Those of us who sell things for a living are already thinking about winter sales, and that means we’re beginning to think about:
Celebrated by the Buddhists on December 8, this holiday commemorates the enlightenment of the Buddha. This is considered the most important holiday for the Buddhists.
Observed on December 26th in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Kenya, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population, Boxing Day may have begun in the middle ages when wealthy land owners gave their servants the day after Christmas off, along with a box containing gifts and bonuses. Under Queen Victoria, Boxing Day became a day for people to give gifts to those who had rendered them service during the previous year, such as tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others in service positions.
Also known as Hannukah, this is one of the most important Jewish holidays, particularly due the significant connotations of its proximity to Christmas. The history of this festival chronicles the Jewish people celebrating the revolution against the suppression and assimilation of the Jewish religion. It is a weeklong holiday that begins on December 26 and lasts untill January 1, with the menorah, or seven candles, being lit.
Christians all over the world celebrate this winter holiday on December 25. Traditionally, they go to church, decorate a Christmas tree, give each other gifts, and have a dinner with families spending the day together. In certain parts of Europe, star singers also sing Christmas carols walking behind a large star strung on a pole.
This Scottish word means the last day of the year and is a holiday to celebrate the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar in the Scottish way. It begins on the night of December 31 and lasts all through the night, carrying on until the “Ne’erday,” or January 1, and sometimes even carrying on to January 2, which is a bank holiday in Scotland.
Literally meaning “First Fruits,” this holiday has as its basis an ancient harvest festival of Africa that celebrates ideals like collective responsibility and work, self-determination, cooperation, purpose, creativity, faith and unity. The celebration starts on December 26 and ends on January 1 during which time African Americans bedeck their homes with vegetables and fruits, don special clothes, and light a special candleholder called the “kinara.”
A traditional winter holiday celebrated in Mexico between December 16 and December 24, the term Las Posadas translates to ‘the Inn’, and refers to Joseph searching for a room at the inn. A doll, which represents Christ as a child, and images of Mary and Joseph riding a small donkey, are carried through through the streets.
This is a winter holiday celebrated on December 13 in Sweden in honor of St. Lucia, who lived in the third century and is regarded as the patron of light. Young girls bedeck themselves in long white dresses with red sashes, and wear a wreath made of lit candles on their heads. They sing songs in order to wake their families up and bring them twisted saffron buns, known as “Lucia cats,” and coffee.
St. Nicholas Day
This holiday is observed in Northern Europe on December 6. St. Nicholas was a protector of the weak against the rich and the strong. St. Nicholas is treated like Santa Claus, and in fact is thought to be Santa Claus’ original name. Children place boots on their windowsills or at the fireplace so that St. Nicholas can fill them with candy.
Yule was an indigenous midwinter festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples, which was progressively absorbed into the Christian observations surrounding Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The English historian Bede wrote the Anglo-Saxons celebrated all night long to honor the Germanic divine mothers on Mōdraniht, or mother’s night. Yule was a celebration “for a fertile and peaceful season” and the traditions of the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from those early customs. Many neo-pagans practitioners today celebrate Yule on the winter solstice as the rebirth of the solstice sun, embodied as the lord Cernunnos or the Horned (Antlered) God of the forest. The winter solstice varies slightly each year; this year, it is on December 21st.
Miss Tere has been thinking about the upcoming holiday season and here is her Etsy treasury entitled “Xmas gifts under $20…¡Time to buy, don´t lose it!” that features my As Green As Absinthe Faerie Folder with Notepad: