December is knocking on the doors! Are you ready for this Holiday month? December is a month that welcomes various holidays and events globally that including cultural, corporate, and religious events. The month is also termed the World of Holidays. While some festivals and events of this month bring exciting celebrations and parties to enjoy. However, some are important spiritually and traditionally that bring frolic and fun by preparing for the traditions.
Are you also eager to learn about the December Global Holidays, their importance, and the traditions attached to them? You are on the right page.
December Global Holidays 2023 List
Here is the list of popular December Global Holidays that are celebrated around the world with immense pleasure and happiness.
Christmas ranks at the top of the list of December global holidays. It is a popular holiday not only the children, but even the adults wait for. Christmas is the festival of faith. It is the chronological celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is both, a cultural celebration and religious connectivity.
Christmas is celebrated in various ways around the world. In December, people in America experience snowfall. And in such weather, they celebrate Christmas by decorating Christmas trees. Along with this, they also dream of snowy landscapes sliding through which Santa Claus is sure to visit their house.
Talking about Australia, in December they experience summers. Hence, people there decorate Christmas Bush with flowers and green leaves, which is a native Australian small tree that turns red in December. People here go on camping or beach trips during Christmas for celebrations. In England, the traditions for celebrating Christmas are similar to that of the U.S. However, kids are found leaving brandy and mince pies for Santa Clause instead of cookies and milk.
When it comes to Iceland, Christmas is celebrated with thirteen Santa Clauses which are called Yule Lads. During this period, Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, enjoys the Christmas market in the form of a winter wonderland. It is believed that one Santa from the thirteen visits the house thirteen days before Christmas. Santa leaves exciting gifts in the window sills where shoes are left.
Hence, no matter wherever you are, Christmas is sure to bring you lots of gifts, grand parties, and above all, lots of faith and trust in God.
Also known as Chanukah, Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration that is celebrated by the Jews for eight days. The festival memorializes the rededication of the Jerusalem temple which is the second Jewish temple after the Maccabean Revolt. The people who witnessed the rededication remember it as a miracle.
As there was untainted oil that would have lasted only for a day. But the candles of Menorah kept on burning for eight days and nights. As per the Hebrew calendar, this Festival of Lights is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev. The festivity continues for eight days and nights continuously. For celebrating the festival, people carry out lighting around the menorah, and every night, a candle is added after sunset. The ninth candle, the Shamash candle is added which is also termed as the helper or the candle that would light other candles.
During the festival, blessings are performed and the people are served traditional Hanukkah festive food like donuts filled with jam, also known as sufganiyot which are fried using oil, and potato pancakes which are known as latkes. Another custom followed during Hanukkah is to exchange gifts with loved ones and play dreidels.
Omisoka is considered to be the Eve of the New Year as per the Japanese traditions. It ranks as the second most important festival and day. It is an essential day as it is the last day of the old year. During Omisoka, families unite for the last time in the ending year and enjoy a traditional feast that is a bowl of Toshi Koshi-udon or Toshi Koshi-soba. The tradition is having a bowl of long noodles before crossing from one year to the coming year. To celebrate the festive, people clean the entire house and purify them for removing the clutter of the last year.
At midnight, many people visit temples or holy shrines for Hatsumode. Amazake is prepared at Shinto shrines for making the crowd movements easy. Large cast bells are struck once at most of the Buddhist temples and each bell is rung for the 108 mortal desires that are believed to be the reason for human suffering.
Kwanzaa is a festival with African roots and it is primarily celebrated in the U.S. Dr. Maulana Karenga created this day and it was first celebrated in 1966 after the Watts riots in California. The word Kwanzaa is taken from the Swahili word Kwanza, and it means first. However, the word is taken from the phrase Matunda ya kwanza in Swahili, and it means first fruits. Kwanzaa is celebrated in a different way in every family, but the main attraction of the festive is dancing and songs. The celebration includes poetry reciting, storytelling, African drums, music and songs, dancing, and lastly, a tasty traditional meal.
The festival is celebrated for seven days and every night during the family gathering, a child from the family lights a candle on the Kinara, after which one of the seven principles or values of African culture converses. On the last day of December that is on the 31st, an African feast is served known as Karamu.
St. Lucia Day
St. Lucia Day is celebrated on the 13th of December every year for paying a tribute to Santa Lucia or St. Lucy, one of the earliest Christian Martyr. Also known as the Festival of Lights, it is widely celebrated in Norway, Sweden, and a certain part of Finland where Swedish is spoken. St. Lucy is seen as a ray of hope and light in the dark. St. Lucia was accused of providing food silently to the Christians who were hiding and living underground in the catacombs in the city of Rome. And later she was also killed for the same reason. St. Lucia Day is celebrated in her memory.
During the festival, young girls dress with traditional wreaths on their heads and walk around with candles. The festival is celebrated in winter and hence it symbolizes light in the middle of dark Nordic Winters. The important day remarks atmospheric processions and concerts, in which famous singers dress in white and wear headdresses that carry flaming candles.
