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List of winter festivals: Wikis

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This is an incomplete list of festivals and holidays that take place during the winter or late autumn in the northern hemisphere. Many festivals of light take place in this period since the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere is the Winter Solstice.

Holidays are listed in chronological order under each heading.

Contents

Andean

  • Inti Raymi: Festival of the Sun in Quechua, winter solstice festival in areas of the former Inca empire, still celebrated every June in Cuzco.

Buddhist

  • Bodhi Day: 8 December - Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Guatama) experienced enlightenment (also known as Bodhi).

Celtic

  • Samhain: 31 October-1 November - first day of winter in the Celtic calendar (and Celtic New Year's Day)
  • Winter Solstice: 21 December-22 December - midwinter
  • Imbolc: 1 February - first day of spring in the Celtic calendar

Chinese

Christian

Germanic

  • Modranect: or Mothers' Night, the Saxon winter solstice festival.
  • Yule: the Germanic winter solstice festival

Hindu

  • Navratri:Nine-day celebration worshipping female divinity, in October or November. Culminates in Dussehra.
  • Diwali:Known as the Festival of Lights, this Hindu holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil. The five-day festival is marked by ceremonies, fireworks and sweets. Women dress up and decorate their hands with henna tattoos for the melas, or fairs. Many different myths are associated with Diwali, one of which celebrates the return of Lord Rama after a 14-year exile and his defeat of the demon Ravana.
  • Pancha Ganapati:Five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. December 21-25.
  • Bhaubeej

Jewish

  • Hanukkah: Starting on 25 Kislev (Hebrew) or various dates in November or December (Gregorian) - eight day festival commemorating the miracle of the oil after the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his defeat in 165 BCE.
  • Tu Bishvat: New Year of the Trees occurring on the 15th of Shevat, January or February.
  • Purim: Occurring on 14th or 15th day of Adar, late February to March, commemorating the miraculous deliverance and victory of the Jews of the Persian Empire in the events recorded in the Book of Esther

Muslim

  • Eid ul-Adha: Starting on the 10th of Dhul Hijja, a four day holiday commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismael.
NOTE: The Islamic calendar is based on the moon and this festival moves with respect to the solar year. It is, however, falling in the winter in the first decade of the present [21st] Century of the common era.

Pagan and Neo-Pagan

  • Samhain: 31 October - first day of winter in the Celtic calendar (and Celtic New Year's Day)
  • Yule: (Winter Solstice) - Germanic and Egyptian Pagan festival of the rebirth of the Sun
  • Imbolc: (Oimelc) (1 February or 2), but traditionally the evening of (31 January)[1]

Persian

  • Sadeh: A mid-winter feast to honor fire and to "defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold". Sadé or Sada (Persian: سده) Jashn-e Sada/Sadé (in Persian: جشن سده), also transliterated as Sadeh, is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before nowrouz. Sadeh in Persian means "hundred" and refers to one hundred days and nights left to the beginning of the new year celebrated at the first day of spring on March 21 each year. Sadeh is a mid winter festival that was celebrated with grandeur and magnificence in ancient Iran. It was a festivity to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold.
  • Yalda: The turning point, Winter Solstice (December 21). End of the longest night of the year (Darkness), and beginning of growing of the days (Lights). A celebration of Good over Evil. Shabe Yaldā (Persian: یلدا) or Shabe Chelle (Persian: شب چله) is an Iranian festival originally celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
  • Chahar Shanbeh Suri: Festival of Fire, Last Wednesday of the Iranian Calendar year. It marks the importance of the light over the darkness, and arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahārshanbe-Sūri (Persian: چهارشنبه‌سوری), pronounced Chārshanbe-Sūri (Persian: چارشنبه‌سوری) is the ancient Iranian festival dating at least back to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[1] The festival of fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahrshanbeh Soori, is celebrated the last Tuesday night of the year.

Polynesian

Roman

Secular

Fictional

  • Chrismahanukwanzakah: the modern-day merging of the holidays of Christianity's Christmas, Judaism's Hanukkah, and the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.
  • Holiday: Around the time of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, Pastafarians celebrate a vaguely-defined holiday named "Holiday", which doesn't take place on "a specific date so much as it is the Holiday season, itself". Because Pastafarians "reject dogma and formalism", there are no specific requirements for the holiday.
  • Wintersday: The annual winter holiday in the MMORPG Guild Wars. This holiday is based on Christmas and Yule and one can obtain festival related drops from monsters and collect gifts in select cities. Special quests are available and at the end players may get Wintersday related headgear.
  • Winterval non-religious alternative name for Christmas and Hanukkah, invented by Birmingahm City Council, England, to avoid offence, but quickly abandoned by them
  • Starlight Celebration: The annual winter holiday based on Christmas/Yule/winter solstice in the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI (aka FFXI). Players can collect various holiday equipment, Mog house furnishings, fireworks, and food.
  • Shoe Giving: - quirky holiday famously invented on the show Hyperdrive (TV series)
  • Freezingman: - 11 January - A Burning Man inspired event held in Colorado as a Winter Arts and Music Festival. [2]
  • Feast of Winter Veil: December 15 to January 2 - holiday in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. This holiday is based on Christmas. Cities are decorated with christmas lights and a tree with presents. Also special quests, items and snowballs are available. It features 'Greatfather Winter' which is modeled after [Santa Claus]. [1] [2]
  • Kwansolhaneidmas: December 19 - an interdenominational holiday celebrated by people on Facebook.
  • Feast of Frith, in the TV series Watership Down.
  • Holiday Number 11, in the TV series Quark.
  • Xmas, a twisted version of Christmas featuring a murderous robotic Father Christmas in the TV series Futurama.
  • Refrigerator Day, in the TV series Dinosaurs.
  • Life Day, featured in The Star Wars Holiday Special.
  • Agnostica: Agnostic winter festival created by Daren "Gav" Bleuel in the webcomic Nukees and celebrated by many of its fans.
  • Alvistide: in the TV series Sealab 2021.
  • Frostval: Adventure Quest, Dragonfable, AQworlds etc.

See also

References

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