International December Holidays

December is, without a doubt, the most cheerful month of the year. December Global Holidays are honored by a variety of events and festivals, including religious, cultural, and even corporate celebrations.

This month also marks the beginning of a new calendar year. The start of many New Year’s resolutions, promises, and hopes.

December is also Universal Human Rights Month, a time for people in the United States and around the world to come together and fight for the rights and dignity of all people.

Importance Of Holiday Season

Regardless of what holiday you are celebrating, most families have their traditions and customs.

Even as we grow older and start our own families, we naturally incorporate parts of the old customs into our new ones.

  • Traditions, whether new or ancient, appear to hold a special place in our hearts.
There’s a reason we’ve retained our holiday customs for so long: they’ve become a vital component of how we celebrate.

Simply said, we keep Christmas traditions because they enrich our celebrations and help us connect with individuals we care about.

December’s Top 10 Most Popular Holidays

Let’s take a look at some of the December global holidays around the world!

Bodhi day

The birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha are all commemorated on this day.

  • Date of the Celebration: 8th of December
  • Type: Religious in nature
  • Where Is It Honored? Japan

On one day, a few Buddhists commemorate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. The celebration is known as Vesak, and it is planned according to the lunar calendar.

Vesak is divided into three independent heavenly days by Mahayana Buddhists in China, Korea, and Vietnam.

  • Buddha’s illumination, or Bodhi Day, is commemorated on one of the three days.

Bodhi Day is observed by Mahayana Buddhists on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, which varies from year to year.

Bodhi Day is observed on the Gregorian calendar in Japan, in any circumstance. This is due to Sovereign Meiji’s leadership of Japan from 1867 to 1912. During that time, he began the process of westernization.

Bodhi Day is observed on December 8th in Japan every year. It’s unclear when it became what it is now.

Boxing Day

The origins of Boxing Day and the appropriate ways to commemorate it have long been controversial. Some believe that after Christmas, this was the formal day when churches distributed charity boxes to the destitute.

Others regard Boxing Day as the day to thank errand boys, postmen, and other types of servants for their work throughout the year with gifts.

  • Date of the Celebration: 26th of December
  • Type: general in nature
  • Where Is It Honored? worldwide

Regardless of its meaning, Boxing Day is one of the most well-known holidays in December.

Numerous countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have proclaimed the date a public holiday since then.

Boxing Day is traditionally commemorated in these nations by sporting events.


The most popular December holiday is without a doubt Christmas. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is born on this day.

  • Date of the Celebration: 25th of December
  • Type: religious
  • Where Is It Honored? worldwide

Christmas is unique among religious holidays in that it is widely observed by non-Christians.

It’s important to note, however, that the precise date of Jesus’ birth is uncertain. The Roman calendar’s winter solstice coincided with Christmas, thus it was chosen.

Furthermore, Christmas is observed as a cultural rather than religious celebration in many countries.

Leaving gifts for Santa Claus or Father Christmas is just one method to commemorate the holiday.

On Christmas Day, many individuals attend Church services, while others opt for a full-fledged vacation.


To raise awareness about the negative effects of Christmas shopping

  • Date of the Celebration: 23rd of December
  • Type: parody event
  • Where Is It Honored? Worldwide

Festivus is a December global festival that gained popularity in 1997 because of a Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike.” The goal of this mock holiday is to criticize Christmas consumerism.

Rather than buying an expensive Christmas tree, Festivus is observed by gathering around a simple aluminum pole. “Feats of Strength” and “airing of grievances” are two more prominent Festivus traditions.

Some commentators have slammed Festivus supporters, describing them as anti-traditionalists with erroneous ideas about Christmas and its genuine significance.

However, the holiday has grown in popularity, particularly among budget shoppers and minimalists.


In memory of the Second Temple’s re-dedication in Jerusalem

  • Date of the Celebration: from November 28th to December 6th
  • Type: religious
  • Where Is It Honored? Israel, as well as Jewish communities throughout the world

Hannukah, also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish festival that typically begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Kislev.

Each year, according to the Gregorian calendar, the start of Hannukah varies. The festival takes place this year between November 28 and December 6.

Hannukah commemorates the re-dedication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple after the Maccabean Revolt. Every night over the next eight days, candles are lit.

The Hannukah celebration also includes the singing of distinctive songs like Ma’oz Tzur and the reciting of the Hallel prayer.

