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The Month Of December

December

December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. It is the seventh and last month to have the length of 31 days.

 December, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.

In Ancient Rome, as one of the four Agonalia, this day in honor of Sol Indiges was held on December 11, as was SeptimontiumDies natalis (birthday) was held at the temple of Tellus on December 13, Consualia was held on December 15, Saturnalia was held December 17–23, Opiconsivia was held on December 19, Divalia was held on December 21, Larentalia was held on December 23, and the dies natalis of Sol Invictus was held on December 25. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.

The Anglo-Saxons referred to December–January as Ġēolamonaþ (modern English: “Yule month”). The French Republican Calendar contained December within the months of Frimaire and Nivôse.

Astronomy

December contains the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the fewest daylight hours, and the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the day with the most daylight hours (excluding polar regions in both cases). December in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to June in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the astronomical winter is traditionally 21 December or the date of the solstice.

Meteor showers occurring in December are the Andromedids (September 25 – December 6, peaking around November 9), the Canis-Minorids (December 4 – December 15, peaking around December 10-11), the Coma Berenicids (December 12 to December 23, peaking around December 16), the Delta Cancrids (December 14 to February 14, the main shower from January 1 to January 24, peaking on January 17), the Geminids (December 13-14), the Monocerotids (December 7 to December 20, peaking on December 9. This shower can also start in November), the Phoenicids (November 29 to December 9, with a peak occurring around 5/6 December), the Quadrantids (typically a January shower but can also start in December), the Sigma Hydrids (December 4-15), and the Ursids (December 17-to December 25/26, peaking around December 22).

Astrology

December symbols

Observances

This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance.

Non-Gregorian observances, 2017

(please note that all Jewish observances, which are set by the Hebrew calendar, begin at sunset the day prior to the date listed and end on the sunset of the date in question unless otherwise noted. The same applies to observances set by the Bahá’í calendar, and by the Islamic calendar)

Month-long observances

Movable Observances – 2016 dates

Last Week of November

First Friday

Second Friday after Thanksgiving

First Sunday

Sunday two weeks before Christmas: December 11

Second Monday

Sunday before Christmas

Winter Solstice

Thursday before Christmas

December 22, unless that date is a Sunday, in which case it’s moved to the 23rd

Last Friday before Christmas

Last Saturday before Christmas

December 26, unless that day is a Sunday, in which case the 27th

Last Friday: December 30

Sunday after Christmas, or on the 30th if Christmas falls on a Sunday

Fixed observances

The following is a list of National Months observed in December.

AIDS Awareness Month
Awareness Month of Awareness Months Month
Bingo’s Birthday Month
National Drunk & Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month
National Human Rights Month
National Tie Month
National Write A Business Plan Month
Operation Santa Paws (1-24)
Quince and Watermelon Month
Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month
Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Spiritual Literacy Month
Take a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking (TANYRSS) (12/17 – 2/5)
Tomato and Winter Squash Month
Universal Human Rights Month
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month

December in History

About the Month of December December is the 12th month of the year and has 31 days. Season (Northern Hemisphere): Winter Holidays Pearl Harbor Day Hanukkah Christmas Boxing Day Kwanzaa Read a New Book Month Human Rights Month Calendar Awareness Month National Handwashing Awareness Week National Fruit Cake Month Symbols of December Birthstone: Turquoise, zircon, or tanzanite Flower: Narcissus or Holly Zodiac signs: Sagittarius or Capricorn History: December was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar.

 

It gets its name from the Latin word “decem” which means tenth. However, when the Romans added January and February to the calendar, it became the twelfth month. They still kept the name, though. December in Other Languages Chinese (Mandarin) – shí’èryuè Danish – december French – décembre Italian – dicembre Latin – December Spanish – diciembre Historical Names: Roman: December Saxon: Giuli Germanic: Heil-mond (Holy month) Fun Facts about December It is the first month of winter and the last month of the year.

 

National Cookie Day is December 4th. Other snacks celebrated this month include pie, cotton candy, chocolate brownies (mmm!), cocoa, and cupcakes. December often marks the beginning of rain, snow, and cold weather. In the United States the month is associated with Christmas. There are Christmas decorations, sales, musicals, and parties. Many people spend their time Christmas shopping.

 

A lot of people have days off around Christmas and before New Year’s Eve. December in the Northern Hemisphere is similar to June in the Southern Hemisphere. The first day of Winter is on either December 21 or 22. This is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is called the Winter or Southern solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Special Days and Observances in December

The month of December has more to offer than holiday preparations, and it is good to shift your child’s attention to a variety of topics. Special days and observances can be a way to explore a variety of subjects, including awareness of health conditions, safety issues, and ways to promote a healthy lifestyle. You may find materials and events provided by your community centers, health centers, and schools for some of these observances.

In other cases, you can put the date on your calendar and think of activities you can do with your child centered around them. You can both learn more together and have family fun.

Month-Long Observances

  • Write a Friend Month
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month: The American Academy of Ophthalmology doesn’t want anybody to shoot an eye out.
  • Stress-Free Family Holidays Month
  • Read a New Book Month
  • Learn a Foreign Language Month
  • Sign Up for Summer Camp Month
  • Art and Architecture Month
  • AIDS Awareness Month
  • National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month

Week-Long Observances

  • Hanukka (changes yearly)
  • Human Rights Week (second work week)
  • Thank a Soldier Week (week before or including Christmas)
  • Kwanzaa December 26–January 1

Special Days and Holidays

The dates listed are examples only. Some of these observances are done on the same day every year, while others vary. Check your calendar to see which day they are observed this year.

First Week

  • December 1 Rosa Parks Day
  • December 1 World AIDS Day
  • December 2 Special Education Day
  • December 3 Make a Gift Day
  • December 4 Santa’s List Day
  • December 4 Cookie Day
  • December 6 Give a Secret Gift Day
  • December 7 Pearl Harbor Day
  • December 7 Letter Writing Day

Second Week

  • December 8 Winter Flowers Day
  • December 8 Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
  • December 9 Homemade Gift Day
  • December 10 Human Rights Day
  • December 10 Nobel Prize Day
  • December 10 Day of the Horse (always second Saturday)
  • December 11 World Choral Day (always second Sunday)
  • December 13 Violin Day
  • December 14 Deck the Halls Day

Third Week

  • December 15 Bill of Rights Day
  • December 16 Boston Tea Party
  • December 17 Wright Brothers’ First Flight Anniversary
  • December 19 Build a Snowman Day
  • December 20 Go Caroling Day
  • December 20 Games Day
  • December 21 Forefathers Day
  • December 21 Look on the Bright Side Day
  • December 21 (approximate) Winter Solstice, which is also National Flashlight Day

Last Week

  • December 23 Festivus
  • December 23 Roots Day
  • December 25 Christmas Day
  • December 26 National Whiners Day
  • December 28 National Card Playing Day
  • December 30 Take a Walk Day
  • December 31 New Year’s Eve

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