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December Global Holidays 2022

December Global Holidays 2022 is perhaps considered the most festive month as the winter season brings joy and happiness for all. It is the time when office and school hours are usually off and people return to their hometowns. Families get together and celebrations take place during this time. All sorts of events like religious, cultural or corporate take place here. There the December global holidays are a refreshing break from the stress and mundanity of everyday routine life. 

Some main holidays:

Hanukkah

This religious festival takes place from November 28 to December 6. It celebrates how the people in Jerusalem started praying and sanctifying the Second Temple again. This is called the Festival of Lights and is for the duration of eight days and nights. It is in the memory of the recovery of Jerusalem at the start of the Maccabean revolt.

This was aimed against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah begins on the 2th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. However, according to the Gregorian calendar it falls from anytime between late November to late December. On this global holiday you get to light the candles of a candelabrum which has nine branches. This is also referred to as a menorah or a hanukkah. One of the branches is typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light up the rest of the eight candles.  

This special candle is called shammash. Every night the shammash lights up one new candle until all the eight candles are lit up on the final night. At this time people mostly sing special songs like the Ma’oz Tzur and recite the Hallel prayer. There are also other Hanukkah rituals like eating oily foods such as potato pancakes called latkes and jam filled donuts sufganiyot. People also prefer playing with dreidels and giving each other meaningful things. This is originally seen as a feast and so there is no need to fulfill all the obligations here. So this is just a minor holiday in religious terminology. 

Santa Lucia

This is once again a religious December global holidays falling on the 13th of this month. This is close to the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year. And This is basically a celebration of sunlight in the long dark or gloomy winters especially in the Scandinavian countries. This pays tribute to the Lucia of Syracuse. She was an Italian Saint who died as a martyr. This is a memorial for her for she symbolizes light and hope. There are many processions along with atmospheric concerts. Singers wear white attires and have headdresses that actually feature the flickering of light. St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in 304 CE because of her religious beliefs. She carried food for the Christians who were in hiding. She wore candles on her head to free her hands and also to light up her path. 

Therefore, this holiday is celebrated at the start of the Christmas season in honor of St. Lucia’s sacrifice. Locally and nationally Lucia figures are chosen so that they lead the processions of children and candles. Young girls wear white gowns and have candle wreaths on their heads. They even go around distributing the baked treats they have prepared. These include lussekatter, saffron buns and raisins. This day is celebrated mostly in Scandinavia and Italy and each focuses on a specific part of St. Lucia’s story. In the Catholic and Protestant churches boys participate as well.

Festivus

It takes place on December 23 and is a step to voice out concerns relating to Christmas consumerism. It happens worldwide but mostly in the United States that gained its popularity in 1997. This December global holidays drew attention after the Sefield show aired its episode named “The Strike.” Festivus was a secular holiday in Season 9 of the show that was released on 18th December,1997. This holiday is a sort of parody against the materialistic and commercialized aspect of Christmas. It is celebrated by standing beside a large aluminum pole rather than a sparkly gigantic Christmas tree. People also take part in activities such as the “Airing of Grievances.” This allows people to let you know how you have disappointed them in the past year. There is a Festivus dinner and another activity called the “Feats of Strength” where the head of the household is pinned. 

Even the dinner is not a lavish one unlike that on Christamas eve and no alcohol is served either. Some pundits who opposed this thinking of the Festivus supporters made it apparent that the latter were being unconventional. They felt that these modernists were going against the religious and true meaning behind Christmas. Nevertheless people who aren’t as spendthrift and prefer saving up money than holding expensive celebrations advocated for Festivus. The Human Fund was also started for this holiday by George Costanza where he bought Christmas gifts for his colleagues. He stated that a donation had been made to the charity called the “Human Fund.” This meant money was being provided to the people. 

Boxing Day

This public holiday is celebrated in Great Britain and some other Commonwealth nations like Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It is celebrated on December 26 and servants, poor people or traders are presented with gifts. According to some people this is the day following Christmas when alms are distributed amongst the lower factions of society. This is the day when postmen, people doing errands and all sorts of servants are given gifts to appreciate them.

Their services and efforts throughout the year are recognized and lauded. Despite its deep symbolic meaning, boxing day is also one of the most important December global holidays. In the nations where boxing day is celebrated, sporting events are held on this occasion. Its name may have been derived from the alms boxes that were kept in churches for donating to the poor. It may also have originated from the boxes of gifts that were given to employees on the day after Christmas. 

This day has its importance in the fact that the servants were required to serve their employers on the day of Christmas. This is why they themselves missed celebrating it with their own families. So these laborers were allowed to take a day off for their own holiday. It was preferred that bonuses were given to service employees. Even though now it is done before rather than after Christmas day. If December 26 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday. This is also the feast day of St. Stephen who was the patron of horses. That is why Boxing Day is also known for its sports activities, horse races, rugby and fox hunting etc. 

Kwanzaa

From December 26 to January 1, this is a cultural holiday for preserving some of the African values. On this annual holiday African family and social values are celebrated all over the US. This day was brought into existence in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. It was after the Watts riot in Los Angeles, California. Karenga was a Professor of Africana studies at the State University of California in Long Beach. He is also a key figure in Afrocentrism. The word “kwanzaa” also depicts the Swahili translation of the word “kwanza” which means first. Kwanzaa is basically an African American holiday but it is also celebrated outside the US such as in the Caribbean. Other countries where it is observed have a large number of African descendants. This is a non religious and non political holiday so it cannot replace Christmas. Kwanzaa has seven major principles. 

Unity (ujoma), collective responsibility (ujima), creativity (kuumba), faith (imani), self determination (kujichagulia), cooperative economics (ujamaa) and purpose (nia). Each day of celebration is dedicated to one of these principles. The holiday also has seven different symbols. Fruits, vegetables, straw mat, maize, nuts, a candleholder, a communal cup for unity and seven candles. These are in the typical African colors of red, green and black as a hint to the seven principles. Traditional African songs and dances, poetry recitation, storytelling and discussion over various African culture values take place here. There is a large traditional meal at the end of each day and the mega feast called “Karamu” is on December 31. 

Farmer’s Day

On December 3, people of Ghana celebrate a holiday to pay tribute to the farmers and fishermen there. The agricultural industry here contributes to the 20 to 30% revenue to the country’s socio and economic needs. Even the import and export business helps many people earn their livelihood and generate income for houses. The first Ghana day was created by the Provisional National Defense Counsel in 1985. This is a holiday in the country and most schools and businesses are closed. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture celebrate it. They hold various Award ceremonies and discussion forums for people so it is open to debate. Everyone has a say in the concerns they have regarding the industry. 

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