27 Most Popular December Holidays and Their Reason
All over the world, December is the most popular month for holidays in the year. It is a time for families, friends and loved ones to come together, throw or attend parties, vacation together, exchange gifts or be merry.
Christmas is the dominant holiday in most countries. However, December has many other holidays in different countries, making the month a season of holidays. If you are looking for more reasons to celebrate in December, or you are planning to vacation in a new country during December, here are some holidays celebrated around the world.
Antartica Day 2023 -December 1st
Antarctica Day is an international holiday observing the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. It is celebrated on December 1st each year. The Treaty recognizes Antarctica as a preserve for peace and scientific study. Today, over 50 nations recognize the Treaty. Antarctica Day is mostly celebrated off the continent than on it.
World AIDS Day 2023 – December 1st
World AIDS Day is observed yearly on the 1st of December. It is done in solidarity with the 38 million people living with HIV worldwide and to remember the millions who lost their lives to AIDS. The day is also a reminder to work towards eradicating AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Farmer’s Day Ghana 2023 – December first
Farmer’s Day is on the first Friday in December each year, it will be on December 1st this year.The first Farmer’s Day was in 1985. It was created by the Provisional National Defense Council. The holiday was created to highlight the importance of the farming and fishing industry in the economic growth of Ghana.
King Bhumibol’s Birthday 2023 -December 5th
This is a day of festivities in Thailand. It is the birthday of the monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej who reigned between 1950 and 2016. Although he is dead he is still much loved, the Thai people still have parades and wear yellow in his honor. It is a big celebration in Thailand. Try to catch it if you plan on vacation there in December.
‘Día de la Constitución’ or Constitution Day 2023 – December 6th
‘Día de la Constitución’ or Constitution Day is a nation-wide public holiday celebrated on December 6th in Spain.It marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved . This was an important step in Spain’s transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
St. Nicholas Day 2023 – December 6th
St. Nicholas is a well-known saint, known by the shortened moniker St. Nick. Less known is the day of celebration in December, which is the day of his death (December 6, 343 AD). He is a Christian saint known for generosity and kindness, which inspires acts of charity in December.
He is the inspiration for Santa Claus and most of the folklore surrounding him. The lore of well- behaved children getting presents and naughty children getting coal comes from the tradition of gift giving on St. Nicholas Day. The celebrations of this day are blended with Christmas festivities. Including hanging up stockings to be stuffed with gifts. This day is usually recognized and celebrated in European countries like Belgium, Russia, Netherlands and Greece.
Bodhi Day 2023 -December 8th
The word bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali means “awakening” but is often translated into English as “enlightenment.” Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that celebrates Gautama Buddha day of enlightenment. The enlightenment of the Buddha is among the most significant events in Buddhist history, and it’s an event observed annually by many Buddhists.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2023 -December 8th
The Day of the Immaculate Conception, Día de la Inmaculada Concepción is a very significant holiday around the world. It celebrates the Roman Catholic belief of The Blessed Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception in her mother’s womb and is considered the first official day of Christmas celebrations for many people. Immaculate Conception Day is a religious holiday that is celebrated on December 8 every year, especially in Spain.
Tanzania Independence Day 2023 – December 9th
This public holiday is always celebrated on December 9th. The day celebrates the end of British rule in Tanganyika in 1961. It is Tanzania’s biggest day of celebration. The Tanzanian people mark their independence with speeches, parades and flags.
Jamhuri Day (Republic Day) 2023 – December 12th
Jamhuri Day (Republic Day) is a national holiday in Kenya, celebrated on 12 December each year. Jamhuri Day celebrations have been held since December 12, 1963. This day marks when Kenya became independent from Britain.
St. Lucia’s Day 2023 – December 13th
St. Lucia’s Day or the festival of lights is celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on December 13 in honor of St. Lucia (St. Lucy). St.Lucy was one of the earliest Christian martyrs. She was killed by the Romans because of her religious beliefs.
Las Posadas 2023 – December 16 – 24
Las Posadas, is a nine-night celebration from December 16th to 24th, is an important part of Christmas celebrations in Mexico. Each night, people go to a party at a different home. They commemorate Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn by forming a procession to that evening’s location and symbolically asking for shelter.
Guru Ghasidas Jayanti 2023- December 18th
This holiday celebrates the birthday of Guru Ghasidas in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, on December 18th each year. He was a leader of the Satnam sect within Hinduism. Ghasidas advocated equality and opposed the caste system. He preached largely to lower caste Indians. He also established a Satnami community within the state of Chhattisgarh that continues to this day.
International Human Solidarity Day 2023 – December 20th
This is a day to celebrate human unity in diversity. It is a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements. It is a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication among other things.
Yule December 2023- 21st
The Yule also called Yuletide, Yule fest, is a winter holiday observed by many people, especially Pagans, Wiccans and Druids. It is a day to celebrate the Sun or the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. The coming of the sun afterwards signifies rebirth. The celebrations run along the themes of nature and light. It is characterized by bringing in and decorating evergreen trees in the home, along with mistletoe, wreaths and holly. The festivities include meals with family, lighting candles with gift exchanges and burning a yule or yuletide log. These traditions have been melded into popular Christmas celebrations as well. It is typically celebrated in countries in the northern hemisphere like Iceland. Or by those who want a more traditional Christmas celebration.
