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December Global Holidays: The Most Joyous Time of the Year!

Hanukkah – The Festive of Lights – December 18-26

  • Region: Israel and Jewish communities worldwide
  • Purpose: Commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem

Krampusnacht or Krampus Night – December 5

  • Region: Germany and parts of Europe
  • Purpose: Krampus comes out to scare naughty children in the weeks leading up to Christmas

Bodhi Day – December 8

  • Region: Worldwide
  • Purpose: This is a Buddhist holiday commemorating the day Gauta Buddha sat under the bodhi tree and achieved enlightenment.

Day of the Virgin Guadalupe – December 12

  • Region: Mexico and USA
  • Purpose: This celebration commemorates the appearance of Mary to the Mexican Peasant Juan Diego in 1531. It is a feast day to celebrate Mexican religious and cultural identity.

Santa Lucia – December 13

  • Region: Scandinavia and Italy
  • Purpose: Feast day celebrating Saint Lucy who died as a martyr

Winter Solstice and Yule – December 21 – January 1

  • Region: Worldwide UK, China, Iran, Germany, and many Communities around the world in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Purpose: Marking the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the moment in midwinter. This holiday has great significance and spiritual practice.

Christmas – December 25

  • Region: Worldwide
  • Purpose: One of the world’s most important December global holidays, the day marks the birth of Jesus Christ whom Christians believe to be the last true prophet sent by God to save humanity.

Boxing Day – December 26

  • Region: Great Britain and Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
  • Purpose: Originally a holiday to give gifts to the poor including servants and tradespeople. It coincides with St. Stephen’s Day, the patron saint of horses.

Kwanzaa – December 26 – January 1

  • Region: USA
  • Purpose: This relatively new holiday created in 1966 in the USA aims to celebrate family, culture, and heritage. Modeled after the first harvest celebrations in Africa

New Year’s Eve – December 31

  • Region: Worldwide
  • Purpose: Marking the final day in the Gregorian calendar. Say goodbye to the old year and welcome the start of the incoming year.
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