December comes with plenty of beautiful lights, vibrant wreaths, and a lot of family gatherings. It is considered the most cheerful month of the year. Because it is full of festivities, celebrations and holidays, that add colors for making this month happiest for everyone. This month is marked as the most festive month of the year, because of multicultural occasions happening every day. Winter holidays mostly comprise of December holidays because it’s jam-packed with countless winter festivals. Holidays around the world in December consist of many religious, national, and cultural events. There are many December holidays around the world. We are here bringing very interesting information regarding 15 most popular holidays in December.

List of Most Popular December Global Holidays

A List of famous December global festivities has been presented here. Although there are many other festivals as well in December celebrated by different countries, communities and religions that are not mentioned here but we tried our best to give you a list of the most famous holidays in December. This list shows that December is not only about the beginning of rain, snow and cold weather but it is also a very popular time for celebrations and parties.

Some festivals are about traditions and religion while others are all about fun and thrill. Just take a look at this list of some popular and notorious festivals and ceremonies held worldwide and share it with your friends, family and especially kids. We really hope that you will enjoy it with inspiration of further discussion along with learning and some interesting related fun activities.

NameDate
Worlds Aids Day1st December
UAE National Holiday2nd December
Farmers Day in Ghana4th December
National Cookie day4th December
Krampusnacht5th December
Saint Nicholas Day and Finland Independence Day6th December
Hanukkah7th – 14th December
Immaculate Conception8th December
Bodhi Day8th December
Advent Fast Begins12th December
Feast Day of our lady of Guadalupe 12th December
Santa Lucia’s Day13th December
International Monkey day14th December
Posadas Navidenas16th December
Solstice21st December
Yule21st December – 1st January
Festivus23rd December
Christmas25th December
Zarathosht Diso and Boxing Day26th December
Kwanzaa26th December – 1st January
Feast of the holy family 27th December
Holy innocents’ day28th December
Omisoka and Watch night31st December

1.  Hanukkah

There are many religious holidays in December, one of them is Hanukkah. It is a Hebrew word that means Dedication. Its alternate name is Chanukah. This festival is also called as a festival of lights, feast of the Maccabees and feast of dedication. It is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah is all about Strengthen the ideals of commemorates and Judaism. This event involves rededicating the second temple of Jerusalem. Candles are lightened on each day, along with daily scripture reading. It has been also observed that there is recitation of Psalms, singing special hymn and almsgiving on each day.

There is inclusion of some liturgy like Hallel prayer, Torah reading and alha-nissim prayer. It is very joyous event that includes many celebrations like Purim, with lack of work restrictions for everyone. It’s also a custom on Hanukkah holiday to eat their traditional oil dried delicious foods like latkes, and sufganiyot etc.

Date28th November – 6th December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated byJewish people around the world and Israel
Celebrated forTo re-dedicate second temple Jerusalem

2.  Santa Lucia’s Day

Every year on 13th December Santa Lucia remembered as a symbol of light. St. Lucia was an Italian saint that was martyred. She is a role model for getting hope, motivation and courage from the darkest fragment of the year.  This significant holiday begins with parade led by designee of St. Lucia along with young girls and boys following it in white dresses, singing some traditional songs.  This event was meant to be marked as the initiation of the Christmas season. Schools and other institutions generally close earlier that usual so that people start preparing to celebrate the holiday.

Families celebrate this festival by dressing up their daughters in white traditional dresses, serving baked edibles like ginger biscuits and saffron bread called as lussekatter with coffee. These special traditional food items are also offered to visitors on this day. This event is one of the most important religious holidays in December.

Date13th December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated bySweden, Italy, Norway
Celebrated forpaying tribute to Lucia of Syracuse.

3.  Yule

Yule or Yuletide is a festival mostly celebrated by German people. It is basically pagan rooted with honoring Norse God Odin. In this festival people give thanks to their gods and goddesses. It falls in winter solstice, that’s why people call it as a most famous and oldest event. In ancient days people light a big log in bonfire then spend their whole night there, outdoor. This tradition is still in practice by German communities on this day. People also built Yule altar and Yule wreath on this day. Families prepare special candlelit dinners along with Yule tree decoration. This holiday is filled with love, to cherish each other and thanking the presence of God in their life.

Date21st December – 1st January
CategoryPagan
Celebrated byGerman People
Celebrated forpaying tribute to the Norse god Odin

4.  Festivus

Festivus is one of December Global Holidays. This day is courtesy of eternal and world most famous comedy TV show Seinfeld. This holiday was featured in 9th season in the episode named ‘The Strike’. The episode was on aired on 18th of December,1997, and from that time people got really inspired by it. The purpose of this holiday is to speak up for opposing to Christmas consumerism. This holiday represents contrast to holiday materialism. People celebrating Festivus also contribute in “Airing of Grievances”, that is a chance to express others about how they saddened you in the past. Then it followed by a special dinner that ended on “Feats of Strength”.

