17 Celebrations during the final week of December

It’s the end of December but not the end of the holidays, feasts, and celebrations. December 24 Christmas Eve The evening or the entire day before Christmas is a time of many traditions and celebrations.  Many attend a special midnight service commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Some fast this day and feast after the midnight service. Others exchange gifts on this day. In many countries, the Christmas tree is brought into the house and decorated on this day. It is also traditionally the day the Yule log was lit. See more about the Yule log here Learn more about the customs across the globe here. In my home, we take time to listen to Christmas carols, nibble on some treats, read, and enjoy each other’s company.   December 25 Christmas Day  This is one of my favorite holidays. It commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God. Linus from Charlie Brown’s Christmas sums this event up very nicely. Anastasia of Sirmium Feast Day  Anastasia was a matron of a noble Roman family married to a pagan. Little is known about Anastasia. She was martyred in 284-305 when despite decrees from Diocletian, emperor of Rome, she stood up for her […]

10 Celebrations During the Third Week of December

Continuing my exploration of the holidays and celebrations in December here are ten celebrations held during the third week of December.   December 17 Saturnalia An ancient Roman winter solstice festival in honor of the deity Saturn. Festivities continue until the 23rd of December. Historically this festival was celebrated with sacrifices, a public banquet, private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival. Most of us only remember the continual partying part. *grin* Learn more here or here. December 21 Winter Solstice Also called the Midwinter Yule, the Winter Solstice takes place in the northern hemisphere on December 21st. This is an astronomical event that produces the day with the shortest daylight hours and the longest night in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, this is the day with the longest daylight hours and shortest night. The northern hemisphere Midwinter Yule is known by many different names and many different peoples celebrate the return of the sun. Feast of Juul The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and […]

5 December Celebrations

Continuing my exploration of the holidays and celebrations in December let’s look at 5 December celebrations held during the second week of the month. December 10th Human Rights Day: In 1950 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution inviting all states and interested organizations to observe Human Rights Day on December 10th each year. This year’s theme is dedicated to launching a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights. Read more about this at the United Nations’ website.  image thanks to Geralt at pixabay.com December 12th Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day: Celebrations often begin several days before the 12th. The celebrations include processions, Aztec religious dances, singing, food, and prayer. Bright reds, greens, and are the colors for this feast day. The events and the day honor the mother of Jesus, also called the Virgin Mary. In the 16th Century, Saint Juan Diego saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary who told him to build a church on the site […]