December is a month that is filled with holidays and celebrations around the world. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, there are many different cultural and religious traditions that take place during this time of year. In this article, we will explore some of the most notable December holidays celebrated around the globe.
Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays around the world, with more than two billion people observing the holiday in some form. The holiday is rooted in Christianity, and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. However, it has become a cultural holiday as well, with many non-religious individuals participating in the festivities.
Christmas is typically celebrated on December 25th, although some Orthodox Christians celebrate on January 7th. The holiday is marked by a variety of traditions, including the exchanging of gifts, the decoration of Christmas trees, and the singing of carols. In many countries, Christmas is a public holiday, and schools and businesses may be closed.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated for eight days and nights, usually falling in late November or December. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt, and celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days when there was only enough oil for one day.
During Hanukkah, Jews light candles on a menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum. Each night, an additional candle is lit, until all eight candles are burning on the final night of the holiday. Families also exchange gifts and eat traditional foods like latkes and jelly doughnuts.
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that honors African heritage and culture. The holiday was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of African-American studies, and is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st.
Kwanzaa is marked by the lighting of seven candles on a kinara, or candleholder, representing the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Families also gather for meals, dance and music performances, and gift-giving.
Boxing Day is a public holiday that is celebrated in many Commonwealth countries on December 26th. The holiday originated in the UK and was traditionally a day when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts from their employers.
Today, Boxing Day is often associated with shopping and sales, as many retailers offer deep discounts and promotions. However, it is still a day of relaxation and family gatherings for many people.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is a global celebration that marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. The holiday is celebrated on December 31st, with fireworks, parties, and other festivities taking place around the world.
In many countries, New Year’s Eve is a public holiday, and people may have the day off work or school. Many cultures also have traditions associated with the holiday, such as the dropping of the ball in New York City’s Times Square or the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” in Scotland.
December is a month that is rich with cultural and religious celebrations around the world. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, there are many traditions and customs that make this time of year special for people of all backgrounds. Whether it’s gathering with family and friends, giving gifts, or reflecting on the year that has passed, December holidays provide opportunities for joy, reflection, and connection.