Student on the Street: What holidays do you celebrate and which ones are you looking forward to the most?

Tarsa Weikert, News Contributor

Harjasleen Gulati (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Harjasleen Gulati (she/her)

Senior computer science major

“I am looking forward to Thanksgiving because I will be home with my family. I am looking forward to Diwali, that’s a holiday we celebrate. Just spending time with my family and friends, it’s just a really happy time. My mom doesn’t make anything in particular, she just makes something random but sometimes we eat turkey and mashed potatoes, but not for Diwali, no. We usually eat Indian food, that’s what my mom usually makes, she makes different dishes and stuff. It’s been my favorite holiday for a few years.”

“[My family has] a lot of little religious holidays and so we do observe it by not eating meat, then just being grateful…  My parents used to celebrate Christmas growing up when I was really young, but then they just didn’t want to anymore. My mom gave me a Christmas present with a birthday bag so I knew my mom was Santa, she just reused a birthday bag. Diwali is coming up in mid-November. I am a part of the Indian Student Association so we are having a celebration just with friends and stuff and so that will be a lot of fun.”


Yonus Alalyani (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Yonus Alalyani (he/him)

First-year electrical and computer engineering major

“Since I am an international student, I try to get to know the American culture. Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays here. I have attended Thanksgiving every year since I arrived in the United States in 2019. I have tried the turkey and mashed potatoes for the first time and I loved it. It’s been great immersing [myself] and experimenting with a new culture here in the United States.”

“I celebrated New Year’s here in the United States last year. I like Christmas… We have two celebrations a year here in Saudi Arabia, where we actually gather with our extended families twice a year.”


Kira Castillo (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Kira Castillo (she/her)

Sophomore nuclear engineering major

“I celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween is traditionally my favorite holiday because I really like the atmosphere of autumn and all of the ‘scary’ things, like horror movies, and the decorations.”

“However, this year I am most looking forward to Christmas because it’s the only time I’ll be able to go back home to California to see my family and to spend time with them. This will be my first year celebrating Thanksgiving away from home, which will be very strange but that will just make Christmas all the more special.”


Cassidie Reller (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Cassidie Reller (she/her)

Sophomore chemical engineering major

“I definitely just stick to like the big three: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like all of them the same for different reasons. Halloween is obviously where you get to act like a goofball, and Thanksgiving is when you get to see family and Christmas is like lights and being outside and more family time… I love the family aspect and all the pretty lights and the cold weather. I go visit as [many] family [members] as I can.”

“My favorite holiday is Christmas. It’s the best excuse to visit family. I loved it ever since I can remember, as a little girl. I usually do white elephant gifts with different friend groups and family [for Christmas].”


Miguel Cruz (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Miguel Cruz (he/him)

Sophomore computer science major

“[I’m looking forward to] Thanksgiving, because I get to spend time with my family. Turkey [is my favorite meal] because it’s the main dish.”

“I guess Christmas [is another holiday I celebrate], I don’t remember my first Christmas but I remember liking it—like, I don’t know the fourth of July.”


Yupeng Qin (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Yupeng Qin (he/him)

Graduate computer science major

“I do not really understand how American culture is, so I don’t know how to celebrate American holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, because I don’t know what to do for those holidays. I celebrate the Chinese holiday. China’s festival is a very important holiday in China. We make some special food and watch some TV together. Every year we have this holiday with all my family, it is a big event. We play many games together.”

“Sometimes we celebrate [American holidays], but I really do not understand Christmas or Thanksgiving day. I have no traditional American friends who can teach me how to do that or invite me to join those types of American holidays… I am not engaged in enough holidays and I really want to, if I had the chance to. I remember on Christmas you have to buy a tree, but I don’t know what I can do for this tree.”


Ryan Auld (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Ryan Auld (he/him)

Second-year bioresource research major

“I’m looking forward to Christmas. I’ll get to go home for it… I do like Halloween and the secular stuff, but I’m not religious, so I don’t celebrate anything other than that. I’m looking forward to Christmas because I get to go home to Colorado and see my family. I’m also in the marching band and there’s a possibility that we’ll go to a Bowl game, so I’m looking forward to that.”

“My favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day because I love how cheesy it is and how everything is so romantic and warm—it’s a good contrast to the rest of February. I usually don’t have a romantic valentine, but I like spending time with my friends, buying gifts for all of them and seeing all the cute stuffed animals.”


Mohammed Albinali (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Mohammed Albinali (he/him)

Sophomore electrical and computer engineering major

“[I like] any general holiday because then I will go back home and be with my family. This is my first year.”

“Kuwait [is home]. [The holidays I celebrate back home are] Eid probably. It starts after Ramadan, which is fasting and then we just gather around mostly. [It has been my favorite holiday] for each year now.”


Theodore Fulks (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Theodore Fulks (he/him)

Graduate mechanical engineering major

“I will be celebrating several of the upcoming holidays. Halloween—AKA Spooky Time— Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone dressing up for Halloween and running around for candy or going to parties on nearly every block around campus in Corvallis is just a good ole fun time. Turkey day is traditionally a family gathering day for me, where we all come together to play board games, eat a terrifying amount of food from old family recipes and keep playing more board games late into the night. As you can imagine, the competition gets wild. Christmas is another family holiday for us, where it’s pretty much more of what we do for Thanksgiving but with more Christmas-themed dishes. Lots of ham, scalloped potatoes, german dumplings and gravy. We’ll usually exchange gifts after dinner and try to settle an unresolved board game rivalry or two left over from Thanksgiving.”


Fidel Delgado (Tarsa Weikert, Photographer)

Fidel Delgado (he/him)

Junior civil engineering major

“I am looking forward to Christmas and New Year’s because I’ll be with my family over winter break… I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my family because I don’t get to see my family from California that often so I get to reconnect with them. I also like celebrating New Year’s with friends and it’s a nice way to end and start a year to have fun and reflect for the next year of my life.”

“My favorite holiday has to be Christmas Eve. In a typical Mexican tradition, we celebrate the night before Christmas and it’s a fun way to open the presents at midnight and have fun singing Christmas songs. Another holiday I celebrate is Thanksgiving because it’s a great time to eat and be thankful and grateful for the things we have in life. Also it’s a nice small break for school before finals hit.”

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