10 Famous Global December Holidays That Make Winters Vibrant
In many countries, December is the month of happiness and joy for people. Several religions and countries have their festivities this month. December, as you know, is the last month of the year and is very calm and full of pleasure. No other month has as many holidays and festivities as December. Some of these events and holidays are religious, while others are seasonal or specular.
The winter season comes with extreme cold and freezing days and nights in various parts of the world. It usually lasts from December to February. December Global Holidays make winter breaks even more enjoyable. Some holidays are supposed to be tied up for specific countries. But, people across the world celebrate such holidays in honor and respect.
10 Major December Global Holidays You Should Know:
Whenever you hear of the December holidays, Christmas might be the first thing that comes to mind. Christmas is a famous and significant holiday, but it is a religious festival. Apart from this, there are several holidays people usually enjoy. Some of the significant global holidays that take place in December are as follows:
1. World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day takes place on 1st December each year. People from different nations, colors, creeds, and races come together to celebrate this special day. People worldwide show support for people who have AIDS or passed away earlier due to AIDS. Families come over to remember the lives of their loved ones.
World AIDS Day is also hyped so that we can spread awareness among the poor and illiterate people. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are a bit different. During this pandemic, everyone admires the fact that health is wealth. People now believe that poor health can destroy their lives.
COVID-19 showed us how illness is interlinked with other social issues such as gender inequality, human rights, and much more. On this basis, this year, World AIDS Day is themed as “Global Solidarity, shared Responsibility.”
This pandemic has taken so many lives but raised a sense of humanity. People are now ready to help others. Countries that have rivalry are supporting each other. Leaving someone in bad condition is not an option. Standing with everyone in hard times is how we are going to be a prosperous nation. Prioritizing others’ needs and eliminating the human race and discrimination will help us fight such pandemics together.
According to a new report, United Nations AIDS calls states and countries to make more significant investments. Investing in achievable HIV targets can aid in ending the public threat – AIDS by probably 2030.
Global AIDS Day was introduced by two public information officers of the world health organization’s program on AIDS in August 1987. The day demands your presence and complete support. It is one of the crucial days for humanity.
Festivus is one of the secular holidays that fall in December, usually celebrated on December 23. The holiday is meant to uphold the commercialism of Christmas. Festivus is celebrated worldwide but specifically in the United States.
This holiday has also become a day to hark back to endure the comedy of Seinfeld’s show. The global holiday made its mark in popular culture in 1997. It was first introduced in an episode “The Strike” of a TV show named Seinfeld. The media first aired the episode “The Strike” on December 18, 1997.
Every year, Festivus is celebrated to protest against the excitement and the hustle and bustle of the famous holiday season. Besides December 23, some people also celebrate it on other December days. The holiday has become a fun day as many people participate in the “airing of grievances.” It is an occasion to tell your friends and other people about how much you disappointed them in the past year.
A special dinner is also arranged in honor of Festivus. All these rituals are based on the Seinfeld show. Every tradition is followed on a different episode. The very traditional welcoming of Festivus is “Happy Festivus,” and the slogan is “A Festivus for the rest of us!“
Do you find Festivus exciting and want to know more about it? There is a guide mainly designed for the modern generation. The guide contains all the details about Festivus, including all the traditions. The focus is humorous enough to read and enjoy. But, the following are the standard essential components of the event:
- The festive pole
- The airing of grievances
- The Festivus dinner
- The feats of strength
No doubt, Christmas is the most popular global holiday of December. It is a famous religious festivity that is celebrated on December 25. The first time, Christmas was celebrated on December 25, 336, in the reign of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine.
But, the holiday wasn’t made official until 1870. Every year, a global holiday is celebrated in more than 50 countries. Besides Christians, some other religions celebrate this festival, too.
In the past, Christmas was a religious festivity limited to specific religious events. Later, some pre-beliefs and old traditions have been added to it. Thus today, Christmas has vast secular importance.
The occasion takes place in the last week of December. If the Christmas holiday falls on a Sunday, some other day of the week is taken as a holiday sometimes. The celebration is associated with the winter solstice.
Christmas is the happiest occasion for the majority of people. They give and receive a ton of gifts at this festival. Giving gifts is a gesture and a way to express your love towards your friends, family, and loved ones.
Traditions of Christmas:
Christmas has very different and bold traditions, such as mistletoe. A mistletoe is associated with kissing someone of the opposite gender standing or passing under the mistletoe tree. It is because Frigg declared it a symbol of love after her son’s death.
Another tradition is known as Carol Singing. People dance together in a circle in the ancient style of flute music. Carol singing is a chance for some peasants to collect some charity during the event. Christians visit the church for their religious rituals and services on that day.
4. December 26 Is Boxing Day
This special day is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas, South Africa, and Nigeria. The reason is that the holiday originated in England, and these countries were English colonies in the past.
That’s where things get worse. There are various stories of how Boxing Day was named.
