As the crisp winds of November start getting stronger and the temperature starts dropping lower, we embrace the enchanting month of December- the last and 12th month of the year.
The twelfth month of the Gregorian Calendar has 31 days and marks the beginning of winter. The last month of the year is everyone's favorite, loaded with anticipation, celebration, and nostalgia.
As each day passes, the festive madness starts kicking in and the entire world gets lit up with twinkling lights and melodies of heartwarming carols. Everyone gets in the mood for Christmas and holidays with the hope of new beginnings and the aroma of freshly baked goodies fills the air.
As rich traditions and celebrations larger than life intertwine, December unites hearts beyond borders and spreads harmony.
Why is December the 12th Month
December gets its name from the word "decem" which translates to 'ten' in Latin as it was originally the tenth month according to the Roman calendar. The early Roman calendar had only ten months with March as the first and December as the last.
When the Gregorian calendar came into existence, and the first two months January and February were added, December became the twelfth month but retained its name.
December has been the date of many significant historical events. The Boston Tea Party in 1773, the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, which outlawed slavery in the United States, and the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1993 are a few examples.
Celebrations and Festivals in December
December is the enchanting culmination of the year which brings a magical transformation as winter unfolds and the street shines with festive lights.
December is synonymous with joy and happiness as it marks the commencement of some much-awaited celebrations, some of which are:
- Christmas: Any discussion about December is incomplete without mentioning Christmas. Christmas, a season of joy, dazzles with lights, festive traditions, and the warmth of giving. Families gather around decorated trees, exchanging thoughtful gifts and love, creating a wonderful time that epitomizes generosity and kindness.
- Hanukkah: The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, occurs in December most years. It honors the eight-day oil miracle as well as the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. During this joyous occasion, families light the menorah, play dreidel, and feast on traditional foods.
- New Year's Eve: Although January is when the new year officially starts, most people celebrate New Year's Eve on the last day of December. With celebrations, fireworks, and a variety of customs, people all over the world bid the old year farewell and welcome the new one.
- Las Posadas: A tradition from Mexico that recreates Mary and Joseph's journey to find safety, complete with processions and celebrations.
- Kwanzaa: Kwanzaa is a week-long African-American and Pan-African cultural celebration that is observed from December 26 to January 1. It emphasizes values such as solidarity, individual autonomy, and group responsibility.
- Winter Solstice: The winter solstice celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere also occur in December, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Many different civilizations including the ancient Egyptians and Romans celebrated the solstice as an important astronomical event.
- St. Nicholas Day: December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, is a joyous occasion that is observed in the US and other nations. Small gift-exchanging and commemorating St. Nicholas, the fabled man known for his kindness and generosity, are customs on this day.
Some other celebrations besides these are Yule, Christmas Eve, Festivus, Candle Day, National Mutt Day, First Sunday of Advent, National Bacon Day, etc.
- The December full moon is known as the Cold Moon.
- There are multiple birthstones for people born in December including Blue Topaz, Turquoise, Tanzanite, Zircon, and Lapis Lazuli.
- The birth flowers of December are holly and narcissus.
- December is also known as National Human Rights Month.
- The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is held annually on December 10th at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden.
- The Hawaiian Islands experience only about two and a half hours of daylight difference between December and June due to their proximity to the equator
Famous Birthdays in December
- December 1: Zoe Kravitz, American actress and singer.
- December 3: Julianne Moore, Academy Award-winning actress.
- December 4: Kim Seokjin (Jin), vocalist and oldest member of BTS
- December 8: Nicki Minaj, Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
- December 9: Dame Judi Dench, acclaimed British actress.
- December 12: Frank Sinatra, legendary American singer and actor (1915 - 1998).
- December 18: Brad Pitt, Academy Award-winning actor and film producer.
- December 25: Helena Christensen, Danish supermodel and photographer.
- December 28: Ratan Tata, Indian industrialist and former chairman of Tata Sons.
- December 30: Kim Taehyung (V), singer and actor in BTS.
- December 30: LeBron James, NBA superstar and philanthropist.
- December 31: Anthony Hopkins, Academy Award-winning actor.