Events of the month
December is a special month in terms of religious celebrations and
observances. Many of the most important days of the world's main religions occur
during this month.
DEC-1: This is World AIDS Day. AIDS has
killed about 15 million people; over 50 million are infected -- mostly
among African heterosexuals.
|DEC-3: This is the First Sunday in Advent, (a.k.a. Advent
Sunday). Advent is a series of Christian
observances on the Sundays leading up to Christmas. It starts on the Sunday
that is nearest to NOV-30, St. Andrew's Day. 2 The Roman
Catholic Church forbids marriages during Advent. 3|
DEC-6: In Canada, this is the National Day
of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On
1989-DEC-6, a deranged gunman, entered the École Polytechique de
Montréal. His application to the school had been rejected. He
blamed feminists for ruining his life. He shot 27 people: 23 women and
4 men. 14 women died. All the men survived.
|DEC-7: Jains celebrate Maunajiyaras,
a day of fasting, silence, and meditation on the five holy teachers of
|DEC-8: This is The feast of the Immaculate Conception,
celebrated by Roman Catholics. The feast is linked to
the date 1854-DEC-8, when Pope Pius IX formally defined the dogma infallibly
as a required belief. Many believe that it refers to the conception of
Jesus circa 6 BCE. In fact, it refers to the conception of Jesus'
mother Mary circa 24 BCE. |
DEC-8: Bodhi Day (a.k.a. Rohatsu) is when
Buddhist celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha in 596 BCE. It
is sometimes celebrated on the Sunday before DEC-8. 4
DEC-10: This is Human Rights Day,
DEC-10, the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the United
Nations Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. "The
1000 Lamp Mandala Ceremony" is celebrated around the
world to promote peace in Tibet and elsewhere.
DEC-22: The first day of an 8 day Jewish
festival of Hanukkah, (a.k.a. Chanukah, Feast of Lights,
Feast of Dedication.) It recalls the war fought by the
Maccabees in the cause of religious freedom.
DEC-21: The Winter Solstice happens on
this day at 13:37 ET. It is celebrated by many Aboriginal and Neopagan
religions around the world. It is called Yule by Wiccans,
who consider it one of the four minor Sabbats. The longest night and
shortest daytime occurs on this day.
DEC-25: Celebration of Christmas,
the nominal birth date of Jesus Christ, by the western churches which
follow the Gregorian calendar. Most theologians believe that Jesus was
born between 4 and 7 BCE, perhaps in the fall.
DEC-26: This is the first day of a week-long
celebration of Kwanza (a.k.a. Kwanzaa, Quansa) - a cultural holiday
celebrating African-American heritage. "Kwanza" is a
Swahili word for "the first," or "the first
fruits of the harvest".
DEC-26: Boxing Day is celebrated in
Australia, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. It is
apparently related to an old custom of giving cash or presents to poor
people. However, nobody really knows for certain why the
"Box" got into "Boxing Day." Theories abound. It
is listed in the Canada Labour Code as a holiday.
DEC-27: The probable date of Id al-Fitr,
(a.k.a. Eid-ul-Fitr) the last day of Ramadan. This is the
holiest period in the Islamic year. It recalls
the lunar month in which the Qura'n was revealed to humanity. The end
of Ramadan may be offset from this day, because it is dependent on the
sighting of the crescent moon.
DEC-31: New Year's Eve. This is really the last
day of the millennium. Others regard 1999-DEC-31 as the last
Although care was taken in the
preparation of this list, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or
Helen T. Gray, "Keeping faith during the holidays,"
Kansas City Star, 1999-DEC-17. It is a brief article on how followers of
four religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Wicca) celebrate their
faith near the end of December. Online at: http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/fyi.pat,fyi/
"Music for the first Sunday of Advent," at:
"First Sunday of Advent," at: http://www3.kumc.edu/diversity/ethnic_relig/advent.html
"Bodhi Day: Anniversary of Buddha's
Enlightenment" at: http://188.8.131.52/article.cfm/1932/15119