Winter holidays in the U.S. [photo gallery]

People wearing red costumes and dancing (© Mary Altaffer/AP Images)
(© Mary Altaffer/AP Images)

Americans of diverse backgrounds celebrate winter holidays with joyful traditions and tunes. Dances like the one above in New York mark the Chinese Lunar New Year, which occurs between mid-January and mid-February with the first new moon of the lunar calendar.

These photographs capture celebratory songs and dances that occur across the United States in the coming months.

Children singing and wearing hats (© Renee C. Byer/AP Images)
(© Renee C. Byer/AP Images)

Children sing during a Hanukkah celebration in Sacramento, California. The eight-day holiday in December commemorates a small band of Jewish fighters’ victory over an invading army that allowed the Jewish people to rededicate their holy temple by lighting its menorah.


Two men wearing holiday caps standing next to man sitting (© David Goldman/AP Images)
(© David Goldman/AP Images)

Malliciah Goodman, left, and Ben Garland of the Atlanta Falcons professional American football team serenade U.S. Army veteran Fernando Zephyrine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta. Christmas, on December 25, honors the birth of Jesus, with gifts, songs and tree-lighting ceremonies.


Man being held up in air by others (© John Locher/AP Images)
(© John Locher/AP Images)

Revelers celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas. Americans commemorate the beginning of the new year with time-honored traditions including special foods, parties, fireworks and midnight kisses.


Woman dancing as other people play music (© Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)
(© Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)

A woman dances to djembe drumming in Boston during Kwanzaa. The seven-day festival, from December 26 to January 1, celebrates African heritage in African-American culture through music, dance, poetry, storytelling and art.


Woman playing drum with sun on horizon (© Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images)
(© Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

A woman drums at a sunrise ceremony celebrating the winter solstice at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. Winter solstice celebrations mark the return of the sun following the longest, darkest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, around December 21 or 22.


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