December is the time for holiday cheer and festive celebrations, so what better way to get into the spirit than by learning about some of the most popular December holidays and celebrations from around the world?
Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the United States, as well as in a number of other countries. On December 25th, billions of people around the world celebrate with festive decorations, gift exchanges, and special meals. Traditionally, Christmas is a time for family gatherings and church services in which the story of Jesus’ birth is remembered.
Hanukkah is an eight-day festival celebrated by Jewish people all over the world. It commemorates the successful military campaign of the Maccabees against the Syrian-Greeks in 165 BC, and is celebrated by exchanging gifts, feasting, playing special games, and lighting traditional oil candles.
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that takes place from December 26th to January 1st. It celebrates African culture and heritage by honoring the seven core principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
St. Lucia’s Day
St. Lucia’s day is a Swedish holiday in which a young girl is chosen to dress in white with a wreath of lit candles on her head. She is accompanied by several girls dressed in black and together they deliver gifts to family members. This holiday is celebrated on December 13th.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated around the world. It occurs in late October or early November but is often celebrated throughout December. Diwali is a five-day celebration that includes lighting oil lamps, exchanging gifts and sweets, as well as honoring Rama and Sita for their return from exile.
These are just a few of the many December holidays and celebrations from around the world. No matter how you choose to celebrate, December provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect on our blessings and come together with friends and family in celebration.