Also known as Yuletide, this is a German festival that is celebrated by the Germanic people globally. The festival is celebrated for paying a tribute to Odin, the Norse God. The festival falls between the 21st of December and the 1st of January. The holiday comes with pagan roots which can be sketched back to the Modraniht Anglo-Saxon festival and Odin, the Norse God. As Yule falls in the winter season, it is among the oldest winter celebrations globally.
The earliest people enjoyed the Yule festival by lighting a huge bonfire and spending the long night outside beside the bonfire. Even today people follow the custom of burning the log, however, some people build a Yule altar, make a perennial Yule wreath, or give it back to Mother Nature. Decorating Yule trees, exchanging gifts based on nature, and having candlelight dinners are essential parts of the festival celebrations.
26th December is marked as the Boxing Day which symbolizes varies globally. Questions are still arising on how Boxing Day came into existence and how can it be celebrated in the best possible way. There are some people who believe that on this official day churches were gifted with offerings boxes to the poor people post-Christmas. While other people consider the day when gifts are given to postmen, errand boys, and other servants for appreciating the services they give the entire year.
No matter whatever the day symbolizes, Boxing Day is sure to be counted among the most memorable holidays that fall in December. The day is counted among the public holidays that are celebrated in various countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. On the day, sports events are organized on this typical day in these countries. In England, on this day, horse races and soccer matches are arranged, while the Bahamas celebrate this day by arranging a street parade and term the day Junkanoo.
Krampusnacht is a festival that is celebrated on the 5th of December every year. The day is celebrated to honor the advent of Krampus, a demonic animation that punishes and terrorizes the children who misbehave. Krampusnacht is a public holiday celebrated in various parts of Europe like Germany, Austria, and many other alpine countries. No matter various people connect the day with merriment, joy, and cheer, the not-so-jolly festive is also termed Krampus Night.
Krampusnacht Night comes with a connection with pagan mythology. Some people believe that Krampus which also means Horned God is a supernatural being from pagan. The main aim of his arrival was the assimilation of the devils in the 11th century. This is often observed in medieval plays. As the festive has a connection with the devils, in the 12th century, the Catholic Church planned to ban the celebrations. But it survived and is still celebrated. During the Krampus evening, men dress themselves as Krampus and run on the streets for frightening the children and even poke them with sticks sometimes. The costume is made using the goat or sheepskin and cowbells are hung on the hips.
World’s AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is celebrated on the first day of December. The day is commemorated in the honor of the people suffering from HIV or AIDS as well as in the memory of those who have lost their lives due to the disease. The main aim of celebrating this day is to encourage the people in getting tested for HIV, and confirm their reports, and medical status. The day was initially conceived by Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn in the year 1987. Both Netter and Burn were public information officers at that time and they worked for the AIDS Global Programme by WHO. The next year they marked 1st December as the first World’s AIDS Day and this continued to be the official date for this public holiday.
During this day, several commemorations are carried out like paying a visit to the destitute orphanage where children are suffering from this disease, supporting safe-sex campaigns, and promoting governments for increasing efforts for curbing the spread of HIV. Apart from this, various preventive strategies and messages are also carried out to reduce the spread of the virus.
Winter Solstice or December Solstice marks the longest and the shortest day on the South and North Hemisphere of the equator. This period can take place on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, or 23rd of December. However, it should be noted that the day rarely falls on the 20th and 23rd of December. The festive is given this name as it indicates the starting of the lengthiest days of the year. As per the traditions, people go door-to-door and sing carols at night, light candles inside paper bags to avoid fire, decorate the outdoors with green plant limbs that hang from the ceiling, and also decorate green trees before they start giving out gifts to their friends and families.
On this day, people light up candles and bonfires for ensnaring the sun back. Apart from this, the main attraction of this period is enjoying the cooling weather. People enjoy it with ice-skating, skiing, and much more. Everyone truly enjoys curling beside the fire. During this period. A noticeable silence is observed in the atmosphere, during which walking on the wood side is quite pleasurable.
St. Stephen’s Day
Saint Stephen’s Day is celebrated on the 26th of December every year. The day is celebrated in the honor of Saint Stephen. St. Stephen was stoned to death on this day after 40 days of propagandizing his people. On this day, Jesus promised that none of Stephen’s followers would die. Again, on the same day, nearly in 1000 AD, Stephen was predestined as the first Christian King of Hungary. As a priest in Roman Catholic in Esztergom. The festival is also popular by the name Feast of Saint Stephen, Constitution Day, Wren Day, and Boxing Day.
During this day, a public holiday is observed in Austria, Alsace-Moselle, Catalonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Hungary, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Denmark, Croatia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, Romania, the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, and many more.
Apart from all these, other public holidays on the list include Festivus, Farmer’s Day, Constitution Day, New Year’s Eve, Las Posadas, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, International Human Solidarity Day, and many more.
December is henceforth not only a month of celebrating finer things. But also a month to celebrate spirituality and faith in the supreme. It is a month that would not only shower lots of gifts to you from your loved ones but will also shower blessings for a bright year ahead.
So, are you prepared to celebrate this month with your savings?