December Global Holidays And Their Symbolism

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Let’s hello to December to say goodbye to the year. It’s one of the most celebrated months of the year with many global festivals and celebrations. From religious to recreational ones, you can find every festive in this month. The majority of people also look forward to the December holidays to catch up with their loving ones.

Get to know about the upcoming events by checking the list of December global celebrations.

Hanukkah

  • Also known by the names: Chanukah, Ḥanukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah
  • Duration: 8 nights & days 
  • Starting from: 28 Nov
  • Ends on: 6 Dec
  • Ends on: 2 Tevet or 3 Tevet
  • Celebrated by: Jewish Community
  • Customs on Hannukah: Exchange of gifts
  • Food: Oil-free food, pancakes and doughnuts

Hannukah is the first December festive, which always starts from the 25th day of Kislev. In 2021 this festival will celebrate from the Sunset of 28 November to the nightfall of 6 December. As part of the festival, candles are lit on a candelabrum with the nine branches usually known as a menorah or sometimes hanukkiah.

Each candle is lit from the top or bottom of one branch, usually positioned above the others. These candles are referred to as shamash candles.  Due to its timing around Christmas, Hanukkah has acquired significant cultural significance in North America.

During this festival, Israel and many Jewish communities celebrate the re-dedication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, followed by the Maccabean Revolt.

Following the lighting of the lights, Hanerot Halalu is sung. Here is its English version.

We kindle these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations.

AIDS Day

  • Designated day: 1 Dec
  • Celebrated by: World Wide
  • Starting from: 1988
  • 2005 to 2010 theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
  • 2014 theme: AIDS-Free Generation.
  • 2012 theme: Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination.”

Since 1988, the first day of December has been designated World AIDS Day. Globally, the red ribbon symbolizes solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS. 

It is an international day, and the whole world works to raise awareness for this AIDS disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) marks World AIDS Day as one of its eleven important official public health campaigns in the world.

The number of people living with HIV worldwide has been estimated at 26.8 million. However, about 28.9 million have died from AIDS. So we can say that HIV is among the most pressing public health issue.

Feast of Immaculate Conception

  • Designated Day: December 8    
  • Other Name: Immaculate Conception Day
  • Celebrated by: Roman Catholic Church
  • Significance: To celebrate the sinless life of Mary
  • Related to: Nativity of Mary

December 8 is a day to commemorate the belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary and her sinless lifetime. In the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, it is most important Marian feasts.

There are a lot of practices and traditions related to the Feast of Immaculate Conception day. It includes the display of grand fireworks, cultural theme dance performances, religious and military processions, delicious food and amazing costumes.

Santa Lucia

  • Designated day: 13th of December
  • Categorized as: Religious Festival
  • Purpose of the festival: to honour Lucia of Syracuse
  • Regions of Celebration: Italy and Norway
  • Religion: Christianity

Every year, people across Italy celebrate the feast day of Santa Lucia on December 13. This day is celebrated in the areas of Sweden, Norway and Swedish-speaking areas of Finland. It’s called the festival of lights in honour of Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucy, more commonly called Saint Lucia, was one of the earliest recorded Christian martyrs. She was persecuted for her faith around 300 C.E. Processions and concerts highlight this occasion, featuring singers wearing white dresses and headdresses with glowing candles.

Yule

  • Designated day: In between 1 December to 1 January (varies)
  • Other Names: Yuletide, Yulefest
  • Type of Festival: Cultural
  • Celebrated by: Various Northern Europeans, Germanic peoples, Neopagans, LaVeyan Satanists

Historically, Yule celebrations have been linked to the Wild Hunt, god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. However, the Germanic people celebrate Yule as an indigenous winter festival. They spent the entire night gathered around a bonfire, igniting a large log and playing games.  

Burning fire is still a practice, and people love this festival and give their loved ones beautiful gifts. Moreover, they enjoy candlelight dinners outside their home and decorate the Yule trees with beautiful lights and other decoration items.

Festivus

  • Designated day: December 23
  • Significance: Against Christmas consumerism
  • Category: Parody
  • Type: Secular
  • Celebrated: In the United States and around the world

Festivus is the fifth December global festive that is highly celebrated around the world. This secular holiday takes place on December 23 as a counterbalance to the commercialization of the Christmas season. This holiday festival has been referred to as a parody of the real thing and playing against consumerism.

 A journalist described it as a 

The perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering

As part of the Festivus meal, there is an “Airing of Grievances.”. Another beautiful practise is that everyone tells others how they have disappointed them throughout the year. In this way, they deal with their inside glitches and move on with pure souls.

In addition, a competition called “Feats of Strength” is held after the meal in which the household head is wrestled to the ground. The holiday ends only if the head is pinned.

Christmas Holiday

  • Designated day: December 25
  • Category: Religious
  • Other names: Noël, Nativity, Xmas
  • Type: Christian, cultural
  • Significance: Nativity of Jesus

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh, hey!

