December Religious Holidays

So this is kinda off topic for this month but I’m going to cover it anyways! I used to work retail and every December brought up the anger of could we say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? (Last year I worked for a retailer whose motto was say whatever you want as long as it was polite:-) )I always tried to say Happy Holidays mainly because I get that this is a big month for a lot of religions not just one I always felt like Merry Christmas stepped on toes ya know. So here’s my proof that other religious celebrations are taking place.  Feel free to correct me if info is wrong! It’s late and I’m just copying and pasting 🙂 Sorry

6 Saint Nicholas Day – Christian Early in the Advent season celebrate a feast that has been popular for centuries in Christian countries, especially in Northern Europe. In our over-commercialized society, this holiday gives us a good “teaching moment” to remind children that Jolly Santa Claus, is, in fact, Saint Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of the city of Myra in what is now Turkey.
Saint Nicholas was renowned for his great kindness and his generous aid to those in distress. Among the kind and miraculous acts attributed to him are saving three young girls from prostitution by secretly providing them with dowries, raising three murdered boys from the dead, and saving sailors caught in stormy seas. For these reasons, he is considered the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors, among others.
Traditional celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Europe included gifts left in children’s shoes (the origin of our American Christmas stockings). Good children receive treats – candies, cookies, apples and nuts, while naughty children receive switches or lumps of coal. Sometimes coins were left in the shoes, reminiscent of the the life-saving doweries the saint provided. Today – especially in families of German extraction – children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and expect to find candy and coins or small gifts in their shoe on December 6th.
In some households the father of the family may dress up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of his feast. He comes in, sometimes with his sidekick, Krampus or Black Peter, and helps each child examine his conscience. He admonishes the bad and rewards the good. If your family enjoys theatrics, this is a wonderful opportunity early in Advent to inspire children to amend their ways in preparation for the coming King. (Your family might get together with other families with young children and celebrate together.)

7 Hijra – New Year * ** – is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

8 Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) ** – Buddhism also known as Rohatsu, celebrates the day when Buddha was enlightened under the bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. How do we celebrate Bodhi Day? Typically, Rohatsu is the last day of a weeklong sesshin (intensive meditation retreat). Better not sleep late, the bell rings at 3:50 am! One person’s experience of sesshin. A lesson in mindfulness for Rohatsu, including tips for beginners. Bodhi Day is primarily a Zen tradition. Tibetan buddhists celebrate Buddha’s enlightenment in May with the festival of Saga Dawa

Immaculate Conception of Mary – Catholic Christian The Immaculate Conception, a solemnity, is the patronal feast of the United States. It is one of the few Holy days of obligation on the Church calendar — that is, all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass on this day. As this feast occurs early in Advent, it is a perfect time to consider Mary and her important role in the celebration of Christmas.

12 Feast day – Our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic Christian The Blessed Virgin Mary, by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas. On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, an Indian Christian, whom she sent to the bishop with the request to build a Church in her honor on the hill where she appeared. The bishop asked Juan Diego for a sign to prove that the Virgin had appeared to him. Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego again on December 12 and promised that his uncle would be healed. She directed Juan Diego to gather a bouquet of roses that miraculously appeared on a bush nearby (roses do not bloom at this time of the year) to present to the bishop. Juan Diego gathered the roses in his tilma (cloak). When he opened his tilma before the bishop, the roses felt to the floor, and the bishop was amazed to see the miraculous image of the Mother of God imprinted on the cloak. The image persuaded the bishop to believe what Juan Diego had told him, and the Church was built.
This image, which almost immediately inspired the conversion to Christianity of many thousands of Indians, may still be seen in the Cathedral in Mexico City. Many believe that the fact that the image remains intact on a coarse fabric woven of a cactus-like plant that ordinarily deteriorates within a few years is further indication of the miraculous nature of the image. The symbolic significance of the image include Mary’s complexion, which is similar to that of the Indians who were native to the region, her pregnancy, the gold stars adorning her blue mantle that representing the heavens, the purple tassels of her sash signifying royalty.

