Jewish festival of lights. It is held for eight nights in December starting with the 25th when people light candles, eat fried foods and play games. Hanukkah symbol is also a menorah – candle holder which is lit daily during this holiday.
Hanukkah was celebrated by Jews back in 164 BC when Judah Maccabee led his army to liberate Jerusalem from Greek conquest after years of struggle against Hellenisation. The story tells that they found just one jug of oil to keep their temple’s eternal flame burning but miraculously it lasted for eight days! And so the holiday celebrating miracle has been going on since then taking place every year around December time.
In modern times people use Hanukkah to strengthen their faith and teach the younger generations about heritage of their nation.
African-American cultural festival. It is held in December starting from 26th and it’s a mix of rituals and celebrations like in many other holidays during this period. Kwanzaa symbols are corn , gifts, kikombe cha umoja (unity cup), kinara (candle holder).
The roots of this holiday lie in the struggle of African-Americans for equal rights during the 60s and 70s. Its founder, Maulana Karenga, wanted to celebrate black heritage in the USA by uniting black people around December holidays.
Kwanzaa has strong community roots, 7 core principles which are Nia (purpose), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Umoja (unity), Nkuom (family), Imani (faith) and Kuumba (creativity). People use this period to reconnect with their past , learn traditions of their ancestors, cultivate community spirit and give gifts to each other .
World AIDS Day
is held on 1st December every year all around the world. It’s main idea is to unite people in the struggle against AIDS pandemic which has killed millions of people since it first appeared.
World AIDS Day was founded by the World Health Organization back in 1988. At that time there wasn’t much known about AIDS and its spreading, so WHO decided to take a lead in raising awareness among general public.
Nowadays we know how AIDS is transmitted and we use condoms which greatly reduce risk of transmission during sexual contact. Nevertheless it’s not possible to get rid of epidemic with such high number of people affected on the planet, so World AIDS Day is still going on and it’s main purpose is to raise awareness among general public, support people who have AIDS or have been affected by this disease in their family.
Also it helps Governments around the world to distribute money meant for fighting AIDS more efficiently.
World AIDS Day is usually celebrated with charity picnics, donations and speeches made by politicians –
This is the world festival for Santa Lucia, who was born on December 13th.
The festival commemorates St. Lucia’s day on the 13th of December every year by having a procession with girls dressed as St. Lucia singing songs about her life.
St Lucia lived in the 4th century and was a very good Christian girl who was not afraid to speak out against other people.
St Lucia died as a martyr, as she would not give up her Christian beliefs and worship pagan gods like everyone else. She is now celebrated as one of the patron saint for those who suffer from blindness or illness of the eyes.
Therefore this festival is very important for those who suffer with diseases of the eyes, as they too will not give up their beliefs and worship St Lucia. People also believe that St Lucia helps them see more clearly at night time, because she was a martyr for her Christian faith, which means that she doesn’t sleep at night.
Yule, or Winter Solstice , is a festival celebrated on the winter solstice by various Germanic peoples. The earliest references to it are in Norse sagas and Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum where it plays a role in the early history of the Danish people.
Yule is attested early in the history of the Germanic peoples; from the 4th-century Gothic language it appears in the form jiuleis , and, in the 8th century, the English historian Bede wrote of “the heathen custom” of burning a yule goat at Christmas.
A new years festival called the Festivus Festival will be taking place in San Francisco, California on December 2015. Participation to this world festival is free of charge and open to all ages. The founders of this movement are looking forward to sharing their love for life with “friends” from all around the globe in a way that only music can do.
It is celebrated at 25 Dec. Christmas celebrations have been going on for centuries and they have changed a lot during the time, but the overall idea of celebrating birth of Jesus is still there as well as Christmas presents given on that day. In modern days Christmas is celebrated with family gatherings, cooking special foods and exchanging gifts among family members. The most common symbol used to represent this celebration is Santa Claus who goes from house to house with snow driven sleigh bringing gifts left by children on his list . It’s interesting how Santa Claus has become such an integral part of our lives and we all like him so much – he is basically a PR man giving people what they want!
It’s a vernal day. The Boxing Day is celebrated around the world on December 26th every year. It is an official holiday, and people will often choose to take this day off work and spend it with friends and family.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is a festival that is celebrated every year at the end of December. I was looking forward to it. During this time, it is believed that all evil spirits around the world will return to hell, and all people will be healthy in the coming year after a good rest for 30 days. Read more…