Here in the US, we tend to associate the entire month of December with celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Bodhi, and other holidays celebrating family, giving, and the days finally getting longer again. But there are a lot of other holidays in December! Some are international, like World AIDS Day (December 1st), and some are relatively local, National Illinois Day (December 7th).
Many of the major religious holidays celebrated in December feature lights, reminding us to hope for spring in the northern hemisphere. Yule logs are burned, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah candles are lit, Christmas trees are wrapped in strands of LED bulbs, just like in days of yore. In the southern hemisphere, similar holidays take place in June. Some anthropoligists estimate that Australian Aborigines may have the been the first people to recognize and celebrate the turning of the seasons in June.
December is the last chance we have to celebrate 2019 as the United Nations‘ designated Year of Indigenous Languages, Year of Moderation, and Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. You can practice moderation by learning only 1,000 of the 2,680 languages currently in danger of disappearing! Memorize only half of the periodic table!
You can also celebrate your favorite causes or interests all through December. Not only is December International Human Rights Month, it is also Stress-Free Family Holiday Month (seriously?!) as well as Quince and Watermelon Month.
There are plenty of serious holidays and observances in December. There are too many to list here, but this is a sampling from around the world.
- International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (December 2nd)
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance (December 7th)
- Kazakhstan Independence Day (December 16th)
- South African Day of Reconciliation (December 16th)
- Remembrance Day for Roma and Sinti killed by Genocide (December 19th)
Best of all (in my opinion) there are plenty of bizarre, odd, strange, perhaps even weird holidays in December. Every day of the month has at least two or three chances to sit back for a moment and reflect on how lucky you are not to be celebrating something that day. A few of my favorites are below, but there are many, many more online!
- Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day (December 1st)
- National Mutt Day (December 2nd)
- International Ninja Day (December 5th)
- Faux Fur Friday (first Friday in December)
- Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day (December 8th)
- Pick a Pathologist Pal Day (December 13th)
- Cat Herders Day (December 15th)
- Barbie and Barney Backlash Day (December 16th)
- Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day (December 18th)
- National French Fried Shrimp Day (December 21st)
- International Dalek Remembrance Day (December 21st)
- Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day (December 21st)
- National Pfeffernusse Day (December 23rd)
- A’Phabet Day (December 25th) (No “L”!)
- National Whiner’s Day (December 26th)
- Fruitcake Day (December 27th, but I think my father is the only person who actually celebrates this)
- Tick Tock Day (December 29th)
If you still haven’t picked a bizarre holiday, you still have a chance to celebrate Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31st!