Holidays Around the World

Holidays Around the World

Boxing day in the UK

By Kami Knight

Boxing day is a holiday celebrated on December 26th that originated in the UK. It is a day dedicated to opening Alms boxes which are kept in churches through the holiday season to collect gifts for the poor. It started in the Middle ages around the 1800s and was also the day servants got the day off to celebrate Christmas. It is still celebrated in the UK as well as Canada, Greenland, Uganda, Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Denmark, Belize, and approximately 20 other countries.

Family Day 

By: Danny Frushour

Family Day is a holiday that is celebrated in Canada on the 3rd Monday of February and is a day dedicated for families to spend time together. During this time, businesses, schools, and transportation services are closed while entertainment services are still open for families to enjoy. Family Day originally started in Alberta, Canada in 1990 when the leader of Alberta’s son was arrested. As a result, the leader, Don Getty, then proposed the idea of a day where families can cherish the time that they have with each other. Nowadays only a select few of Canada’s provinces and territories don’t consider Family Day to be a holiday.



By Amanda Aka

Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated by Jewish people all over the world. It’s a festival that dates back to the year 164 B.C., celebrating the recapture of Jerusalem against the Seleucid Empire and rededication of the Second Temple. It lasts for eight days, beginning on December 10 and ending on December 18 of every year. Hanukkah traditions include exchanging gifts, playing the game of dreidel, eating traditional oil based foods, and the lighting of the menorah. Every night one additional candle is lit by the shamash, meaning the caretaker in Hebrew, until all eight candles are lit together on the last night of the festival. The central shamash is always the first candle to be lit and is then used to light the other ones, hence being considered “the caretaker” for others. Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew and is one of the most important holidays celebrated among Jews across the globe.


Chinese New year 

by Ramon  Favela

Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year.This year the Chinese New Year was celebrated on Saturday, January 25 and the date changes every year. Chinese New Year is also called spring festival because spring starts.Every year represents an animal and in 2020 it is the year of the rat.

St. Nicholas Day  

By Andy Rapp

St. Nicholas day or called the feast of St. Nicholas is a day celebrating the man who inspired Santa Claus. It is celebrated on the 5th or 6th in western christian practices and it is celebrated on the 16th in Eastern christian practices because of the old church calendar. We celebrate the saint because he was known to sell all his possessions and constantly give to the poor especially during winter. To celebrate most people put out stockings or empty shoes right outside their doors which saint Nick will fill with coins or apples. The purpose of St Nicholas day though is to remember the poor and less fortunate and to keep them in mind with your thoughts of good tidings. 


By: Joud Ashour 

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that is held from December 26th to January 1st,  it was created by Dr.Maulana Karenga.

Kwanzaa, which means “First Fruits,” is based on ancient African harvest festivals and celebrates ideals such as family life and unity. During this spiritual holiday, celebrated from December 26th to January 1st, millions of African Americans dress in special clothes, decorate their homes with fruits and vegetables, and light a candle holder called a kinara. Dr Maluana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the United states as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. The holiday greeting is “Joyous Kwanzaa”.


Epiphany Day

By Abby Hess

Epiphany day is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. It is always celebrated on January 6th and commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi or the three wise men. The epiphany feast ends the season of christmas. People celebrating always partake in three traditions—baking a kings’ cake, marking a door lintel with the magi’s blessing, and going to worship with lighted candles. Epiphany Day is celebrated 12 days after Christmas to mark the amount of time it took after the birth of Jesus for the wise men, to travel to Bethlehem for the Epiphany when they recognized him as the son of God.



By:Cooper Mendel

Diwali or Deepavali a Sanskrit word, meaning “rows of lighted lamps” is a Hindu originated festival celebrated in India.A five-day celebration from November 12 – November 16 includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps. Diwali is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar. It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana.


St.Lucia Day 

By Gavin Dennis

St.Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13 in Sweden, Norway, and certain parts of Finland, it celebrates St.Lucia who is considered a martyr. It began in the 6th century, St.Lucia day is celebrated with a festival of lights, a feast, and girls dressing up as St.Lucia. The feast is celebrated with traditional food such as green fig,savory green bananas, and salted cod. 

 Winter Solstice 

 by: Brittney Mapps 

With other names such as Midwinter, Yule, the Longest Night, and Jól, the Winter Scolcice is one of the most diverse holidays, celebrating the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s been said that this holiday was discovered as early as in the Stone Age. (10,200 BC.) And today in the modern world, between December twenty-first to twenty-third, the Winter Scolcice holds 


Three Kings Day


Three Kings Day is celebrated in Spain and Latin America. And is celebrated on January 6th, which is the 12th day of Christmas or known as Three Kings Day. This holiday celebrates the biblical tale of the Three kings that visit baby Jesus after he was born.They traveled to bring gifts of gold to baby Jesus.Today children celebrate by receiving gifts of your own. They are told to leave their shoes outside the door so like our version of Santa Claus, the Three Kings can leave them presents. 


Diwali Day

By: Miguel Carrizo

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. Diwali is celebrated Thursday 4.


