Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, is celebrated by Christians all over the world on December 25th, the date of the Roman winter solstice. An older winter festival, the Yule, was originally celebrated by Germanic people during the winter solstice. Many symbols and practices associated with Christmas today are related to this winter solstice holiday. For example, decorating with holly, Continue reading
Chinese Winter Festival During the Han dynasty, the Chinese began to celebrate the winter solstice as a time when positive things grew stronger again. Thus, the winter festival became an important holiday that is still celebrated today. Traditionally, relatives and friends gave each other special foods and made ancestral offerings. Each region today has its own traditions. In northern China, Continue reading
Shabe-Yalda, is celebrated in Iran during the winter solstice to mark the birth and rebirth of the sun. Having originated in Zoroastrianism, the state religion which preceded Islam, it is still celebrated in Iran today. People typically gather to tell stories and read poetry all night, while eating watermelons, pomegranates, and dried fruits and nuts.