Holiday Events at Illinois Wesleyan

Nov. 20, 2013                                   
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The holiday season is right around the corner, and Illinois Wesleyan University has several events planned to put the community in the spirit of cheer. No matter what tradition your family celebrates in the winter months, everyone can enjoy the togetherness IWU promotes all year round.            

The Hanukkah Dinner, which will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Memorial Center, Turfler Room (104 University St., Bloomington), will kick off the season’s events. The dinner, sponsored by IWU Hillel, commemorates the recapture of the Jewish temple from the Syrians in 165 BCE by a Jewish group called the Maccabees. The Maccabees rededicated their temple to God, but only had enough oil to light the temple lamps for one night. The oil lasted for eight days, allowing the Maccabees to prepare more oil. Every year, Jewish families celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah by lighting one candle on the menorah, a particular kind of candelabra, each night and by exchanging gifts.            

“A Messiah Sing-A-Long” will be held in Evelyn Chapel (1301 Park St., Bloomington) on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.  Conductor of the University Choir Jonathan Green, provost and dean of faculty, and organist Susan Klotzbach will assist student musicians in leading the song service. The event is part of the “First Wednesday” Chapel Series and will include a lunch following the program with discussion about the enduring cultural and spiritual impact of Handel’s Messiah.    

On Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Center, Turfler Room (104 University St., Bloomington), the Black Student Union invites the campus community to take part in the Kwanzaa Dinner. Celebrated each year from December 26 to January 1, Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday with origins in the first harvest celebrations of Africa. In Swahili, the most widely spoken African language, Kwanzaa means “first fruits.” This holiday celebrates family community and culture through “The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa,” which translate in English to unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.  

The School of Music will give a Christmas Choral Concert on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3-4:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church (704 N. Main St., Bloomington). General admission for the concert is $10, $5 for alumni and senior citizens and $2 for students.    

Evelyn Chapel’s second annual “Light the Night: A Multicultural Celebration of the Season of Light” service will be held Sunday, Dec. 8 from 8 -10 p.m. This program, which features stories, music and traditions of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more, is designed to bring people from different backgrounds together for one communal holiday celebration. Following the service, attendees are invited to walk by candlelight to the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington), atrium for hot cocoa and cookies. The event, sponsored by Evelyn Chapel and the Multifaith Ambassadors, is free and open to the public.

For additional information regarding the holiday events, contact Sherry Wallace, director for news and media relations at (309)-556-3181.

Contact: Sherry Wallace, (309) 556-3181