These are the 14 religious holidays believers celebrate in December

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 1, 2018 7:30 a.m.

    @ NoNames

    "Easter has nothing to do with any pagen holidy."

    Except for the bunnies, which was the symbol for the pagan goddess, Eostre. (Wow, that word looks similar to something, doesn't it?) And the eggs, apparently a custom practiced by many cultures predating Christianity. (Makes sense: Eggs are a sign of birth/fertility, long parts of Spring Equinox festivals.) And the resurrection idea, a hand-me-down from centuries of resurrection myths predating Christianity (e.g., Ishtar, Horus, Mithras, Dionysus).

    But other than that, yeah Easter is a completely unique idea that starts with your god.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2018 3:52 a.m.

    "These are simple, indisputable facts"

    No, they are more of the same distortions and untruths put forward by believers as they appropriate the secular and the scientific for political and economic advantage.

    And that is a fact!

  • CMTM , 00
    Nov. 30, 2018 10:55 a.m.

    The Atheist: Holiday Prophecies. “God would do nothing without first revealing it to His servants, His(real) prophets.” From the Old Covenant to the New, God has a picture of ‘His entire plan for mankind in the Jewish feasts of Lev 23. (Amos 3:7)

    The 7 annual feasts of Israel were spread over 7 months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption(From Adams fall) through God’s Son.

    The first 4 of the 7 feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Festival of Weeks( shavout), and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the N. T. The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period-.

    Fulfilled e.g..,Passover (Lev 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah(Jesus) as our Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening (John 19:14).

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 3:53 p.m.

    @The Atheist: "Honesty and truth have never been strengths for believers, who prefer "faith" and tribalism."

    I never feel compelled to go out of may way to attack non-believers or even anti-theists. But when they choose to attack religion with falsehoods, I have to respond.

    Let's look at honesty, truth, and tribalism.

    In the history of religion, a few tens, maybe a few hundreds, of thousands of people have been tortured or killed for overtly religious reasons. On the flip side, millions have found comfort in their beliefs that have also lead them to try to live better lives. Religion--especially in the USA--has lead people to voluntarily donate their resources to found and operate great universities and other schools, hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, youth programs, marriage counseling, financial counseling, and all manner of charities.

    In contrast, in one short century, atheism and science unrestrained by religious morality was responsible for the horrors--both here and in Germany--of Eugenics, ~100,000,000 murders by atheistic communists, and countless more tortured or oppressed, brought down into poverty.

    These are simple, indisputable facts, since some love facts.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 10:26 a.m.

    Jesus is not the literal "son of god" because there is no god.

    Simple and logical.

    History thoroughly documents the cultural appropriations believers have made of "pagan" and secular knowledge, holidays, and celebrations.

    Honesty and truth have never been strengths for believers, who prefer "faith" and tribalism.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 7:50 p.m.

    @Misty Mountain: "...Christians had a long tradition of co-opting pagan holidays and celebrating their own on those dates. It's no coincidence that ... the date Easter is celebrated is determined by the spring equinox."

    Don't complain about others' poor history and then make the same mistake.

    Easter has nothing to do with any pagen holidy. The timing of Easter is near spring equinox because Easter was originally determined by Passover, the timing of which is determined by the Jewish lunar calendar. The Last Supper was a Passover Sedar, following which Jesus was taken, tried, tortured, and executed, arising on the 3rd day which was Sunday.

    Some changes in how the early Christian Church determined when the Paschal moon occured means that today, Easter and Passover are not tied directly together. But the origins of Easter are well documented and beyond dispute; and the timing was a Jewish Holy Day, not a pagen holiday.

    Given the modest number of regular astrological events (solstices, equinoxes) and the large number of religions that used lunar calendars, no surprise many different religions celebrate different events on the same day. Some co-opting. But just some coincidences.

  • 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.