I have witnessed the holiday season in Europe, winter in Europe is charmingly festive! It’s the season to sparkle! That first snowfall, twinkling lights, and smell of pine cones and mulled wine are all signs of the holiday season. A certain magic comes with the first snow- White Christmas as titled in the west!
From tree-lighting ceremonies to merry markets, it is the time to spend with family and find ways to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate the most beautiful time of the year.
The term “festive season or Christmas holidays” is more commonly used in the UK and other English-speaking countries, from Christmas until the start of the New Year. In the UK, many businesses close entirely from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day that week.
The holiday season in North America is the period from Thanksgiving until the New Year. Many Americans and Canadians usually travel home or take time off from work during these holidays, which cover many of the most significant American holidays.
Let’s look at which holidays take place during the “holiday season”
This national holiday in the USA and Canada takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. Traditionally families and communities gather to celebrate a good harvest and enjoy a big meal together. Thanksgiving dinner usually has turkey as the main meal and seasonal vegetables like pumpkin, green peas and mashed potatoes.
Hanukah (Festival of Lights)
Hanukah (Festival of Lights) is an important holiday for Jewish during the winter season that lasts eight days and nights, falling between November and December. Hanukah is all about the time the Jewish people celebrate after taking back the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Seleucid Empire, who made Judaism illegal. As part of this tradition, Jews light candles in an eight-branched candle holder called a Menorah, eat doughnuts, and spend time with families and their community.
Christmas is a cultural and religious holiday centered around Jesus Christ’s birth and the most popular cultural holiday globally. In most countries, Father Christmas / Santa Claus / St. Nicholas is believed to bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The festival is usually celebrated with a big meal with family and friends, as well as going to the church for morning mass and Christmas carols.
New Year’s eve marks the last night of the old year, known as the Gregorian calendar, and the beginning of the new one. Many people celebrate their way into the new year with friends or family. At New Year’s Eve dawn, many people gather at the Times Square in New York for the grand celebration and Ball Drop. Some annual traditions around the world believe that toasting champagne at midnight or eating 365 black-eyed peas at the beginning of the new year will bring good luck.
Here are some unique holiday traditions and season statistics that give us some insights into the holiday season around the world!
- The world’s largest Christmas present was the Statue of Liberty. The French gave it to the US in 1886. It stands 151 Feet 1 inch high and weighs 225 tons.
- The Time Square ball’s weight, which drops down every year on New Year eve, is 11,875 pounds.
- You can now book an ‘Uber Sleigh’, the world’s first on-demand reindeer sleigh ride in Finland. The ride-hailing app’s new venture is free. The reindeer rides depart twice a day between December 12 and 18 from Apukka Resort in Rovaniemi, which is the capital of Finnish Lapland.
- It is estimated that approximately 33 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced and harvested in the United States each year, with 50-60 million produced and cut in Europe.
- In 2020, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan, delivered more than 80,000 letters to Santa from children in Japan to Norway.
- The Japanese eat Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for Christmas dinner booked two months in advance.
- In Ukraine, instead of ornaments and tinsel, Ukrainian Christmas trees are covered with artificial spiders and cobwebs.
- According to the National Retail Federation, a record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday shopping period in 2022.
- Studies show that, globally, our carbon footprint in this period is 6% higher than in the rest of the year. That’s because we tend to buy much more, whether we’re talking about gifts or food, because we generate more waste and travel more.
- According to the Transportation Safety Administration, the busiest travel time this holiday season will be just before and after Christmas, on Dec. 23 and 27. Conversely, the least busy days usually bring the best deals are New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day.