List of multinational festivals and holidays

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A wide variety of multinational festivals and holidays are celebrated around the world, whether within particular religions, cultures, or otherwise. Celebrations listed here are celebrated in at least two or more countries; for a list of national holidays, see List of holidays by country.




  • Candlemas: 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord; 40 days after Christmas; end of Christmas/Epiphany Season
  • Valentine's Day: 14 February
  • Lupercalia: 15 February – the Roman end-of-winter festival
  • Imbolc: 1 February – first day of spring in the Celtic calendar


  • Saint Patrick's Day: 17 March – the fixed date to honor Saint Patrick has sometimes been moved by Church if it coincides with Holy Week, but the secular world usually always celebrates it on 17 March
Secular and multiple religions




  • May Day: 1 May – a traditional spring holiday in many cultures.




  • Yulefest/Midwinter Christmas: late June or July – Australian New Zealand winter 'Christmas/Yuletide' (Although this is sometimes celebrated in the USA, where celebrations generally begin on 4 July.




  • Rosh Hashanah: usually September, sometimes early October
  • Yom Kippur: late September, early October
  • Sukkot: sometimes late September, usually October


  • All Hallows' Eve (Halloween): 31 October – a Christian-titled holiday that is often celebrated with traditions originating from a mixture of secular and Celtic pagan influences.
  • Diwali: mid-October–mid-November – known as the Festival of Lights, this Hindu holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil. The five-day festival is marked by ceremonies, fireworks and sweets.
  • Samhain: 31 October–1 November – first day of winter in the Celtic calendar (and Celtic New Year's Day)




  • Bodhi Day: 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).

  • Feast of Winter Veil: 15 December–2 January – A holiday in World of Warcraft. This holiday is based on Christmas. Cities are decorated with lights and a tree with presents. Special quests, items and snowballs are available to players during this time. The character of "Greatfather Winter", who is modeled after Santa Claus, appears.[10][11]
  • Feast of Alvis: in the TV series Sealab 2021.[12] "Believer, you have forgotten the true meaning of Alvis Day. Neither is it ham, nor pomp. Nay, the true meaning of Alvis day is drinking. Drinking and revenge."–Alvis[13]
  • Hogswatch: a holiday celebrated on the fictional world of Discworld. It is very similar to the Christian celebration of Christmas.
  • Festivus: 23 December – a parody holiday created by Daniel O'Keefe and made popular by Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas.
  • Decemberween: 25 December – 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". The holiday has been featured in the Homestar Runner series.
  • Wintersday, the end-of-the-year celebration in the fictional universe of the Guild Wars franchise, starts every year mid December and ends the next year on early January.
  • Pancha Ganapati: 21–25 December – modern five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha, celebrated by Hindus in USA.
  • Hanukkah: Ḥănukkāh, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Chanukkah), also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
  • Yule: Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January.
  • Yalda: 21 December – The turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. Shabe yalda means 'birthday eve.' According to Persian mythology, Mithra was born at dawn on 22 December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate Yalda by staying up late or all night, a practice known as Shab Chera meaning 'night gazing'. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons, whose red color invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolize Mithra.
  • Human Rights Day: 10 December
  • Zamenhof Day: 15 December – Birthday of Ludwig Zamenhof, inventor of Esperanto; holiday reunion for Esperantists
  • Soyal: 21 December – Zuni and Hopi
  • HumanLight: 23 December – Humanist holiday originated by the New Jersey Humanist Network in celebration of "a Humanist's vision of a good future."[14]
  • Newtonmas: 25 December – As an alternative to celebrating the religious holiday Christmas, some atheists and skeptics have chosen to celebrate December 25 as Newtonmas, due to it being Isaac Newton's birthday on the old style date.
  • Quaid-e-Azam's Day: 25 December
  • Boxing Day: 26 December – Day after Christmas.
  • Kwanzaa: 26 December–1 January – Pan-African festival celebrated in the US
  • Watch Night: 31 December
  • New Year's Eve: 31 December – last day of the Gregorian year
  • Hogmanay: night of 31 December–before dawn of 1 January – Scottish New Year's Eve celebration
  • Dongzhi Festival – a celebration of Winter
Unitarian Universalism

Movable date[edit]

The following festivals have no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar, and may be aligned with moon cycles or other calendars.

Main article: Iranian calendars
  • Sadeh: A mid-winter feast to honor fire and to "defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold". Sadé or Sada is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before Nowruz. Sadeh in Persian means "hundred" and refers to one hundred days and nights left to the beginning of the new year celebrated at the first day of spring on March 21 each year. Sadeh is a midwinter festival that was celebrated with grandeur and magnificence in ancient Iran. It was a festivity to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold.
  • Chahar Shanbeh Suri: Festival of Fire, Last Wednesday of the Iranian Calendar year. It marks the importance of the light over the darkness, and arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahārshanbe–Sūri (Persian: چهارشنبه‌سوری), pronounced Chārshanbe–Sūri (Persian: چارشنبه‌سوری) is the ancient Iranian festival dating at least back to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[1] The festival of fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahrshanbeh Soori, is celebrated the last Tuesday night of the year.
Main article: Hebrew calendar
  • Hanukkah – based on the Jewish calendar (usually falls anywhere between late November and early January).
Main article: Julian calendar
  • Easter: the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon/the first full moon after the vernal equinox--shortly after Passover; typically in April, but sometimes in March or May

Many religions whose holidays were formulated before the worldwide spread of the Gregorian calendar have been assigned to dates according to either their own internal religious calendar, moon cycles, or otherwise. Even within Christianity, Easter is a movable feast and Christmas is celebrated according to the older Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian by some sects of the religion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Common Eracite
  2. ^ Gregorian calendar
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Thanksgiving (United States)
  5. ^ Christmas as a Multi-faith Festival–BBC News. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  6. ^ "In the U.S., Christmas Not Just for Christians". Gallup, Inc. 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  7. ^ Why I celebrate Christmas, by the world's most famous atheist – DailyMail. December 23, 2008. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
  8. ^ Non-Christians focus on secular side of Christmas – Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 2009-11-18.
  9. ^ "Las Posadas". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "World of Warcraft". 5 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Feast of Winter Veil". WoWWiki. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  12. ^ [2] Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ ""Sealab 2021" Feast of Alvis (TV Episode 2002)". IMDb. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Home". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Skinner, Donald E. "Chalica, new weeklong UU holiday, slowly gains adherents". Retrieved 2012-12-12.