Holidays Around the World

It’s that wonderful time of year again. The season that we roast chestnuts on an open fire, sip hot cocoa in Santa Claus mugs, and watch the bottom rung football teams fight for the last wildcard spots before the playoffs. December is a month of family and friends. Whatever you celebrate this holiday season, you know you are in for a good time. While we enjoy our holidays, here are some other holidays that are being celebrated around the world.

Quaid-i-Azam Day: Quaid-i-Azam day is observed in Pakistan and pays tribute to the country’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah was apart of the All-India Muslim league from 1913, and left when Pakistan became an independent nation in 1947. Afterward, he became the Governor of Pakistan until he passed. Pakistan also casually celebrates Christmas, and the food for the holiday isn’t anything out of the ordinary; turkey, pan fried seafood, various soups, and a large selection of desserts. The country embraced Christmas with open arms and has Christmas trees and various holiday decorations all over shopping malls, parks, and restaurants. Even with the Holiday season cheer, most Pakistanis will celebrate Jinnah’s hard work over the evening meal and drinks.

Hogmanay: Hogmanay is a Scottish celebration deriving from Norse and Gaelic traditions. It is observed on December 31st. There are various ways Hogmanay has been celebrated throughout the years. In the 1960s, some areas of Scotland celebrated it more for the children and gave out candy to kids who came by their house, similar to Halloween. There are tons of traditions that occur currently for the holiday. Some are national and some specific to certain areas of Scotland. The biggest and most popular custom is firstfooting, which takes place at midnight, when neighbors exchanging things with each other such as food and liquor. Local customs differ depending on what area of Scotland you reside in. If you are from the North East you might take part in fireball swinging. If you are in Dundee, along the shore, you might bake a special cake for the Hogmanay celebration. In Glasgow and in central Scotland, most of the celebration happens inside with dancing, singing, and of course, drinking Scotch Whiskey till you puke. Many Scottish dishes appear during the holiday, like Haggis, Cock-A- Leekie Soup, and the infamous venison pie.

Dongzhi Festival: This holiday is celebrated within mainland China and in Taiwan on December 22nd. The typical food to eat on this day is dumplings! The food actually plays a big part in the myth surrounding the holiday. Legend as it that Zhang Zhongjing from the Han Dynasty went out for a walk on a blistering cold day and saw helpless children freezing. He ordered his servants to go make warm dumplings for these children. Dongzhi is actually the Chinese winter solstice as well. No better way to spend a cold day than eating warm dumplings and sipping Chinese rice wine.

These are just a few of the multiple holidays happening in December. Around this time of year, it seems that everyone, no matter the culture, makes time for a gathering of friends and family to stuff themselves full of food, drinks, and laughter.

Luke Dornbush is a writer for Tell him about your favorite holiday on twitter @Potty_Pirate

Quaid-i-Azam Photo Credit

Hogmanay Photo Credit

Dongzhi Photo Credit