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December Global Holidays 2021

december global holidays

Posted on Friday, November 19th, 2021 by Malvika Varma

About December Global Holidays

December, the most magical month of the year is upon us. The quiet reflectiveness of this festive month spreads cheers to all. It is undoubtedly the most joyous month which embarks upon the holiday mood and brings happiness. December marks midwinter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In other words, December is full of events worth celebrating and hence December is the month of global holidays!

The word ‘December’ is derived from the Latin word ‘decem’ which means ten. According to the calendar of Romulus 750 BC, December was originally the tenth month of the year. Later, the months of January and February were created and added to the beginning of the calendar. But December retained its name. 

“There’s something super special about December.”

Charmaine J. Forde

December brings joy and happiness!

With snow and a chimney in the home, nature’s beauty cannot be justified in words. Although the winters are associated with rest, hibernation, and quietness, its scenic beauty is mesmerizing. December is one of the most awaited times of the year. It brings a plethora of holidays that are culturally significant to their countries of origin. While some festivals are filled with solemn tradition, others emphasize fun and frolic. For example, the Thanksgiving traditions make the festival even more exciting. To know more, check out our Thanksgiving blog.

From the modern festivities to the ancient rituals, December fills your heart with hope and magic. Right from Thanksgiving, followed by Black Friday, globally people dwell in the spirit of the holiday season. It is at its peak in the December month till the New Year. 

“No matter what my fortune may be, or where I may roam, in December, I’ll be going home.”

Floyd Huddleston

Rightly said by Floyd Huddleston, December is the time people visit their homes to see their family and friends. It is the time of the year to eat delicious food in the warmth of love and affection of the near and dear ones. It is the month of several festivals and events such as cultural, religious, and corporate events worldwide. Let us explore these festivals and set ourselves in a holiday mood. 

December – Month of Celebration

As the year approaches, people indulge in cultural festivals and focus on celebrating the little things that matter. Below is the list of December global holidays 2021.

Hanukkah – (28 Nov- 6 Dec, 2021)

Hanukkah is Hebrew for dedication. It is a Jewish festival also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights. This 8 days festival begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. During the Hanukka festival, the re-dedication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem is celebrated, after the Maccabean Revolt. 

Hanukkah Festive comes in December global holidays

Ma’oz Tzur is one of the songs associated with Hanukkah. Candles are lit every night throughout the eight days to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Reciting the Hallel prayer, eating traditional oil-dried foods like potato pancakes (called latkes) and jam-filled donuts (called sufganiyot) are popular Hanukkah customs. The Judaic blessings are chanted before and during the process of lighting the candles. In 2021, the festival falls between November 28 and December 6. Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews worldwide.

Krampusnacht – (Dec 5, 2021)

Celebrated in Austria, Germany, and other parts of Europe, Krampusnacht is “Krampus night.” On this day, adults might dress up as Krampus. Krampus is a beasty demonic figure who assists Saint Nicholas in scaring the children who have misbehaved. The Krampus costume is made from sheep or goat skin and a hand-carved wooden mask. It is a century-old tradition similar to the Christmas concept of the Naughty and Nice list . Moreover, this character is portrayed in many Hollywood horror movies. This year Krampusnacht will be celebrated on December 5.

krampusnacht is “Krampus night,” when adults might dress up as Krampus

Saint Nicholas Day – (Dec 6, 2021)

Also called the Feast of Saint Nicholas, Saint Nicholas Day is the day to honor the death anniversary of the catholic saint, St. Nicholas of Myra. He was the man whose life inspired the tradition of Father Christmas and Santa Claus. The third-century saint who became an inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. In several European countries, it is a holiday and celebrated with feasts and parades.

Saint Nicholas Day is the day to honor the death anniversary of the catholic saint

Children hang out their shoes with carrots and hay for the Saint’s horse in the prior evening, hoping St. Nicholas will fill them with candies and small gifts. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in the coastal regions of northwestern Europe, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. It is also celebrated in many small towns and villages of Greece and Russia.

Bodhi Day – (Dec 8, 2021)

It is a religious festival in Japan to celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death all in one day. It is celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the lunar schedule by Mahayana Buddhists. Each year it is celebrated on December 8. Bodhi Day commemorates the day the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who experienced enlightenment.

religious festival in Japan to celebrate Buddha’s birth

The word’ bodhi’ means ‘awakening,’ and ‘enlightenment’ in Sanskrit and Pali. It is an important day for religious observance in the Buddhist communities. A meal of rice and milk is popular on this holiday.

