Winter Holidays

The month of December is a month of celebration around the world. Whether it is religious, cultural, or a holiday for everyone, December is a time where we find many major holidays being observed. Some of these holidays are holidays that you most likely celebrate, while others you may have never heard of. Here are just a few of the holidays that are celebrated during this month.
The first holiday celebrated in December is Hanukkah. This holiday spans multiple days, this year starting celebration on the 22nd of December and finishing on the 30th of that month. The dates of celebration vary by year, but it always spans 8 days. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. Those who took part in the re-dedication witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued to burn for eight nights. Each night during Hanukkah, a new candle will be lit on a menorah. This holiday is celebrated with games and many fried foods.
Another holiday celebrated during the month of December is Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa originated in 1966 and was created by Dr. Maulana Kerenga after the Watts riots. He combined many different harvest celebrations to create Kwanzaa. Celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, a candle is lit on the Kinara to represent one of the seven values of Kwanzaa. This year Kwanzaa began on December 26th and went until January 1st of the new year.
The last and most widely celebrated holiday in the month of December is Christmas. This holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. People of many cultures and denominations celebrate Christmas, and there are a wide variety of traditions. Some of these include Christmas songs, Christmas trees, opening presents, and a big dinner. Kids will leave cookies and milk out for Santa Claus, who is said to bring the presents to every boy and girl on the night of Christmas Eve, and they will also leave out carrots for the reindeer who pull Santa’s sleigh. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th and Christmas Eve is a widely celebrated holiday taking place on the day before Christmas.
These are just a few of the holidays that are celebrated around the world during the month of December. While some of these holidays are more widely celebrated than others, each one is important and culturally significant. I have gained an appreciation and respect for these different cultures and their traditions.