Immigration and Holiday Traditions

With the arrival of the holiday season, many people are gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. One thing about living in the United States – there is no one single way to celebrate a holiday. Many families integrate different customs that have roots in their native countries as they celebrate the holidays. Since the pilgrims first arrived and countless others emigrated to this country from around the world, there has always been a connection between immigration and holiday traditions.

Origins of Thanksgiving

To celebrate their first successful corn harvest, the Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate with their Native American friends. This feast became known as the first Thanksgiving in America. However, the origin of celebrating a successful harvest has roots in ancient civilizations, such as those of the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians who often paid tribute to their deities. The concept of Thanksgiving also bears a striking resemblance to the Jewish harvest festival known as Sukkot.

Origins of Christmas TraditionsImmigration

Up until the 19th century, Christmas was not really celebrated in the United States because the holiday had been outlawed by the pilgrims. However, the holiday’s popularity grew with an influx of German immigrants during the 1800s. While Christmas is known as a Christian holiday, many of the customs celebrated today come from pagan roots that originated in Germany. The holiday was originally intended to celebrate the winter solstice. Customs such as Christmas trees, caroling, exchanging gifts, gingerbread houses and good old Saint Nick are a result of German influence.

When it comes to family immigration, contact the Atlanta immigration law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen for assistance. While celebrating the holidays this year, think about how immigration and holiday traditions have an impact on how you celebrate. It is a great way to honor your heritage.