These are the 14 religious holidays believers celebrate in December

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2017 6:45 p.m.

    DesNews, 2017: "Update: This article has been updated to reflect this year's dates for these holidays."

    Why not use this opportunity to correct the inaccurate definition of the winter solstice, as pointed out in several of the 2015 comments on the original posting of this story, as well as the mischaracterization of the solstice as a pagan appropriation of the Christian holiday, rather than the reverse?

    DesNews, repeatedly: "...according to Interfaith Calendar"

    Although attribution is given, the article seems to be largely a cut-and-paste job. This does not excuse the reporter's propagation of errors in the source material. A little due diligence is in order.

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 5, 2015 9:06 a.m.

    @Ranch Hand. Christ in the Feast of Hanukkah. Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon's porch" John 10:22-3)

    The Jews of Jesus' day were well aware of the events that had led to the Feast of Dedication when they approached Him in the holy Temple on Hanukkah. It was in the context of that recent history that they said to Jesus, "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly" (John 10:24).

    If Jesus really was the Messiah they reasoned, He had the power to preserve the Jewish people from the tyranny of the Romans, just as God had preserved them from evil Antiochus. Jesus answered them with a rebuke, "I told you, and you do not believe" (v.25).

    Jesus boldly asserted His Messiahship. He claimed divine power to preserve and sustain His people, but not in the manner they had hoped for and expected. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand" (v.27-8). Jews for Jesus

  • ProvoLow Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2015 4:19 p.m.

    Thank you for tightening up the wording on the solstice. Much appreciated!

    And @Wally West, @bigv56... I'm right there with you. Gotta' air those grievances before you undertake the feats of strength.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 4:23 p.m.

    What about Kwanzaa? DesNews used to run articles on it. Seems to have died off as quickly as it was born. Kinda like Festivus.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    Dec. 2, 2015 11:54 a.m.

    Whhat about Festivus on the 23rd? Is the holiday for the rest of us. Air your grievances people!

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 10:25 a.m.

    The winter solstice has nothing to do with the distance from the sun, but the tilt of the earth's axis. In the Northern hemisphere the day of the winter solstice has the shortest daylight and in the Southern hemisphere it has the longest daylight. In fact the earth is furthest from the sun in early July, and closest to the sun in early January. And, the date for Christmas was established by 3rd century Christians around the date of the two Roman celebrations of Sol Invictus and Saturnalia.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 9:55 a.m.

    What about a Festivus for the rest of us?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 9:53 a.m.

    per RanchHand & Contrarius

    Agree. Saturnalia came before Xmas.

    But, is it okay now to say Happy Holidays??? ROFL.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Dec. 2, 2015 9:26 a.m.

    The winter solstice has been noted (and celebrated) for thousands of years. In South America, the holiday commemorated Inti, the god of the sun, and took place around June 21, the shortest daylight-hour day of the year. By the early 1400's--long before anybody in South America ever heard of Christianity--the holiday celebration of Inti Raymi had morphed into a full-fledged nine day festival, complete with the slaughtering of a llama and yanking out its still-beating heart.

    As Ranch notes, the Christians had a long tradition of co-opting pagan holidays and celebrating their own on those dates. It's no coincidence that Christmas falls about the same time as the winter solstice and that the date Easter is celebrated is determined by the spring equinox. In Mexico, this co-opting became literal--the Mexico City, the early Christian settlers knocked down some Aztec pyramids and built their cathedral on top of the rubble of the pyramid foundation.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 2, 2015 8:41 a.m.

    @RanchHand --

    "Dec. 21: Solstice — Wicca/Pagan
    "...It was originally a Christian celebration to honor Jesus."

    --- Seriously? SERIOUSLY???"

    My thoughts exactly. What a ridiculous rewrite of history!

  • ProvoLow Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 8:07 a.m.

    Kudos to @Mike Johnson for clarifying the proper meaning of the solstice, in contrast to what was stated in the article.

    And Kudos to @RanchHand for calling out the article's odd mis-statement about how the solstice was "originally" a Christian holiday. Quite the contrary! Really odd, that wording.

    I would like to thank the DesNews staff for this listing of December holidays... reminds us all that there is much to celebrate, across a broad spectrum of religious beliefs and traditions. Happy holidays!

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 7:47 a.m.

    Happy Holidays Everyone!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 2, 2015 6:29 a.m.

    Dec. 21: Solstice — Wicca/Pagan
    "...It was originally a Christian celebration to honor Jesus."

    --- Seriously? SERIOUSLY???

    It was the other way around. Christians co-opted pagan holidays and re-purposed them.

    The call-to-arms about a "war on Christmas" nonsense when someone wishes "Happy Holidays" is just that, nonsense. These holidays are just one example of why we shouldn't be upset at the phrase.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Dec. 2, 2015 6:25 a.m.

    This was an interesting list to see. Thank you!

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Dec. 2, 2015 3:37 a.m.

    >>>Solstice is the point in the year when the earth is farthest away from the sun.

    No, the solstice is not the point in the year when the earth is farthest from the sun (the Earth's aphelion). In 2015, that was July 4. In 2016, it will be July 2. The point closest to the sun (perihelion) will be January 2, 2016. Most days of the year, the Earth is further from the sun than it is on the winter solstice.

    The solstice comes from the tilt of the Earth, which is 23 degrees from being perpendicular to the plane defined by the Earth's orbit about the sun. If that tilt had been 0 degrees, there would be no seasons. During the summer, the north pole points toward the sun (and the south pole away). During the winter the south pole points toward the sun and the north pole away from the sun. The equinoxes, in March and September, there is the same amount of daylight as there is night. The solstices are the extremes--in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is the day when there is the least amount of daylight and the most hours of darkness.