One explanation is that the 19th century, December 26, was when the wealthy English slaves took a leave of absence. The workers were given boxes containing Christmas presents and food to take home with their families.
Another historical explanation is that authorities opened a coffin for the poor to collect money after Christmas. Lately, some people thought Boxing Day was a great time to deal with all the boxes and wraps left from the Christmas presents open.
Big sales are launched with Boxing Day a la Black Friday. Friends and families come together to dine and attend sporting events such as horse racing and soccer. They also visit the theater “Pantomimes,” a Christmas drama based on children’s fairy tales with Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty characters.
Boxing Day Activities:
- Give Time To Others
You can spend some time at any organization as a volunteer. For example, donate blood to a local blood bank or make an online donation to your favorite organization. Keep in mind that the spirit of giving does not have to be limited to material things.
- Go For A Walk Or Hike.
Go out and enjoy nature, while other people go shopping. Get some fresh air and enjoy the time with your teammates or friends. So, dress up with your baseball gloves, skateboards, and mountain boots. Grab your soccer balls or basketballs and head outside!
- Have A Boxing Day Party
Invite your friends and have a party after Christmas! Do not let the wind die the next day. Make it a holiday gift shop or a gift-giving party for all those unusual pairs of socks given to your grandmother.
5. New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve celebrations have been around for thousands of years and are the oldest of all holidays. Celebration time has changed according to the accepted calendar. Currently, we follow the Gregorian calendar and celebrate this holiday as the end of the Old Year on December 31. It is a time of hope for new and beautiful things to come!
- Exit with “Old” and sign in with “New.” It symbolizes a new beginning.
- Dip, dip, and lots of drops! Who are the bit Smokies?
- Say “Happy New Year” as the clock strikes midnight!
- Watch the ball go down in the New York Times Square and count down in seconds.
- Stay home wearing pajamas with the family and watch Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, or any favorite movie runner.
- Many teams, teams, and teams! Which group would you prefer?
- Drinking and overeating! It is forbidden to use healthy eating habits.
- “Champagne Toasting” midnight to ring in the New Year.
- Hats, masks, glasses, and noise are there at evening parties.
- The end-of-the-top diet starts at Halloween and ends with your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight.
Name your loved ones and especially your loved ones. Kiss everyone in the room, and don’t forget to do it. Failing to kiss your partner is thought to be bringing a cold year.
Explosives are being shown all over the world. Sydney, New York, and Seattle on Space Needle, a few best shows! Celebrate and enjoy with your favorite friends. Imagine what New Year’s resolutions you will embrace next year.
New Year’s Day Decisions and Traditions:
Although the festival varies worldwide, traditional customs include: Making decisions or goals to improve a person’s health.
Everyday decisions regarding health, workouts, little infractions, and some other matters relating to personal well-being are every day. Generally, the first day of the year is associated with a cleaning slate to improve everyone’s health and spread awareness.
The New Year party is what everyone waits for. The party does not involve casual dinners but concerts, dancing, drinking, and whatnot. People confess their love, give away flowers, drink champagne together, and do much more.
London’s New Year Parade and Rose Parade in Pasadena, California are some of the famous world fairs. According to the very famous myth, food and guests bring good luck and joy.
The event mainly includes round-shaped foods, associated with cycles. The main cause for the myth is that the first day sets the pattern for the following days. The famous New Year’s Eve myth about the earliest guest to enter the door is— the rule is set as if a person who is tall and has dark shaded hair enters firstly, he is named as “First Footer” or “Lucky Bird” that will bring good luck.
Each year, Yule marks the beginning of Winter Solstice and is a holiday that many celebrate worldwide. It will start on Monday, December 21, 2020, and end on Friday, January 1, 2021.
Although it has changed its meaning over the centuries, the name of Yule is a remnant of the national holiday. It was obscured by the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Yule is a famous 12-day festival celebrated by the German people during the winter evenings in December and January. By the 900s, the Yule had already drawn on a map of the Christian Christmas festivities and surrounding festivals.
Today, western Christmas festivities have become a mixture of characters, customs, and symbols dedicated to celebrating the Christian holiday. The Yule coincides with the celebration of Jesus’ birth in a twelve-day feast, sometimes called an epiphany or birthday celebration.
The festival intends to coincide with the pagan holiday, the Sol Invictus festival, which celebrates the winter solstice and the gradual expansion of the sun. In time, these festivals became part of the holiday celebration that we now know as Christmas.
In modern parlance, Yule is simply a celebration of the birth of Christ, and Yuletide is a Christmas season. Many parts of the story celebrate Jesus’ birth during the Yule season, but the remnants of the original feasts and festivals also come from many of our modern Christmas traditions.
Kwanzaa, an annual holiday that affirms African and social family values celebrated primarily in the United States from December 26 to January 1. The name and the celebration were designed in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies at California State University in Long Beach and an essential person in Afrocentrism.
