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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn's favorite holiday traditions go global

Auburn student walking on campus on Nov.7, 2022.
Auburn student walking on campus on Nov.7, 2022.

‘Tis the season! With the holidays quickly approaching, it is important that our community recognizes and celebrates the many traditions held by Auburn students and others surrounding the city. By glimpsing at the festivities of specific cultures, let’s dive into what the holidays mean to everyone.

Starting close to the Plains, Emma Wingfield, sophomore in applied biotechnology, shares her perspective on the holidays.

“I look most forward to Christmas because of the many traditions and because of the long winter break,” said Wingfield, a Madison, Alabama native. 

Wingfield shares one tradition that is unique to her hometown. 

“My church has a Christmas service in the baseball stadium in Huntsville, and we have a firework show along with it,” Wingfield said.

Wingfield turns to the most recent holiday, Halloween, and shares a special tradition held by her family. 

“On Halloween, my family always has a special meal, and when my sister and I used to trick-or-treat, we would build little forts with our candy,” said Wingfield.

Besides the festivities, Wingfield feels that it is important to “spend time with family” and “keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ.”

Moving further away from Auburn, Mary Grace Stuckey, freshman in pre-pharmacy, tells her side of the holiday story.

Stuckey came to Auburn University from Wake Forest, North Carolina. She first touches on a couple of interesting events held in her hometown.

“At Thanksgiving, my town holds a 5K run called the Gobbler Run, and at Christmas, we light a big pine tree in downtown,” said Stuckey.

Shifting back to Thanksgiving traditions, Stuckey also says explains that her family strays from eating from traditional Thanksgiving food on the holiday. 

“We have steaks, salads and potatoes, which is a little different than others, but I enjoy it," she said.

Stuckey excitedly says that she “will get to return home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and participate in hometown and family traditions.” One of which, she says is “going up to the mountains in North Carolina, cutting down a tree, and bringing it home for Christmas.”

Finally, turning the entire globe, Nan Pyae Mon, freshman in the biomedical sciences, enlightens us on the traditions held by an entirely different country and culture.

Mon moved all the way from Mandalay, Myanmar, to become a student at Auburn. She shares a famous holiday called the Myanmar New Year, also known as the Water Festival, which is held in her home country. 

“It lasts a whole week, and during the seven days you can splash water on anyone in the road. Its meaning is to ‘wash away’ all the sins you have made throughout the year and then restart the new year with a fresh mind," said Mon.

Mon also describes a famous night in her home city where one “can steal something, like a chicken or a cow, from other people.”

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“On that night, it is not considered illegal,” said Mon. 

Reflecting on the meaning of the holidays, Mon says that it is important to remember the people that the holiday is supposed to commemorate. She finds it important that younger generations “get to know why they are celebrating the festivities,” so they can understand the true meanings behind the traditions. 


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