Date23rd December
CategorySecular, Parody
Celebrated byParticularly in US
Celebrated forTo promote against Christmas consumerism

 5.  Christmas

This festival is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus. This is a family holiday, celebrated by Christians. This festival is famous in the whole world. In this event, Santa claus is the pivotal character.  People start preparing for Christmas by deep cleaning their houses. After that Christmas tree has been placed with lighting in the whole house. Christmas tree is main entity that decorated by colorful lights, flowers, Christmas bells and gifts etc. people start this day by going to church. Later they join their friends and families to give and take gifts with delicious food and pleasant music.

Happiness of Christmas in children is like no other.  People enjoy traditional cupcakes, plum cakes and muffins with lip-smacking puddings. Many gifts are distributed among kids with new dresses. Then kids also meet with ‘Santa Claus’ having beautiful fluffy dress. Sant claus shower a lot of gifts upon children, with hugs and love. This festival evening is always very happening with full of colors, lights, flowers, romance and love. In Christmas eve events 2015, Santa Cruz Holiday Events were very famous. This is the most important event. Whether you look at religion calendar 2015, 2016 or another year, 25th of December marked as most celebrated festival.

Date25th December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated byChristens worldwide
Celebrated forTo honoring the birth of Jesus Christ

6.  World AIDS Day

This day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding deadly HIV virus and its spread along with prevalent epidemic of AIDS.  AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. It was first established by WHO in 1988. It is celebrated on 1st of December each year, so we can say that this is one of December first holidays. This day is about facilitating individuals to get informed about AIDS while information is also exchanged between national governments and international organizations. In 1981 first case of AIDS was identified and till 1988 many people died because of this virus. Hence awareness regarding AIDS became major concern and it became really important to educate people about this epidemic. These awareness activities have been supported by many international organizations.

This holiday celebrated worldwide, and each country arranges an agenda related to World AIDS Day. There are many campaigns that lasts for week, along with different ceremonies, marches, rallies, debates and speeches at national, international and local level etc. Main international symbol of world aids day is red ribbon that need to be worn as representation of your commitment to fight against AIDS.

Date1st December
CategoryHealth
Celebrated byWorldwide
Celebrated forTo spread awareness about HIV/AIDS

7.  Kwanzaa

This holiday is all about honoring African heritage. It is weeklong celebrations. This holiday was first created by chairperson of Africana studies at California state university in 1966, named Dr. Maulana Karenga. The name Kwanzaa is based on phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’ that means first fruit in Swahili.

There are many traditional celebrations take place for example singing, dancing, poetry, storytelling, conventional African drumming and a big feast. All seven days of Kwanzaa represents seven values. African culture has seven principals and each day one principal is focused.

On first day black candle is lit to demonstrate concept of umoja means unity. Second day is about Kujichagulia meaning self-determination. On 3rd day principal of Ujima, is celebrated that leds to collective work and taking Responsibility. on 4th day principal of Ujamaa is focused that gives meaning of cooperative economics, 5th principal is called Nia that means purpose. On 6th day principal of Kuumba is celebrated that means Creativity. And on last day principal Imani is celebrated that means faith. On last day families also enjoy a big African feast named karamu. Hence this festival also comes in category of festivals in January.

Date26th December – 1st January
CategoryCultural
Celebrated byWorldwide particularly US
Celebrated forTo preserve African heritage

8.  Omisoka

It is New year’s Eve festival in Japan. It is considered as very important day in Japanese culture because it is last day of previous year and eve of new year’s first day.  All Japanese families came at omisoka for having bowl of their traditional noodles called ‘toshikoshi-soba’ and it is believed that eating long noodles can give you long life. People visit temples and shrines for ‘Hatsumode’. Temples rings their bells and distribute sweet drink named as ‘Amazake’. ‘Joya-no-kane’ is called as ringing of one large bell on the shrine. They have very large cast bells that ring once for each 108 desires that supposed to be reason of human suffering.

Date31st December
CategoryCultural
Celebrated byJapanese people
Celebrated forTo spot the end of the year

9.  Boxing Day

The boxing day is all about small acts of kindness and giving gifts. There is nothing about boxing sport in this holiday. This holiday is called boxing day because it means to boxing up all your unwanted gift items or anything valuable that you don’t wanted now and can be useful for any other needy or poor person. So, people also believed that boxing day also called as ‘Alms Box day’ right after Christmas day. It is traditionally coming in British culture and one of iconic December holiday.

Date26th December
CategoryGeneral
Celebrated byCommonwealth nations
Celebrated forCharity

10.  Bodhi Day

Bodhi day is celebrated in Buddhist culture. It is religious observance in Buddhist community. Its history is about Buddha ‘Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni)’. He got enlightenment also called as bodhi by sitting under peepal tree known as bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa). The Bodhi tree also called as ‘Tree of awakening’. He meditated by simply sitting under this tree besides Niranjana River in Gaya, until he found roots of one’s sufferings, and how to get rid of them. Gautama buddha was founder of Buddhism and he have explained four truth about grief that one can accept to overcome his sufferings.