16 Ashura * ** – Islam In the month of Muharram 61 AH (approx. 20 October 680 AD), an event took place in Iraq at a place known as Kerbala on the bank of the river Euphrates. It seemed in those days insignificant from the historical point of view. A large army which had been mobilised by the Umayyad regime besieged a group of persons numbering less than a hundred and put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the Caliph of the time and submit to his authority. The small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they were all killed.It appeared at that time that like hundreds of similar events, this battle would be recorded in history and forgotten in time. However, the events that occurred on the 10th day of Muharram in Kerbala were to become a beacon and an inspiration for future generations

16 Posadas Navidenas through December 25 – Hispanic Christian A Christmas festival originating in Latin America that dramatizes the search of Joseph and Mary for lodging

21-28 – Hanukkah* (Jewish) also romanized as Chanukah or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of 8 branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, “attendant” or “sexton”) and is also lit each night for the purpose of lighting the others, and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The “shamash” symbolically supplies light that may be used.

21 Solstice

Yule * – Wicca/Pagan Northern hemisphere Yule is the darkest night of the year, and marks the beginning of the new year traditionally. It is said that after this night, the God that had died at Samhain is reborn of the Mother Goddess, and being the day he is most powerful he will bring fertility into the land. This is also a time for getting rid of weaknesses.

Litha* – Wicca/Pagan Southern hemisphere Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition — the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.

Yule – Christian Basically Christmas

25Christmas * – Christian is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity.The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived,the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar,or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.
Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians,and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several similar mythological figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.
Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

26 Feast of the Holy Family – Catholic Christian The feast of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Sunday in the Christmas octave) is a festive occasion particularly suitable for the celebration of rites or moments of prayer proper to the Christian family. The recollection of Joseph, Mary and Jesus’ going up to Jerusalem, together with other observant Jewish families, for the celebration of the Passover, should normally encourage a positive acceptance of the pastoral suggestion that all members of the family attend Mass on this day. This feast day also affords an opportunity for the renewal of our entrustment to the patronage of the Holy Family of Nazareth; the blessing of children as provided in the ritual; and where opportune, for the renewal of marriage vows taken by the spouses on their wedding day, and also for the exchange of promises between those engaged to be married in which they formalize their desire to found a new Christian family.
Outside of the feast, the faithful have frequent recourse to the Holy Family of Nazareth in many of life’s circumstances: joining the Association of the Holy Family so as to model their own families on the Holy Family of Nazareth; frequent prayers to entrust themselves to the patronage of the Holy Family and to obtain assistance at the hour of death.

Death of Prophet Zarathushtra ** – Zoroastrian  The Death of the Prophet Zarathustra is commemorated each year on 26th December by followers of the Zoroastrian religion.
Zarathustra, also known as Zoroaster, was a legendary religious teacher, said to be from Bactria, and the founder of Zoroastrianism.
On the commemoration of his death, the date of which is arbitrary in terms of accuracy, special prayer sessions are organised and prayers are recited, with religious discourses focusing on the life and works of the Prophet. Zoroastrians visit the Fire Temple to pray. Marked as a solemn occasion, elaborate celebrations and public functions are largely absent. Even religious ceremonies and services may be confined to the temple or held simply in the home.

28 Holy Innocents Feast – Christian Catholic Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod’s rage against Christ . Liturgical tradition refers to them as the “Holy Innocents” and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the “tender flock of lambs”with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy. These sentiments are also accompanied by a note of indignation against the violence with which they were taken from their mothers’ arms and killed.

31 Watch Night – Christian A watchnight service is a late-night Christian church service.
In many different Christian traditions, a watchnight service is held late on New Year’s Eve, and ends after midnight. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by making new commitments. There is a deep sense of blessing for many that they have begun a new year with their sisters and brothers of the Christian family in God’s house.Often the service follows a feast and evening celebration at the church.

I guess what the whole point of this is be respectful. Most of these holidays are about love for your family so don’t get hung up on names just know they are celebrating their love not spreading hate!

Blessings
Lucy

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