The Holiday season has arrived and we’re talking about more than just Christmas. Most American's are unaware of other culture's holiday traditions, which is why we're breaking down the most prevalent holidays observed in the United States during December. Understanding and integrating these holidays into your social media campaigns will create a more inclusive community around your brand and inevitably broaden your audience. By gaining an understanding of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas you can create your most inclusive and welcoming holiday campaign yet!
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is a Jewish holiday celebrated all around the world. Despite Hanukkah's popularity, it has never received the same buzz as Christmas in the Western world. Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration originally meant to celebrate the Jewish rise against Greek-Syrian oppressors within the Maccabean Revolt during the second century of B.C. The most popular Hanukkah symbol is the menorah, which is a 9 branched candelabra that is lit over the course of the eight-day celebration. Hannukah traditions include playing with dreidels, olive oil based dishes, attending worship, lots of applesauce, and gifting small presents every evening of the celebration. This year Hanukkah began on Tuesday, December 12th and will end at sunset on December 20th.
In the 1960’s Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa to reunite the African-American community after the 1965 Watts Riots in Los Angeles. Dr. Karenga was an African American studies professor and chairman at Long Beach State. Traditionally Kwanzaa has a 7 candle stand called the Kinara with 3 red candles on the left representing struggle, 3 green candles on the right representing hope, and one black candle in the center representing the black community. The Kinara is typically placed in the main room of the house with Muhundi; ears of corn representing children, Zawadi; gifts for kids, and Kikombe cha Umoja; a cup to represent unity. This year Kwanzaa will begin on Tuesday, December 26th and end on Monday, January 1st.
In the United States, Christmas is the most popular holiday of the winter season. This is due to the high population of Christians in the United States, as well as the commercial aspect of the holiday. Biblically, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but over time Christmas has evolved into a holiday largely revolving around gifts, Santa Claus, and a tree. Typical Christmas celebrations include going to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, hosting Christmas dinners and parties, waiting for Santa Claus to come and deliver presents in the middle of the night, and gifting between friends and family. Christmas falls on December 25th every year.
To be successful this holiday season, your content calendar should include each of the holidays mentioned. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or something we didn't list, make sure your social presence is respectful, knowledgeable, and accepting of all other cultures. Diversity is essential for successful content creation, and the content we create online shapes our society one post at a time. Cheers to a more inclusive holiday season both online and offline, and Happy Holidays!