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December Global Holidays: Complete list and History in 2022

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December the last month of the year, is the time for stock taking, optimism, hope, and a lot of celebrations as people spend time with friends and family. December happens to be the best month for many as it is all about events, holidays, cookies, snow and happy times for them and by far the most popular month for travel.

List of December Global Holidays

This article throws light on notable December global holidays and a brief on them.

Hanukkah November- 28th – December 6th)

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday during which Jews gather with family and friends to share delicious feasts (potato pancakes) and jelly doughnuts in 21 countries including Israel. 

The Triumph of the Jews over the Syrian Greeks in reclaiming Jerusalem’s temple is the reason for celebration.

The holiday originated in Israel, and the myth goes that while fighting the Greeks, Jews discovered a little jug of oil that was supposed to last one day. But, miraculously, it lasted for eight days instead! Hence, Hanukkah.

World AIDS day- December 1st

World AIDS Day is commemorated to raise global awareness and to show support for those living with HIV/AIDS as well as remember all of those who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses. The day is to encourage people around to get tested for HIV and confirm their reports and status. It’s also a time to promote prevention messages and discuss ways to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. 

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Krampusnacht- December 5th

Krampusnacht is a festival commemorating the arrival of Krampus, a demonic creature who punishes and terrorises misbehaving children. At the beginning of December, Krampusnacht is celebrated in parts of Europe (Austria, Germany, and other alpine countries) with parties or parades where people enjoy delicious snacks, drinks, and music. A gang of young guys dressed as scary creatures may walk door-to-door scaring youngsters in some communities; however, this may vary from town to town.

Bodhi Day- December 8th

Bodhi Day commemorates Siddhartha Gautama’s enlightenment and subsequent transformation into the Buddha Shakyamuni. In some countries, such as Japan, the holiday has grown in popularity as an alternative New Year’s celebration, particularly among Buddhists. Bodhi Day, the Buddhists’ main day of observation, is commemorated by faith communities all around the world. It commemorates Buddha’s death and the achievement of his highest spiritual understanding. Sambuddhatva Jayanthi, or ‘the birthday or awakening of Sambuddha,’ is another name for this wonderful day of wisdom. The Buddha’s enlightenment is regarded as a watershed moment in humanity’s history.

Feast of the Immaculate- December 8th

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception honours the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was sinless. Catholics believe that Mary was given to us by God as our mother, and they commemorate her birthday on December 8th every year. To thank or ask for help, Catholics say a particular prayer known as a “novena,” which is said nine times in a row. Argentina, the United States, Brazil, the Philippines, Spain, Portugal, and a number of other Catholic countries all participate in this event.

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Human Rights Day- December 10th

On this day, the world commemorates the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This document lists a set of fundamental rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender. The United Nations hosts an event every year on Human Rights Day to commemorate the passage of the declaration and to review progress made in the fight to defend human rights. The right to life, liberty, freedom from slavery, and many other human rights are inscribed in the UDHR.

St. Lucia’s Day- December 13th

The sight of a bright star in the sky, which brought the three Kings to Bethlehem to greet the newborn baby Jesus, is commemorated on St. Lucia’s Day. In Sweden and Norway, one popular method to commemorate the day is to give children gift baskets containing candles, cookies, and fruits. Many individuals also sing Christmas carols and exchange gifts to mark the occasion. Wearing a wreath of candles on your head is another popular St. Lucia’s Day tradition. Saint Lucia is also said to have brought food and aid to Christians who were being persecuted during the persecution period.

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Las Posadas- December 16th – 24th

Las Posadas, a Christmas tradition, commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s and Joseph’s perilous journey. Mary and Joseph were rumoured to be looking for a place to stay so Mary could give birth to Jesus, but no one would let them in. After a long flight, the shelter was established, and Las Posadas is commemorated to honour that moment of hospitality. Friends and families sing traditional melodies as they joyfully walk from one house to another in Mexico and other regions of the United States in search of shelter. Food and refreshments are usually provided by the residents of the residences.

International Human Solidarity Day- December 20th

The International Red Cross was founded in 1863, and today is marked as International Human Solidarity Day. The day also honours the International Red Cross’s founding ideals of humanism, impartiality, neutrality, and independence. Human solidarity is the global recognition that we are all one people with responsibilities to one another. This principle is celebrated on International Human Solidarity Day, which urges everyone to consider how they may promote human solidarity in their own lives. This significant day in the December global celebrations of 2021 and 2022 serves as a reminder that we are all connected and should do our best.

Winter Solstice- December 21st 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice celebrates the shortest day and longest night of the year (Antarctica). The winter solstice is named after the moment when the days begin to grow longer again. This happens every year around the same time. Carolling house to house after dark, candles in paper bags (to avoid fires), hanging evergreen plant boughs inside one’s home, putting up a decorated evergreen tree, and distributing gifts to family and friends are all popular festive activities.

Christmas Eve- December 24th

The one thing that all of us have in common is that our world was dark before we got light: Jesus came to Earth. People joyfully celebrate this glorious eve of Christmas as a tribute to Jesus, who brought hope and joy to the world. Some people attend church or spend time with their family on this auspicious day, while others celebrate and reunite with their friends. On this day, special foods such as ham and cookies are made. 

Christmas- December 25th

Christmas, being the most prominent aspect of the December global celebrations, is observed for a variety of reasons. The birth of Jesus Christ, who was considered a saint and the son of God by Christians, is the most prevalent cause. Another reason to commemorate this particular day is to reunite with friends and family and spend time with them. This is the most joyous time of the year when people gather to rejoice, eat delicious food, and exchange gifts. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to take a break from your daily routine and spend quality time with the people you care about.

Boxing Day- December 26th 

Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated by giving boxes of food, gifts and money to servants and the poor. Boxing day is acknowledged and enjoyed by shopping sales or going to the beach. People are presented with appreciation notes, gifts, and prizes. 

St. Stephen’s Day- December 26th

St. Stephen’s Day commemorates the day when St. Stephen was stoned to death after preaching for 40 days to his people. Stephen, according to mythology, died while holding a stone handed to him by Lord Jesus, who guaranteed that none of his followers would ever die from it. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was eventually ordained as Hungary’s first Christian King on the same date around 1000 AD in Esztergom (Hungary). In more than 25 countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark, this day is commemorated with traditional delicacies such as stuffed cabbage and buckwheat dumplings known as Halushky.

Kwanza- December 26th – 1st Jan

 Kwanzaa is a seven-day festival that brings together family, culture, and community. It is dedicated to the seven principles and is celebrated for seven days. Unity, Collective Responsibility, Self-Determination, Creativity, Purpose, Cooperative Economics, and Faith are among the principles. These are also known as Nguzo Saba, which translates to “the seven principles that lead Kwanzaa celebrations.” “The Nguzo Saba are African proverbs that offer guiding principles for behavior—similar to what we term ethics and morality,” explains Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga. In Africa and some parts of the United States, people generally congregate to celebrate and exchange food, music, and gifts, as well as burning candles on each day of the festival.

New Year’s Eve- December 31st

New Year’s Eve is the most thrilling and last December global holiday, marking the beginning of a new year. This particular eve is commemorated in a variety of ways and traditions all around the world. Some countries celebrate by having enormous parties or hosting outdoor concerts, while others prefer calmer celebrations like sending well wishes or sharing local dishes. New Year’s Eve is observed by several religious groups as a day to give thanks for the previous year and to pray for a prosperous year ahead. New Year’s Eve is also regarded as a time for reflection and the setting of personal objectives for the future year in several regions of the world.

Have fantastic and fun-filled holidays in the eventful and festive December.

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