Let’s Get Real, Issue 4

A Glimpse at Parker Traditions

In the Northern hemisphere, the fall equinox begins on September 23 and lasts for 12 hours. Fall lasts approximately three months. If I could choose to have one season year-long, it would be autumn. The crisp air, the burgundy and amber leaves, they all bring me immense joy. My favorite drinks at Starbucks, the pumpkin spiced latte and salted caramel brew, are released. I look forward to eating seasonal desserts like pumpkin pie, caramel apples, and apple cider pound cake. 

Most importantly, Spotify has hundreds of fall playlists that I can’t stop listening to. The wonders of fall are beautiful and worth appreciating. In some cultures, fall marks new beginnings and is celebrated with family. Many traditions that take place in the fall around the world include Chuseok, Festival of the Yams, Oktoberfest, Diwali, Day of the Dead, and the Moon Festival. One of the traditions that I’ve heard of the most is the Moon Festival that takes place in China. 

In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to study abroad in China. My host parents would often talk about the Moon festival because it was their favorite Chinese tradition. The festival takes place between September and October. More than anything, the celebration focuses on three important concepts: gathering with family, thanksgiving, and praying.

It’s believed that flowers will fall from the sky on the night of the moon’s birthday, and those who see them fall will be blessed with great abundance. In my culture, one of the traditions that we celebrate in the fall is Day of the Dead, which is a Mexican holiday celebrated at the beginning of November.

The holiday originated thousands of years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and Nahua people, and it’s an ode to the afterlife. Altars are decorated with flowers, food, and objects that celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed away. Many traditional dances take place in plazas across Mexico. It’s such a meaningful holiday to many Mexican families, and if you want to learn more about the holiday, I recommend watching Coco on Netflix.  

As a Parker senior, I find myself missing many Parker traditions that take place during the fall such as the Halloween Parade, the Thanksgiving MX, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and County Fair. All these traditions make Parker a unique and special place because they remind us of how important it is to come together as a community. The aspect of community is a value that Parker has held dearly and continues to strive for. 

I miss the root beer floats from the eight-grade booth, seeing the lower schools’ creative costumes, and singing Simple Gifts. Just like many seniors, I’ve found it difficult to grasp the fact that I won’t be able to fully participate in these traditions. The Big Brothers and Big Sister’s tradition is something that I’ve looked forward to since freshman year, and knowing that I won’t have the opportunity to visit my little sisters/brothers in-person makes me sad. 

Despite feeling this way, I’ve come to realize that staying positive during the pandemic is really important. If you find yourself missing your Parker community and traditions, I encourage you to reminisce about them and stay hopeful! Parker faculty and students have done an amazing job of trying to keep the sense of community and traditions alive during online school. 

I encourage you to watch the virtual MX’s and share your ideas with Mr. Bruno about how we can make these traditions feel special. Mr. Bruno has been working hard to ensure that the upperclassmen, especially the seniors, feel like they are participating in these traditions, and I am very thankful. The sense of the Parker community isn’t gone because we are online, nor the traditions. The traditions are still taking place, and the sense of community is stronger than it has ever been before!