News Dec 16th 2016

4 Longstanding Campus Christmas Traditions

Winter campus

Everybody who is lucky enough to get to spend Christmas with their family knows just how much fun there is to be had at home, but one area of festive fun that sometimes gets overlooked in everybody's panic to get home for the big day are the special celebrations that tale place in numerous colleges across the country before school breaks up for the winter holidays. Though the majority of colleges will hold an annual party to celebrate the Christmas season, perhaps something more formal like a ball, there are some colleges in various states that continue to upkeep their history by partaking in some Christmas traditions on campus that have been going on for years and years. To help you get a feel of some of this longstanding traditions, we have picked out four of our favourites to show and explain.

1. Lovefeast

Lovefeast takes place at the Wake Forest University and has been going for more than 50 years. The ceremony is inspired by a Moravian service of a similar name and was started in 1965 by a student named Jane Sherrill Stroupe. During Lovefeast, students and faculty alike come together in the college's Wait Chapel to enjoy coffee, bun and Christmas carols together. Lovefeast is so popular and beloved that graduated students often travel across stateliness every year to continue to take part in the tradition. For many attendees, it feels like the kick-starter to the Christmas season.

2. Hanging Of The Green

This is a tradition enjoyed by member of the Samford University student and staff body in which they come together each December to partake in a ceremony that asks for reflection on the true and central meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. The name comes from the practice of senior scholarship students hanging pretty greenery down the aisles of the Reid Chapel, and the place becomes a picturesque setting for some traditional worship. Occurring just before the stressful period of finals, many students enjoy the calm before the storm where they can enjoy some spirituality before the stress of education returns.

3. Yule Log

The traditional Yule Log Ceremony at the College of William & Mary gives students an opportunity to relax in a fun and festive way before they head in to finals before breaking up for the holidays. Something of a season mixer, logs burn throughout the area to keep students and faculty warm as they sit back and enjoy beautiful carol singing and a variety of traditional Christmas stories told by willing participants. The most memorable part of the evening is when the president of the college dons a Santa suit and proceeds to read passages from How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

4. Stanford Tree

Though the prestigious Stanford University lacks an official mascot figure, the Stanford Tree comes pretty close! The tree on the college's crest is an evergreen, which doubles up nicely as a Christmas tree, and plenty of students take it upon themselves to turn in to life sized replicas of the tree, complete with tinsel and decorations. Hundreds of students dressed as Christmas trees is a fantastic sight, and the tradition really displays the creativity of the participants, with traditional designs along with a few wacky palm trees every now and then! Dressing up as a tree at Stanford is a sure fire way to put yourself in the history books of the college!

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