When one says something like Happy Holidays during the late fall/early winter months, they aren’t just talking about Christmas, which undoubtedly is the biggest winter holiday. Still, according to webholidays.com, there are a good many others.
I love finding out new things so I continued reading. Did you know Santa Claus has his own day? Well, actually St. Nicholas does (Sinterklaas). Now while the modern day Santa Claus derived from St. Nicholas, the celebration on December 5th and 6th celebrates the saint, or the Bishop who gave gifts to the poor way back in the third century. Even his sometimes companion, Krampus, (who gives naughty children the reward for their poor choices) has his own holiday!
December 8th is Bodhi Day in Japan. The holiday celebrates the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha). His enlightenment came after giving away his wealth and meditating—a lot of it. Part of the celebration includes meditating and doing kind acts for others.
I didn’t know that Christmas is celebrated in some parts of the world on January 7th. In Ethiopia, Christians follow the old (Julian) calendar which puts Christmas two weeks later than the December 25th celebration. Christmas, or Ganna, is a more solemn event, where the people wear white clothes, attend mass, and then play a hockey-like game. Kids might receive a small gift.
The Scandinavians end the Christmas season with a holiday called St. Knut’s Day. On this festive day, the Christmas tree is “plundered” of all its decorations, including the cookies (which can be eaten, if one is brave enough after all that time), and then the tree is removed from the house. There are festivities with friends and family.
Amazing what one can discover by reading. Nowadays, it’s easy to find information on the internet (and yes, most wiki’s do have correct info), but I still find a great deal of information by reading books and magazines. I could even tell you about the time I entered a story into a contest and got flak about the outlandishness of the subject matter. The information came from a National Geographic.
Even fiction books have taught me as I follow the protagonists through their adventures. In other words, reading has enlarged my world. How about this year making a resolution to do more reading.
So, happy holidays and keep on reading!