Holidays are days off work or school to commemorate a person, event, or religious belief. In India, for example, the Holi holiday requires a week off of work. Most other holidays are celebratory and involve no work or school. The term holiday derives from the words “holy” and “day,” and originally referred to a religious festival. But today, holidays are celebrated for many different reasons. Here are some examples of common holidays:
The earliest documented examples of Christmas celebrations are in the earliest writings of the Church. Christian Christians were reminded of the birth of Jesus by giving gifts to one another and to their friends and family. In the 15th century, the Magi suggested that the holiday was tied to giving gifts, and this tradition gained popularity in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Puritans, however, opposed the celebration of Christmas and even tried to ban it in America and England.
Originally, the festival was celebrated throughout the winter, spanning from December 24 to January 6. The holiday began on December 24, the day before the ancient Jewish calendar, which started at six in the evening. Later, a more secular version of Christmas developed, with the custom of exchanging presents and the mythical Santa Claus a central figure. The tradition of exchanging gifts continues, though it has evolved to become more elaborate. In recent years, the holiday has been celebrated by non-Christians, but it remains strongly associated with Christianity.
St. Lucia’s Day
Saint Lucy’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian holiday celebrated on 13 December. Originally, this day was dedicated to the saint, a girl named Lucy. Now, it is observed by people all over the world. To learn more about the holiday, check out these facts. We all know Saint Lucy is a famous child, but did you know that there are other ways to celebrate St. Lucy’s Day?
Sweden celebrates this day as a way of celebrating the light during dark Nordic winters. It falls on the same day as Winter Solstice, which marks the end of the cold and dark winter season in Sweden. Young girls, however, wear wreaths on their heads and cover them with candles. Battery-powered candles are often used, but preteens and teens sometimes upgrade to real candles. As with the Swedish tradition of St. Lucia, the day is widely celebrated across Europe.
If you’re planning a Mexican holiday, you may be interested in the tradition of Las Posadas, which means “Christmas lodgings.” The event commemorates the Biblical journey of Mary and Joseph, culminating in the Cena de Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve dinner. Foods typically served during the posadas include romeritos (baked shrimp), bacalao, roast turkey, Christmas salad, and sweet bunuelos, which are stuffed with candy.
The celebration of Las Posadas is a time to reflect on the hardships of Mary and Joseph. Their difficulties began more than a week before the birth of Jesus. They were forced to leave their town of Nazareth, where they lived, to register for the census, and then walked 90 miles to Bethlehem, a city ninety miles away. The journey was fraught with danger – in ancient Palestine, the road to Bethlehem was littered with lions and bears.
Dia de los Muertos
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday, traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2. Some celebrations take place on October 31 and November 6, too. While the holiday largely originated in Mexico, it is now observed by people of Mexican heritage around the world. If you’d like to learn more about this holiday, here are some fun facts about the Day of the Dead. Here’s how the tradition came to be. – Find out when to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Mexico
The tradition of Dia de los Muertos is rooted in Indigenous cultures dating back thousands of years. In the Mexica and Aztec cultures, the dead were believed to visit the living. As a result, Aztec culture celebrated the dead in the fall. Spanish settlers eventually incorporated Aztec customs into the Catholic calendar, which coincides with All Souls’ Day. Today, more than two million Instagram users celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
St. Nicholas Day
Children in many countries around the world prepare special treats for St. Nicholas by leaving carrots, hay and even letters. These gifts are left under the pillow or on a plate and are later found by their grateful children. Some children even put gold chocolate coins and candy canes in their shoes, reciting a poem to the saint. The traditional St. Nicholas Day cake is a special baking form that children leave for the Saint.
The feast of Saint Nicolas is not celebrated nationally, although some cities that have strong Germanic influences do celebrate it. Some of these cities celebrate this day by hanging empty stockings next to the fireplace. During the night, St. Nicholas visits and fills them with gifts. The tradition is similar to that of Christmas, and has been celebrated for centuries. Many children look forward to the arrival of the St. Nicholas’ Day gift-givers in their shoes and stockings.