Most Celebrated Holidays in the World: Whether it’s a day of celebration, reflection, gratitude, or rest, everyone looks forward to the holidays. Holidays serve as a reminder of how wonderful it is to be alive, in addition to giving new life to our busy lives.
Holidays are an inevitable occurrence because they play a significant role in everyone’s existence. We have identified the top holidays celebrated worldwide because different festivals have varied cultural significances. Continue reading to learn more about the significance of the most widely observed holidays around the world as well as their cultural, social, religious, and political implications.
Top 11 Most Celebrated And Biggest Holidays Around the World
1. Christmas: Present-day Christmas may be associated with gifts and Santa Claus, but this well-known holiday has a different history. Christmas may be associated with a variety of things, depending on the culture you ask.
The Christian tradition of celebrating Jesus’ birth gives Christmas its most widely recognized significance. It’s noteworthy to note that it took centuries for Christmas to gain widespread acceptance after the expansion of Christianity. People were concerned because it is believed that celebrating birthdays is a Pagan ritual.
Even more intriguing is that historians have been unable to locate any proof of Jesus’ actual birthday. The majority of academics concur that Christians appropriated the date from the pagan Roman festival honoring the winter solstice. If this is the case, Christmas should also be a time to express thanks that the coldest months are behind us and spring is on the way.
The origins of modern Christmas customs can be found in the tale of Saint Nicholas, who over time evolved into the beloved figure of Santa Claus that we all know and love today. Around the world, common customs include putting up a tree, sending out holiday greetings to relatives, making cookies for Santa, exchanging gifts, attending church, and gathering for a meal. Such a fun day it always is!
Don’t be shocked if you see Santa dressed in a red bathing suit if you visit Australia around Christmastime! Santa has a great tan because December is summer in the southern hemisphere. Other southern nations spend Christmas having barbecues and fireworks displays due to the beautiful weather.
2. Halloween: On October 31 every year, the Celtic celebration of Samhain is observed. That festival is what is known as Halloween today.
This day has traditionally marked the end of the summer, the harvest, and the start of the winter. People make bonfires dressed up in fearsome costumes to scare off ghosts. The Celts believed that with time, the line between the living and the dead would blur. They commemorated the deceaseds’ return on October 31.
3. New Year: The first New Year’s celebration was recorded over 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. Most cultures restart their calendar on January 1st. People like to party on December 31st to celebrate their past successes and say goodbye to any hardships. During festivities, they would feast and exchange simple gifts with their neighbors.
Our New Year’s festivities have gotten even better in the current era. One custom in America is to give someone a midnight kiss. Big Ben awakens in London to ring in the new year. Don’t be shocked if you witness people getting in and out of coffins if you visit Thailand. People invite their friends and family to amazing parties on New Year’s Eve, stock up on champagne and appetizers, and dance the night away with them.
4. Easter: Easter commemorates the resurrected life of Jesus as it is revealed in the Bible’s New Testament. Easter is frequently associated with the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, and feasts. Easter is observed by churches all around the world as a holy event.
In a darkened church, the event is typically marked, and special prayers are sung in memory of Jesus Christ. On this day, many people participate in charity activities and lead happy prayers in churches to commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
5. Valentine’s Day: Valentine is celebrated as a day of love but the origin of the holiday is not without some dark sides. It was based on the death of some holy people. Christians were frequently persecuted in ancient Rome, and the violence might result in beheadings such as that of Saint Valentine. Chaucer, a poet well-known for his numerous literary accomplishments, suggested a connection between the occasion and bird mating. The name of the feast may be derived from one of numerous saints named Valentine. These saints lacked romance and joyful endings to their lives.
Giving romantic Valentine’s Day cards, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, jewelry, and adorable stuffed animals to lovers is a widespread Valentine’s Day custom. On this day, romantic dates are also anticipated. Some eateries are so well-liked that reservations for Valentine’s Day must be made months in advance! Have Cupid’s arrows struck you? Valentine’s Day is still the ideal occasion to express your love to your sweetheart, whether you enjoy or detest its commercialization. Thanks to well-known Valentine’s Day parodies like Galentine’s Day, being single shouldn’t prevent you from having fun with your friends.
