Holiday Traditions Around the World

Though you might not know it to look at the ads, stores and events, the #holidays mean more than #Christmas alone. In fact, nearly every faith and most cultures around the world will observe festive winter #holiday #traditions this month.

Hanukkah is currently underway, a #celebration that commemorates a rebellion in Judea that saw the Maccabees retake and rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem. More than 2,000 years later, The Organizing Blog hopes that peace can prevail this holiday.

A growing tradition in the United States, Kwanzaa is modeled after traditional African harvest festivals. The seven-day celebration begins the day after Christmas and lasts until the new year, with each day representing principles of faith, family and community.

Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on Dec. 8 each year to celebrate Siddhartha Gautama’s spiritual enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree in the 5th century B.C. The day is observed with meditation, acts of kindness and often a humble meal of tea and cake.

Observations of the winter solstice go back to the Stone Age. Pagans celebrate the longest night of the year at Stonehenge, thought to be a celestial “clock” due to the arrangement of its stones, but the event is also celebrated by the Hopi and with holidays in China, Sweden and Iran.

Avid #declutterers and Orthodox Christians may wish to celebrate a pre-Christmas holiday, St. Nicholas Day. Symbolizing good deeds that Santa Claus’ inspiration was known for such as giving away his possessions, the day is associated with acts of service such as volunteering, sharing and raising money for charity.

And let’s not forget the anti-Christmas of Krampusnacht. Krampus — the goat-like evil twin of Santa — appears on Dec. 5 in Central Europe to remind children to be nice during the holidays or risk the penalty of being snatched and eaten.

The modern practice of getting a bucket of fried chicken at KFC on Christmas Eve notwithstanding, The Organizing Blog’s favorite Japanese winter holiday tradition is likely Omisoka, a New Year’s Eve celebration centered around a household #deep-cleaning.

However you choose to #celebrate, The Organizing Blog wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

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