Christmas Holiday around the world in 2019

Christmas Holiday around the world in 2019
  How long until Christmas Holiday?
This holiday next takes place in 69 days.
  Dates of Christmas Holiday around the world
2021 Various Dec 26, Dec 27, Dec 28
BotswanaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
Bulgaria Dec 26, Dec 27, Dec 28
BulgariaTue, Dec 28National Holiday
BulgariaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
BulgariaSun, Dec 26National Holiday
CuraçaoSun, Dec 26National Holiday
DenmarkSun, Dec 26National Holiday
Faroe IslandsSun, Dec 26National Holiday
FijiMon, Dec 27National Holiday
FinlandSun, Dec 26National Holiday
GreenlandSun, Dec 26National Holiday
Hong KongMon, Dec 27National Holiday
Hungary Dec 26, Dec 27
HungaryMon, Dec 27National Holiday
HungarySun, Dec 26National Holiday
India Dec 26
MeghalayaSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
MeghalayaSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
MizoramSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
KenyaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
LatviaSun, Dec 26National Holiday
LithuaniaSun, Dec 26National Holiday
NorwaySun, Dec 26National Holiday
PakistanSun, Dec 26National Holiday
Papua New GuineaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
RomaniaSun, Dec 26National Holiday
RwandaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
SamoaMon, Dec 27National Holiday
Sierra LeoneMon, Dec 27National Holiday
SpainSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
SurinameSun, Dec 26National Holiday
SwedenSun, Dec 26National Holiday
USA Dec 27
KentuckyMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
MichiganMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
North CarolinaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
North DakotaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
OklahomaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
South CarolinaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
TennesseeMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
TexasMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
VirginiaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
VirginiaMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
WisconsinMon, Dec 27Government Holiday
ZimbabweMon, Dec 27National Holiday
2020 Various Dec 26, Dec 28
BulgariaSat, Dec 26National Holiday
CuraçaoSat, Dec 26National Holiday
DenmarkSat, Dec 26National Holiday
Faroe IslandsSat, Dec 26National Holiday
FinlandSat, Dec 26National Holiday
GreenlandSat, Dec 26National Holiday
Hong KongMon, Dec 28National Holiday
HungarySat, Dec 26National Holiday
LatviaSat, Dec 26National Holiday
LithuaniaSat, Dec 26National Holiday
NorwaySat, Dec 26National Holiday
RomaniaSat, Dec 26National Holiday
SpainSat, Dec 26Regional Holiday
SurinameSat, Dec 26National Holiday
SwedenSat, Dec 26National Holiday
USA Dec 26, Dec 28
North CarolinaMon, Dec 28Government Holiday
South CarolinaSat, Dec 26Government Holiday
TexasSat, Dec 26Government Holiday
2019 Various Dec 26, Dec 27
BulgariaThu, Dec 26National Holiday
CuraçaoThu, Dec 26National Holiday
DenmarkThu, Dec 26National Holiday
Faroe IslandsThu, Dec 26National Holiday
FinlandThu, Dec 26National Holiday
GreenlandThu, Dec 26National Holiday
Hong KongThu, Dec 26National Holiday
Hungary Dec 26, Dec 27
HungaryFri, Dec 27National Holiday
HungaryThu, Dec 26National Holiday
India Dec 26, Dec 27
MeghalayaFri, Dec 27Regional Holiday
MeghalayaThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
MizoramThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
LatviaThu, Dec 26National Holiday
LithuaniaThu, Dec 26National Holiday
NorwayThu, Dec 26National Holiday
PakistanThu, Dec 26National Holiday
RomaniaThu, Dec 26National Holiday
SpainThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
SurinameThu, Dec 26National Holiday
SwedenThu, Dec 26National Holiday
USA Dec 26
North CarolinaThu, Dec 26Government Holiday
South CarolinaThu, Dec 26Government Holiday
TexasThu, Dec 26Government Holiday
2018 Various Dec 24, Dec 26, Dec 27
BulgariaWed, Dec 26National Holiday
CuraçaoWed, Dec 26National Holiday
DenmarkWed, Dec 26National Holiday
Faroe IslandsWed, Dec 26National Holiday
FinlandWed, Dec 26National Holiday
GreenlandWed, Dec 26National Holiday
Hong KongWed, Dec 26National Holiday
HungaryWed, Dec 26National Holiday
India Dec 24, Dec 26, Dec 27
MeghalayaThu, Dec 27Regional Holiday
MeghalayaWed, Dec 26Regional Holiday
MizoramWed, Dec 26Regional Holiday
TelanganaWed, Dec 26Regional Holiday
MeghalayaMon, Dec 24Regional Holiday
LatviaWed, Dec 26National Holiday
LithuaniaWed, Dec 26National Holiday
NorwayWed, Dec 26National Holiday
PakistanWed, Dec 26Not A Public Holiday
RomaniaWed, Dec 26National Holiday
SurinameWed, Dec 26National Holiday
SwedenWed, Dec 26National Holiday
2017 Various Dec 26, Dec 27
Bulgaria Dec 26, Dec 27
BulgariaWed, Dec 27National Holiday
BulgariaTue, Dec 26National Holiday
DenmarkTue, Dec 26National Holiday
FinlandTue, Dec 26National Holiday
Hong KongTue, Dec 26National Holiday
HungaryTue, Dec 26National Holiday
LatviaTue, Dec 26National Holiday
LithuaniaTue, Dec 26National Holiday
NorwayTue, Dec 26National Holiday
PakistanTue, Dec 26Not A Public Holiday
PhilippinesTue, Dec 26Government Holiday
RomaniaTue, Dec 26National Holiday
SwedenTue, Dec 26National Holiday
USATue, Dec 26Government Holiday
  Summary
Several countries and regions around the world extend their public holidays for Christmas beyond 25th December
  Which countries observe Christmas Holiday in 2019?
Bulgaria  BulgariaDec 26National Holiday
Curaçao  CuraçaoDec 26National Holiday
Denmark  DenmarkDec 26National Holiday
Faroe Islands  Faroe IslandsDec 26National Holiday
Finland  FinlandDec 26National Holiday
Greenland  GreenlandDec 26National Holiday
Hong Kong  Hong KongDec 26National Holiday
Hungary  HungaryDec 26, Dec 27National Holiday
India  IndiaDec 26, Dec 27Regional Holiday
Latvia  LatviaDec 26National Holiday
Lithuania  LithuaniaDec 26National Holiday
Norway  NorwayDec 26National Holiday
Pakistan  PakistanDec 26National Holiday
Romania  RomaniaDec 26National Holiday
Spain  SpainDec 26Regional Holiday
Suriname  SurinameDec 26National Holiday
Sweden  SwedenDec 26National Holiday
USA  USADec 26Government Holiday

