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Winter Holidays

Bodhi Day – December 8th – On this day the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni or Siddhartha, experienced enlightenment. Siddhartha resolved to sit under a Pipul tree and meditate until he discovered the root of suffering, and how to liberate one’s self from it.

Christmas – December 25th – Christians celebrate the birth of God’s son on this day. The child, Jesus Christ, was born in a manger in Bethlehem. This nativity scene can be seen on display as a symbol of Christmas throughout the world.

Eid al-Adha – December 8th to December 11th – This Muslim Festival of Sacrifice is celebrated worldwide to honor Ibrahim’s (Abraham) devotion to God. Today, the holiday is celebrated by sacrificing an animal in rememberance of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice.

Hanukah – December 21st to December 29th – This Hebrew Festival of Lights is an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights.

Kwanzaa – December 26th to January 1st – Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday honoring African heritage, and is marked by participants lighting a kinara. It was created by scholar and social activist Maulana Karenga in 1966; today it is celebrated throughout the world.

Winter Solstice or Yule – December 21st – The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice is recognized around the world by many cultures and traditions. As the earliest festival of Winter to be celebrated by mankind, it is no coincidence that many Winter holidays fall in such close proximity to the solstice.

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