December is known as the World of Holidays for a good reason; the month itself is packed with celebrations, from Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to New Year’s Eve and many others. If you live in or travel to the United States, you’ll be familiar with many of these holidays and have heard their names even if you aren’t participating in them. But if you’re outside of the U.S., you may not be aware of some December Global Holidays that are celebrated in other parts of the world; if so, you’re in luck!
The original date of Christmas is considered to be December 25, but there is an ongoing debate as to when Jesus was actually born. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s still a time of excitement and goodwill. It’s also that time of year where people start talking about New Year’s resolutions, which are based on hopes and dreams for things we want to do in 2022. The holidays can feel like an especially good time to make positive changes in our lives, such as working toward your goals or just getting healthy. Celebrate all month long by making a commitment to doing something that makes you proud!
December global holidays first started with Christmas. Christians believe it’s Jesus’ birthday and many countries recognize Christmas Eve, December 24th. December 25th is when celebrating officially starts in most places – that’s called Christmas Day.
While Hanukkah is a cultural holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, Jews worldwide celebrate it in December. According to tradition, on December 6th of 168 BC, Judah Maccabee and his brothers defeated their Syrian-Greek oppressors and recaptured Jerusalem’s temple. The following day they found only one container of consecrated oil to light in a lamp that was supposed to burn continuously – but miraculously, it lasted eight days. Some historians have speculated that Hanukkah was originally celebrated for eight days until Jews realized Christians were extending their Christmas season for 8 days more than necessary! Hanukkah is followed by Christmas, so a lot of people (especially children) don’t realize it’s not part of the December global holidays.
Since there’s no way to predict with any certainty how long days and nights will last after December 21, the winter solstice is a symbolic marker. The shortest day of winter occurs on December 21, which typically falls in late December. According to AccuWeather, the latest sunrise of the year can be found on June 20 or 21; most places reach their earliest sunset around December 22. Many people celebrate the spring equinox (March 20 or 21) as a time for rebirth and fertility; those who worship Satanists prefer Halloween (October 31). Christmas celebrates Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25 (or close to it); Hanukkah commemorates Moses’ victory over Pharaoh on Nov. 28.
Star Wars Day (May The Fourth Be With You)
May The Fourth Be With You is a common, tongue-in-cheek phrase associated with Star Wars, originally coined on May 4th. May The Fourth Be With You Day is officially observed by fans worldwide on May 4th. It is said that if you don’t celebrate Star Wars Day, you are then considered to be a Sith Lord and will be sentenced to death by Chewbacca or may become Jar Jar Binks’ love slave. There are no documented cases of people actually getting killed for not celebrating it, but there’s nothing stopping it from happening. Star Wars fans everywhere have been known to celebrate Star Wars Day all year long!
The Day of First Encounter (Japan): December 10 is known as Omisoka Day in Japan, when people get together to share seasonal dishes and light fireworks. Decorated pine trees are often used during celebrations. In modern times, however, an artificial tree decorated with LEDs has become a common way to mark this special day, though traditionalists still prefer to use real pine trees instead. Anime-viewing Parties: After filling their bellies with the food they prepared themselves on December 24, Japanese people like to gather at their homes or go out together and enjoy films that have been airing on television all month long.
These films are anime programs, cartoons adapted from books or other sources intended for young audiences. Anime-viewing parties have become such big events that many restaurants have started offering special menus for them. Omisoka no takoyaki A sweet dumpling made from flour and wheat starch traditionally filled with octopus pieces, but today can be filled with anything fried inside the most popular December global holidays menu, including tako (octopus), natto (fermented soybeans), corn, red beans—the list goes on!
Kwanza is an African-American festival held annually from December 26 to January 1. The name Kwanza comes from a Swahili phrase meaning first fruits and signifies that, during these seven days, people give thanks for their African roots. It also refers to Pan-African culture and unifying principles known as Nguzo Saba, which were brought to the U.S. by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, just after he first created Kwanza celebrations in California during 1965. Many organizations have since been formed that promote and celebrate Kwanza throughout communities of all colors.
In contrast, Krampus is a beastly figure in Austro-Bavarian folklore who punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. It was once customary for some families to sacrifice an animal (often a rooster) to Krampus. Many Alpine villages have Krampus runs, which are much like a Christmas version of Halloween: Kids dress up as Krampus and knock on people’s doors asking for sweets, which are then thrown into a sack by an adult and eventually distributed to other children. Then it’s time for more sweets at an after-party.
World Animal Day/World Animal Protection Day
World Animal Day is an event that raises awareness of animal welfare and animal rights issues worldwide. It’s a day to remind us all that animals have individual personalities, needs and emotions. It also reminds us of our responsibilities to respect their rights. Each year we’re raising awareness for a different endangered species as part of World Animal Protection’s Endangered Species Chocolate campaign. It is with your help that we can save these endangered species from disappearing forever.
International Migrants Day
On 15th December each year, International Migrants Day is celebrated by people all over the world to promote migration, its benefits and importance in human societies. This day of celebration was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. The theme for International Migrants Day 2013 is Migration and Development. International Migrants Day reminds us that international migration is a reality that has existed since people began migrating from one region to another for many reasons, including economic opportunities, family or social ties and following their dreams.
Also, it reminds us that Human Migration offers great potential for societies as migrants contribute enormously to their host communities and countries through labor, skills and innovation. It also promotes national prosperity through remittances sent home by migrants – now an essential source of income for many families.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is a global holiday, celebrated in most countries of the world. It is celebrated on 31st December each year as a religious festival and is known for having traditions, superstitions, rituals and many more related celebrations around it. Most people celebrate New Year’s Eve with their family members and loved ones. They give gifts to each other, which increase love, trust, care and affection among them.
Nowadays they spend time with their friends, but in the olden days, there were fewer chances to meet friends like these, so they used to prepare special dishes and eat them on new year’s eve. People used to visit relatives’ houses at that time in order to meet their cousins whom they hadn’t seen since a long time due to busy schedules.
The month of December is a very special time for almost every country worldwide. Countries from all over take part in celebrating various festivals and holidays. All these major events are celebrated by billions of people worldwide, but it is surprising that some of them are not so well known as they should be. Here is a list of ten such amazing global holidays that many might not know exist.