Trivia Teaser

The River Danube runs through the capital of WHICH country?


December Festivals


By Christine Lovatt

Although December is the twelfth month in our calendar, it used to be the tenth month, which is where it gets its name. Decem is Latin for ten. The old Roman calendar used to begin in March.

December has always been a popular time of year for all sorts of festivals, not just Christmas.

The Romans held a festival called Saturnalia in December, named after their god Saturn. Slaves had time off work and after sacrifice at the temple, there would be a public banquet which sometimes became a riotous feast.

In Northern Europe, people celebrated the winter solstice by burning a Yule log. Around the 21st December is the darkest time of year. In the cold midwinter of the Northern Hemisphere, they probably needed cheering up at that gloomy time of year. After this date, days would start getting longer again.

As the Christian faith gradually spread through Europe, old traditions became intertwined with new ones, e.g. decorating the house with holly and adorning an evergreen tree with candles. Christmas customs involved singing carols and displaying a nativity crib in the home to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an 8-day holiday which falls between late November and late December. At this time, Jewish families gather to pray together, eat potato pancakes called latkes and light the special candlestick known as a Menorah.

Whichever festival you celebrate, I wish you the joy of the season.


Happy puzzling!




1 Response to

December Festivals

ivy9 said:
December 18, 2007 at 11:17 PM


that was some interesting facts im glad i read it and it will help me in my puzzle progress.thanks.