Guide to December Global Holidays. Each year there are at least 68 significant religious holidays honored around the world, Here is the list.
It is likely that you have heard of some of them: Christmas, Diwali, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah, just to name a few. Religion researchers estimate that there are approximately 4,200 religions in the world today, so these 68 holidays barely scratch the surface of the diversity of religions in the world.
Guide To December Global Holidays
Most Popular December Global Holidays in the Planet
Plus, cultural celebrations are a completely different ballgame, so adding those to the list just shows how wildly diverse and rich the world is.
It’s no secret that December is one of the most festive months of the year. Many religious, cultural, corporate, and international events are held during this month.
December is typically associated with global holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Did you know that in addition to these two holidays, there are a number of other holidays that are celebrated worldwide? The purpose of this post is to provide information for those who do not but would like to learn more. Throughout this post, we will discuss the different holidays celebrated in other parts of the world during the month of December. Let us now begin without further ado.
1. Christmas – December Global Holidays
We begin our list of December Global holidays with Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25th. It commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the messiah of Christianity. Throughout the world, Christians celebrate this special day in different ways. People in England and the United States of America, for example, decorate their homes with Christmas trees, exchange gifts, and have family dinners.
However, Christmas celebrations in Australia, which experiences summer when December 25th comes around, are all about people going out for camping trips and heading to the beaches. In Iceland, the winter landscape is similar to parts of the USA and England. However, instead of one Santa, kids in Iceland are treated to thirteen Santas, collectively known as the Yule Lads.
Christmas is Celebrated
Christ’s birth is celebrated historically by Christians as Christmas. Christmas is celebrated around the world for a variety of reasons, whether religious, cultural, or both. As Americans celebrate Christmas with snow and Christmas trees, Australians celebrate in the middle of summer, on the beach, or by the campfire. Christmas Bushes, native Australian trees with green leaves and red flowers, are decorated by some Australians at Christmas.
Some Australian songwriters and authors have occasionally depicted Santa in “Australian”-style clothing including an Akubra hat, with warm-weather clothing and thongs, and riding in a ute pulled by kangaroos.
Christmas traditions in England are similar to those found in the United States, but instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus, children leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas. There are not one, but thirteen Santas in Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik during the Christmas market season. Thirteen days before Christmas, he leaves shoes in window sills with gifts inside, leaving a gift each night. Learn more about how different countries celebrate Christmas.
2. Boxing Day
3. New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is celebrated worldwide to bid goodbye to the year that was and usher in the next. While this December global holiday isn’t a religious holiday, people in many parts of the world celebrate it by visiting their respective places of worship and thanking God for making it through another year.
Across most places throughout the world, the New Year’s Eve celebrations start on the evening of December 31st, when friends and family get together. The celebrations last long into the night, with the peak coming exactly when the clock strikes 12 – signaling the end of one year and the beginning of another.
4. Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 8th: Roman Catholic Church.
A very important day in Catholic education is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8. It is believed that the day commemorates the conception of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, according to a famous theory.
This really refers to the conception of Mary herself. It is not a secret that Mary was brought into the world naturally, but she is considered ‘immaculate’ by Catholics because God interceded on her behalf, relieving her of unique sin.
5. Ancient New Year’s Celebrations
Around 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians celebrated the arrival of a new year with festivities.
For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year.
There was an 11-day religious festival called Akitu that they celebrated the occasion with (derived from the Sumerian word for barley). Each day there were different rituals.
Atiku served as an important political ceremony, when a new king was crowned or when the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed in addition to celebrating the end of the old year.
6. Hanukkah – December Global Holidays
Also known as Chanukah, this Jewish celebration is an eight-day affair and is observed not just in Israel but across various Jewish communities worldwide. The festival commemorates the re-dedication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple and is observed to typically starts on November 28th and end on December 6th. However, the dates may vary depending on the day on the Gregorian calendar that coincides with the 25th day of Kislev (a month on the Hebrew calendar).
The Jewish fraternity typically celebrates this festival by lighting candles and singing songs on all eight evenings. The songs sung are mostly religious and include the Hallel prayer along with Ma’oz Tzur. Eating jam-filled donuts, potato pancakes, and other oil-dried foods is also customary during this festival. Many people also exchange gifts and play with dreidels to celebrate.
