Christian ~ December 6th ~ Saint Nicholas Day
Christian celebration of the birth of Saint Nicolas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving.
Many churches named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus. It is thought that over the centuries the legendary St. Nicholas was merged with similar cultural and religious figures. Significant among these were the pagan Knecht Ruprecht and the Roman figure of Befana, as well as the Christ child (Christkind, or Kris Kringle). In parts of northern Europe, particularly the Low Countries and some German-speaking areas, St. Nicholas Day has remained a time when children are given special cookies, candies, and gifts.
Buddhist ~ December 8th ~ Bodhi Day
Celebrated on the eighth day either of December or the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Also known as Rohatsu, Bodhi observes the spiritual awakening (bodhi) of founder Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha, ca. 596 BCE. ~ the time when Prince Gautama took his place under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment. On Bodhi day some Buddhists celebrate Gautama's attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.
Celebrate with us here!
United Nations ~ December 10th ~ Human Rights Day
On this day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Catholic Christian ~ December 12th ~ Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A celebration of the legendary apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe,
the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas) before Juan Diego, an indigenous convert to Roman Catholicism,
on the Mexican hill of Tepeyac in 1531.
Christian ~ December 13th ~ Saint Lucia Day
One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in ad 304 because of her religious beliefs. The Day is a festival of lights celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland in honour of St. Lucia. The festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Scandinavia, and it is meant to bring hope and light during the darkest time of the year. Schools generally close around noon on the day of the festival so that families can prepare for the holiday. Families observe St. Lucia’s Day in their homes by having one of their daughters (traditionally the eldest) dress in white and serve coffee and baked goods. Daughters also wear lighted wreaths on their heads and in ancient times, lit candles were in these wreaths.
In earlier centuries the Norse celebrated the winter solstice with large bonfires meant to scare off
evil spirits and to alter the course of the sun. After converting to Christianity sometime around ad 1000,
the Norse incorporated the legend of St. Lucia into their celebration.
The modern festival of light combines elements of both pagan and Christian traditions.
Christian ~ December 14th ~ Mawlid an Nabi
Islamic commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, in about 570 c.e.
Not universally observed. The prophet's teachings are read and religious meetings are held.
Shia and Sunni on separate days.
Islam ~ December 16th ~ 25th ~ Posadas Perpetual (Navideñas)
Hispanic Christian feast of The Lodgings commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph
to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.
Pagan ~ December 21st ~ Solstice: Yule & Litha
Solstice is the time when the earth is most inclined away from the sun. It is the most southern or northern point depending on the hemisphere. In the Southern hemisphere, the observance is Litha, Wicca celebration of the sacred marriage in which energy of the gods is poured into the service of life. In the northern hemisphere, this is the shortest day of the year. It marks the first day of the season of winter. Winter Yule is the time when the sun child is reborn, an image of the return of all new life born through the love of the Gods. Within the Northern Tradition Yule is regarded as the New Year. Also a Norse pagan celebration of the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. A present day Wicca event.
Christians celebrate Yule as the light dawning in Jesus.
Celebrate with us here!
Christian ~ December 24th ~ Christmas Eve
Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for for the birth of Jesus.
It is observed with worship, candle lighting, manger scenes and festive meals.
Christian ~ December 25th ~ Christmas Day
Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts,
and family parties. Also celebrated as a secular observation of gift giving and family parties.
Celebrate with us here!
Judaism ~ December 25th ~ January 1st ~ Hanukkah
Jewish Festival of Lights. It commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165-164 b.c.e. Special readings and praise songs focus on liberty and freedom.
The eight candle Menorah is lit each night.
Secular/Interfaith ~ December 26th ~ Boxing Day
Observed in Great Britain and some Commonwealth countries, particularly Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, Boxing Day is a holiday in which servants, tradespeople, and the poor traditionally were/are presented with gifts. The tradition is derived from taking excess food & (unwanted) gifts & giving them to the less fortunate.
African-American Heritage ~ December 26th ~ January 1st ~ Kawanzaa
A seven-day celebration honoring African American heritage and its continued vitality.
“Kwanzaa” means “first fruits (of the harvest)” in Swahili.
Native American Remembrace ~ December 29th ~ Wounded Knee Day
On December 29, 1890 more than 200 Lakota Sioux were massacred by U.S. troops
at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.