December Global Holidays in 2022

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The holidays are a special time of year when we all come together to celebrate.

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else entirely, the end of the year is always a special time.

But did you know that there are also many global holidays that take place in December?

In this blog post, we will list 20 of the most popular December global holidays.

So whether you’re looking to add a little international flavor to your holiday celebrations or just want to learn more about other cultures, read on for the complete list!

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What Does December Global Holidays Mean?

When we say “global holidays,” we mean holidays that are celebrated in multiple countries around the world.

These are usually holidays with religious or cultural significance that are celebrated by people of different backgrounds.

For example, Christmas is a global holiday because it is celebrated by Christians all over the world.

Similarly, Hanukkah is a global holiday because it is celebrated by Jews all over the world.

20 of The Most Popular December Global Holidays of 2022

December is a month of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve are only some of the most popular ones in the Western world.

But did you know that there are many other holidays celebrated around the world during this month?

In this blog post, we will list 20 of the most popular December global holidays.

So whether you’re looking to add a little international flavor to your holiday celebrations or just want to learn more about other cultures, read on for the complete list!

World AIDS Day: December 1st

December 1st is World AIDS Day– a global holiday that aims to raise awareness about the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, commonly known as AIDS.

This disease attacks an individual’s immune system, making them susceptible to other infections and illnesses, which can lead to death.

According to the World Health Organization, AIDS has killed more than 35 million people since it was first discovered in 1981.

Today, there are approximately 37 million people living with AIDS worldwide, and the disease continues to have a major impact on communities across the globe.

Every year on World AIDS Day, people from all walks of life come together to show their support for those living with AIDS and to commemorate those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Through education and awareness-raising activities, we can help to reduce the spread of AIDS and ensure that everyone has access to the treatment they need.

Let’s stand united on World AIDS Day and commit to creating a world where everyone can live free from the threat of this disease.

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King Bhumibol’s Birthday: December 5th

In Thailand, every year on December 5th, the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is celebrated with great fanfare.

King Bhumibol, also known as Rama IX, was born on December 5th, 1927, and ascended to the throne in 1946.

He is the world’s longest-reigning monarch, having ruled Thailand for over 70 years. During his reign, King Bhumibol has been a source of stability and progress for the Thai people.

He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his subjects, and his birthday is an opportunity for Thai people to express their gratitude for his many contributions.

On this day, Thai people across the country will decorate their homes and businesses with portraits of the king, and many will make donations to charities in his honor.

In addition, special events and celebrations will be held in honor of King Bhumibol’s birthday.

St. Nicholas Day: December 6th

December 6th is a special day for many people around the world – it is St. Nicholas Day!

St. Nicholas was a Christian saint who lived in the 4th century, and he was famous for his acts of kindness and generosity.

On this day, people celebrate his life by giving gifts to others, especially children.

In some countries, children leave their shoes out on the night of December 5th, and St. Nicholas will visit them during the night, leaving them candy or small presents in their shoes.

In others, people give gifts to each other in secret, anonymously – just as St. Nicholas did!

Whether you are giving or receiving presents, St. Nicholas Day is a wonderful day to celebrate the spirit of giving with your friends and loved ones.

Bodhi Day: December 8th

Bodhi Day is a religious holiday celebrated by Buddhists. The holiday commemorates when Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, attained enlightenment.

Bodhi Day is typically celebrated on December 8th in East Asian countries, and on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Theravada calendar.

The word “bodhi” means “awakening” or “enlightenment” in Sanskrit, and the holiday celebrates when Siddhartha Gautama reached his own moment of awakening.

On Bodhi Day, Buddhists reflect on the principles of enlightenment and work on cultivating their own spiritual understanding.

In addition to meditating and attending religious ceremonies, many Buddhists also take part in acts of charity on Bodhi Day.

By giving back to others, they strive to follow the example set by Siddhartha Gautama and live a life of compassion.

Immaculate Conception: December 8th

Immaculate Conception Day falls on December 8th and celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The day commemorates the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without sin.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was declared a dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

Catholics believe that Mary was preserved from original sin by God’s grace and she is therefore sinless.

Devotion to Mary under this title is widely practiced by Catholics and the feast day is a holy day of obligation in many countries.

In some places, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is also known as “The Feast of Our Lady,” and it is a time for prayer, reflection, and celebration.

Many churches hold special masses or processions on December 8th, and some people give gifts or flowers to Mary on this day.

Human Rights Day: December 10th

Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on December 10th. The day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that outlines the basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, or other status.

These rights include the right to life, liberty, and security; freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment; and the right to equality before the law.

