What’s up in November and December?!


Certainly, you’ve noticed that around the world and in different cultures, the months of November and December are full of various celebrations. But what’s the real story? Nations and cultures are so diverse! Geographical borders and customs sometimes differ drastically. So, what’s the deal?!In reality, the roots of this matter lie in agriculture, astronomy, culture, and religion of different regions. Let’s examine these roots to see what we can understand:

Agricultural Cycles:

Late autumn marks the end of the agricultural season and the final harvest. Farmers reap what they have sown during this period and gather the fruits of their labor after months of hard work. The abundance of crops, the fruition of efforts, and the relief that comes after a long period of strenuous work demand celebration and joy! As a result, this time of the year is marked by harvest festivals around the world. Harvest festivals have been common in the history of our country, and they are still celebrated in many regions.

With the arrival of winter and astronomy:

As winter approaches, days become noticeably shorter, and nights become much longer. In many cultures, the longest nights are celebrated, staying awake until the sunrise to commemorate the triumph of light over darkness. It’s time to talk about the night of Yalda, the longest night of the year, where families gather to eat red-colored foods and fruits, wear red attire, recite poetry, and celebrate the victory of Mithra, the Sun God.

Religious Celebrations:

In many countries around the world, the birth of Christ is celebrated on December 25th. While Christmas may not be considered purely religious nowadays and is more about people coming together, exchanging gifts, and joy, it has religious roots. Similarly, the celebration of Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights by the Jewish community, which takes place around the same time as Christmas. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, New Year’s Eve on December 31st, and New Year’s Day on January 1st. Hindus also have a 5-day celebration called Diwali, different from Hanukkah, and is based on the lunar calendar. Religious celebrations in our country also take place on different days each year due to adherence to the lunar calendar.

End and Beginning:

New Year is celebrated in many countries around these days. The end of one year and the beginning of a new one necessitate a reflection on the past and a look into the future. All around the world, the start of the new year is usually accompanied by celebration and joy. In our country, although we don’t celebrate the New Year in December or November, there is festivity and excitement for the end of the year and the beginning of the new one.

Social and Psychological Needs:

In the northern hemisphere, where the weather becomes very cold and the days become shorter, there is a greater inclination towards social gatherings and replacing the warmth lost from the weather with the warmth of companionship and friendship during this time of the year.

Cultural Integration:

People worldwide are influenced by each other’s customs and traditions, and many celebrations and customs blend together. For example, historians believe that the celebration of Christmas on December 25th may be influenced by the celebration of “Saturnalia,” the ancient Roman festival dedicated to the god Saturn! In our country, throughout the centuries, we have interacted with the cultures and empires of our neighbors. While we may not celebrate Christmas, the Christian minority do, and we have always been familiar with their culture and customs.

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