Winter Holidays Celebrated Around the World

The winter season is a popular time to celebrate a variety of holidays around the world. Here is a list of some holidays that families share together around the globe:

  1. Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated by Jewish families for 8 days starting on the 25th day of Kislev. They light a candelabrum called a menorah, lighting a new candle each day. They celebrate by singing songs, playing with a top called a dreidel, and by eating yummy foods like potato pancakes called latkes and jelly-filled donuts called sufganiyot. 

2. Diwali

Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights celebrated on the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (sometime between mid-October and mid-November). The festival lasts 5 days and is a celebration of light over dark/good over evil/knowledge over ignorance. The festival is associated with the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi. It is celebrated with fireworks, decorations including intricate flour and rice designs beside shrines, candies called mithai, and gifts.

3. Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated in countries around the world with an African diaspora to honour African-American culture and African heritage. The celebration lasts a week and culminates with a feast and presents. They light 7 candles in a kinara; each candle symbolizing the seven principles of Kwanzaa. This holiday was first celebrated in 1966.

4. Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year celebrates the first day of the new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. It was traditionally a celebration of ancestors and deities. The holiday has a variety of regional customs and traditions, but there is usually a family gathering and feast, red envelopes filled with lucky money, and traditions of cleaning the house in preparation of the holiday. 

5. Christmas

Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. The holiday is celebrated on the 25th of December with a feast, gift-giving, and decorating of a tree. 

In Finland, families light a single candle on the eve of Christmas beside the graves of loved ones.

In Ireland, children go door to door singing while holding up a stick topped with a holy bush and wren.

The winter is filled with many more joyous holidays celebrated around the world. They are the perfect time to spend quality time with the family, eat delicious food, and stay out of the cold!