December has finally arrived, and with it comes an abundance of colorful lights, vibrant wreaths and a bunch of family parties.
Most of these celebrations are inspired by Christmas and Hanukkah, the two major religious holidays celebrated by Christians and Jewish believers, respectively, in America.
With an increasing amount of interfaith marriages, many American families have had to figure out how to celebrate both holidays, according to InterfaithFamily, a support website for interfaith families.
But Christmas and Hanukkah aren’t the only religious holidays this month that some families may have to celebrate together. In fact, the Interfaith Calendar organization lists a number of religious holidays for the month of December. Here are 12 holidays with a little explanation on each.
Dec. 6: Saint Nicholas Day — Christian
This holiday honors the birth of Saint Nicholas, the saint who serves as a role model for gift-giving and is commonly known as Santa Claus, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 8: Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) — Buddhist
This holiday celebrates the historical Buddha’s decision and vow to sit under the Bodhi tree until he reached spiritual enlightenment. It’s celebrated through meditation and is embraced similar to how Christians celebrate Christmas to honor Jesus Christ.
Dec. 8: Immaculate Conception — Catholic
In the lead-up to Jesus’ birthday celebration on Christmas, Catholics celebrate the day of Immaculate Conception to honor his mother Mary, who they say was preserved from original sin for her entire life.
Dec. 12: Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe — Catholic
This is a primarily Catholic holiday celebrated by Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent that honors the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 16-25: Posadas Navidenas — Christian
This is a primarily Hispanic Christian holiday that commends Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 18-26: Hanukkah — Judaism
This is the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, which celebrates the Maccabean revolt in Israel. Eight candles are lit with a menorah to honor the holiday.
Dec. 21: Winter Solstice — Wicca/Neo Pagan
Solstice is the point in the year "when the earth is most inclined away from the sun. It is the most southern or northern point depending on the hemisphere," according to Interfaith Calendar. Pagans and Wicca believers will celebrate that event through Yule, in which believers also honor “the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun,” Interfaith Calendar explained.
Dec. 25: Christmas — Christian
Christmas is a primarily Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Many will attend church, have family parties and exchange gifts, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 26: Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathustra) — Zoroastrian
Unlike many of the other holidays in the month, Zoroastrians honor the death of their prophet, Zarathustra, who founded Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions.
Dec. 28: Holy Innocents Day — Christian
Christians solemnly honor the deaths of children killed by King Herod, who was attempting to kill Jesus, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 30: Feast of the Holy Family — Catholic
Catholics use this day to honor Jesus, Mary and Joseph, according to Interfaith Calendar.
Dec. 31: Watch Night — Christian
For Watch Night, Christians will thank God for the safety they received during the year, according to Interfaith Calendar.
For more on world religious holidays, head to Princeton University’s website.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the Maccabean revolt occurred in Egypt. It occurred in Israel.