So many reasons to party!

Students celebrate the holidays at the new Monroe Campus

Heidi Butler,

What's better than one holiday?  Nine holidays!  On December 4, students at the Monroe Campus of Northampton Community College celebrated Carnival, Christmas, Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Halloween, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Little Christmas, New Year's Eve and the winter solstice.   In doing so, they also celebrated the diversity of the student body and the many different cultural traditions students cherish.  It was quite a party!

Reggae music pulsed throughout the Community Room as DJ Stevan Gomez and members of the Hispanic American Cultural Club channeled the excitement of Carnival as it is celebrated in Brazil.  Dancers in masks and tiaras demonstrated the dance steps seen in the streets of Rio during the week-long celebration held before the start of Lent.Leanna Sjursen

Nearby, a Latin American custom that dates back thousands of years was observed by students who constructed altars and displayed memorabilia to pay tribute to loved ones who had died during the previous year.  Olivia Fogle decorated a picture of her grandfather, and Leanna Sjursen included Raman noodles in a memory box honoring her cousin Christopher.  Raman noodles were one of his favorite foods.  Sjursen baked pan de muerta (bread of the dead) to share with classmates, explaining that the Day of the Dead is not intended to be a sad occasion, but a time to focus on happy memories.

Walking past a Christmas tree and a menorah, party-goers came upon a scene of winter in miniature created by members of the Business Club.  The tableau created by the Film Society was more macabre than magical - an homage to the musical fantasy film "Nightmare Before Christmas." 

DJ Stevan GomezAcross the way soap bubbles floated across images of Times Square projected on a large screen by members of Student Governance, perhaps in anticipation of a fabulous new year at the new campus.

Members of the Pan African Student Caucus displayed symbols associated with Kwanzaa, including the seven candles that stand for principles important to African Americans and Africans living in other parts of the world. 

Special foods served for the occasion ranged from walk-around tacos to dulce de leche, flan, jelly donuts, and fruit Danish - sustenance for the day and for the papers and finals that lie ahead!

View more photos from the party in this gallery.