December marks the end of the year, the 12th month with 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere, December signifies spring, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it heralds the onset of summer. The word December is derived from the Latin word ‘decem’, meaning "ten", because it was originally the tenth month according to the Roman calendar. It was a month of 30 days earlier, but after the addition of January and February, it was reduced to 29 days. Later, Julian's calendar added two more days, making it a month of 31 days.
December is also known for many holidays and celebrations. In India, the important festivals celebrated in December include Vivah Panchami and Christmas. Here is the list of festivals celebrated in December; let's have a look:
17th December 2023, Sunday
Vivah Panchami is an important Hindu festival that marks Lord Rama's and Goddess Sita's marriage. It is celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Shukla Paksha (bright half) of the Hindu month of Margashirsha (November–December). Vivah Panchami is celebrated enthusiastically in the northern states of India, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The festival is particularly prominent in Janakpur city of Nepal, the birthplace of Goddess Sita.
On this auspicious day, devotees observe a fast, visit the temple, worship Lord Rama and Sita, and perform rituals. The occasion is marked by a huge procession where the idols of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita are carried in huge chariots, accompanied by large groups of people, dancers and musicians.
Christmas is one of the significant Christian festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal in India. In India, it is prominently observed in Goa, Kerala, and parts of Northeast India. On this joyous festival, people decorate their homes with Christmas trees, stars, colourful lights, tinsel and more. At midnight on Christmas Eve, i.e. December 24, people go to church, sing carols, and read the biblical story of the birth of Christ. People celebrate this day by exchanging gifts with each other and preparing traditional Christmas dishes like plum cake, fruit cake, and Christmas pudding. Meanwhile, cultural traditions take place in some parts of India, including nativity scenes and traditional folk dances and plays. Christmas is the festival of spreading love, joy, and goodwill among everyone.
According to the Gregorian calendar New Year's Day signifies the commencement of a fresh new year. It is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm and happiness, and the new year is welcomed with new positivity, hopes and new opportunities. On this day, people visit the homes of their family and friends, exchanging heartfelt greetings and wishes and celebrate the day by relishing delectable food. New Year symbolises a new journey of growth, happiness and success.