Karenga borrowed the word Kwanza, meaning “first,” from the Swahili word fruits Ya Kwanza, adding the seventh letter, an additional letter A, so that the term would be long enough to accommodate one of the seven children present for the morning party. (The name Kwanzaa is not in Swahili.)
The concept of Kwanzaa draws attention to South Africa’s first-fruit festival. It is celebrated from Wednesday, December 26, 2021, to Saturday, January 1, 2022.
Although Kwanzaa is primarily an African American holiday, it will soon be celebrated outside the United States, especially in the Caribbean and other countries where many African descendants are. It was named a non-political and non-religious holiday, and it is not considered a substitute for Christmas.
8. Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia’s Day (known as the festival of lights) is particularly celebrated in countries like Norway, Sweden, and some places of Finland on December 13 in honor of St. Lucia (St. Lucy). In 304 CE, Romans killed Santa Lucia, and later he was one of the early Christian martyrs. He was hung due to the religious beliefs of the Romans. In his memory, Santa Lucia’s Day will be celebrated on Monday, December 13 this year.
All the cities of Scandinavian countries select their own Santa Lucia. The ceremony starts with a march that is conducted by a Santa Lucia nominee form, some modern girls wearing white costumes and bright necklaces, and boys in white pajamas singing cultural songs.
The event is the sign that Christmas days are coming soon. The purpose of the event Santa Lucia is to escort longings and gleams during the duskiest time of the year.
Schools usually get closed earlier in the noon on the festival day so that people can be ready for the holiday. Families celebrate St. Mary’s Day. Lucia in its houses by making one of its daughters (traditionally old) dressed in white and serving coffee with baked food items like ginger biscuits and lussekatter (saffron bread) to other family members. This traditional food is also served to guests during the whole day.
Hanukkah is a religious holiday celebrated by Israelis and some Jewish communities around the world. It is different from other festivals as it is not a single-day festivity but an occasion of 8 days. The event usually falls between November 28 and December 6. It is a Georgian festival and starts every year according to the Georgian calendar.
The festival commemorates in memory the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem. The celebrators lit candles on each day of the occasion. Lighting candles was not a mentioned tradition in the book of Maccabees but became popular later.
Traditions of Hanukkah:
- The Hanukkah festival contributes a mixture of religious and non-religious forms.
- The most famous and most important of all traditions is the menorah – a lamp lightened every evening. The menorah is sometimes also known as the Hanukkah lamp. Older people used olive oil to light the menorah, but candles later replaced it.
- After lighting the menorah, every other candle is lit by it. A Shammash candle is used to light the other eight candles on the last evening of the Hanukkah festival.
- The festival also includes offering prayers, giving away alms, reciting some psalms, and al ha-Nissim (for the miracles) prayer.
- The word Hanukkah means education in Hebrew. Thus, Jewish teachers and instructors educate their youngsters about how they are going to keep celebrating Hanukkah.
- Some memorable traditional songs are an essential component of the event. People also play with dreidels, exchanges gifts, and arrange special dinners. The culture includes eating oil-dried foods like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts).
Krampusnacht is an ancient Christmas tradition celebrated in some parts of Europe and Germany. The holiday feels more like a Halloween, celebrated on December 5. Usually, men wear Krampus costumes, run here and there in the streets, and frighten children.
The Krampus costume is made of wooden face masks and sheep or goat skin suits. In old times, the outfit used to be heavy and expensive. But now, it is generally made of cloth and masks with plastic. The men dressed as Krampus drink excessive alcohol and intimidate children. Some men even hit the kids with sticks and take them away – somewhere underground and unknown.
St. Nicholas and Krampus work together as a team. St. Nicholas is responsible for rewarding the friendly and good children, while Krampus punishes the rogue kids.
No one knows the origin of Krampus and the purpose of their terrorism. But, some scholars interpreted that the tradition has been followed for centuries now and is a pre-Christmas occasion. In some areas of the United States like Philadelphia and Seattle, the Krampus parade is held and is a sign of the beginning of the Christmas season.
Krampusnacht is now celebrated in so many places worldwide but is most prevalent in the United States. Every year, a tournament of Krampus is held and known as “the annual national Krampusnacht.”
There is a wide range of Global December Holidays, but the above-discussed ones are the most famous and celebrated universally. In comparison, others are limited to a few countries and states.
Winters are usually romanticized and associated with pure feelings of love. And, this is one of the reasons that most of the enchanted events take place between December and February.
December is not only restricted to these particular holidays. However, it is the last month of the year and the best time to conclude your year’s achievements. It is the month to treat yourself. Plan your goals and aims for the coming year. Start saving your money for worthy events and global holidays coming up in December.
Nevertheless, if your country does not celebrate such holidays but wants to experience them, you can travel to the United States or United Nations. You can also plan your holidays with your friends or family during winter break. It can be a new and different experience for all of you.