St. Lucia’s Day – (Dec 13, 2021)

It is a religious festival to honor Italian Saint Santa Lucia. She chose to dedicate her life to God instead of marrying. She died as a martyr who the Romans killed in 304 A.D. It is considered as a figure of light and hope in the darkest part of the year. It symbolizes light in the middle of long, dark Nordic winters. St. Lucia’s Day marks the beginning of the Christmas season and is celebrated in Scandinavia and in Italy.

religious festival to honor Italian Saint Santa Lucia

Atmospheric concerts and processions mark this day. Singers clad in white and wearing headdresses with actual flickering candles are a feature of this holiday. It is a traditional feast day and is celebrated on December 13. 

Las Posadas – (Dec 16 – Dec 24, 2021)

It is a Mexican holiday to honor the journey of Joseph and Mary as they made their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Las Posadas takes place between Dec. 16 and Dec. 24. Las Posadas translates in English as ‘the inns’ or ‘the lodgings’. It is a nine day Mexican Christmas tradition based on the story of Mary, Joseph, and their search for a safe place to stay.

Las Posadas

A small child dressed as an angel, leads a procession of children through town as they go to various homes, seeking lodging for Joseph and Mary. It includes songs and scripture readings. It is an important festival in Cuba, Spain, Latin America, Guatemala, Mexico, and by Hispanics in the United States leading up to Christmas.

Yule – (Dec 21 – Jan 1, 2021)

Celebrated by Germans all around the world, Yule. Also called as Yuletide, this is observed by lighting a big log in a bonfire and spending the entire night outside. This 12 day festival is the oldest and most prominent winter holiday globally, as it coincides with the Winter Solstice. It is a pagan celebration with roots in Norse and Celtic cultures. Candlelit dinners and Yule tree decorations are common features of Yule. People exchange nature-based gifts with friends and family.

Yule December Global Hodiday festive

It is one of the prominent global December holidays. Yule has pagan roots to the Norse god Odin and the Anglo-Saxon festival of Modraniht.

Winter Solstice – (21 Dec, 2021)

Winter Solstice is celebrated across the globe as the days just get longer from December 21. On this day, there are many traditions observed. In England, there is a Stonehenge gathering at dawn the day after the longest night to witness the magical occurrence of the sun rising through the stones. Its archaeological research suggests winter solstice festivals happened there. 


Dongzhi is celebrated in China with family gatherings followed by a big meal. Rice balls called tang yuan is a featured dish. Additionally, to mark the end of the harvest season, the holiday has roots in the Chinese concept of yin and yang. 

Shab-e-Yalda is celebrated in Iran at the end of shorter days. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Yalda means ‘birth,’ and is marked by family gatherings, candles, poetry readings. Additionally, a feast is organized to get through the longest night of the year. 

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Lantern Festival of Vancouver is very famous. It is commemorated to honor the many cultural traditions that celebrate the winter solstice. Processions march throughout the city, and many people can attend workshops to create their lanterns.

Toji in Japan, Santo Tomas festival in Guatemala and Dongchi in South Korean tradition are observed to mark the winter solstice. The Burning of Clocks festival takes place in Brighton. Also, it is associated with its yearly solstice parade, bonfire, and fire show. People wear costumes representing clocks. It denotes the passage of time march with lanterns made of wood and paper to the beach. The lanterns are then burned in a huge bonfire. It symbolizes the wishes, hopes, and fears that are brought to the flames.

Winter Solstice festive

Newgrange gathering of Ireland is a popular winter solstice tradition. The Newgrange passage tomb and ancient temple are aligned to witness the dramatic sunlight effect on the winter solstice. People gather to watch this 17 minute light effect by a small opening. 

Festivus – (Dec 23, 2021)

Courtesy to the episode on the Seinfeld show titled ‘The Strike’. It is a parody holiday to stand against Christmas consumerism. People stand around a decorative aluminum pole instead of a decorated tree. The frugal spenders and minimalism advocate this false holiday to promote awareness about Christmas materialism.

Festivus Holiday

The two common traditions of Festivus are ‘Feats of Strength’ and ‘airing of grievances’, which have continued to grow in popularity.

Christmas – (Dec 25, 2021)

Marking the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is one of the most popular December Global Holidays. Even the non-Christians celebrate this festival worldwide with zeal and enthusiasm. People exchange gifts, share feasts with family and decorate trees in their homes. Many people attend Church services on Christmas Day. 

In Iceland, Yule Lads are featured along with the Christmas market. The thirteen Yule Lads are similar to the thirteen Santas. Each of Yules visit every night for thirteen days before Christmas. They leave gifts for kids in the shoes left in the window sills.

