December International Holidays 2017

Rapport International works with customers who do business internationally or with culturally diverse customers, so we thought it would be beneficial to provide a monthly update of holidays around the world. Each month we'll feature one holiday and give some information about its origins and any stories behind the celebrations. We hope you enjoy the information and that it's helpful.

hogmanayThis month, in honor of the upcoming start of a new year, we are spotlighting Scotland’s Hogmanay which is the Scots word for the last day of the year, or New Year’s Eve.  The customs for Hogmanay vary throughout Scotland, but they tend to center around gift-giving and visiting friends and neighbors and being the “first foot” after midnight – or the first visitor of the new year. The first foot brings a gift that symbolizes a type of luck for the host family in the new year, and is still widely practiced in Scotland through mid-January each year.

Another New Year’s tradition in Scotland, one that has spread all over the world, is the singing of Auld Lang Syne. Auld Lang Syne was an old poem/folk song transcribed and expanded upon by the Scot, Robert Burns in 1788.  Auld Lang Syne speaks of bidding farewell to the old year and became a traditional song for Hogmanay. Singing Auld Lang Syne soon spread to other parts of the British Isles and beyond. Today the song is not only popular in English speaking countries, but it has also been translated into many languages and is sung all over the world and in many different circumstances. The lyrics in each country are slightly different, but they all generally speak of bidding farewell to the old, and hello to the new. Read more about Hogmanay and Auld Lang Syne.

 

Other holidays celebrated around the world in December:

1st December

  • Independence Day: Portugal
  • Republic Day: Central African Republic
  • National Day: Romania

2nd December

  • National Day: United Arab Emirates
  • Republic Day: Laos
  • Milad un-Nabi: India

5th December

  • Father’s Day: Thailand

6th December

  • Independence Day: Finland
  • Nicholas Day: Germany

8th December

  • Immaculate Conception: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Malta, Peru, Portugal, Seychelles, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela

9th December

  • Republic Day: Tanzania

10th December

  • Constitution Day: Thailand
  • Human Rights Day: Namibia

13th December

  • Republic Day: Malta

13th-20th December

  • Hanukkah: Israel - and all other Jewish populations throughout the world

16th December

  • Day of Reconciliation: South Africa
  • National Day: Bahrain
  • Victory Day: Bangladesh
  • Independence Day: Kazakhstan

17th December

  • National Day: Bhutan
  • Independence Day 2: Kazakhstan

18th December

  • Republic Day: Niger

19th December

  • Nicholas Day: Ukraine

23rd December

  • Emperor's Birthday: Japan

24th December

  • Christmas Eve: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe

25th December

  • Christmas Day: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe

26th December

  • Boxing Day: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom
  • Day of Goodwill: South Africa
  • Independence and Unity Day: Slovenia
  • Stephen's Day: Ireland

30th December

  • Rizal Day: Philippines

31st December

  • Hogmanay: Scotland
  • New Year's Eve: Celebrated around the world – Have a happy new year!

This is not an exhaustive list, and we’d love to hear about more international holidays. Please share them in the comments below!

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Categories: Culture & Diversity, New Americans, Doing Business Internationally - Exporting

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