Sarah Rezavi '25 Staff Writer
ELLICOTT CITY, MD, MARCH 14 2022- Shreya Pal, Marians Allan-Jones and Jaime Dunnigna are all proudly participating in PJ Friday and repping their fantastic flannel pants. This is a small tribute to the ending of black history month, that both the Black Student Union and African American Association organized. Just like many other events here at Howard, the students will continue to show support towards our clubs. S.REZAVI\LIONS TALE
"What’s your favorite holiday?" This is a question almost all of us have heard at least once and I can safely say that most of us have replied with either Christmas or Halloween. Which is valid, but there are still so many holidays that tend to slip people’s minds, like Easter, St. Patrick's Day or April Fools, for example, which are all conveniently coming up.
Who doesn’t miss the good ol’ days when teachers used to put green dye in the toilets and tell us that the leprechauns peed? Or when everyone in class would get Valentine’s Day lollipops and you never felt left out? I can’t possibly be the only one who fondly remembers these experiences. These underappreciated holidays all have one thing in common: They are extremely commercialized.
From chocolate eggs and cheap white bunnies to St. Patrick's Day t-shirts and tacky green beaded necklaces, high grossing companies will take any possible opportunity to sell their products. All of us have experienced this first hand. Large businesses like McDonalds will non-stop promote their Shamrock Shakes and I can assure you that there's a Dunkin Donut for almost every occasion. How should we honor fallen veterans? Buying a new car of course! Although it sounds ridiculous in this context, we are all extremely normalized to the thought of companies benefiting from our holiday interest.
Holidays are also commercialized here at Howard, even if you may not notice it. Many teachers such as Mrs. McManus, Mrs. McCoy, Mr. Webster and Dr. Brown are all well known for their decorative doors during the winter holiday season. Many students participate in these festive competitions as well. “I wanted to grow friendships with the people in my class. We stayed after school all day and I became friends with people who I didn’t usually talk to in class,” explained sophomore Ademide Gbadehan, one of the many students who participates in Howard’s annual door decoration contests. It may be seen like an innocent and fun rivalry, and it is to a certain extent, but it’s covering the underlying issue of how capitalism re-invented the holidays. The American capitalist system takes away culture from these holidays and uses it to sell products. It's disrespectful and negatively alters the core reason behind these holidays.
It has become so drastic to the point where people don’t even know the real soul purpose behind certain holidays. I didn’t know that the reason we celebrated Easter was because it fulfilled prophecies in the old testament or that St Patrick's Day was created because it represented the arrival of Christanity in Ireland. I was just so accustomed to buying breakable, plastic, eggs and funky green glasses. Even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying your friends candy grams on Valentines or pulling a prank on April Fools, just remember the real reason we get to have these special days and the importance of the figures behind them.
Of course, we all pick our favorite events to celebrate. Some because of religious reasons and others because we may just prefer it. As a single person myself, I and many others tend to ignore Valentine's Day and instead enjoy the spooky feeling of Halloween. But the favoritism we feel is a bit deeper than what meets the surface.
According to The University of Stanford BeWell page, the majority of people unknowingly prefer holidays that don’t involve friend or family relationships. No, this doesn’t mean that you despise everyone. It just means that you and the important people in your life are indifferent. “When one’s values/expectations about the holidays are now different, it can be stressful. It’s easier sometimes to just ‘go along’ with ‘the way it’s always been’ rather than ‘rock the boat,’” Mary Foston wrote, continuing to explain how holidays like Thanksgiving are looked down upon.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed or unhappy during the holidays is completely normal. This goes hand and hand with seasonal sadness, which affects your mood when there is typically less sunlight. It’s a very natural feeling and usually happens during the fall or winter, during Halloween or Christmas. Some people go through the motions of seasonal sadness but are compelled to cover it up with a “festive mood.” This is why the majority of people feel obliged to say that Halloween or Christmas is their “favorite” when in reality it’s a cover up to true underlying feelings.
With that being said, say our goodbyes to Valentines and welcome the arrival of Easter and good ol’ St.Patrick's Day with Howard’s SGA, which has a few fresh ideas to get into the spirit. Howard is planning on bringing back some more festive spirit days and an enticing scavenger hunt. With the arrival of spring and all the great things that come with it, students and teachers alike will be anticipating it.