December host to many holidays
Christmas and Hanukkah may get the bulk of the attention come December, but the final month of the year includes other religious holidays as well. The following are just a few of the religious celebrations taking place this holiday season.
• Feast of St. Nicholas: Typically falling on Dec. 6, the Feast of St. Nicholas, or St. Nicholas Day, is a festival for children in many European countries. In commemoration of St. Nicholas, gift-giving occurs in some countries on his feast day, while some countries’ celebrations are more low-key.
• Bodhi Day: A holiday that commemorates the day Buddha received enlightenment, Bodhi Day is typically celebrated on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month. Bodhi Day is celebrated in many Buddhist countries and communities, and many celebrants choose to meditate in commemoration.
• Feast of the Immaculate Conception: This feast, which is Dec. 8, celebrates the belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a celebration of the belief that Mary was kept free of original sin from the moment of her conception. The day is a Holy Day of Obligation within the Catholic Church.
• Hanukkah: Some may instantly associate Hanukkah with exchanging gifts, but this December holiday is really a commemoration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights and days, and in some years can begin in late November.
• Christmas: Celebrated every year on Dec. 25 (though some Orthodox Christians use a different calendar and celebrate on a different day), Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Once celebrated strictly by Christians, the holiday is now celebrated by Christians and nonChristians and includes both religious and secular traditions.
This information was provided courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection.
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