You can consider the Christmas holiday the best and most celebrated festival by the Christian and the non- Christian community. Despite a lack of knowledge about the month and date of Jesus’ birth, the church settled it in the early fourth century on December 25. 

According to the Roman calendar, this corresponds to the winter solstice. On March 25, nine months after Annunciation, is also the time of the spring equinox. 

There are many famous and most loved customs associated with this event. Christmas celebrations include exchanging gifts and cards, enjoying Christmas music, nativity plays, and special meals. With all this the celebrations also include the decoration of Christmas trees with lights and flowers.

The other fantastic custom during the Christmas season is Santa Claus bringing gifts for the children. The little girls and boys wait for their gifts under their pillow or in their rooms at night. This custom is associated with bringing love and hope into their lives.

Saint Stephen’s Day

  • Desi
  • Designated day: 26 December
  • Type: Public Holiday
  • Celebrated: Around the world
  • Significance: Day of Goodwill
  • Other Name: Boxing Day

This December festival is celebrated worldwide as a public holiday in countries including Austria, Bosnia, Catalonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Ireland. There are multiple beliefs about this holiday. Some believe that this day is celebrated the day after Christmastide to honor Saint Stephen. He is a Christian martyr who died in 36 AD.

However, in many countries, it is celebrated as Boxing Day. As this day is celebrated right after Christmas, the money collected in alms in churches during Christmas season is given to the poor. Moreover, people also used to buy gifts for their servants as a sign of appreciation.

Kwanzaa

  • Designated day: December 26 to January 1
  • Celebrated by: African Americans
  • Type: Cultural festive
  • Significance: Celebrate the African heritage and culture

The first Kwanzaa celebrations took place in 1966. It is an African-American cultural festival that occurs annually from December 26 to January 1. On the 6th day of Kwanzaa, the community gathers for a communal feast called Karamu.

Maulana Karenga created this festival by drawing inspiration from harvest festivals from all over Africa, including West Africa and Southeast Africa. In the past, the purpose of this festival was said as to
Give blacks an alternative to the existing holiday of Christmas and give blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.

Traditional African songs and dances are performed during Kwanzaa celebrations. There are also storytelling sessions, poetry readings, and discussions of the fundamental principles of African culture. This is to rise and remind the African cultural values to the world. At the end of each day, the celebrations conclude with a large feast.

New Year Eve

  • Designated day: 31 December
  • Type: International
  • Celebrated: Around the world
  • Significance: Final day of the Gregorian Calendar

Here is the final December festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the month. New Year’s celebrations are among the first to occur in Tonga and the Line Islands, while American Samoa and Baker Island are the last to welcome New Year.

World New Year’s Eve is a festival celebrated by billions of people across the globe. In celebration of New Year’s Eve, we bid farewell to the previous year’s burdens and welcome the new year’s joys. It’s also the perfect time to make promises and new resolutions for the year to come.

Various activities are held to cheer up the end of the year. It includes fireworks, drinks, eating dinners, dancing and attending parties. This celebration starts from the night of 31 December to the New Year’s Day 1 January.

Some of the most famous New Year’s Eve fireworks are done at:

  • Dubai’s Burj Khalifa
  • Edinburgh’s hilly streets
  • London’s River Thames
  • Sydney’s Harbour
  • Paris’ Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe
  • The Las Vegas Strip
  • Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana
  • Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

Other December Holidays Around The World includes

1st of December

  • The national day of UAE

4th of December 

  • Ghana or Farmer’s Day 

6th of December 

  • Constitution Day of Spain 
  • Independence Day of Finland

7th of December 

  • King Bhumibol’s Birthday (Thailand)

10th of December

  • Constitution Day of Thailand

12th of December 

  • The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Mexico)

13th of December 

  • Republic day of Malta

16th of December 

  • Day of Reconciliation of South Africa 
  • Victory Day of Bangladesh 

18th of December

  • National Day of Qatar

24th of December

  • Independence day of Libya
  • Christmas Eve

25th of December

  • Quaid-e-Azam Day (founder of Pakistan)
  • Christmas Day

26th of December

  • Independence and Unity Day in Slovenia
  • International Boxing Day

29th of December

  • Unduvap Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka

30th of December

  • Rizal Day in the Philippines

31st of December

  • New Year’s Eve Global Festival

Final Words

The December festive season comes with a host of global holidays in December to help you end the year on a high note. The winter holidays in December are also the time for students to enjoy and hang out. Let’s prepare yourselves to enjoy the upcoming events. Get ready for these December global holidays events by saving money for gifts, dinners, and parties.

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Daniel Salvatore

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Mars Blogging launched in January 2019. Mars Blogging is an independent website publishing news related to business and major technology developments across the world.

The website also strives to create one of the most comprehensive financial glossaries online.

Mars Blogging is based in United States of America. The company also has offices in Louisiana, United States.

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