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Holidays & Celebrations for Dec-Jan 2016

Confused about what holidays to observe or celebrate, and when?

We hope this helps...

Have a rich, holy and memorable month & season ahead!

All the best,

Centre for Spirituality at Work



December 6:  St. Nicholas Day. Commemorates St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, who lived his life as a servant of God. Through his kindness, caring and generosity to all, he became known throughout the world. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of multiple diverse groups, including children. (European)

December 8:  Bodhi Day. A holiday observed by Buddhists to commemorate Siddhartha Gautama’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.

December 9: Gita Jayanti. A Hindu celebration, throughout India and in other parts of the world. This is the birthday of the sacred scripture of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita.

December 21: Winter Solstice/ Yule. The shortest day and the longest night of the year. Traditionally, it is a time of both foreboding and expectancy, as the longest night leads to the revival of the sun. And yet it is a turning point, when the sun reaches its southernmost point from the equator and seems to pause before reversing course. This celebration focuses on rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings as the sun makes way back to the earth.

December 25: Christmas (Gregorian calendar). The day that many Christians associate with Jesus’s birth.

December 24-January 1:  Hanukkah (Chanukah). Also known as the Festival of Lights, it is an eight-day Jewish holiday recognizing the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It is observed by lighting candles on a Menorah—one for each day of the festival. Begins in the evening of Dec 24 and ends in the evening of Jan 1.

December 26 – January 1: Kwanzaa. An African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.

December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day. This unofficial holiday encourages people to take charge of their lives and make decisions that they can stand by and be proud of, in the upcoming year. (More here)


January 1:  New Year’s Day (Gregorian calendar)

January 6:  Epiphany. A holiday recognizing the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus 12 days after his birth. The holiday is observed by both Eastern and Western churches.

January 6:  Christmas for the Armenian Orthodox Christians, who celebrate the birth of Jesus on Epiphany.(Armenians living in Israel celebrate Christmas on January 19.)

January 7:  Christmas for Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches, because they follow the Julian rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar.


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