Human Rights Day is an opportunity for people all over the world to come together and reaffirm their commitment to these universal principles.

In recent years, Human Rights Day has also been used as a day to advocate for specific groups who are facing discrimination or violence, such as refugees or LGBTIQ+ people.

By raising awareness and providing support, we can make sure that everyone enjoys the full range of human rights.

Saint Lucia’s Day: December 13th

Saint Lucia’s Day is a Christian feast day celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, Finland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.

The holiday commemorates Saint Lucia, a 3rd-century Christian martyr who was killed by the Romans for her faith.

Saint Lucia’s Day is also known as the Feast of Saint Lucy. The holiday is celebrated with a special dinner, called a “Luciafest” or “Luciamorgon”, which typically features traditional Swedish foods such as meatballs, rice pudding, and lussekatter (saffron buns).

Many people also wear white clothing and light candles to symbolize the light of Christ.

In recent years, Saint Lucia’s Day has become increasingly popular outside of Scandinavia, with celebrations taking place in countries all over the world.

Las Posadas December 16 to 24

Las Posadas is a traditional Mexican celebration that takes place from December 16 to 24.

The celebration commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and the nine nights they spent searching for a place to stay.

Each night of Las Posadas, participants re-enact the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey, carrying candles and singing songs.

On the final night of the celebration, a grand feast is held in honor of the Holy Family.

Las Posadas is a cherished tradition in Mexico and one that continues to bring people together in celebration.

Hanukkah December 18-26

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights and lasts for eight days. On the first night of Hanukkah, a special prayer, called the Shehecheyanu, is recited.

A menorah, or nine-branched candelabra, is also lit. One candle is lit on the first night, two candles on the second night, and so on until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night.

Hanukkah is celebrated with family gatherings, festive meals, and the exchange of gifts.

The holiday also has a strong connection to Judaism’s historical past, as it reminds Jews of their ability to persevere in the face of persecution.

International Human Solidarity Day: December 20th

December 20th is International Human Solidarity Day, a day designated by the United Nations to reaffirm our commitment to working together to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.

The purposes of the day are to:

  • 1) raise awareness of the importance of human solidarity
  • 2) celebrate our diversity
  • 3) reaffirm our commitment to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

We all have a role to play in building a more solidary world. We can start by getting to know our neighbors and working together to create safe and inclusive communities.

We can also support international development efforts that promote human dignity and equality, and stand up against discrimination and bigotry in all its forms.

By working together, we can build a world that is more just, equitable, and sustainable for all.

Winter Solstice – December 21st

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It occurs when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice falls on December 21 or 22, while in the Southern Hemisphere it falls on June 20 or 21.

For many cultures, the winter solstice was a time to celebrate the return of the sun and the beginning of a new year.

Today, it is still observed as a special day by people around the world. For some, it is a time to reflect on the past year and set resolutions for the new one.

Others simply enjoy spending time with family and friends, and savoring the unique beauty of winter.

However you choose to celebrate, the winter solstice is a magical time of year to be cherished.

Yule: December 21st

Yule is a holiday celebrated by many people around the world. It typically falls on December 21st, and is considered the shortest day of the year.

Yule is a pagan holiday that predates Christianity, and it was traditionally a time to celebrate the end of winter and the return of the sun.

Many of the traditions associated with Yule, such as decorating evergreen trees and lighting fires, were later adopted by Christians.

Today, people of all faiths celebrate Yule in different ways. For some, it is a time to spend with family and friends, exchange gifts, and enjoy feasts.

Others use it as an opportunity to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead.

However you choose to celebrate, Yule is a special time of year to enjoy the company of loved ones and give thanks for all the blessings in your life.

Festivus: December 23rd

Festivus is a holiday that has become popular in recent years, particularly among those who enjoy celebrating in non-traditional ways.

The holiday is thought to have originated with the book, “Seinfeld: A Festivus for the Rest of Us,” which was written by the show’s creator, Dan O’Keefe.

In the book, Festivus is described as a holiday that is celebrated on December 23rd and is intended to be a time when family and friends can get together and express their grievances with one another.

While the holiday is not affiliated with any particular religion, it has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people choosing to celebrate it in lieu of more traditional holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah.

If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season, consider giving Festivus a try!

Christmas Eve: 24th of December

Christmas Eve is a Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem on the 25th of December.

This date was chosen by Pope Julius I as the official date of Christmas. Christmas Eve is therefore celebrated on the 24th of December, the eve of Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve is typically a day of preparations when people get ready for the following day’s celebrations.

