Spotlight on Holiday Season

The month of December means holiday season for cultures and religions around the world! Explore these resources to learn new information about better-known holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, as well as some of the lesser-known celebrations, including Bodhi Day and Pancha Ganapati.

Featured images from

Image Quest

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    Kwanzaa celebration 
    African American families and communities celebrate Kwanzaa with traditional food and dress.
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    Kinara and fruit 
    A typical Kwanzaa will include a kinara (candle holder) and fresh fruit, representing African idealism.
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    A mother and son light the candles of the menorah, an important part of Hanukkah.
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    Munich Hanukkah Festival 
    A giant menorah stands in front of the Jewish Main Synagogue during the Hannukah festival in Munich, Germany.
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    Christmas mass 
    Christmas midnight Mass in Munich, Germany.
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    Santa Claus 
    Children tell Santa Claus what they would like for Christmas.
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    Hindu gods 
    Decorated statues of the Hindu gods Ganesha, Parvati, and Shiva.
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    Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wiseness in Hinduism, is celebrated in December during Pancha Ganapati.
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    Siddhartha Gautama devoted his life to the spiritual and attained enlightenment at 35 and from then on was known as Buddha.
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    Buddha statues in bo grove 
    Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on December 8th in remembrance of the Buddha's enlightenment under a bo tree.

Featured videos from

Films on Demand

Focus on December Holidays

History of the Holidays
Ever wonder why we celebrate a particular holiday? This website from the History Channel explores the history and current state of different holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. With short videos about specific customs and traditions, infographics visualizing holiday-related data, facts, and articles, this website is full of interesting and useful information about our festivals and holidays.
In Your Library: Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary
An ebook collection of holidays, festivals, commemorations, holy days, feasts and fasts, and other important days from different cultures and religions around the world. In addition to information on specific events, this ebook also has information on the variety of calendars used in the world, the major world religions, and facts about specific countries, which helps to give the cultural context of the holidays. Click on the title to access this ebook!
BBC: Religions
Learn more about the upcoming holidays and celebrations in cultures around the world! This website from the BBC has profiles of different religions with each profile containing information about beliefs, ethics, customs, holy days, subdivisions and more. In addition to the profiles, the BBC also has an interfaith calendar that lists important days for all faiths in one location.
Global Road Warrior
Interested in knowing more about the customs and traditions of a particular country or region? Global Road Warrior is a library database with country and regional profiles detailing information about demographics, language, and religion. It’s an excellent resource for anyone researching for travel or just wanting to learn more about the world.
Last update: Thursday, 05 December, 2013 16:05