Dongji (Winter Solstice) China and Korea 2023 – December 22
Dongji is the celebration of the Winter Solstice which occurs each year around December 22. This day has the longest night of the year with the shortest amount of daylight. In China and Korea, this day is the peak of winter, or midwinter.
The day is celebrated by eating a red bean porridge, prepared by simmering red beans in water. When the mixture becomes thick small balls of rice are added to it. The first bowl of the porridge is usually offered on the altar in an ancestral shrine in a ceremony known as dongji gosa.
The New Year Festival of the Dong Ethnicity 2023- December 23rd
The Dong people are one of China’s 56 ethnic people. They live in southwest China (Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hubei provinces).
Dong New Year is an important festival for the Dong people, because they celebrate their ancestors and harvest. During the celebration people invite honored guests to a feast. They also send various kinds of food to their friends and relatives, including pickled vegetables, frozen fish, and more.
Victory Day 2023 -December 23rd
Egyptians celebrate the anniversary of the Victory Day on December 23. it is also called the National Day of Port Said Governorate. On that day, the Egyptian people and army repelled the British, French and Israeli forces.
Nochebuena (Latin America) 2023 – December 24th
Nochebuena is widely celebrated across Latin America on the night before Christmas. These celebrations vary from household to household, but almost always include a gathering with family and friends, complete with an enormous feast, holiday music, dancing, and gifts. Depending on the family’s religious beliefs, this celebration also includes a late mass known as Misa del Gallo. Nochebuena is a well-known annual celebration and often goes well into the morning of Christmas.
Christmas Day 2023 -December 25th
It is the most popular holiday in December globally. It is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Heavily commercialized, a combination of different cultural celebrations have been adapted to this holiday from Santa Claus to Yuletide logs. It is usually a public holiday in most countries with many public services and businesses closed. Christians celebrate by attending a church service, followed by Christmas festivities. Non-Christians skip the church service and go straight to the festivities; gathering family and friends for festive lunches, exchanging gifts and even sharing food, clothes and toys with the less fortunate. It is a time to think of family, being with loved ones and charity.
Boxing Day 2023 – December 26th
A day not tied to a religious holiday or a notable person, it originated in the United Kingdom as the day Christmas presents are unboxed. Now it is observed by many countries in the Commonwealth and North America. It is a day people recover from the festivities of the previous day, exchange or return gifts received, eat festive leftovers and engage in some more festive activities in the company of friends and family. In some countries, stores and shops have discount sales to sell off Christmas stock; it is one of the biggest of the year in the United Kingdom.
According to the BBC, the name comes from a time when the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poor. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants – a day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmas boxes to their families.
Constitution Day Enactment 2023 – December 27
Constitution Day Enactment, is a celebration in North Korea. It celebrates the establishment of the socialist constitution of North Korea in 1972.
Hanukkah 2023 – December 18th to December 26th
This holiday is celebrated for eight days in December within the Jewish community. It denotes the rebuilding of the second temple in Jerusalem that was dedicated with an oil lamp with enough oil for one day but burned for eight days. Today, the celebration is done with a menorah lit for each of the eight days, accompanied by prayers and the cooking of special meals with family. Gift giving was not always a part of it but is so now with the commercialization in some countries. The start of the holiday varies year to year and can overlap with Christmas because it follows the Hebrew Calendar, starting on the 25th of Kislev.
St. Stephen’s Day 2023 – December 26th
In many countries December 26 commemorates the life of St. Stephen, a Christian deacon in Jerusalem who was known for his service to the poor and his status as the first Christian martyr.
People dress up in old clothes, wear straw hats and travel from door to door where they dance, sing and play music.
Kwanzaa 2023- December 26th to January 1st
Started by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, this holiday celebrates African-American culture and heritage. Predominantly celebrated in the United States by the African-American community, it is an alternative to Christmas celebrations. It is celebrated by wearing African clothes, exchanging gifts, cooking festive meals, participating in traditional ceremonies like poetry recitals and playing African songs and music. There is also a ceremony lighting seven candles each day to denote the seven guiding principles of Kwanzaa.
New Year’s Eve 2023- December 31st
This is the only holiday that is more popular than Christmas. New Year’s Eve is celebrated in every country, even those that do not follow the Gregorian calendar. In some countries, it is a public holiday or a half day. It is celebrated with parties and fireworks.
Each country hosts a public gathering for a commemorative countdown to the end of the year with attractions. Globally, people reflect on the previous year, make new year resolutions and usher in the new year with unique customs and traditions from toasts to kisses. Anywhere in the world you can find a celebration to join in.
Omisoka 2023- December 31st
Omisoka is celebrated in Japan in preparation for the new year. It is much like New Year’s Eve, a time to reflect and cleanse oneself and home while also completing unfinished tasks. It is celebrated with family and friends, feasting on traditional Japanese food, exchanging gifts and visiting a temple or shrine at midnight. The tradition of Omisoka began in the Heian period.
Happy Global Holidays 2023
December offers festivities like no other month can.There is something special to do right throughout the month. So, where ever you are we hope you will enjoy the festive season as best as you can.
If there are other celebrations that you think should be on the list email us at email@example.com.