December’s Global Time of Celebration

The commercial world in the US bombards us with reminders of Christmas, yet in the spirit of love and acceptance it’s a good time of the year to remember that there are many tradtitions that celebrate holidays during this month. Below is a partial list of celebrations.  Whatever your tradition, be tolerant of the beliefs of others. Recognize the humanity and the desire for peace among all people.

December 1 is the date during which some sects of the Islam religion celebrate the birth of Mohammed.

Hanukka is the Jewish celebration of the return of the light and is celebrated December 12 to 20. Candles are lit in a 9 branch menorah which is used only during this holiday. It commemorates the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Greco/Syrians in 165 B.C.E. and the miraculous burning of a one day supply of candles for eight days.

Posadas Navidenas occurs on December 16 to 24 and is primarily celebrated by Hispanics to acknowledge the journey that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Although December feels like the beginning of a long dark winter, it is actually the traditional month to celebrate the return of the light during the Solstice. In 2017 the shortest day of the year is the Winter Solstice on December 21. After December 21 the days will slowly add more light. The Solstice is celebrated with what became the Christmas tree, gift giving and feasts.

Christmas, on December 25, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration from December 26 to January 1. The tradition is to celebrate the seven principles of self-determination; purpose; creativity; unity; communal work and responsibility; supportive economics; and faith. Kwanzaa focuses on an appreciation of the African-American heritage and the importance of family.