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The December Religious Calendar

Written by: Henrietta Claringbold

Our last session explored all the different religious holidays that took place in December and there were was a lot to learn and I hope all those attended enjoyed it!

December is packed with many different religious holidays making it one of the busiest months of the year! This blog is going to take through a calendar of what each day has in store.

6th December – St Nicholas Day – The Feast of Saint Nicholas is greatly celebrated in the coastal regions of north-western Europe, in areas of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Children typically leave shoes out by foyer in the hope for sweets!

8th December – Bodhi Day - Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment. Bodhi Day is celebrated in a calm and quiet way. Buddhists will often spend time meditating and praying. Did you know that Bodhi day often begins with a breakfast of milk and rice.

8th December – Immaculate Conception- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Mary

10th-18th December – Hanukkah – Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights, and it is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem. On Hannukah a lot of people eat fried food. This is because people fry their food in oil for Hanukkah as a symbol for the miracle oil that burned for eight nights straight.

12th December – Feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic feast day typically celebrated in Mexico to honour the belief that the Virgin Mary appeared before a man in Mexico City. The night before the Feast Day, the Mexican community gather in a circle outside a church, reciting prayers and recounting the story of the appearance of Mary to Juan Diego

21st December – Winter Solstice – The Winter Solstice - At the Winter Solstice, the sun travels the shortest path through the sky resulting in the day of the year with the least sunlight and therefore, the longest night. Ancient cultures viewed the Winter Solstice as a time of death and rebirth.

21st – 25th December – Pancha Ganapati – many Hindus celebrate Pancha Ganapti over a five day celebration. The festival focuses on new beginnings and mending all past mistakes, a shrine is typically created in the main living room of the home and decorated in the spirit of this festive occasion.

24th December – Christmas Eve – Christmas eve is a Christian holiday celebrating the day before Jesus’ birth. Whilst in the UK presents are exchanged on Christmas day in most parts of Austria, Germany, Poland & Switzerland presents are exchanged and opened on the night of Christmas Eve.

25th December – Christmas Day – Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus. Did you know that Christmas trees usually grow for close to 15 years before they can be sold.

26th December – Zarathosht No-Diso - Zarathosht No-Diso is an important day of rememberance in the Zoroastrian religion commemorating the death anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster

26th December – Kwanzaa – is an annual celebration of African-American culture, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu

31st December – New Years Eve – New Year’s Eve is a celebration that brings in the new year. Did you know that ‘Auld’s Lang Syne’ means ‘time gone by.’

December really is full of celebration!

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