On with our series, but off with the year: December is here!
From a business point of view, things are going to slow down in many countries after December 22 or 23 and won’t pick up for the most part before January 4. Not surprisingly, the Christian world is the most affected during the month of December. Click on any event below to learn more about it.
2 December – National Day – United Arab Emirates
Also known as Al-Eid Al Watani, this holiday commemorates the 1971 nationalization from the British Protectorate Treaties. It is generally a two day holiday, with the second day falling before or after (2015) the main date.
5-6 December – Krampusnacht/St. Nicholas – Germany/Austria/Northern Italy
While St. Nicholas will reward the kids on his “nice” list on the 6th, the Krampus punishes those who have been bad. In Austria where Krampus is so popular, schools are considering banning the creature because it’s so scary to children.
6 December – Independence Day – Finland
A part of the Kingdom of Sweden since the 13th century, Finland was ceded to the Russian Empire in 1809 and separated from it in 1917.
6-14 December – Hanukkah – Jews
The “Festival of Lights” commemorates the victory of the ancient Israelites over the Syrian-Greeks and the re-dedication of the Temple at Jerusalem. It is observed by lighting one of the eight candles on the menorah on each night of the holiday. They also give gifts, spin the dreidel, and eat fried foods. Sign me up!
8 December – Bodhi Day – Buddhists
The day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment. Bodhi Day is mainly observed in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
10 December – Constitution Day – Thailand
Commemorates the declaration of the first permanent constitution in 1932. This is a national holiday.
12 December – Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mexico
On this day, tens of thousands of Catholics from all parts of Mexico make their way to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. The Lady of Guadalupe is not limited to religious matters; she has played an important role in Mexican nationalism and identity.
21-25 December – Pancha Ganapati – Hindus
Modern five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha. The festival was created in 1985 as a Hindu alternative to December holidays like Christmas.
23 December – Festivus – Fictitious
A parody holiday celebrated by those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season. Festivus and its ‘Airing of Grievances’ was made popular by the TV show Seinfeld.
25 December – Christmas – Worldwide
On Christmas, or Christmas Day, billions of people around the world commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, is celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian people, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
26 December – Boxing Day – Commonwealth Nations
One origin of the name is that it’s the day servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box,” from their bosses or employers. Known in South Australia as Proclamation Day, in South Africa as Day of Goodwill (since 1994), and in Europe as St. Stephen’s Day or as the Second Christmas Day.
26 December-1st January – Kwanzaa – United States/The Americas
Created in 1965 as the first specifically African-American holiday, Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration originally established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage. Many African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.
31 December – New Year’s Eve – Worldwide
December 31, known as New Year’s Eve or Saint Sylvester’s Day in many countries, is the last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the calendar mostly used today. However, many people and cultures celebrate their new year on a different date: Lunar New Year in January/February for the Chinese, Nowruz in March for the Iranians, Rosh Hashanah in early autumn for the Jewish People, etc.