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6. Diwali: The Hindu Festival of Light Diwali is a holiday that honors the victory of good over evil. On November 14th, one of India’s most significant celebrations, Diwali, takes place. This event, which commemorates the victory of good over evil with brilliant lights and delectable food during the Hindu month of Kartika, is observed by Hindus and people all over the world.
7. Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr: The end of the month-long fast known as Ramadan is celebrated at the Muslim holy holiday of Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” It typically lasts between one and three days and consists of both prayer and a good deed. In the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month. Muslims fast entirely from sunrise to sunset for the whole month of Ramadan.
8. Bodhi Day: One of the most significant Buddhist holidays is Bodhi Day. It honors the Bodhi Tree, where Buddha attained enlightenment. Due to the wide variety of Buddhists in the world, there is no set date for Bodhi Day. It is observed over one day by Theravada or Tibetan Buddhists; by Mahayana Buddhists, it is observed over three days.
Buddhism is centered on enlightenment-seeking and meditation. It’s not surprising that this holiday is quiet and contemplative. In order to honor Bodhi Day, many Buddhists meditate, read, chant, or show kindness to others.
Buddhists who are more sociable congregate to share tea, sweets, and read aloud from Buddhist texts. Buddhists observe Bodhi Day, also known as Rohatsu in Japan, by participating in a strenuous weeklong meditation retreat. Anywhere you go, Bodhi Day serves as a reminder of the daily actions that Buddhists must take in order to stay on the path to nirvana.
9. American Independence Day: The United States celebrates the Declaration of Independence’s adoption on July 4, 1776, on the Fourth of July, also referred to as Independence Day. Families frequently mark the day with fireworks, a barbecue or picnic, drinking, and wearing the colors of the American flag.
10. Hanukkah: Hanukkah, which is a well-known winter holiday and is the Hebrew term for “dedication,” is also celebrated. There are eight days dedicated to this festivity. Jews all around the world can use it to commemorate their culture and history.
The history of Hanukkah is less tranquil than that of Christmas. Israel was ruled by Greeks and Syrians around 200 B.C. Thousands of people died and Jerusalem’s revered Second Temple was destroyed during a horrific incident known as the Maccabean Revolt.
Heroes managed to rise up in the face of these tragedies and pursue justice. Within two years of warfare, Judah Maccabee—the son of a Jewish priest—rose to power and assisted Israel in taking back Jerusalem. Judah made it his top priority to bring the Second Temple back to its former splendor so that they may recapture their culture.
After the religious site was cleansed, the menorah was said to only have enough oil to burn for one night. Ever since then, Jewish people have continued to light their menorah for eight nights. Hanukkah has plenty of other interesting traditions, including playing with dreidels and eating traditional Jewish foods.
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11. Chinese New Year: The Chinese New Year is a worldwide celebration, despite the fact that the name of the festival may have Chinese origins. Many people who don’t share their heritage also participate in the festivities since they are so endearing. Since it follows the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year doesn’t have a defined date, but festivities often last from late January to mid-February. This event celebrates the beginning of the new year as well as the Chinese Zodiac signs. A different animal stands in for each year. Pigs are considered lucky and prosperous, and 2019 is the year of the pig.
One of the most important holidays in Asia is Chinese New Year. Since red is thought to be a lucky color, there are many red decorations and Chinese New Year cards to be found. Noodles can lengthen life, whereas dumplings and spring rolls are served to increase prosperity.
The term “holiday” is derived from the Old English word “hligdg,” which means “holy day” and was first recorded around 950 AD. The term “holiday” was first used in writing in the year 1460. Celebrations starting from September and ending in early January along with Nine night Masses leading up to Christmas Day are held in the Philippines, making it one of the world’s longest holiday seasons. Did you know that with 28 unique holidays celebrated annually, Cambodia is the nation with the most national holidays in the entire world? Holidays are significant regardless of where you reside, your religious beliefs, or your cultural traditions. They’re entertaining, but they also serve as a reminder to take it all in and enjoy life’s beauties.
Every holiday has a special meaning with important lessons to be learnt, whether you’re expressing thanks during a religious festival or surrounding yourself with love on Valentine’s Day. Always keep in mind that being with your loved ones in their warmth is the finest way to celebrate any occasion.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.