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Winter Holidays

Major Celebrations

Advent: Nov. 30–Dec. 24
The start of the Christmas season

Hanukkah: Dec. 16–Dec. 24
The "festival of lights" celebrates Jewish triumphs

Christmas: Dec. 25
World's biggest festival has varied roots

Kwanzaa: Dec. 26
Honoring the values of ancient African cultures

New Year's: Jan. 1
Auld Lang Syne and other New Year's customs

Party Hat, Noisemaker, and Confetti

Special Features


Christmas Price Index
The cost of the gifts in the classic holiday song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

A nondenominational winter holiday which originated on an episode of Seinfeld

Christmas Traditions
From Christmas trees to Christmas cards

Charlie Brown Christmas
The unlikely beginnings of a holiday classic

Names for Santa Around the World
Santa Claus or the "Christmas Gnome"?

Saying "Merry Christmas" Around the World
From Afrikaans to Welsh, 25 Christmas greetings

Celluloid Santas
Saint Nick's most famous appearances

Grinchy Trivia
Size up the movie, TV, and Dr. Seuss creations

Winter Holidays by the Numbers
From the U.S. Census Bureau

Winter Solstice
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2014, marks the solstice

For Kids: Understanding the Solstice
Did you ever wonder why the days are so long in the summer and so short in the winter?

Boxing Day
In Great Britain, the day after Christmas is a holiday, too

Winter Quotations
Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and others

Record Low Temperatures by State
From Alabama to Wyoming, record chills

Saying "Happy New Year!" Around the World
Voorspoedige nuwe jaar! and more

New Year's History
A move from March to January

New Year's Traditions
Auld Lang Syne and other New Year's customs


Holiday Fun Stuff


Christmas Customs Quiz
In Belgium, St. Nicholas pays
how many visits to each house?

A Charlie Brown Christmas Quiz
What does Lucy say she really
wants for Christmas?

Boxing Day Quiz
What major holiday does Boxing Day

Holidays Crossword
1 Across: Twinkly tree topper

The TV Grinch Quiz
What did the Grinch hate
about Christmas?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house . . .

Toy Trivia Quiz
Crayolas, Ken dolls, and Lego arithmetic Holiday Word Search

Religions of the World

Judaism Christianity
Islam Hinduism
Buddhism Confucianism
Shintoism Taoism

Did you know?
George Washington's salary as president was $25,000. Barack Obama's salary is $400,000.