Empty Rituals | Teen Ink

Empty Rituals

December 7, 2010
By Ciaran Houston BRONZE, Portland, Oregon
Ciaran Houston BRONZE, Portland, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

To me, traditions are double-edged swords. Sometimes they add significance to a holiday, others take away. There are so many traditions; it’s hard to know which ones are even worth celebrating. This may seem strange, but I suppose they are tradition for a reason. Even as a small child, I wondered what a large rabbit lying eggs and hiding them had to do with Jesus rising. I also wondered how it was possible for a rabbit to lay eggs, but I still went along with it. Who would turn down a free scavenger hunt with guaranteed candy? Regardless of its meaning, people hold on to this tradition. It’s not the tradition that gives the holiday its meaning, rather, the holiday should give meaning to the tradition. People all too often get caught up in the tradition and the excitement of the celebration, and forget about why we were celebrating in the first place. If you asked someone why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, what would be their answer? To get drunk. If you asked a child why we celebrate Christmas, what would be their answer? To get free presents! This is what’s wrong with many of these traditions, and American society in general. People constantly think of themselves. These traditions wouldn’t exist, if it wasn’t for human greed. There is no reason for the Easter Bunny, other than to make money. Greeting card companies make millions of people every year. Even though tradition can often take away from the meaning of holidays, other times, it strengthens it. I am selective when it comes to celebrating traditions. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” If I can find a real meaning behind it, I can continue the tradition. I refuse to fuel the fire of empty rituals.

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