December

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This article is about the month. For other uses, see December (disambiguation).
"Dec." redirects here. For other uses, see Dec.
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December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. It is the seventh and last month to have the length of 31 days.

December, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.[1]

In the Western World the month is strongly associated with Christmas.

Astronomy[edit]

December contains the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the fewest daylight hours, and the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the day with the most daylight hours (excluding polar regions in both cases). December in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to June in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the astronomical winter is traditionally 21 December or the date of the solstice.

Astrology[edit]

December symbols[edit]

Observances[edit]

This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance.

Non-Gregorian observances[edit]

(please note that all Jewish observances, which are set by the Hebrew calendar, begin at sunset the day prior to the date listed and end on the sunset of the date in question unless otherwise noted. The same applies to observances set by the Bahá'í calendar, and by the Islamic calendar)

Month-long observances[edit]

Movable Observances - 2016 dates[edit]

Last Week of November: November 21-December 1

First Friday: December 2

Second Friday after Thanksgiving

First Sunday: December 4

Second Monday: December 12

Winter Solstice: December 21

Thursday before Christmas: December 22

December 22, unless that date is a Sunday, in which case it's moved to the 23rd: December 22

December 26, unless that day is a Sunday, in which case the 27th: December 26

Last Friday: December 30

Fixed observances[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]