(NEWS10) – There are 115 days left of 2022 as of September 8! With about a third of the year left, how many days are there until important holidays and milestones in 2022? Let’s take a look and get a little history lesson about what is left this year.
The Fall Equinox is set to take place on September 22 at 9:03 p.m. During the Equinox, the sun is directly above the Equator. The day and night as also about equal length. It is also the official start of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn will last until the Winter Solstice.
So what is the difference between a solstice and an equinox? A solstice denotes either the longest or shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day while the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year.
The Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees. During the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere points toward the sun while during the Winter Solstice, the Southern Hemisphere is facing the sun. This is why the seasons are opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Winter Solstice will happen on Dec. 22 at 4:47 p.m.
While Halloween is full of trick-or-treaters, costumes and parties, its roots lie in Christianity. In English, Halloween derives from All Hallow’s Eve, the day before a major feast on All Hallow’s (Saint’s) Day. This tradition could date back as far as the 4th Century.
In America, it didn’t become a major holiday until the second half of the 19th Century. Many historians attribute this to the mass immigration of Scots and Irish. Many of our modern traditions have roots in their celebrations.
Modern celebrations include dressing up in costumes, decorating and carving pumpkins, throwing elaborate parties and passing out candy. The term “Trick-or-Treat” was first seen in Alberta, Canada in 1927, according to the City of Edmonton. By the mid-’50s it was a well-established tradition in the U.S.
Thanksgiving’s history traditionally includes a harvest feast between settlers and Native Americans in the early 17th Century. What is known is that the Pilgrims held a three-day celebration after their first harvest in 1621. Although, the exact time is unknown, in 1996 the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research said that it happened between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11 but most likely occurred around Sept. 29. The celebration included all of the people left from the Mayflower voyage and about 50 Native Americans.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated on and off throughout America’s history. George Washington proclaimed it a holiday at the request of Congress but Thomas Jefferson chose not to celebrate it. It wouldn’t be until Abraham Lincoln brought the holiday back into American’s lives. He said the last Thursday in November would be Thanksgiving. Grant would sign an act during his presidency making thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday in Washington D.C.
FDR moved the holiday one week earlier from 1939 until 1941. In 1942 the holiday was solidified as the fourth Thursday in November, no longer at the discretion of the president. This solidified the modern holiday where millions eat turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pies and so much more!
Hanukkah’s roots trace back to the 2nd Century BC. The eight-day Jewish festival honors the retaking of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple. A menorah is used to celebrate the holiday, often called the Festival of Lights. A menorah has nine branches to hold candles with one branch slightly higher than the rest. A new candle is lit each night of the festival and is usually lit by the candle resting in the highest branch of the menorah. By the eighth night, all of the candles are lit.
The traditional explanation is that when the Second Temple was retaken only one small urn of oil was found. That oil was thought to only burn for one night, though it lasted eight according to the Talmud. Traditionally fried foods are served during Hanukkah to represent the oil in the temple.
A common game played during the festival is played with a dreidel. The dreidle has four sides each with a corresponding letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
- נ (nun)
- ג (gimel)
- ה (hei)
- ש (shin) or פ (pe)
The game begins with each player having the same amount of tokens. These can be anything from pennies, buttons, or wooden chips, but it is often played with chocolate coins called gelt. At the start of the game, each player puts a token in the pot. Players will also do this if there is no or only one token in the pot at any given time.
Each player takes turns spinning the dreidle and depending on what symbol is faceup when the dreidle stops determines what the player does. If nun is showing the player does nothing. Gimel means the player gets everything in the pot. If hei is showing then the player gets half the pot and if shin or pe is showing then the player must add a token to the pot.
This holiday traditionally celebrates the birth of Jesus in the Christian religion. The Bible tells the story of Joseph and Mary looking for an inn to stay the night after traveling days to Bethlehem. The inns were full so an innkeeper let them stay in the stables behind his inn. Jesus was born in the stable and visited by the Three Wise Men. Nativity scenes are a common Christmas decoration to honor this story.
Christmas is celebrated across the globe and is a holiday in many countries. Many celebrate religiously while others celebrate culturally as the holiday is widespread with many activities and events surrounding the holiday.
Common traditions today include gift giving, putting up and decorating a tree (usually an evergreen), caroling, attending mass, a large dinner or feast, giving to those in need, Advent calendars, among many other traditions. The term Christmas is a shortened version of Christ’s Mass, which was held on December 25.
Saint Nicolaus is widely thought to be the inspiration for Santa Claus. The patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students was well known for his secret gift-giving, giving way to Santa.
Kwanzaa was created as a holiday celebrating African-American culture. It was started in 1966 by activist Maulana Karenga and is based on harvest traditions in West and Southeast Africa. It is celebrated every year from Dec. 26 until Jan. 1. The name derives from the Swahili matunda ya kwanza meaning “first fruits” in English. The extra “a” was added so Kwanzaa would have a symbolic seven letters.
Central to the festival is the Seven Principals which are also in Swahili. Participants are encouraged to light a candle each night, similar to Hanukkah, on a candelabra called a Kinara. The candles are traditionally red, green and black and each candle represents one of the Seven Principals.
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
- Kujichagulia (Self-determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves
- Ujima (Collective work and responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together
- Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together
- Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness
- Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it
- Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle
Families who celebrate often hang colorful art and African cloth like kente in their homes, especially women wearing kaftans, which are widely worn in West Africa. Children are also encouraged to participate in celebrations honoring past ancestors. The festival culminates in a feast called Karamu which is usually on the sixth day.