On this day, over 2 billion people (over a third of the world's population) will celebrate the birth of Christ.

When is Christmas Day?

Christmas Day celebrates the Nativity of Jesus which (traditionally, but unlikely in reality) took place 25 December 1 BC. 25 December will be a public holiday in most countries around the world. If 25 December falls on a weekend, then a nearby week day may be taken as a holiday in lieu.

History of the holiday

Whilst the holiday has a strong grounding in the story of the birth of Jesus, many of the traditions we associate with Christmas have evolved from pre-christian beliefs and certainly the traditions have evolved beyond purely a Christian holiday to have a wider secular significance.

The celebration of Christmas in late December is certainly as a result of pre-existing celebrations happening at that time, marking the Winter Solstice.

Most notable of these is Yule (meaning 'Feast'), a winter pagan festival that was originally celebrated by Germanic people. The exact date of Yule depends on the lunar cycle but it falls from late December to early January. In some Northern Europe countries, the local word for Christmas has a closer linguistic tie to 'Yule' than 'Christmas', and it is still a term that may be used for Christmas in some english-speaking countries. Several Yule traditions are familiar to the modern celebration of Christmas, such as Yule Log, the custom of burning a large wooden log on the fire at Christmas; or indeed carol singing, which is surprisingly a very ancient tradition.

Under the Julian calendar, the winter solstice was fixed on December 25, and this date was also the day of the popular roman holiday of Saturnalia, in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture; which was later superceded by Sol Invictus, a day that bundled up the celebration of several sun based gods into one easy to manage festival.

As Christianity began to take a hold across the Roman empire and beyond, the date of when to celebrate the birth of Christ became a bit of an issue, with several different dates proposed.

It wasn't until 350 AD, when the then Bishop of Rome, Pope Julius I, fixed the official Christmas day on December 25. Unfortunately Julius I didn't show his working out on how he reached this date; some scholars later suggested that it was calculated as nine months after the Annunciation (March 25), when the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary and told her she would bear the son of God. Whatever the reasoning, it is clear that, just as key pagan sites were being chosen for new churches, so too the date was chosen with the intention to catapult Christmas into becoming a major festival by placing it over the pre-existing pagan festivals.

Christmas Traditions

Mistletoe

Kissing someone who happens to being stood under a sprig of mistletoe is seen as a tradition popularised in Victorian England. However even this relatively modern tradition has much more ancient echoes in that Mistletoe bears its fruit around the time of the Winter Solstice, and its supposed mythical ability to heal and increase fertility.

In Norse mythology, an arrow made from mistletoe killed Balder, who was a brother of Thor. Frigga, Balder's mother brought him back to life shedding tears that changed the red berries on mistletoe to white. Frigga then blessed the mistletoe and promised a kiss to anyone who passed beneath it.

A hint of Mistletoe' s integration from pagan ceremonies into Christmas tradition is said that the mistletoe plant used to be a tree, and its wood was used to make the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. After the Crucifixion, the plant shriveled to became the parasitic vine we know today.

Carol Singing

As mentioned earlier, the tradition of singing of songs can be traced back to the pagan festivals before the advent of Christmas. Indeed, the word carol is derived from the Greek word choraulein, which meant "an ancient circle dance performed to flute music."

As carols were already an established custom, early Christians made the shrewd decision to integrate Christian songs into the tradition rather than ban the singing.

Most new Christian Carols were written in Latin, which was by the middle ages, a language only used by the church, thus reducing the popularity of the custom.

However, carols received an injection of popularity when St. Francis of Assisi started his Nativity Plays in Italy in 1223, which included songs written in the local people's language.

The tradition of 'Modern' Carol singing flourished in England. Known as Wassailing, it was a chance for peasants to get some much needed charity from their feudal lords. This singing for money developed in a custom involving traveling musicians who would visit wealthy homes, singing in the hope of receiving money food or gifts in return.

There was a short interruption in 1647, when the puritans come to power after the English Civil War. The puritans, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, disapproved of the celebration of Christmas. There was even a fine of up to five shillings for anyone caught singing Christmas carols. When King Charles II came back to the throne in 1660, the public singing of Christmas carols was permitted again.

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