December 2022 – The Month of Festivities

December is considered the most joyful month. It is often known as the “World of Holidays.” These winter Holidays, also called December global holidays, are packed with parties and festivals, some of which are traditional and religious and others purely for fun and enjoyment.

December global holidays are all about lights, sweets, snow, and good times. For some, it is the perfect month to spend time with friends and family, and for others, it is the time for joy, hope, and many celebrations. Whatever the reason, the December Global Holidays will bring pleasure, happiness, and a lot of good food.

Because of the emotion that everyone experiences around this time, the month of December is also synonymous with happiness. People are friendlier, the air is filled with laughter, and you can see people sharing gifts all around you. And thus, people are naturally happier in this environment because their surroundings inspire them to feel good about themselves and others.

This article discusses some of the joyous December global holidays celebrated worldwide. These Holidays are broken down according to what they symbolize and the month in which they occur. However, some dates may vary from year to year. Now let’s look at these merry holidays that smile on everyone’s faces.

1. Christmas:

Christmas is celebrated on December 25, an essential part of the December global holidays. It is a Christian festival that marks the birth of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe to be a saint and the son of God who God sent to save humanity from sin. This important day is celebrated by spending time with friends and family. It is the most cheerful time of the year as people gather together to rejoice, eat festive food, and exchange gifts. Children enthusiastically wait for receiving gifts from Santa Claus or Father Christmas, who arrives on a reindeer from the sky. On Christmas Day, many people also attend Church services.

Everyone celebrates Christmas uniquely, yet it all ends in joy and excitement. While Christmas in the United States is usually marked by Christmas trees, visits from Santa Claus, and views of snowy landscapes, Christmas in Australia occurs during the summer, and it is common to go camping or to the beach for a holiday. They decorate a “Christmas Bush,” an Australian natural tree with tiny green leaves and scarlet blossoms. Christmas customs in England are similar to those in the United States, but children leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas instead of milk and cookies. What differentiates Christmas from most religious celebrations is that it is widely celebrated even by non-Christians.

It’s a beautiful time to take a break from your routine and spend some quality time with your loved ones. Many countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have a national holiday on Christmas.

2. Hannukah:

Hanukkah is a major Jewish festival celebrated across the world in December. This holiday is an eight-day celebration that begins on November 28 and ends on December 6. The festival first started in Israel. The story behind it is that while fighting the Greeks, Jews discovered a little jug of oil that was thought to last only one day. But instead, it lasted for eight days. As a result, Hanukkah is celebrated as a commemoration of the miracle. It symbolizes the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks in reclaiming Jerusalem’s temple. It is also called Chanukah, which means “dedication,” as it marks the rededication of Jerusalem’s Temple. Other names for Hanukkah include Feast of Dedication, Celebration of Lights, Feast of the Maccabees, and Jewish festivals.

The lighting of a Hanukkah menorah is the most popular custom of Hanukkah. These menorahs may be found in the homes of many Jewish households. Menorahs are lit with a primary candle first, and that candle is then used to light an additional candle for each night, with Judaic blessings recited before and during the ritual. The singing of unique songs, such as Ma’oz Tzur, and the recitation of the Hallel prayer, are other traditions of Hannukah. People also enjoy Hanukkah specialties such as potato pancakes (also known as latkes) and jelly doughnuts (also known as sufganiyot). The celebrants also exchange presents and play with dreidels.

· World Aids Day:

Worlds AIDS Day is a health-related holiday celebrated on December 1. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter were the first to celebrate this day in August 1987. Thomas Netter and Boone Boone and Neta were working for the World Health Organization’s Global AIDS Program as public information officers at the time. The first World AIDS Day celebration was observed the following year on December 1, which is still the official holiday date across the world.

The purpose of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and remember people who the illness has impacted. A few ways to honor this day can be meeting orphans and vulnerable children with illness, funding safe-sex initiatives, petitioning the government to take steps, etc.

3. Kwanzaa:

Kwanzaa is an African-American festival that honors the heritage and culture of African Americans. It is observed for seven days, from December 26 to January 1.

Dr. Maulana Karenga founded Kwanzaa in 1966 due to the Watts riots in Los Angeles. During the movement for African-American civil rights in the United States, Maulana Karenga organized Kwanzaa as an alternative to traditional Christmas celebrations to educate people about African-American hardships and their rich cultural history. He also established a cultural group In America and began researching the African “first fruit” (harvest) program. He built Kwanzaa’s basis by integrating elements of several harvest rituals. Therefore Kwanzaa ties together African harvest practices and African-American social history. As a result, Kwanzaa aimed to give a chance for the African-American community to celebrate its rich history and customs.

