When it comes to December global holidays, most of us can only name Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But there are much more holidays in December than that. They start from the very first day of the month and last up until the beginning of the next month. If you want to get more insight into December global holidays 2022, you have come to the right place. Feel free to explore our guide with the most popular worldwide holidays during the first month of winter.



Hanukkah Holiday

Date: 25 Kislev – 2 or 3 Tevet (Hebrew calendar)[November 28 – December 6].

The Reason For Celebration: The Jews (Maccabees) victory over Greek-Syrian oppressors in Jerusalem temple retrieval.

Where celebrated: All over the globe among Jews and in Israel specifically.

Hannukah is among December first holidays. The celebration actually starts in late November and lasts for eight days. Jews from all over the world gather with their loved ones to celebrate the rededication of the Second Jerusalem Temple. The holiday started in the 2nd century B.C. when the Jews repulsed Syrian Greeks. It also commemorates the miracle that happened during the Maccabean Revolt, when a small oil jug lasted for eight days rather than one, as was initially expected. Since then, Hannukah is one of the most important Jewish holidays in December. As many as twenty one countries take part in the celebration, cooking traditional delicacies, such as jelly doughnuts and potato pancakes aka latkes.


World AIDS Day

December Global Holidays - World AIDS Day

Date: December 1st.

The Reason For Celebration: Make people more aware of HIV/AIDS and show support to those suffering from the disease.

Where celebrated: Globally.

World AIDS Day was first celebrated in 1988 on December 1. It was aimed at raising people's awareness across the world regarding the AIDS disease. Another purpose of the holiday is to support people living with HIV/AIDS and mourn those who died from the illness. Also, it is a reminder that you need to take an AIDS test regularly.


Krampusnacht Holiday

Date: December 5.

The Reason For Celebration: To make naughty children more disciplined.

Where celebrated: Alpine states, such as Austria, Germany, France, etc.

Krampusnacht is derived from the name of the demon Krampus, who is believed to punish naughty children. There is no exact information where one of the most mysterious holidays in December comes from, but its main idea is to make kids behave throughout December holidays by scaring them with Krampus. It takes place in Alpine countries and includes various celebrations, like parades, parties, and other festivities.


December Global Holidays - Bodhi Day

Bodhi Day - December Global Holidays

Date: December 8.

The Reason For Celebration: Commemoration of the enlightenment and accomplishments of Siddhartha Gautama.

Where celebrated: Japan and Buddhists around the world.

When Siddhartha Gautama tasted freedom for the first time, he felt enlightened, thus becoming Buddha Shakyamuni. As such, Buddhists across the world commemorate him on December 8. One of the most significant religious holidays in December was established to honor Buddha and the ultimate spiritual truth insight he attained.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Date: December 8.

The Reason For Celebration: Pay tribute to the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary.

Where celebrated: The United States, Argentina, Korea, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Italy, Spain, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

Catholics consider that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus because of her sanctity and purity. And to honor this, they designated December 8th to be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On this day, Catholics visit churches to pray. There is also a “novena”, a special prayer that you should repeat 9 times so that the Blessed Virgin Mary helped you or if you want to show your gratitude to her.


Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

Date: December 10.

The Reason For Celebration: The recognition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948.

Where celebrated: Internationally.

Human Rights Day is among the most meaningful world's holidays. People around the globe celebrate the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. It features all the major freedoms and rights that everyone has no matter their nationality, race, gender or religious views.

December Global Holidays - St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day

Date: December 6.

The Reason For Celebration: The recognition of the saint who was known for his generosity to surrounding people.

Where celebrated: In North-West of Europe.

On December 6, children in some countries of northwestern Europe receive gifts and sweets. They are told that St. Nicholas, who is thought to be a prototype of Santa Claus, comes at night and leaves gifts for them under the pillows, in the stockings or in the shoes. This can be anything, from trivia to chocolate coins and oranges, which actually have a symbolic meaning. St. Nicholas paid the marriage dowry of three poor girls, thus rescuing them. Also, gifts can be found on the plates in return for the treats kids leave for St. Nicholas’s horse or donkey.

Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia

Date: December 13.

The Reason For Celebration: Honoring Lucia of Syracuse.

Where celebrated: Italy and Scandinavia.

Even when times seem awfully dark, there is always hope and light. And this is what Santa Lucia represents. Lucia was a martyr from Italy who is considered a saint. Every year, she is honored on December 13 by processions and concerts. The participants traditionally wear white and their headdresses are embellished with candles that keep flickering.


Las Posadas

Las Posadas

Date: December 16 – 24.

The Reason For Celebration: Recognition of Mary and Joseph’s journey, looking for a place where they would be safe.

Where celebrated: In Mexico, Latin America, Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba and by US Hispanics.

Las Posadas is among the most celebrated December holidays around the world. It is dedicated to the journey Virgin Mary and Joseph made in a lookout for a place so that Mary could safely give birth to Jesus. To celebrate them finding shelter after many hardships and trials, Las Posadas takes place every year in December. Families and friends usually gather to sing songs while visiting different houses, where they are offered drinks and treats.

International Human Solidarity Day

International Human Solidarity Day

Date: December 20.

The Reason For Celebration: A reminder that people are equal and free; that there should be cooperation and social justice.

Where celebrated: Worldwide.

