The Festive Season is here again – families gather together, gifts are exchanged, feasting is enjoyed, and religious observances are made by many people. It’s also the time we say goodbye to an old year and welcome the new one with hope for what it will bring.

The Festive Season isn’t just about Christmas – which is why Happy Holidays is actually a very appropriate, all-inclusive greeting for this time of the year. Both religious and cultural, the holiday season is for everyone – and it’s not just about Christmas. It is also the time for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

In some years Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights – also observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains) also occurs at this time.

And in 2016 and 2017, the beginning of the Festive Season (early December) also coincided with Mawlid al-Nabi – which is the Islamic Festival of the Birth of the Prophet.

Christmas is traditionally the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed religiously and culturally across the world on December 25th (though Russian and Greek Orthodox celebrations occur on January 7th, which represents December 25 in the Julian calendar), Christmas is a time for family, feasting, and gift giving, and today is as much (if not more) a cultural festival as it is a religious one. The Catholic Church actually adopted December 25th as Christmas in the fourth century – at a time when the Julian calendar was used (today we use the Gregorian calendar). December 25th represented an important ancient Pagan festival, with the winter solstice and other important Pagan festivals taking place in December. Much of how we observe Christmas today has evolved from Pagan, Christian, and Secular origins – including caroling, the nativity, the Christmas tree and lights, holly, wreaths, mistletoe, Santa Claus, feasting and gift-giving.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Also referred to as the Festival of Lights, it’s observed for eight days and nights; in 2017 it fell between December 12-20 The festival includes activities such as lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and eating certain foods like potato latkes, donuts, and brisket.

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in American nations with people of west-African origin. It is observed between December 26 and January 1, honoring the African heritage at the core of African American culture. Kwanzaa is a newer tradition, first celebrated in 1966, and its seven days are dedicated to the qualities of unity, self-determination, collective work, economic cooperation, purpose, creativity, and faith. As with other festivals, families gather together for feasting and gift exchange.

So from us at Vampire Tools to you, no matter how you enjoy the Festive Season, we say Happy Holidays – with our best wishes to you for 2018. Of course if gift giving is part of your celebrations, what better gift than the worlds best lineman pliers.