Snapshot of the Holidays

November 17, 2023

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, filled with joy and renewal. However, the holidays can also be a hectic time of shopping and hosting, where you might lose track of time, so this article can serve as your cheat sheet for the upcoming weeks. As a caution, this is a survey of upcoming days, religious, secular, and anything in between, the exclusion of any holiday is simply to save space. There’s not a single day in December without at least two celebrations of some type.

  • November 23 – Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the holidays. Thanksgiving traces its origins to a religious day of collectively giving thanks, which survives today with large feasts.
  • November 24 – Black Friday is traditionally a day of shopping at large discounts at brick-and-mortar stores, but these discounts have been beginning earlier in recent years.
  • November 25 – Small Business Saturday is a modern day that is similar to Black Friday but encourages people to shop locally.
  • November 27 – Cyber Monday was first founded in 2004 and later popularized by Amazon. This day is like Black Friday but for online retailers.
  • November 28 – This day is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to charity. Supreme Council’s telethon will be that day to raise money for our programs and charities.
  • December 7 – December 15 – The seven-night Jewish Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah. It celebrates the miracle of candle oil lasting all eight days.
  • December 8 – The Buddist festival of Bohdi Day commemorates when Buddha reached Nirvana.
  • December 10 – In celebration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948, this day is Human Rights Day.
  • December 21 – The darkest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, this day will be the Winter Solstice.
  • December 25 – Christmas, the Christians celebration of Jesus’s birth. There are several other holidays on December 25, most of which actually form the basis of Christmas celebrations.
  • December 26 – Boxing Day, which is celebrated in many European and Commonwealth countries, used to be a day to give gifts to the poor but is more akin to Black Friday today.
  • December 26 – January 1 – Kwanza is a seven-day, modern holiday created by Maulana Karenga in the wake of the Watts Riots for African Americans to have a period to celebrate their culture. Each day is dedicated to a principle of African Heritage.
  • December 27 – The Feast of St. John the Evangelist, in addition to having religious significance, has been used by Freemasons since at least the 1700s to install new Grand Masters. This year’s Feast here in Massachusetts will see the retirement of M.W. Hamilton begin his second of three, year-long terms.
  • December 31 – The last day of 2023, New Year’s Eve is a day to ring in the New Year with friends and family.
  • January 1 – New Year’s Day will officially start 2024, starting another orbit of our planet around the sun.

We hope everyone enjoys the holiday season, however you celebrate!

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