The word Kwanzaa originates from the Swahili term “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruit.” The second “a” was added to make the name seven letters long, which matches the seven Kwanzaa principles and seven days of Kwanzaa. The seven principles are Unity, Collective Responsibility, Self-Determination, Creativity, Purpose, Cooperative Economics, and Faith. These are also called Nguzo Saba, which translates to “the seven principles that guide Kwanzaa celebrations.”

Songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry readings, wearing traditional African dress, reciting traditional African poetry and songs, playing traditional African instruments, and an enormous traditional feast are all common elements of Kwanzaa celebrations. Families and friends meet for mealtime on each of the seven nights. Each individual passes a unity cup saying something good about the African-American community. The kinara’s seven candles are then lighted for one of the seven principles. Then the seven African cultural principles are discussed. As the family comes together to celebrate their heritage, everyone talks and dances. Additionally,  An African feast known as Karmu is organized on December 31.

Thus, Kwanzaa is a major cultural festival among the African-American community in the United States.

4. Boxing Day:

Boxing Day is held on December 26, the day following Christmas, and is marked by distributing food and money to servants and the poor. The holiday began in the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom as a day for providing presents and aid to people in need. It was the day when collecting boxes for the needy were frequently put in churches and their contents distributed, as well as the day when servants were usually granted time off to spend with their family over the Christmas season. Many Commonwealth countries and regions once part of the British Empire, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, still celebrate Boxing Day today.

Though the exact roots of the word are unknown, it is often assumed that Boxing Day was when the lower classes and those in need of aid might expect to get their own Christmas box. This day honors service and pays tribute to those who work for you, such as postmen, laborers, guards, cooks, etc. They are also given thank-you letters, presents, and awards. This day is also celebrated by giving to charities, shopping sales, organizing races and sports events, and other social service programs.

Football events and racing are common on Boxing Day in England. The Bahamas have a street parade and a festival called Junkanoo to commemorate Boxing Day.

5. Yule:

Yule is a traditional winter festival that is 12 days long as it takes place from December 21 to January 1. Yule, often known as Yuletide, is a German celebration enjoyed all over the world. The event has pagan origins, including links to the Norse God Odin and the Anglo-Saxon Feast of Mdraniht. Like many other pagan customs, Yule coincides with important astronomical occasions, in this instance, the winter solstice. It is the darkest and longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. As it coincides with the winter solstice, Yuletide is one of the oldest and most prominent winter holidays around the globe.

The ancients marked Yule by lighting a massive log on fire and spending long nights outside. Although burning logs is still practiced today, most people celebrate Yule by creating a Yule altar, producing an evergreen Yule wreath, or returning it to Mother Nature.

Caroling house to house after dark, lighting candles, hanging evergreen plants inside one’s home, setting up a decorated tree, and giving gifts to family and friends are other Yule traditions and customs. In addition, evergreen plants, holly, and ivy decorated the home, representing life; holly by the door invited good fortune into the home, and hanging mistletoe are all considered sacred and mystical Yule rituals and traditions. These practices have been so ingrained in Christmas celebrations through the years that Yuletide has become almost synonymous with Christmas.

Yule celebrations are held in Germany and Scandinavia today. However, many of the ancient pagan traditions have been forgotten.

6. Santa Lucia’s Day:

Santa Lucia also named the festival of lights, is celebrated on December 13 to pay tribute to Lucia of Syracuse. Santa Lucia was a martyred saint from Italy. She was assassinated after being suspected of quietly supplying food and help to Christians who were being tortured during the time of tyranny and hiding in the catacombs’ mazes under Rome. She is seen as the symbol of light in the darkest month of the year. This winter celebration represents light and hope amid long, gloomy Nordic winters.

According to another story, she had resolved to devote her life to the service of Christ. On the other hand, her mother arranged for her to marry a pagan. Lucia turned down her would-be spouse, and he went to the authorities to report her. They tried to entice her into working as a prostitute in a brothel. On the other hand, the guards couldn’t move her since she was as rigid and heavy as a mountain. She was tortured, set on fire, and murdered as a consequence.

This important day is celebrated with beautiful performances and processions. The singers wear white costumes and headdresses with real-life candles to symbolize Saint Lucia, who used a candle-lit wreath to light her journey, leaving her hands free to carry food.   Giving children gift baskets, including traditional St. Lucia’s Day products like candles, sweets, and fruits is a popular way to honor the day. Many people participate in the Christmas celebrations, including singing Christmas songs and sharing gifts.

