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Holidays Around the World

Holidays are times when families gather to celebrate in unity. Christmas, for example, is one holiday when families make an extra effort to do things together and for each other, such as having Christmas dinner together and giving gifts to one another. However, Christmas is only one of the many holidays around the world. Read more to learn about other important and meaningful holidays being celebrated in some countries.

  • Saint Lucia’s Day in Sweden. This feast celebrates the life of a young Christian girl who died for her faith. Every 13th of December, several girls are chosen to wear a long white dress with a red sash around their waist and a crown of candles on their head. They are then called “Lucia Brides.” On this day, girls wake their families up by singing songs. They also offer them coffee and a traditional bun known as “Saint Lucia’s traditional bun.”
  • Kwanzaa in the United States. This is a week-long celebration which honors the African-American culture. It begins on December 26 and ends on January 1. This celebration began in 1966, led by its founder, Maulana Karenga. A Kwanzaa ceremony involves singing, drumming, reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness, and gift-giving.
  • Omisoka in Japan. Omisoka, or New Year’s Eve, is one of Japan’s most important holidays. Japanese families prepare for the new year by cleaning their homes. Then they have a huge feast composed mostly of Japanese food. More than just a celebration of the new year, Omisoka is a spiritual event for the Japanese. At midnight, Japanese families go to shrines where giant bells are rung to get rid of suffering.

This article originally appeared on English Magazines published by Vibal Group, Inc.