Christmas is one of the most popular December Global Holidays

Americans associate Christmas with Christmas trees, visits from Santa Claus, and dreams of snowy landscapes. As Christmas falls during summer in Australia, people go camping or to the beach over the holiday. In England, instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus as in the US, children celebrate this one of the most sought-after December Global Holidays by leaving mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas. 

“Chill December brings the sleet, Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.”

Sara Coleridge

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Boxing Day – (Dec 26, 2021)

Boxing Day remains one of the most iconic December global holidays. It is celebrated in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Many sports events are organized on this day. If you are looking for Boxing Day flights for this holiday season, contact Superfares.

Boxing Day remains one of the most iconic December global holidays

It’s the day when churches give charity boxes to the needy people after Christmas. Furthermore, Boxing Day is marked as the day to appreciate the services and administration. Such as to honor the services of errand boys, postmen, and other people. A day off for the workers and a ‘Christmas box’ or monetary gift is given on this day.

Kwanzaa – (Dec 26 – Jan 1, 2021)

The meaning of Kwanzaa is ‘First Fruits’. Kwanzaa is based on ancient African-American harvest festivals. It is a spiritual holiday celebrated from December 26 to January. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. Originated from the Swahili language, the word ‘kwanza’ means ‘first.’ The word comes from the Swahili phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’, which means ‘the first fruits’. It is a spiritual holiday where people decorate their homes and light a candle holder called a kinara. This festival lasts for seven days and is celebrated by songs, dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, followed by a large traditional meal called ‘Karamu’. To correspond with the theme of seven, it is spelled with an additional “a” at the end to make it a seven-letter word.

New Year’s Eve – (Dec 31, 2021)

New Year’s Eve is one of the most fun-filled December Global Holidays as people adieu to the old year and welcomes the new year. As it is the last December holiday, many parties and concerts are organized to celebrate the new beginnings. At midnight, the celebrations are usually at their peak, and people enjoy with joyful screams as the countdown to midnight culminates. Few countries like Australia organize fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year’s Eve. People like to socialize and gather in pubs and restaurants for New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve is one of the most fun-filled December Global Holidays

As many people make travel plans for the new year, Superfares offer amazing New Year flight deals. Just give us a call and we ensure that your vacation plan is sorted!

List of December Global Holidays

Sr NoName Of December Global Holidays 2021CountryDate 
1HanukkahIsrael and various Jewish communities around the world28-Nov to 6-Dec 2021
2National DayUnited Arab Emirates1-Dec-21
3Farmer’s DayGhana4-Dec-21
4KrampusnachtAustria, Germany, and other parts of Europe5-Dec-21
5Independence DayFinland6-Dec-21
6Saint Nicholas Daynorthwestern Europe, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium6-Dec-21
7Constitution DaySpain6-Dec-21
8King Bhumibol’s BirthdayThailand7-Dec-21
9Bodhi DayJapan8-Dec-21
10Constitution DayThailand10-Dec-21
11The Day of the Virgin of GuadalupeMexico12-Dec-21
12St. Lucia’s DayScandinavia and in Italy13-Dec-21
13Republic day,Malta13-Dec-21
14Victory Day,Bangladesh16-12-2021,
15Day of ReconciliationSouth Africa16-12-2021,
16Las Posadas Cuba, Spain, Latin America, Guatemala, Mexico, and by Hispanics in the United States16-Dec to 24-Dec 2021
17National DayQatar18-Dec-21
18YuleGermany and various German communities around the world21-Dec-21 to 1-Jan 2022
19Winter SolsticeVarious Countries21-Dec-21
20FestivusUnited States23-Dec-21
21Independence DayLibya24-Dec-21
22ChristmasVarious Countries25-Dec-21
23Boxing DayUnited Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia26-Dec-21
24KwanzaaAfrica26-Dec-21 to 1-Jan-22
25Independence and Unity DaySlovenia26-Dec-21
26Unduvap Full Moon PoyaSri Lanka29-Dec-21
27Rizal DayPhilippines30-Dec-21
28New Year’s EveVarious Countries31-Dec-21


December is the month to enjoy and treat yourself to the finer things in life. December is undoubtedly an exciting month to wind up the year in style. So what are your plans for the December Global Holidays? Do share your thoughts on it in the comments section below. 

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Have a merry December!


About Malvika | View Posts

Malvika Varma is a content marketer and blogger who immensely believes in the wonders that words can do. She assists companies by crafting valuable content for clients and building an effective connection with them. An engineer by choice and a philomath at heart, Malvika spends most of her time reading, traveling, and catching up with friends and family. When she is not doing all those things, you can find her decorating her home and workspace.

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