Grief is everywhere and it is main cause of sorrow, there is grief in births, grief in separation and also there is grief in unfulfillment of desires. To get out of this worldly grief Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni) has communicated about ‘Ashtangik Marg (Octagonal Path)’.  People celebrates this day in very quiet, calm and peaceful manner. Buddhists meditate on this day praying with emphasis on those Noble truth related to grief and sufferings. At home people decorate a bodhi tree as well with lights and statue of buddha in the house.

Date8th December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated byBuddhist people
Celebrated forTo honoring Buddha’s awakening or enlightenment

11.  Krampusnacht

One of a very exciting things about Christmas eve is Krampus. This holiday gives feels of Halloween. A scary demon with big horns is also part of Christmas eve. Krampusnacht is all about celebrating this animal like demon that has blazing eyes, frightening horns and teeth that run after naughty children so that he can have them in coffin.

After that he can suffocate them and eat them. This is very terrorizing event; men dress like a demon by wearing special Krampus costume conventionally made from hand carved wooden mask and a dress made up of sheep skin; cowbells are also worn around hips. This costume might be very expensive in Europe but now it can be prepared by cheap items like faux fur with face painting that is enough to give a look of Krampus.

Date5th December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated byPeople of Austria
Celebrated forTo educate children about obedience

12.  National Cookie day

4th of December is served as sweetest treat because it is national cookie day. Bakers from all around the world warm up their ovens for making delicious cookies. And we enjoy it by having and distributing yummy cookies in this season. We thank Dutch more for these cookies than windmills and tulips. The word cookie is an English word but has originally derivative of Dutch word called as koekie. Koekie means little cake. Cookie making begin in Persia in 7th century.

After when sugar become common, they spread in Europe by Muslims.  In 14th century cookies were part of royal cuisine as well as it also sells by street vendors in Europe. In 17th century cookies travelled to America. Americans modified these delicious cookies into more innovative delicacies for example macaroons and gingerbread cookies. Most English-speaking countries also call cookies as biscuits. People usually celebrate this day by distributing their favorite cookies to friends and family.

Date4th December
CategoryGeneral
Celebrated byWorldwide
Celebrated forTo pay tribute to this little treat

13.  International Monkey Day

December 14 holiday is International Monkey day. It is also known as ‘World Monkey Day’. Casey sorrow and Eric Millikin create this holiday in 2000. Monkeys are very interesting animal, it is cute, intelligent and mischievous. There are many species of monkeys all around the world. Its habits and playful acts capture attention of humans. This day is celebrated in many countries including United States, Germany, Canada, Thailand, Colombia, Scotland, Pakistan, India, Estonia and Turkey. Zoo celebrates this day by annual events related to monkeys, to protect its habitat, to raise funds about their growth, health and endangered species. It celebrated as ‘all things simians’ that raises awareness towards different species of monkey and primates all around the world.

Date14th December
CategoryGeneral
Celebrated byWorldwide
Celebrated forTo raise awareness regarding protection of monkeys and primates

14.  UAE National Holiday

Among many national holidays in December, UAE national day is observed on 2nd of December. On this day traditional stunning fire work display along with other festivities like huge fancy dinners, glittery ceremonies and elaborate parades. There are colors of national flag everywhere. Vibrant carnivals with rousing performances, aerobatic display and inspirational patriotic speeches imbued with colors of national courage and pride.

Date2nd December
CategoryNational
Celebrated byUAE
Celebrated forPatriotism and giving tribute to founders of UAE

15.  Watch Night

Watch night having an alternative name called as freedoms’ eve. The full of festivals month of December also ended with a mind-blowing festival. The concept of watch night also rooted to an inspiration of finishing the month happily and start the new year with hope.  There are many ways for observing this day and it vary from one community to another. Many people visit their religious places on this night to worship giving thanks to their gods for granting one more year. Some people also notice this eve by enjoying at bars and cafes with their friends and family.

Display of dazzling firecrackers is contemporary and very important part of new years eve. People hang out having get to gather, melodious parties, that makes this night full of enjoyment. Historical legacy of watch night is also very interesting. On 31st December 1862 all Africans and Americans, whether enslaved or free, secretly gathered to celebrate the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken. Now a day’s watch night is considered as an annual event of new years eve that is inclusive of memory of freedom and slavery, celebrations of community and strength along with reflections of faith.

Date31st December
CategoryReligious
Celebrated byChristens around the world
Celebrated forWelcoming new year with happiness and hope

The Bottom-Line words

All the December holidays in one word can be summarized as a big winter festival. No doubt there is an extensive variety of colorful December seasonal holidays just to assist you for enjoying this whole month continuously. December is month to make yourself get better throughout daily life.  It is the ideal month to see your valuable friends and family and make them feel special by celebrating festivals in December, giving different gifts and most importantly your love.

Seasonal celebrations with hearts full of happiness can make your bond with your people stronger that will make your life worth living with a satisfied soul. This month is also very perfect for giving charity and helping needy people so that they can also enjoy the festivities just like others. So, lets enjoy this snowy month full of happiness and pleasant holidays while humming melodious song of December global holidays doctor fantasy.