December 12, 2005
6 – St. Nicholas day, Christian
8 – Bodhi Day, Buddhist
8 – Immaculate Conception, Catholic Christian
12 – Feast Day, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Catholic Christian
16-24 – Los Posadas, Christian
21 – Yule, Christian and Pagan
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21 – Winter Solstice, Wicca/Neo Pagan (northern hemisphere)
21 – Litha, Wicca/Neo Pagan (southern hemisphere)
24 – Christmas Eve, Christian
25 – Christmas, Christian
25 – Feast of the Nativity, Orthodox Christian
26-Jan. 2 – Hanukkah (begins eve of 25th), Jewish
26 – Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), Zoroastrian
26 – St. Stephen’s Day, Christian
26-Jan. 1 – Kwanzaa
28 – Holy Innocents, Christian
30 – Feast of the Holy Family, Catholic Christian
31 – Watch Night, Christian
History of the Christmas Tree
The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures who treasured and worshipped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrived, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life’s triumph over death.
The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness and lamps to light one’s journey through life.
Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life and placed evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.
Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. The modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.