I wanted to write a blog giving warm wishes to Telsec’s Toronto office space for rent clients and the readers of this blog for this festive season. I wanted to be as inclusive as I could. The most commonly celebrated holidays at this time of year are Christmas and Hanukkah, so Merry Christmas to those who observe Christian holidays and Happy Hanukkah to those Jewish friends who celebrate the eight-day festival commemorating the miracle of the oil after the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his defeat in 165 BC.
As I did some research, I also found that this time of the year is also a time for other celebrations. While some of them are cultural and some that are seasonal, others are celebrations of parody.
Yule, Yalda, Yulefest, Mōdraniht and Saturnalia are some of the various names for the Winter Solstice From the: 21 December-until the 22 December – Winter Solstice (midwinter) is celebrated by Celtics, Pagans, Neo-Pagans’, Germanics, Romans, Persians and many others.
It can also be noted that Hindus celebrate Hinduscelebrate Pancha Ganapati: a Five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. December 21–25.
I also found it interesting that Romans celebrate Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Day of the birth of the Unconquered Sun): late Roman Empire – 25 December
Kwanzaa: (December 26 – January 1) – Pan-African festival, a week-long celebration held primarily in the United States honouring the universal African-American heritage and culture. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26 to January 1. It features activities such as lighting a candleholder with seven candles and culminates in a feast and gift giving. It was first celebrated in 1966.
Hogmanay: (Night of 31 December and ends Before dawn of January 1) – Scottish New Year’s Eve Celebration
Then there are those winter festivals in popular culture that I will just call Special (Please note that the festivals listed bellow have been created by popular culture. Many parody Christmas, and are not traditional celebrations.)
Festivus: (December 23) A holiday celebrating the festive season without the pressures or commercialism of the other holidays. The original Festivus took place in February 1966, as a celebration of Dan O’Keefe’s first date with his future wife, Deborah. It was later popularized by the Seinfeld television show (which Dan’s son of Daniel O’Keefe was a writer for) in 1997. Festivus is still celebrated independently.
Chrismahanukwanzadan: This is the modern-day merging of the holidays of Christianity’s Christmas, Judaism’s Hanukkah, African-American holiday of Kwanzaa and Islamic Ramadan.
Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday: Around the time of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, Pastafarians celebrate a vaguely-defined holiday named “Holiday,” which doesn’t take place on “a specific date so much as it is the Holiday season, itself.” Because Pastafarians “reject dogma and formalism” there are no specific requirements for the holiday.
Feast of Winter Veil: December 15 to January 2. Holiday in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. This holiday is based on Christmas. Cities are decorated with Christmas lights and a tree with presents. Also special quests, items and snowballs are available. It features ‘Greatfather Winter’ which is modeled after Santa Claus.
Decemberween: A parody of Christmas that features gift-giving, carol-singing and decorated trees. The fact that it takes place on December 25, the same day as Christmas, has been presented as just a coincidence, and it has been stated that Decemberween traditionally takes place “55 days after Halloween.”