In many homes, this includes decorating the Christmas tree and wrapping presents.

Families often gather together on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts and enjoy a festive meal.

For Christians, Christmas Eve is also a time for prayer and reflection, as they remember the true meaning of the holiday. As such, it is an important part of the Christmas season.

Christmas: December 25th

Christmas is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is observed on December 25th in countries around the world, and typically involves spending time with family, exchanging gifts, and attending religious services.

Christmas is also a time for reflection and contemplation, as people take stock of the year that has passed and look ahead to the future.

For many, Christmas is a time of hope and joy, a reminder that despite the challenges of life, there is always reason to be grateful.

Whatever its specific meaning may be, Christmas is a special time that is cherished by billions of people around the world.

Boxing Day: December 26th

Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations.

It is celebrated on December 26th, the day after Christmas. The holiday is thought to have originated in the Middle Ages when servants were given boxes of leftovers from their employers’ Christmas feast to take home.

Over time, the holiday evolved into a more general celebration of giving, and today it is a popular time for exchanging gifts and enjoying family dinners.

For many people, Boxing Day is a welcome chance to relax and enjoy time with loved ones after the busyness of Christmas.

St. Stephen’s Day: December 26th

St. Stephen’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian holiday commemorating the martyrdom of St. Stephen.

It is typically celebrated on December 26th, the day after Christmas. The holiday is named after Saint Stephen, who was one of the first seven deacons appointed by the apostles to serve the early Christian Church.

He was known for his great faith and wisdom, and for his ability to perform miracles. According to legend, he was stoned to death for his beliefs, making him one of the first Christian martyrs.

Today, St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated with feasts and special church services in many parts of the world.

In some countries, it is traditional to give gifts or money to children and the poor on this day.

Kwanzaa: December 26 – January 1

Kwanzaa is a celebration that honors African heritage and culture. The holiday was created in the 1960s by Maulana Karenga, a professor of African Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st each year. The name “Kwanzaa” comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means “first fruits.”

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are designed to promote unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Each day of Kwanzaa corresponds with one of these principles. During the holiday, families gather together to engage in traditional activities such as feasting, gift-giving, and singing.

Kwanzaa is a time to reflect on African history and culture, and to celebrate the bonds of community and family.

New Year’s Eve: December 31st

New Year’s Eve is the final day of the year, December 31, in the Gregorian calendar.

It is a widely celebrated occasion, often involving gatherings of family and friends, fireworks, champagne toasts, and midnight kisses.

Many cultures have their own traditions and observances associated with New Year’s Eve, which typically include some form of countdown or reflection on the past year.

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve marks the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.

The transition from one year to the next is often celebrated with parties and other festivities.

For many people, New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past year and set resolutions for the coming one.

Some popular resolutions that people make include vowing to lose weight, quit smoking, or save money. Whatever your plans may be, we hope you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Omisoka: December 31st

Omisoka, also known as New Year’s Eve, is the last day of the year in Japan.

The name derives from the Buddhist tradition of spending the night before New Year’s Day in prayer, and “oka” means “big” or “great.”

Omisoka is typically spent with family and friends, and often includes a meal of soba noodles.

At midnight, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to usher in the new year.

The ringing of the bells is meant to symbolize the freeing of 108 human desires, which are thought to lead to suffering.

Many people also take part in Hatsumode, the first shrine or temple visit of the new year.

During Hatsumode, people pray for good fortune in the coming year and often purchase omamori, good luck charms that are said to protect against misfortune.

Omisoka is a time of reflection and renewal, and is an important part of Japanese culture.

Wrapping up

We hope you enjoyed learning about all of these different December global holidays!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Omisoka, or New Year’s Eve, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

FAQ About December Global Holidays

Below are some frequently asked questions about December global holidays.

What are the most popular December global holidays?

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are among the most popular December global holidays.

What are the least popular December global holidays?

Some of the least popular December global holidays include Boxing Day, St. Stephen’s Day, and Yule.

How do people celebrate December global holidays?

People celebrate December global holidays in many different ways. Some common traditions include exchanging gifts, decorating homes and workplaces, attending religious services, and feasting with family and friends.

What are some unique December global holidays?

Some unique December global holidays include St. Nicholas Day, Festivus, and Human Rights Day.

What are the most important December global holidays?

The most important December global holidays vary depending on one’s culture and beliefs. However, some widely recognized holidays include Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

What are the least important December global holidays?

As with the most important December global holidays, the least important ones also vary depending on culture and beliefs.

