While Christmas and Hanukkah are the two major religious holidays celebrated by Christians and Jewish believers in the United States and throughout the world, an increasing number of interfaith families celebrate the following.
Saint Nicholas Day
The holiday honors the birth of Saint Nicholas, the saint who serves as a role model for gift giving and is commonly known as Santa Claus.
In the lead-up to Jesus’ birthday celebration on Christmas, Catholics celebrate the day of Immaculate Conception to honor his mother Mary, who they say was preserved from original sin for her entire life.
Rohatsu (Bodhi Day)
The holiday celebrates the historical Buddha’s decision and vow to sit under the Bodhi tree until he reaches spiritual enlightenment. It’s celebrated through meditation and is embraced similarly to how Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
This holiday is celebrated by lighting candles, hanging wreaths, and attending church services throughout the month.
Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Primarily a Catholic holiday celebrated by Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent who honor the appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City.
Primarily a Hispanic Christian holiday that commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus.
Solstice is the point in the year when the earth is farthest away from the sun. Pagans and Wicca believers will celebrate the event through Yule to honor “the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun.”
An Islamic holiday that honors the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, who founded Islam. Shia and Sunni believers will celebrate on separate days by reading the prophet’s teachings.
Unlike many other celebrants, Zoroastrians honor the death of their prophet, Zarathustra, who founded Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions.
Feast of the Holy Family
Catholics celebrate this day in honor of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Holy Innocents Day
Christians solemnly honor the deaths of the children killed by King Herod, who was attempting to kill the child Jesus.
Christians thank God for the safety they received during the year.