Las Posadas

By Rophe Danso

On December 24th of every year Mexican families come together to celebrate Christmas Eve or Las Posadas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This tradition usually takes place in a church where the children perform the Posada ( the Christmas story of Jesus). After the ceremony everyone goes home to have dinner then come back for midnight mass ( or  Misa de Gallo which means Mass of the rooster) to celebrate Christmas day.

Las Posadas

By: Taylor-Rose Hubbard

Las Posadas is an annual celebration that is held between December 16th and the 24th. It is celebrated typically in Mexico and some parts of the United States. Las Posadas is a novenario which is an extended devotional prayer. The Holiday commemorates the journey Joseph and Mary had in search of a place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. When they were unable to find lodging in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were forced to seek shelter in a stable, where the Christ Child was born. Each evening during the festival, a small child dressed as an angel leads a procession through the streets of the town. The procession is primarily made up of children dressed in silver and gold robes carrying lit candles and images of Mary and Joseph riding a donkey. Adults, including musicians, follow the procession, which visits selected homes and ask for lodging for Joseph and Mary. At each stop passages of scripture are read and christmas carols are sung. Mass is held each day after the procession, and, at the conclusion of the service, children break open piñatas filled with candy, toys, and, occasionally, money. The word Las Posadas means “The Inns” in English referring to the small stable Inn where Mary gave birth.


Hei Neak Ta

By: Cassie Pheng

Hei Neak Ta, or the Spirit Parade, is a festival that is celebrated every year to mark the end of the Chinese New Year. In parts of Asia, they refer to this holiday as the Lantern Festival and is usually celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar calendar (Around January 15th, may change). In parts of Southeast Asia, it’s celebrated for three to four days. On this day, people celebrate the spirits by doing parades and dressing up as spirits. They dress up as spirits by sticking sticks to their mouths, dressing up in colorful clothing, and going through rituals. If the person can undergo these rituals, they say it’s a sign of spirit possession. Overall, this holiday is celebrated prominently in Southeast Asia, to welcome and celebrate the spirits they believe are with them. 


Omisoka (Japanese New Year)

By:Emily Burkhardt

Omisoka or in other words ōtsugomori, is traditionally a Japanese celebration on the last day of the year, December 31. This is one of their most important and celebrated holidays. It’s the 12th lunar moon so they then change to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era. Families will clean and declutter their homes in a look for a fresh start. They also have giant feats with traditional Japanese foods especially the tokisaki-soba. This is a long noodle soup because people believe eating the long noodle is a way into the next year. A reason for why they cook so much is because they believe that it’s unlucky to cook in your kitchen for the first three days of the year.This holiday isn’t just about considering how it’s a party; it’s a spiritual event especially for those who visit the Shinto Shrines. These are temples which ring a large bell at midnight to show the 108 earthly wants that created human suffering.


La Befana- celebrated in Venice, Italy on January 6

By, D’Mya Sharpe

 La Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the feast of the Epiphany. And is similar to Santa Claus. On January 5, eve of Epiphany, parents will leave out a plate of broccoli with spiced sausage and a glass of wine for Befana. Tradition says the good witch flies around on her broom and enters houses through a chimney to deliver clothing, toys, and candy to all the good children. On January 6, children will find the treats and toys in their stockings.


Mardi Gras

By Nico Ortiz

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday”, is an annual carnival that starts 12 days after Christmas and continues until the day before Ash Wednesday. This celebration is typically held in New Orleans. The very first Mardi Gras parade happened on Feb 24, 1857. During this celebration, attenders play music, eat a lot of food, walk with large crowds. Some dress up and wear a special mask for the celebration which has become a pretty iconic thing in New Orleans.

Gävle’s Yule Goat

By: Peyton Biermann

In Sweden and many other Northern European countries the holiday of Yule was a pagan winter holiday predating Christmas, which used goats as a symbol, leading many of these countries still using straw goats as a winter decoration. One Swedish town in particular, Gävle (yeah-vleh), takes this a step further. Starting in 1966 they erected a giant Yule goat in the town square. However many people know of this goat for a different tradition, that being the bets on whether or not it will be burnt down before it’s taken down by the town on New Years Eve. The original goat in 1966 was burnt by drunk vandals, and over the years the goat has been destroyed ⅔ times, usually by fire. Despite security measures like fences and webcams some crazy attempts to destroy it have been made, including being hit by a car, stolen and thrown in a river, shot with a flaming arrow by a man dressed in a Santa suit, and a man attempting to bribe security guards to let him steal it with a helicopter. As of today the 2020 goat is still standing.


Benito Juarez day:

ByGunner Harris

This is a day where they celebrate an important man. Benito Juarez Day is celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico on every third Monday of March. It is a public holiday that marks the birthday of former 19th century president of Mexico, Benito Juarez. This day is special because they celebrate the life of this person


 Winter Solstice 

 by: Brittney Mapps

With other names such as Midwinter, Yule, the Longest Night, and Jól, the Winter Solstice is one of the most diverse holidays, celebrating the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s been said that this day was discovered as early as in the Stone Age (10,200 BC.) And today in the modern world, between December twenty-first to twenty-third, the Winter Solstice holds feasts, parties, and many other cultural traditions, honoring this unique nature of day and night.