Many holidays and traditions occur in the month of December. The predominant are Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah), Kwanzaa, and St. Nicholas’ Day. St. Lucia’s Day. Ramadan, and Boxing Day, are a few of the less commonly celebrated .
Now I’m sure you’re wondering: What are these holidays and where do they originate from?
On December 13th, St. Lucia’s Day, the festival of lights for Sweden, Norway, and Finland is celebrated in honor of one of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia, who was killed by the Romans in 304 CE because of her religious beliefs. This holiday is meant to bring hope and light during the darkest time of the year. Families observe this holiday in their homes by having one of their daughters dress in white and serve coffee and baked goods, such as lussekatter (saffron bread) and ginger biscuits (brittanica).
Ramadan is a Muslim holiday and it is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and it is celebrated by abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. It is also a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice (islam.about).
Boxing Day takes place in very few countries – mainly Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – and is celebrated on December 26th, the day after Christmas. It was the day when alms boxes, collection boxes for the poor, were opened so that the contents could be distributed to those in need, but this tradition is now becoming much more rare and few churches even have alms boxes (whychristmas).
The more you know about other cultures and the holidays celebrated within them, the more enjoyment you will find in your own holidays and traditions.