It’s a great time of year to get out and celebrate. December is full of holidays, parties and fun! Here’s a list of some of our favorite December holidays:
December 1 – World AIDS Day
December 1 is World AIDS Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Every year on this day, we gather together to remember those affected by AIDS and fight against discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.
The observance began in 1988 when then-UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot called for all people everywhere to observe International Anti-Discrimination Day (IAD) on Dec 31st. In 1992, Piot urged governments around the world “to take action against discriminatory practices” and later asked them to recognize Dec 1st as IAD Day instead of Dec 31st because it better reflected current realities.”
December 2 – National Mutt Day (US)
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December 5 – International Volunteer Day (UN)
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December 8 – Immaculate Conception (Catholic)
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December 12 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
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December 14 – Monkey Day
Monkey Day is a holiday that celebrates monkeys and the animals they resemble. Monkey Day is celebrated on December 14, which means it’s a great day to celebrate with friends and family.
On this special day, people may dress up as monkeys or wear outfits that feature monkeys (or both). If you’re feeling extra festive, you can also play games like bingo or pin the tail on the donkey!
December 15 – Last day of Hanukkah (Jewish)
- The end of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is marked by the last night of a seven-day December global holiday period.
- The Jewish festival commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire (2nd century BCE).
- Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated during December/January with gifts and feasts for family members, friends and neighbors.
December 16 through 24 – Posadas Navidenas (Christian)
Posadas are religious processions held during the week leading up to Christmas. They take their name from the Spanish word for “procession,” which refers to the many people who participate in these events.
The most famous posadas are held in Mexico, Central America and the Philippines; however they can be found throughout many other countries around the world as well! In fact, it’s possible that you might have attended a posada yourself if you’ve ever visited one of those places!
December 16 through 25 – Las Posadas (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, etc.)
Las Posadas is a celebration of the Virgin Mary and her search for shelter in Bethlehem. Shepherds from all over the world came to watch this reenactment, which took place on December 16 through 25.
These countries have a tradition that involves making images of Mary out of paper mache, painting them with different colors, then hanging them on trees or fences as she searched for a house to stay at during her flight from Herod’s soldiers. The tree where these images are hung symbolizes God’s protection over humanity—so it’s no surprise that these countries celebrate their patroness by decorating trees with papier-mâché figurines!
December 20 – Yule (Wiccan/Pagan)
- The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and longest night. It’s also known as Yule, or Yuletide, which is a holiday celebrated by many religions and cultures around the world.
- On this date, we celebrate our connection to our Earth through nature and animals as well as ourselves — which makes it a perfect time for yoga!
December 21 through January 1 – Kwanzaa (African-American Community)
- Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American heritage.
- It starts on December 26 and ends on January 1 (the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar).
- The holiday consists of seven days (December 26-January 1) which are marked by family get-togethers, charitable events, and cultural activities.
Section:December 22 through January 5 – Saturnalia (Roman/Pagan)
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There are lots of holidays to celebrate in December.
December is a busy month, so it’s important to take some time out for yourself. Whether you’re looking for some friends to hang out with or a family member who can help you work through your holiday stress, there are plenty of ways to spend your days in December.
If spending time with loved ones is more important than getting presents and eating turkey, then perhaps volunteering at an animal shelter will do the trick! If this sounds like something that might interest you, why not sign up for one of these top-rated animal shelters?
December is a great month to get together with family and friends. Here are some of the most popular holidays in December, so you can plan your holiday party or celebration!