Blog Post > News > Culture & Heritage > 5 December Festivals that Highlight Global Cultural Identities
Featured Image

5 December Festivals that Highlight Global Cultural Identities


December is the month of cultural significance, where different cultures celebrate vibrant festivals to mark the end of the year. These festivals are celebrations that showcase varying ethnic identities, reminding us about the stories that help bind humanity together. Here, we will go over a few festivals exclusively celebrated in December that are the part of the world’s cultural history. 

Christmas (December 25)

December 25 marks the heavenly birth of Jesus Christ. People around the globe celebrate Christmas and honour the birth of Jesus Christ. That day, the whole world celebrates the festival with joy and enthusiasm. A special prayer will be held in church, and houses will be decorated with lights. The specialities include joyful songs, celebrations, delectable feasts, and colourful presents. Family get-togethers also take place around this period. Christmas is celebrated differently in every nation. 

Saturnalia (December 17 – 23)

Saturnalia is a Roman Pegan festival that takes place around the middle of December. This is an agricultural festival dedicated to the god Saturn. According to ancient Roman culture, God Saturn is considered the god of agriculture and time. The usual duration of this festivity is one week. 

The customs of Saturnalia are very much associated with Christmas rituals. It will be a holiday season in Rome during that time. Lights, flowers, and wreaths adorn Roman homes. They indulge in activities like singing, gambling, feasting, socializing, and exchanging gifts. Cerei, a wax paper candle representing light, is a typical present at this festival. Signillaria, little terracotta sculptures representing human sacrifice, are exchanged on the last day of the celebration. Sounds interesting, isn’t it?

Las Posadas (December 16 -24)

Las Posadas, which means ‘the inn” in English, is a Mexican celebration associated with Christmas festivities. This festival is traditionally celebrated from December 16 to December 24. This festival is a 9-night celebration which reminds the search of Mary and Joseph to find the inn or lodging for the baby Jesus Christ. As this is a festival of gathering, everyone in the family, including friends and relatives, form a procession guided by an angel. This represents the act of finding the stable. They enjoy the occasion with prayer, feasts, music, laughter, and delicious food. 


The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also called the “festival of lights,” lasts eight days in the winter. It falls in December, and the date varies yearly according to the lunar system. This festival marks the victory of the first recorded struggle for religious liberty.

 It is believed that once the Jewish people regained their place of worship, they wanted to purify that temple with burning oil. But the quantity of oil that remained with them was less, which was only enough for a single day. But, miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. It is customary to light candles as a reminder of this event. 

Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)

Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday event celebrated in African-American heritage. It is a week-long festival celebrated annually from December 26 to January 1. The non-religious celebration honours the harvest, community, family, and cultural history. 

This festival involves different rituals. A variety of ceremonies are observed throughout this event. Each day, participants light one candle, representing one of seven guiding principles. Unity, self-determination, purpose, creativity, faith, collective work, and economic cooperation are the seven principles.

Did you find this story interesting? If yes, please subscribe for more.