Holiday Culture of Ames High School: The Different Celebrations of Students

December 16, 2019


Photo taken on Eid

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the new year according to the Chinese calendar. Tiffany Rong, a senior at Ames High shared her family traditions and how they maintain their culture even in the US. One of her favorite traditions includes cooking dumplings with her grandparents back in China. In China, her family put in a few washed coins inside dumplings before cooking them. At dinner, whoever got a dumpling with a coin in it was considered lucky for the next year. “My parents sometimes invite friends over to join the celebration. We all then watch the New Year Gala together,” said Rong. She also mentioned how she gets a money envelope from her parents called hongbao which is a popular tradition in Chinese households. “My family has a pretty low-key celebration where we eat a lot of food including moon cakes and invite friends over,” said senior Ashley Xu.


South Asia has a wide range of cultural festivities that are celebrated all over the continent. One of the most popular being Diwali, the festival of lights. The brightness of the lights symbolize prosperity and success in every household. It’s a time for families to come together, celebrate their well-being and have fun with family and friends. The best thing about Diwali is the food. The diabetic desserts and delicious snacks are there to munch on while celebrating this special occasion. During Diwali, most families decorate their houses with lanterns and diya lamps. “We decorate our house with lots of lights, eat all the good food and play with sparklers,” said Shria Chug.


Known as the “Festival of Breaking Fasts,” Eid marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. They start decorating the mosque the night before, so it’s ready for the Eid prayer the next morning. They then wake up for the Eid prayer and then go out for breakfast as a family. They have this special tradition where they go home and have this tradition where the adults give children money. “In Egypt we get way more thought since we have more family there,” said Basmala Aldamak, a sophomore at Ames High. Usually towards the afternoon they have this event that is prepared by the Muslim community in Ames. They also go to a park and eat food with family and friends.

We decorate our house with lots of lights, eat all the good food and play with sparklers”

— Shria Chug


Atam- Hatik is very popular ceremony in the Armenian culture that celebrates a baby’s first tooth. Mariam Mkhitaryan, a sophomore at Ames High describes this ceremony as “special and super fun” celebration and is one of her favorite among other traditions. During the ceremony, a baby is placed in the middle of the room and has a treat mixture all around it. There are several objects kept next to the baby and the baby is supposed to choose one of them. This a fun game where the object the baby chooses is related to its future. Mariam Mkhatariyan chose a book, back then it was predicted that she would be smart when she grows up. On the other hand, Susanna Mkhatariyan chose a lipstick. Typical. This is a special time when the family comes together and celebrate the baby.

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