Eating oil-dried delicacies like potato pancakes (also known as latkes) and jam-filled donuts are other famous Hannukah traditions (also known as sufganiyot). In addition to playing dreidels and exchanging gifts, the celebrants exchange gifts.


To keep certain African values alive

  • Date of the Celebration: from December 26th to January 1st
  • Type: cultural
  • Where Is It Honored? Throughout the world, particularly in the United States

Kwanzaa is an African-American festival celebrated mostly in the United States in December.

Following the Watts riots in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Maulana Karenga developed the day, which was first observed in 1966.

  • Kwanzaa is an imprecise translation of the Swahili word kwanza, which means “first”.
  • The word “matunda ya kwanza” means “first fruits” in Swahili.

Traditional African music and dances are frequently performed to commemorate Kwanzaa. There will also be storytelling, poetry reading, and a discussion of diverse African cultural beliefs.

These celebrations normally end with a massive traditional supper after each day and a gigantic feast known as ‘Karamu’ on December 31.

New Year’s Eve

To commemorate the year’s end New Year’s Eve serves to both mark the end of the previous year and bring in the new one.

  • Date of the Celebration: December 31st
  • Type: cultural/general in nature
  • Where Is It Honored? Throughout the world

This day can be celebrated in several ways. The majority of religious people go to their places of worship to express gratitude to God for another year of benefits.

The merriment usually reaches its pinnacle at midnight, when joyous cries, songs, and fireworks fill the sky.

Santa Lucia

Celebrated in order to pay homage to Lucia of Syracuse.

  • Date of the Celebration: December 13th
  • Type: religious
  • Where Is It Honored?  Italy and Scandinavia

Santa Lucia was an Italian saint who died as a martyr and was one of the first Christian saints to gain widespread adoration, having a large following before the fifth century.

She is the patron saint of virgins and the city of Syracuse (Sicily).

Sweden commemorates and respects Santa Lucia as a symbol of light and hope every year on December 13th.

On this historic day, vocalists dressed in white and wearing headdresses with real flickering candles perform dramatic performances and processions.

World AIDS Day

To promote public awareness about the AIDS pandemic.

Date of the Celebration: December 1st

Type: health awareness

Where Is It Honored? Worldwide

In August 1987, James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter proposed the concept of World AIDS Day.

Bunn and Netter worked for the World Health Organization’s Global Programme on AIDS as public information officers at the time.

The inaugural World AIDS Day was observed the following year on December 1, which has remained the official date of the holiday ever since.

The goal of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to remember those who have been afflicted or affected by it.

There are a variety of ways to mark the occasion, including visiting orphaned children, funding safe-sex initiatives, and pressing governments to increase efforts to combat HIV.


To honor the Norse god Odin

  • Date of the Celebration: December 13th
  • Type: religious
  • Where Is It Honored? Italy and Scandinavia

Yule, also known as Yuletide, is a Germanic festival celebrated by people all over the world. The celebration has pagan roots, with roots in the Norse god Odin and the Anglo-Saxon Feast of Modraniht.

Yuletide is one of the world’s oldest and most popular winter holidays, as it coincides with the Winter Solstice.

  • Yule was celebrated by igniting a massive wood in a bonfire and spending the entire night outside.

Although log burning is still done today, most people celebrate Yule by creating a Yule altar, producing an evergreen Yule wreath, or gifting to Mother Nature.

Candlelit dinners and Yule tree decorations are popular, as is the exchanging of nature-based gifts.

Additional Different December Holidays Around the World

  • December 1 –National Day
  • December 4 – Farmer’s Day
  • December 5 – Krampusnacht day
  • December 6 – Independence Day
  • December 7 – King Bhumibol’s Birthday
  • December 8 – Feast of the Day of Immaculate Conception

  Constitution Day

  • December 10 – Constitution Day
  • December 12 – The Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day
  • December 13 – Republic day
  • December 16 – Victory Day

    Day of Reconciliation

  • December 18 – National Day
  • December 16-24 – Las Posadas
  • December 26 – Boxing Day

     Independence and Unity Day

  • December 29 – Unduvap Full Moon Poya
  • December 30 – Rizal Day


There are several December international holidays to help you conclude the year on a high note. It’s also a great time to recognize those who have truly made the year’s end worthwhile.

 if there is one basic takeaway point here it’s that Traditions, customs, and culture nourish our spirit and are a crucial element of family bonding. They can be anything fun you and your family like doing together, or you can create your own.

Don’t get caught up in creating the ideal family tradition; it’s about the pleasure you enjoy with your loved ones, not about being flawless.