While some of us are immersed in the holiday season, plenty of other celebrations are happening around the world.
Here’s a look at 10 festivities happening around the world this December.
1. December 2: National Day, UAE
Established December 2, 1971, the UAE is one of the world’s youngest countries. Locals and visitors alike to take to the town on their National Day, with festivities in all the emirates, notably Dubai and Abu Dhabi, complete with fireworks, entertainment and more.
2. December 5: Father’s Day, Thailand
Until fairly recently, December 5 marked the annual celebration in honor of Thailand’s late king. This also became known as Father’s Day in Thailand and while the king’s birthday is now celebrated in July, December 5 remains Father’s Day. The color yellow reigns, an homage to the late king.
3. December 7 – 22: Chaumos, Pakistan
This annual winter solstice festival is celebrated in the Kalash Valley to welcome the arrival of the new year. Marriages are arranged, goats are sacrificed, purification occurs, and there’s lots of other festivities and merrymaking in this very important festival time of year for the Kalashi people.
4. December 7 Quema del Diablo, Guatemala
In Guatemala, they believe the devil lurks among the garbage, so every December 7 at 6.00 p.m., locals Known as the “burning of the devil”, Guatemalans light bonfires and burn their garbage and the occasion devil pinata. The date is significant as it’s the evening before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
5. December 8: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Italy
This public holiday in Italy, also known as Immacolata, has religious origins and marked by various local traditions. In Rome, the pope places a wreath on the statue of the Madonna in Piazza Mignanelli near the Spanish steps.
6. December 16: Boston Tea Party Reenactment
A milestone in America history that led to the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party was a 1773 political protest where Americans, ired by British tax hikes, dumped 342 chests of tea imported by the British East Company into Boston Harbor. An annual reenactment takes place on its anniversary.
7. December 21: Dongzhi, China
This Winter Solstice festival is one of the most important in China, as well as in other Asian countries. Families gather and commemorate their ancestors, often visiting their tombs, and traditionally, they eat tangyuan, glutinous rice balls that are a traditional dessert but can also be enjoyed in savory preparations. Others just might eat dumplings.
8. December 26: Boxing Day
The day after Christmas is a national holiday in many countries—celebrated as either St. Stephen’s Day or Boxing Day. St Stephen was the first Christmas martyr and that’s his celebration day and Boxing Day actually has nothing to do with pugilism. It refers to the day the postmen and errand boys and servants would collect their Christmas boxes filled with a bonus, gifts and sometimes even leftover food. In the countries that celebrate, it’s a national holiday and inhabitants get to enjoy an extra day off from work.
9. December 26 – 31: Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Kicking off on Boxing Day, 170 yachts line up in Sydney Harbor to compete in the Sydney Hobart Race which travels 630 nautical miles to Hobart, Tasmania. Started in 1945, the race is considered to be one of the most world’s most difficult courses for yachts.
10. December 26: Durban Jazz Festival
Inaugurated in 2002, the Durban Jazz Festival in South Africa is a lively outdoor festival showcasing talent from near and far of the music genre from Afro-soul to afro-pop to traditional and finishing with jazz.