Rosa Parks Day, 1 December
It’s been 64 years since Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing demands to give up her coloured-people bus seat to a white woman in Montgomery Alabama, 1955. Her actions and personality sparked a bus-boycott in Montgomery which lasted for over a year, and her actions are considered to be pivotal to the civil right movement in the USA. Rosa Parks Day is also celebrated on her birthday, February 4th, in some states including California and Missouri.
Link : Rosa Parks story
St Lucy’s Day, 13 December
Saint Lucy, or Lucia, is the patron saint of Syracuse, Sicily, and the blind, and her feast day is celebrated on the 13th of December. In Italy, children celebrate St Lucy’s day in a very similar way to how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas. Upon an early night to bed on the 12th, St Lucy will arrive and deliver gifts in their sleep. The children must leave a coffee, a carrot and a glass of wine for St Lucy’s arrival. The only major difference in the customs is that St Lucy will temporarily blind any children that spot her while she is making her delivery… That should keep the kids asleep!
National Cocoa Day, 13 December
What better way to shake off the winter blues than to curl up with a nice cup of hot cocoa? Aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling that you get from the drink, the USDA claims that cocoa powder is an excellent source of fibre and iron alongside antioxidants and serotonin to keep you well and happy in the cold, darker months! Not that we needed any more reasons to drink-up, though…
Watch: The Story of… Chocolate
Winter Solstice (N. Hemisphere), 22 December
Officially the shortest and darkest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. On the plus side, the days will gradually start getting longer again! This year, the winter solstice falls on a Sunday. For the few short hours of the day we will be indulging in a roast and a few glasses of wine, and then settling in for sunset at 15:54.
United States Golf Association Turns 130! 22 December
The United States Golf Association is the United States’ national association of golf courses, clubs and facilities and the governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. Together with The Royal & Ancient in Scotland, the USGA produces and interprets the rules of golf, and is responsible for organising a number of golf tournaments including the world renowned U.S Open Championship, along with it’s women’s counterpart.
Watch: Adventure Golf – Florida
Chanukah, December 5th to 12th
The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Chanukah or Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish uprising against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt, where they took back and rededicated the previously seized Second Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods such as potato latkes, games and gifts. In recent years, the holiday has become perceived as the “Jewish Christmas” in the west, and though it is not, it is often celebrated as an equivalent due to it’s position in the calendar.
Link : Jewish Diaspora TV
Christmas Day, 25 December
The annual festival of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is celebrated religiously by Christians the world over, but also culturally by many non-Christians. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, pulling Christmas crackers and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees with lights.
Kwanzaa, 26 – 1 January
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Black nationalist Maulana Karenga and was borne out of the 60’s black-consciousness movement sweeping the community. Kwanzaa is a week long event which celebrates the African heritage of the African-American community, and is celebrated widely among other nations with a large African diaspora. Kwanzaa is often celebrated alongside the christian faith, but also provides a holiday for African-Americans who do not observe christian holidays.
Henri Matisse born 155 Years Ago, 31 December
Henri Matisse is widely regarded as one of history’s most important artists. He is recognised for transforming the visual arts in the early 20th Century. ‘Fauvism’ – or the use of strong colour – is a key feature of his works and many argue that the popular style had it’s beginnings in his work. Fauvism became one of the defining characteristics of early twentieth century art, and along with Pablo Picasso’s ‘Cubism’, set the stage for Modern Art more generally.