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December: A Season For Diverse Holidays

Sinterklaas in Netherlands CC-BY-SA-2.5; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Sinterklaas – CC-BY-SA-2.5; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Did you know that the first recorded date for of the celebration of the birth of Jesus goes back to 336 AD, which was a Roman celebration for the birth of Jesus on December 25; but in the East, the birth of Jesus was already observed with the Epiphany, on January 6th. Did you know that the Twelve Days of Christmas starts on December 26 and ends on January 6th?

Saint Nicholas’ Day, is observed on December 6 in Western Christian countries and on December 19 in Eastern Christian countries. It is the feast day of Saint Nicholas – celebrated as a Christian festival with particular regard to his reputation as a bringer of gifts.

At a time of increased fear among immigrants and religious minorities in America due to the November election results, isn’t it appropriate to celebrate our Nation’s cultural diversity, particularly in December? It is important to many festival dates are often not absolute historical events, but the result of myths and customs that have evolved over time.

Read the Spirit has the following list of holidays and cultural festivals & commemorations during December 2016 (note: some of dates in the links are not for 2016):

6—St. Nicholas Day (Christian)
8—Bodhi Day /Rohatsu (Buddhist)
8—Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic)
12—Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
12—Mawlid an-Nabi (Islam)
16—Posadas Navidenas begins (Hispanic Christian)
21—Solstice
21—Yule/Litha (Wicca/Pagan)
24—Sunset, Hanukkah begins (Jewish)
25—Christmas (Christian)
25—Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
26—Kwanzaa (African-American)
26—Zarathosht Diso (Death of Zarathustra) (Zoroastrian)
26—St. Stephen’s Day (Christian)
28—Holy Innocents (Christian)
30—Feast of the Holy Family (Christian)
31—Watch Night (Christian)

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