The International Red Cross, a humanitarian movement aimed at protecting people’s health and life, was founded in 1863. To honor this event, December 20 was established to be the International Human Solidarity Day. This is to remind people that we should be humane, independent, neutral and impartial. We should connect with one another and encourage the promotion of solidarity among people.

Winter Solstice or Yule

Winter Solstice or Yule

Date: December 21.

The Reason For Celebration: To acknowledge that the night is the longest and the day is the shortest.

Where celebrated: Antarctica.

The Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is one of those seasonal holidays that are known all over the globe. It is celebrated to recognize the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Starting from Yule, the day becomes longer. Some people decorate a tree on this day, hang evergreen wreaths in their houses, exchange presents and sing carols.


Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Holiday

Date: December 24.

The Reason For Celebration: To recognize Jesus Christ's birth.

Where celebrated: The US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and some other countries.

Christmas Eve marks the beginning of one of the most popular holidays around the world. The symbolism of the holiday is that before the world got light, it was dark. Jesus gave people joy and hope when coming down to Earth. To honor this moment, families and friends get together at a festive dinner. Plenty of traditional dishes are cooked for Christmas Eve and this is the time when Christmas cookie recipes come in handy. Sometimes, people also go to churches for a service or look for the last minute Christmas gift ideas to get them in time for Christmas.

December Global Holidays - Christmas

Christmas Holiday

Date: December 25.

The Reason For Celebration: To cherish Lord Jesus's birth.

Where celebrated: The US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and some other countries.

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most important December global holidays. Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus, a saint and God’s son. People decorate their houses with Christmas ornaments, hang a wreath on their entry doors, gather around a Christmas table with a traditional holiday centerpiece and give presents to each other. It is a perfect opportunity to spend time with your loved ones.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day Holiday

Date: December 26.

The Reason For Celebration: The acknowledgment of workers and the services they provide.

Where celebrated: The US, New Zealand, South Africa, Bahamas, Nigeria, Canada, Australia.

Boxing Day is arguably one of the most underestimated winter holidays around the world. It is a day when people give money and food to the poor, show appreciation to the workers who provide services, such as postmen, cooks, guards and many others, give them presents or treats as well as go shopping during the sales or relax at the beach.


St. Stephen’s Day

St. Stephen’s Day

Date: December 26.

The Reason For Celebration: Commemoration of Saint Stephen, who was the first martyr in Christian history.

Where celebrated: Over twenty five countries, like the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, etc.

While St. Stephen’s Day may not be one of the most celebrated holidays, it is nevertheless very significant. Saint Stephen was a priest in the Roman Catholic church. Later, he became the first Hungarian Christian King. There is a legend claiming that Stephen died because of stones thrown at him after 40 day prayers. He was believed to hold a stone received from Jesus Christ, symbolizing that any of the people following him would not be killed by stones.


Kwanzaa Holiday

Date: December 26 – January 1.

The Reason For Celebration: The commemoration of African American culture and heritage.

Where celebrated: The US (partially) and Africa.

Kwanza is among the longest winter holidays in December. The celebration lasts for seven days and is devoted to seven principles, namely Collective Responsibility, Purpose, Unity, Faith, Creativity, Determination and Cooperative Economics. During this period, families unite to have a festive dinner, listen to music, light candles and give presents to each other.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve

Date: December 31.

The Reason For Celebration: To acknowledge the shift of years and greet the New Year.

Where celebrated: Internationally.

New Year’s Eve closes the series of December holidays around the world. It is to appreciate the outgoing year and welcome the upcoming. The ways people celebrate it differ from country to country. In some areas, people go to concerts or parties. Those who choose to spend the day with their close ones celebrate quietly at home. People also exchange gifts and wishes, share food and watch fireworks.


More December Global Holidays

Global December Holidays

Of course, these are not all December global holidays. The list is actually much longer. Below, you can find other cultural holidays specific to certain countries:

December 1 – National Day of United Arab Emirates

December 4 – Farmer’s Day in Ghana

December 6 – Independence Day in Finland, Constitution Day in Spain

December 7 – King Bhumibol’s Birthday in Thailand

December 10 – Constitution Day in Thailand

December 12 – The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico

December 13 – Republic Day in Malta

December 16 – Victory Day in Bangladesh, Day of Reconciliation in South Africa

December 18 – National Day in Qatar

December 26 – Boxing Day in different countries, Independence and Unity Day in Slovenia

December 29 – Unduvap Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka

December 30 – Rizal Day in Philippines.

Thanks to a great number of December global holidays, the last month of the year can be the most exciting. And that is one of the reasons why you should be looking forward to it. And with our guide, it can become even more fun and interesting.

FAQ: December Global Holidays

What are December Global Holidays?

By December Global Holidays, we usually imply a series of holidays throughout December, which include Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Year and suchlike.

Is December 25 a worldwide holiday?

December 25, which is Christmas, is celebrated by Christians all over the world to acknowledge Jesus Christ’s birth.

What are the special holidays in December?

Apart from Christmas and related to it holidays, such as Christmas Card Day, National Christmas Lights Day and National Christmas Movie Marathon Day, there are also many other December holidays, including Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, etc.

Is December 13 a holiday?

On December 13, people celebrate National Ice Cream Day, National Violin Day, National Horse Day as well as Birthday of the National Guard in the US.

How many holidays are in December?

December is full of global holidays that vary from country to country. In general, it features about fifteen holidays celebrated around the world.