advent, the Jewish tradition of Hanukah and the now 53-year-old, African American custom of Kwanzaa, among others. Also, Christmas is observed with traditions unique to various nationalities.

The Winter Holiday Celebration program is designed to offer a chance to learn about elements of the holiday season from a number of perspectives. Event sponsors include the offices of Campus Ministry and Diversity + Inclusion (D+I).

Following a welcome from D+I Director Chip Murdock, sophomore Anna and her twin sister, Laura, Irwin will present a musical number. Dr. Savitha Krishna, associate professor of biology, will speak on the tradition of Diwali, a festival of lights celebration popular in the Indian subcontinent. Senior Jesi Shell will offer insight into the Jewish holiday of Hanukah, followed by an introduction to Advent from the Rev. Joel Richter, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wilmington.

Junior Virginia Kongos and senior Ipsi Castillo will contrast their respective observances of Christmas in America and Costa Rica. Freshman Janese Marbury and sophomore Brandon Tumlin will invite the audience to learn about the African American tradition of Kwanzaa.

Finally, Campus Minister Nancy McCormick will address the Jan. 6 Christian observance of Epiphany, which is known as the 12th Day of Christmas, and offer closing thoughts and a blessing. Stephen Wadsack, director of athletic bands and assistant professor of music, will conclude the program with seasonal music.