7. Santa Lucia
The holiday of Santa Lucia is celebrated mainly in Italy and across Scandinavia on December 13th every year. Santa Lucia holiday is meant to be a tribute to an Italian saint, Santa Lucia, who is remembered for her martyrdom. The holiday in her commemoration symbolizes light during life’s darkest hours.
Celebrations taking place across Italy and Scandinavia typically feature numerous processions and atmospheric concerts. Across these processions and concerts, singers perform wearing white clothes and headdresses that feature flickering candles.
What is Santa Lucia known for?
Lucy, Italian Santa Lucia, (died 304, Syracuse, Sicily; feast day December 13), virgin and martyr who was one of the earliest Christian saints to achieve popularity, having a widespread following before the 5th century.
In addition to being the patron saint of Syracuse (Sicily), she is also the patron saint of virgins.
How do Italians celebrate St Lucia day?
In Nothern Italy, Santa Lucia is celebrated similarly to the Saint Nicholas tradition.
8. Kwanzaa – December Global Holidays
Kwanzaa is a holiday that lasts from December 26th – January 1st and celebrates in the United States to preserve African values. The holiday is a creation of Dr. Maulana Karenga and was first observed in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts riots in and around Los Angeles. The riots saw white Americans clashing with black African-Americans.
The name Kwanzaa was chosen from ‘matunda ya kwanza’ – a Swahili phrase that means ‘the first fruits.’
Traditional African dances and songs are commonly performed by people celebrating Kwanzaa. Other everyday activities include public discussions on African culture’s principles, poetry reading, and storytelling. Every day, the activities and celebrations typically conclude with a large meal consisting of traditional African food. The enormous feast, known as Karamu, coincides with New Year’s Eve.
Did you know? The seven principles or Nguzo Saba are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.
- The seven principles or Nguzo Saba are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.
Unity: Umoja (oo–MO–jah)
- To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah)
- To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah)
- To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah)
- To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH)
- To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah)
- To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee)
- To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
9. World AIDS Day
Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn conceived of World AIDS Day in August 1987. Both Bunn and Netter worked for the WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS as public information officers. Observed for the first time on December 1, 1996, World AIDS Day became a worldwide event.
In addition to spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, World AIDS Day honors those infected or affected by the disease. Observing the day involves visiting destitute children, promoting safe-sex campaigns, and lobbying governments to increase efforts to stop the spread of HIV.
This World AIDS Day, help raise awareness (and life-changing funds) in your university to fight HIV.
10. Yule – December Global Holidays
Date: December 21st to January 1st
The Pagan celebration called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day, an astonishing thing happens in the sky. The earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane.
Did You Know?
- Traditional practices such as the Yule log, the finished tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to the Norse people, who called this festival Jul.
- The Romans marked Saturnalia beginning on Dec. 17, a week-long festival in honour of the god Saturn, that required sacrifices, gift-giving, and feasting.
- A celebration of Ra’s return was celebrated in ancient Egypt, as a way of thanking him for warming the land and crops.
Is Yule the same as Christmas?
Three Kings Day/Epiphany
Date: January 6th
Known as Epiphany or Theophany, Three Kings Day is a Christian feast day that commemorates the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ. The practice had its origins in the Eastern Christian churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It added the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi, all of Jesus’ childhood events, his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist, and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.
Why do we celebrate Three Kings Day?
Known as Three Kings Day, it marks the end of Christmas celebrations, the day the Three Wise Men presented Jesus with gifts.
While this holiday happens a bit before the rest, Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a five-day-long Hindu holiday honoring the life and the victory of good over evil.
Taking place in October or November, each day of Diwali has a different legend it celebrates, but the holiday is filled with fireworks, feasts, and family.
The date of Diwali is determined based on the Hindu lunisolar calendar.
12. Ōmisoka – December Global Holidays
Ōmisoka, New Year’s Eve, is the second-most significant day in Japanese tradition since it marks both the end of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, the official start of the year. In the old year, families get together on Ōmisoka to have toshikoshi-soba or toshikoshi-udon to celebrate the new year by eating long noodles.
Many people go to shrines and temples at midnight for Hatsumōde. As in the case of most Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines prepare amazake to distribute to the crowds, where Shinto shrines strike a bell for every one of the 108 earthly desires believed to cause suffering. Find out more about Ōmisoka here.