Saint Lucia is celebrated in Sweden by young girls wearing white dresses with bright red ribbons and a wreath of candles around their heads (today, the candles are battery operated). The eldest girl brings the parents a platter of saffron buns and coffee or tea. Boys also wear white and white pointed caps with stars on them. They’re known as the Star Boys. There are several pageants, and one girl is chosen as the “Lucia Bride. She leads the pageant while the other youngsters follow after her.

St. Lucia Day is observed throughout northern Italy in the same way as St. Nicholas Day. St. Lucia arrives in town with a donkey and Castaldo, her attendant. Coffee is left for Lucia, flour for the donkey, and bread for Castaldo by the children. In exchange, St. Lucia leaves presents. A week-long event is held in Siracusa, with celebrations, fireworks, sweets, and a pledge not to consume pasta or bread.

St Lucia is also known as Lussinatten in Norway. It was prohibited for work to be done on the year’s shortest night. Lussi, a dreaded enchantress, punished anyone who dared to work. On this night, according to mythology, farm animals conversed with one another.

St. Lucia’s Day is mainly observed in Scandinavia, where the winters are long and gloomy. It is also widely observed in Sweden, Norway, Italy, and Finland’s Swedish-speaking regions.

7. Festivus:

Festivus is a mock celebration that takes place on December 23 to protest Christmas consumerism. It is a December global holiday that gained popularity in 1997 due to a Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike.” The purpose of this holiday is to create awareness about Christmas materialism. Rather than purchasing a costly Christmas tree, Festivus is commemorated by gathering around an unadorned aluminum pole.

Some researchers have labeled Festivus supporters as traditional rebels who have an illogical view of Christmas and its genuine significance. However, the holiday’s popularity continues to rise, particularly among frugal spenders and minimalists.

8. Bodhi Day:

In Japan, Bodhi Day is observed on December 8. Its Chinese version is known as the Laba Festival, and it takes place on the eighth day of the Chinese calendar’s twelfth lunar month (which falls on December or January, but usually January). Sambuddhatva Jayanthi, or “the Awakening of Sambuddha,” is another name for this glorious day of enlightenment.

This day honors the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha Shakyamuni after his first taste of freedom.   This day honors his spiritual awakening and accomplishments. According to legend, Siddhartha had just abandoned years of intense practices. He intended to sit beneath a peepal tree and ponder until he discovered the core of sorrow and how to free oneself from it.

Among the important December global holidays, this event has grown popular in various nations as an alternative New Year celebration, especially among Buddhists. For Buddhists, this is the most important day of the year. It marks their Buddha’s death and the achievement of his highest insight into spiritual truth.

9. New Year’s Eve:

New Year’s Eve is celebrated on31st of December. The last December global holiday occurs on the last day of the month. The objective of the New Year’s Eve celebration is to mark the end of the year and the start of the new one.

This day can be celebrated in a variety of ways. The majority of Christians go to their houses of worship to thank God for another year’s blessings. Others party in clubs, restaurants, and other social settings to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The celebrations generally reach their peak at midnight, when the air is filled with happy slogans, music, fireworks, and a countdown for the New Year to begin.

Other common New Year’s Eve activities include attending parties, eating unique dishes, and writing New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s Eve, the year’s final day in the Gregorian calendar before the New Year, is one of the most significant December holidays. People all across the world celebrate New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the previous year and welcome the new one. It is not a religious holiday. Therefore, it is celebrated by people of all religions in all the countries of the world.

10. Ōmisoka:

Ōmisoka is a traditional Japanese New Year’s festival conducted on the last day of the year. As it is the last day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, it is considered the most important day of the year. It is regarded as the second-most important day in Japanese custom.   Ōmisoka has occurred every year on December 31 since Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar. It is common for individuals to make a point of finishing tasks from the previous year to be able to start over and as a way of recognizing the passing of one year into the next.

It is a time for family to get together and rejoice over a bowl of long noodles. Toshi Koshi-soba and Toshi Koshi-udon are two types of long noodles that symbolize the transition from one year to the next. Many people go to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple at midnight. Hatsumde – the first temple visit of the year – is the Japanese term for this custom. Most Buddhist temples have large bells that are struck once for each of the 108 earthly desires believed to cause human suffering. Shinto shrines also prepare amazake to hand out to crowds.

Other Ōmisoka rituals include housecleaning, rituals to ward off evil spirits, and customary baths to help people relax as the New Year approaches.

Conclusion:

These are some of the most significant December global holidays you should keep in mind. December is a month of festivities, and these holidays will surely light up the last month of the year. These December Global Holidays provide people with the opportunity to meet their family and friends and get in touch with their rich heritage and customs. This article will provide you will all the information you need regarding this month of celebrating. So get your calendars ready and enjoy this fun and exciting month ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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