The Golden Rule

In the final month of 2018, our thoughts turn to the holidays. To most Americans Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are December’s Holidays.

My family has been in America since the early 1600’s. I was brought up Protestant celebrating Christmas. But I have been fortunate to travel extensively and have gotten to know many wonderful people from many different countries of all religious beliefs.

All too often, in every religion, the ardent supporters forget or don’t realize that “The Golden Rule, also known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, has been valued by human societies for thousands of years and is found worldwide throughout cultures, religions, secular philosophies, and indigenous traditions.”

So we are going to gently remove our blinders and, with the help of Wikipedia, expand our view to include the other holidays that are celebrated in December in America and many other countries around the world.

I hope whatever you believe or celebrate this December that you open your hearts and minds to others, of different beliefs, and spend your holiday surrounded by those that you love!

Happy holidays!


 

~December Holidays ~

Buddhism

Bodhi Day: 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).

Christianity

Advent: four Sundays preceding Christmas Day

Krampusnacht: 5 December – The Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated in parts of Europe on 6 December. In Alpine countries,

Saint Nicholas’ Day: 6 December

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Day: 8 December – The day of Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception is celebrated as a public holiday in many Catholic countries.

Saint Lucia’s Day: 13 December – Church Feast Day. Saint Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets.

Las Posadas: 16–24 December – procession to various family lodgings for celebration & prayer and to re-enact Mary & Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem

Longest Night: A modern Christian service to help those coping with loss, usually held on the eve of the Winter solstice.

Christmas Eve: 24 December – In many countries e.g. the German speaking countries, but also in Poland, Hungary and the Nordic countries, gift giving is on 24 December.

Christmas Day: 25 December and 7 January – celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Anastasia of Sirmium feast day: 25 December

Twelve Days of Christmas: 25 December–6 January

Saint Stephen’s Day: 26 December – In Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic a holiday celebrated as Second Day of Christmas.

Saint John the Evangelist’s Day: 27 December

Holy Innocents’ Day: 28 December

Saint Sylvester’s Day: 31 December

Hinduism

Pancha Ganapati: a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Ganesha.

Historical

Malkh: 25 December

Mōdraniht: or Mothers’ Night, the Saxon winter solstice festival.

Saturnalia: 17–23 December – An ancient Roman winter solstice festival in honor of the deity Saturn.

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Day of the birth of the Unconquered Sun): 25 December – late Roman Empire

Humanism

Human Light: 23 December – Humanist holiday originated by the New Jersey Humanist Network in celebration of “a Humanist’s vision of a good future.”

Judaism

Hanukkah: usually falls anywhere between late November and early January.

Paganism

Yule: Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January.

Yalda: 21 December – The turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil.

Koliada: Slavic winter festival celebrated on late December with parades and singers who visit houses and receive gifts.

Secular

Boxing Day: 26 December.

Human Rights Day: 10 December

Dongzhi Festival: a Chinese celebration of Winter, Observed by Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese. Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is a time for the family to get together

Hogmanay: night of 31 December–before dawn of 1 January – Scottish New Year’s Eve celebration

Newtonmas: 25 December – As an alternative to celebrating the religious holiday Christmas, some atheists and skeptics have chosen to celebrate December 25 as Newtonmas, due to it being Isaac Newton’s birthday on the old style date.

Kwanzaa: 26 December–1 January – Pan-African festival celebrated in the US New Year’s Eve: 31 December – last day of the Gregorian year

Soyal: 21 December – Zuni and Hopi

Solstice: On or about 21 December.

Zamenhof Day: 15 December – Birthday of Ludwig Zamenhof, inventor of Esperanto; holiday reunion for Esperantists

Watch Night: 31 December – New Year’s Eve

Unitarian Universalism

Chalica: first week of December – A holiday created in 2005, celebrated by some Unitarian Universalists.