However, some less widely celebrated holidays include Boxing Day, St. Stephen’s Day, and Yule.

How do people feel about December global holidays?

People generally feel happy and festive during December global holidays.

However, some may feel stressed from the increased pressure to spend time with family and friends, or to find the perfect gifts.

Others may feel lonely during the holidays if they are away from home or do not have close relationships. Ultimately, everyone experiences the December global holidays differently.

What is the history of December global holidays?

The history of December global holidays dates back centuries to pagan celebrations and Christian holy days.

Many of the traditions and customs associated with these holidays have been passed down through generations and are now enjoyed by people all over the world.

Do December global holidays have any significance for non-religious people?

Yes, many of the December global holidays have secular traditions and customs that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of religious beliefs.

For example, exchanging gifts and decorating homes are popular activities during the holiday season.

What is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas. It is primarily celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Boxing Day originated from the practice of giving boxes of gifts to servants and the poor on the day after Christmas.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

It is also known as the Festival of Lights and lasts for eight days. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a menorah, eating fried foods, and playing games.

What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday that celebrates African heritage and culture. It is observed from December 26th to January 01st.

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 and its name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits of the harvest.”

What is Christmas?

Christmas is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is observed on December 25th and is typically a time for family, friends, and gift-giving.

Christmas traditions vary around the world but often include decorating a Christmas tree, singing carols, and eating festive foods.

What is New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year and is typically celebrated with parties and fireworks.

It is observed on December 31st and marks the start of a new year. New Year’s Eve is also known as Hogmanay in Scotland and Rauhnacht in Germany.

What is Yule?

Yule is a pagan holiday that celebrates the winter solstice. It is observed on December 21st or 22nd and marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Yule traditions include decorating a Yule tree, burning a Yule log, and making wreaths.

What is St. Stephen’s Day?

St. Stephen’s Day is a holiday that commemorates the life of Saint Stephen.

It is observed on December 26th and is a public holiday in many countries, including Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Italy.

St. Stephen’s Day traditions include attending mass, giving gifts to the poor, and eating a special bread called stollen.

What is Sol Invictus?

Sol Invictus is a holiday that celebrates the sun god. It is observed on December 25th and was originally celebrated by the Roman Empire.

Sol Invictus traditions include decorating homes with evergreen boughs and giving gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

What are some good gift ideas for Kwanzaa?

Some popular gift ideas for Kwanzaa include books about African history and culture, African-themed artwork, and handmade gifts that reflect the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

Other popular gifts include scented candles, incense, and jewelry. Whatever you choose to give, the most important thing is that the gift is given with love and sincerity.

What is Hatsumode?

Hatsumode is the first shrine or temple visit of the new year. During Hatsumode, people pray for good fortune in the coming year and often purchase omamori, good luck charms that are said to protect against misfortune.

Hatsumode is a popular tradition during Omisoka, or New Year’s Eve, in Japan.

What is the Gregorian calendar?

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. It was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and is named after him.

The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar with 12 months, each consisting of 28, 30, or 31 days.

The calendar is based on the Earth’s orbit around the sun and was designed to correct the inaccuracies of the Julian calendar.

New Year’s Eve marks the end of a year and the beginning of a new one in the Gregorian calendar.

What are some popular New Year’s resolutions?

Some popular New Year’s resolutions include vowing to lose weight, quit smoking, or save money.

Other popular resolutions include exercising more, eating healthier, and spending more time with family and friends.

Whatever your plans may be, we hope you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

How many times do the Buddhist temple bells ring on New Year’s Eve?

On New Year’s Eve, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to usher in the new year.

The ringing of the bells is meant to symbolize the freeing of 108 human desires, which are thought to lead to suffering.

Many people also take part in Hatsumode, the first shrine or temple visit of the new year.

During Hatsumode, people pray for good fortune in the coming year and often purchase omamori, good luck charms that are said to protect against misfortune.

Omisoka is a time of reflection and renewal and is an important part of Japanese culture.

What are the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa?

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are a set of guiding values that were created to promote African American unity and culture.

The principles are:

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

These values are celebrated during the week-long Kwanzaa holiday, which is observed from December 26th to January first.

How do people celebrate New Year’s Eve in Japan?

One of the most popular ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Japan is by attending Hatsumode, the first shrine or temple visit of the new year.

During Hatsumode, people pray for good fortune in the coming year and often purchase omamori, good luck charms that are said to protect against misfortune.

Omisoka is a time of reflection and renewal and is an important part of Japanese culture.

Other popular ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Japan include watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day, attending a temple service, and eating soba noodles.

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