Winter Celebrations

Learn about unique traditions, celebrations, and holidays that occur around the world during December and January.

From National Geographic Kids

Winter solstice

The Winter Solstice occurs on either December 20, 21, 22, or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year. People all over the world participate with festivals and celebrations. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. (Learn more about the winter solstice.)

Hanukkah

photograph of a menorah


Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, a holiday honoring the Maccabees’s victory over King Antiochus, who forbade Jews to practice their religion. For eight nights, Hanukkah is celebrated with prayer, the lighting of the menorah, and food. A Hanukkah menorah has nine candles, a candle for every night, plus a helper candle. Children play games, sing songs, and exchange gifts. Potato pancakes, known as latkes in Yiddish, are traditionally associated with Hanukkah and are served with applesauce and sour cream. The dates of Hanukkah change because this holiday follows the lunar cycle.

In 2020, Hanukkah starts the evening of December 10 and ends on December 18.

Read more here.

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