13. Bodhi Day
Date: Wednesday, December 8
The Buddhist holiday of December 8th commemorates the day Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment through meditation.
In Sanskrit, Bodhi means awakening or enlightenment. The Buddha is commonly known as Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
Buddhi Day is observed in a calm and quiet manner. The Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths are often discussed by Buddhists as they meditate and pray.
Buddhists often decorate bodhi trees with lights and display Buddha statues around their homes
Here Is a List of all the Holidays and December Global Holidays
- National Pie Day
- National Eat a Red Apple Day
- Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
- Day With(out) Art Day
- Rosa Parks Day
- National Package Protection Day – Wednesday after Thanksgiving
- National Fritters Day
- National Mutt Day
- Special Education Day
- National Roof Over Your Head Day
- Faux Fur Friday – First Friday in December
- National Bartender Day – First Friday in December
- National Cookie Day
- Dice Day
- National Sock Day
- National Rhubarb Vodka Day – First Saturday in December
- Skywarn Recognition Day – First Saturday in December
- National Sacher Torte Day
- Bathtub Party Day
- International Ninja Day
- National Repeal Day
- National Pawnbrokers Day
- Microwave Oven Day
- National Gazpacho Day
- St. Nicholas Day
- Miners’ Day
- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
- Illinois Day
- National Cotton Candy Day
- World Trick Shot Day – First Tuesday in December
- National Brownie Day
- Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day
- National Pastry Day
- Weary Willie Day
- Christmas Card Day
- Dewey Decimal System Day
- National Lager Day
- Human Rights Day
- Nobel Prize Day
- National Salesperson Day – Second Friday in December
- Chanukah Begins – Changes Annually (December 10, 2020
- National App Day
- Noodle Ring Day
- National Ambrosia Day
- National Ding-a-Ling Day
- Gingerbread House Day
- Poinsettia Day
- National Cocoa Day
- Violin Day
- National Day of the Horse (Senate Res. 452)
- Pick A Pathologist Pal Day
- National Guard Birthday
- Bouillabaisse Day
- National Alabama Day
- Monkey Day
- National Cupcake Day
- Bill of Rights Day
- Cat Herders Day
- National Wear Your Pearls Day
- National Chocolate-covered Anything Day
- Barbie and Barney Backlash Day
- National Maple Syrup Day
- Wright Brothers Day
- National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – Third Friday in December
- Underdog Day– Third Friday in December
- National Twin Day
- National Roast Suckling Pig Day
- Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day
- National Wreaths Across America Day – Changes Annually – December 18, 2021
- Hard Candy Day
- National Oatmeal Muffin Day
- National Sangria Day
- Mudd Day
- Crossword Puzzle Day
- Humbug Day
- National Maine Day
- Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day
- Winter Solstice – Day Between December 20 and 23
- National Flashlight Day – Day of Winter Solstice
- French Fried Shrimp Day
- National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day – First Day of Winter
- Yule – Day of Winter Solstice
- Anne & Samantha Day(also June. 20, 2020)
- National Date Nut Bread Day
- Forefathers Day – December 22 (Unless on Sunday, Then Following Monday)
- National Pfeffernusse Day
- National Roots Day
- National Re-Gifting Day – Thursday before Christmas
- National Eggnog Day
- Christmas Eve
- National Pumpkin Pie Day
- A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day
- National Candy Cane Day
- Thank-you Note Day
- National Whiner’s Day
- Boxing Day (Canada)
- National Fruitcake Day
- National Short Film Day
- Chocolate Candy Day
- National Card Playing Day
- Holy Innocents Day
- Pledge of Allegiance Day
- National Pepper Pot Day
- Tick Tock Day
- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
- Falling Needles Family Fest Day
- Bacon Day
- National Champagne Day
- No Interruptions Day – Last Work Day of the Year
- Leap Second Time Adjustment Day(Note: This is listed as an observance title only. Some years scientists do not make adjustments. But, if they do, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31.)
- Make Up Your Mind Day
- New Years Eve
- Universal Hour of Peace
December Global Holidays All Around The World!
Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Kwanzaa are all celebrated during the month of December. In addition to spending time with our families and friends, we engage in our faith and culture, exchange gifts, and eat tasty treats.