You’ve probably heard a lot of “happy holidays” this season — with good reason. Plenty of cultures celebrate the start of astronomical winter, the end of the year, or just the coming of cold weather by gathering with loved ones and giving thanks.
Look forward to:
- Yule (begins Dec. 21), an ancient Germanic solstice festival. Celebrants mark the shortest day of the year and balance between light and dark.
- Hanukkah (ongoing), the Jewish Festival of Lights which began the evening of Sunday, Dec. 18 and ends on Monday, Dec. 26.
- Christmas (Dec. 25), a cultural and religious festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ – which, if you’ve put off gift shopping until now, there’s still time.
- Kwanzaa (Dec. 26), a week of African American and pan-African celebration culminating in Karamu on Saturday, Dec. 31.
- Lunar Bodhi Day (Dec. 30), celebrating the Buddha’s enlightenment through acts of kindness. “Secular” Bodhi Day was celebrated on Dec. 8.
You don’t need to celebrate them all — but let’s all celebrate together.