Top 20 Holidays in the World and When they are Celebrated

Holidays are a great time to recharge, appreciate life, and bond with loved ones. Whether you spend your holidays traveling to beautiful destinations or choose to meet up with friends at the pub, it is outright that you’ll enjoy the occasion.

Did you know that Cambodia has the highest number of national holidays in the world? The country celebrates 28 occasions each year. What an amazing geographical fact?

All people on this planet enjoy festivals, with each having a unique cultural significance in our lives. Discover the top 20 holidays in the world, when they occur, and what they mean. 

The Top 20 Holidays in the World and When they are Celebrated

The following is a comprehensive list of the top 20 holidays in the world and when they are celebrated. See if any of your favorite holidays made it to the list!

1. New Year (January 01)

The celebration of New Year’s Day symbolizes the start of the year, according to the Gregorian calendar. A satisfying moment to begin afresh.

It is common to hold a New Year’s Eve celebration before New Year’s Day. It usually features a ball drop, alcohol consumption, fireworks, snacking, and dancing the night away.

Making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition around the world. In this way, people are able to set goals that will make this year more successful than the last.

2. Tu B Shevat- Celebrating mother nature (January 15 or February 15)

The purpose of this holiday is to highlight how important it is to care for and nourish the planet at the end of the rainy season. As a way of celebrating the beauty and splendor of our earth, people plant trees and eat fruits.

3. Valentine’s Day (February 14) 

On Valentine’s Day, lovers give sweet cards, chocolates in boxes with hearts, jewelry, and adorable stuffed animals to their partners. Often, couples attend romantic events to commemorate the day.

No matter how you feel about Valentine’s Day, this holiday is still a great opportunity to let your partner know how much you appreciate them and honor your love.

4. Lunar New Year – China and Vietnam (Between Late January & Mid-February)

This holiday is celebrated across Asia and other Asian populations around the world. It marks the beginning of a new year, but it also celebrates the Chinese Zodiac signs. Each year is associated with a different animal.

There are significant symbolic meanings to traditional Chinese New Year foods. It is believed that dumplings and spring rolls increase wealth, noodles increase longevity, and sweet rice balls bind the family together.

5. Maslenista – End Of Harsh Winter (February 28 to March 06)

Maslenitsa is a Slavic feast also known as Pancake Week. During this weeklong festival, Russians eat blinis, thin pancakes topped with sweet and savory toppings.

Blinis, with their circular shape and warmth, symbolize the sun and usher in spring. Maslenitsa is also marked by snowball fights, family gatherings, and community events.

6. St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

The significance of March 17 is to honor St. Patrick’s death. He was the national saint and apostle of Ireland. During his lifetime, Christianity flourished in Ireland.

The holiday is typically celebrated in green attire and with shamrocks, as well as alcoholic beverages. There are some interesting facts and information you will love about St. Patrick’s Day.

7. Easter Holiday (Between March 22nd and 8th May) 

According to the New Testament, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus, which took place three days after his crucifixion. It also marks the end of Lent, a fast of 40 days.

The Easter Bunny is a character associated with Easter. In traditional Easter celebrations, parents leave a basket of Easter treats for their children and claim that the Easter Bunny visited their home.

8. Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr (April, May, or June)

Islamic cultures observe Ramadan as a month of fasting, and Eid al-Fitr as a festival commemorating the breaking of the fast. 

Fasting is regarded as a way to atone for sins and to deepen the connection between Muslims and Allah. Having the strength to refrain from food gives people the confidence that they can refrain from any harmful temptations.

Muslims spend Eid al-Fitr visiting loved ones, exchanging cards and gifts, feasting, and praying together in public spaces.

9. Quing Ming Festival (Between April 04 and 06)

In China, families celebrate the Quing Ming Festival to honor their ancestors and welcome spring. It is also known as “Tomb Sweeping Day” or “Pure Brightness”.

In celebration of this holiday, people fly kites and colored lanterns, play sports, or simply enjoy the new greenery and blossoms of spring.

10. Bodhi Day (Between May and June)

The Bodhi Day holiday commemorates Buddha’s enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. Many Buddhists celebrate this holiday by meditating, reading, chanting, or performing acts of kindness. Bodhi Day represents the actions Buddhists must take on a daily basis to stay on their path to nirvana.

11. Festa Junina (June 24)

Brazil celebrates Fiesta Junina to mark the end of summer and the beginning of harvest. It is a Catholic holiday that honors three saints: Saint Anthony, Saint John, and Saint Peter.

12. U.S. Independence Day (July 4)

U.S. Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Family reunions are often marked by fireworks, a barbecue, alcoholic beverages, and the colors of the American flag.

13. Oktoberfest (September 17 to October 03)

Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The original Munich event is modeled after celebrations in other parts of the world. The festivities include drinking, parades, eating, and dancing.

14. Halloween (October 31)

In the past, Halloween occasions marked the end of summer and harvest. 

The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the divide between the living and the dead blurred. Samhain was celebrated on October 31, when the ghosts of the dead were believed to return to earth, hence the origin of this holiday.

The younger generation enjoys dressing up as their favorite media characters, playing with make-up, and attending Halloween-themed costume parties.

15. Diwali (late October)

The Diwali holiday is a major Hindu festival that pays homage to the gods and marks the beginning of a new year.

The Hindus light a lot of lamps to invoke Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. The lights not only welcome the goddess but are also symbols of knowledge and the good things of the world.

16. Day of the Dead (November 2)

An event in which family and friends gather to honor and commemorate the lives of those who have passed away. The event usually includes the erection of altars to honor the dead, as well as the preparation of traditional food.

17. Thanksgiving Day (November 4)

The American Thanksgiving holiday emphasizes giving thanks for what you have. A roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie are served as part of a Thanksgiving lunch.

Travel in the United States is at its peak during Thanksgiving Day. Overcrowding can result. Local traffic can also be impacted by parades and seasonal football games.

18. St. Nicholas Eve (December 05)

In Dutch, children are taught that Sinterklaas, of Spanish origin, will arrive on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day to distribute toys. Sinterklaas is said to disembark from his steamboat at a port and ride a white horse through the town. His assistants help him deliver gifts to the virtuous kids. Naughty kids are then said to be sent to Spain for a year in order to learn how to behave.

19. Hanukkah (Mid-December)

The Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, celebrates the rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem. There are eight days in Hanukkah, which occurs at the end of the Jewish month of Kislev 25, just before Christmas. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar, Kislev can happen from late November to late December.

 20. Christmas Day (December 25)

It is a Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus’ birthday. Although historians can’t find evidence of Jesus’ true birth date. Many experts believe Christians borrowed the date from the ancient Roman holiday celebrating the winter solstice. 

During the holiday season, people designate trees, send cards to family and friends, bake cookies for Santa, exchange gifts, attend church, and share a meal.


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