December Global Holidays

December Global Holidays

During December, global holidays are celebrated in many countries around the world. Learn about the many different celebrations, including Boxing Day, St. Stephen’s Day, Bodhi Day, and Las Posadas. If you’re a fan of Latin culture, you’ll be interested in learning about the different holidays and festivals celebrated during this time of year.
Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a public holiday in some countries, mostly in the United Kingdom. It is traditionally celebrated with gift-giving to servants, tradespeople, and the poor. In more recent times, it has become associated with shopping and sporting events. However, the traditions of giving gifts and giving alms boxes remain.

The origin of Boxing Day is unclear, but it dates back to at least the 18th century. Some theories suggest it was derived from the day after Christmas, which people celebrated by giving each other gifts. Other theories include the holiday’s nautical origin and the idea of charity drives. Today, the day is celebrated in countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Bahamas.


Regardless of the origins of the holiday, it is an international holiday with deep roots in gift-giving and classism

Although Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are the most common global holidays in December, other countries also celebrate many other events and occasions. Japan celebrates Omisoka (the last day of the old year) on the 31st, which is also considered a global holiday. In addition, many countries observe Boxing Day, which is celebrated on the 26th of December.

St. Stephen’s Day

The 26th of December is St. Stephen’s Day, which commemorates the death of the first Christian martyr. In the early years of Christianity, Stephen was a Jew who had begun to follow Jesus. After 40 days of preaching, he was stoned to death. However, Jesus promised Stephen that he and his disciples would not perish from the stone. In Esztergom, Hungary, St. Stephen was consecrated as the country’s first Christian king.


In Russia, this holiday is celebrated with the eating of Halushky, cabbage-filled buckwheat dumplings

Other December global holidays include Boxing Day, the public holiday in the United Kingdom, and some countries in the Commonwealth. The name is derived from the practice of giving gifts to household servants. In Ireland, Boxing Day is also known as Wren’s Day, as wren feathers were thought to bring good luck. People usually visit family and friends, or attend parties to celebrate St. Stephen’s Day.

Bodhi Day

December global holidays include Bodhi Day, a Buddhist holiday that takes place on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The day is a time to remember the life of the great Buddha and to meditate, following his example. Some Buddhists decorate their homes with images of the Buddha or colorful decorations.


These decorations symbolize the various paths to enlightenment

Throughout the world, Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day in various ways, including meditating, reading ‘dharma’, and chanting sutras. Others choose to celebrate by cooking tea, eating cakes, or visiting temples. In Japan, Bodhi Day is not an official holiday, but many Buddhists mark the day by visiting temples and receiving food gifts.
Las Posadas

The month of December is full of global holidays that celebrate the birth of Christ. The first is Saint Lucia’s Day, a day to remember the true meaning of Christmas and the spirit of giving. Another is Las Posadas, a festival in Mexico and many other Latin American countries that commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The celebration generally runs from December 16 to 24. The name of the holiday comes from the Spanish word las posada, meaning “inns”. The posadas are often decorated with colorfully-decorated stalls, and stalls with traditional food and drink.

The most common way to celebrate this Mexican holiday is by watching the nativity scene. These scenes are incredibly beautiful and make for a rich cultural experience for elementary school students. You can use the resources below to teach about Las Posadas as a stand-alone unit or as part of a larger holiday unit on Christmas and the world.

World AIDS Day

Every year on 1 December, the world marks World AIDS Day to support people living with HIV and remember those who died of AIDS. This global holiday is also an important opportunity for the UNAIDS to raise awareness about the need to eliminate the inequalities that cause pandemics to spread.


These inequalities can prolong an AIDS epidemic and cause a social and economic crisis

World AIDS Day has been recognized by the United Nations since 1988. Since then, the United States President has delivered the keynote address and other heads of state have participated. In addition, the White House displays the AIDS Ribbon on its building every year, garnering global attention and raising awareness of the disease. UNAIDS also comes up with a specific theme for the day every year read also.

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