Religious Holidays From September Through January
September and October observances
Many Americans, especially Christians grew up observing specific holidays each year during the fall and winter. These were Labor Day on the first Monday in September, Columbus Day October 12, Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November, Christmas on December 25, and New Year on January 1. Halloween was celebrated on October 31 but was not considered as a holiday. Now that this nation is so diverse, the special occasions of other cultures are being listed and there are quite a few. There are also Catholic observances that many mainstream Christians now take part in. During the month of September, there is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which has varying dates. In 2020 it will be from September 18-the 20th. Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. In 2020 it will be observed on Sep 27-28. Sukkot the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles begins on Oct 3Indigenous Peoples' Day is on October 12 the same as Columbus day in 2020. Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah marks the end of Sukkot and will be Oct 12-13. Dussehra in 2020 is observed on October 25. This is a Hindu festival also known as Maha Navami and celebrates good over evil. Mawlid el-Nabi is the Islamic celebration of the prophet Mahamed and takes place on October 27 and 28.
November thru mid December
.There are only two religious observations that are listed for the month of November but both are important to those who celebrate. First is Advent which begins on Nov. 29, 2020. This Orthodox Christian observance is celebrated by fasting and lasts until Christmas. This holiday is observed by believers in Christ by lighting Advent candles. Most people set them inside window sills. The occasion is also marked by hanging wreaths, and attending church services. November 30 is Saint Andrews Day in honor of one of the 12 disciples. Andrew is said to have been the patron saint of Europe and helped King Onegus win an important battle against New Foundland. Andrew was crucified in Greece in 60 AD on an X shaped cross. On Dec. 6: Saint Nicholas Day is observed in honor of the birth of Saint Nicholas, the Bishop, and saint who first gave gifts to children whom Santa Claus is based on. On Tuesday, December 8, Catholics observe the immaculate conception and honor Mary as the mother of the Christ Child.From Dec. 10 to 18 2020: Hanukkah is celebrated and it is not a Jewish Christmas. This holiday has an origin all of its own. This is the time of the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, which celebrates the Maccabean revolt in Egypt. Eight candles are lit with a menorah to honor the 8 days the Jews hid in a cave and the light never went out in their oil lamps. Dec. 12 is the Catholic Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is celebrated by Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent and honors the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City.
Mid December through the first week of Jamuary
Dec. 17 is Posadas Navidenas a primarily Hispanic Christian holiday that recognizes the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Dec. 21: is the Winter Solstice which is a Wicca/Pagan celebration. The Solstice is the point in the year "when the earth is the furthest away from the sun. It is the day with the shortest amount of daylight Pagans and Wicca believers will Thecelebrate this event through the Yule season., in which believers also honor “the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun,” Interfaith Calendar explained. This pagan observance is the reason Christians celebrate Christmas. Early believers in Christ desired to take the focus away from the Solstice festivities and decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25.Dec. 26 is Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathustra) which is where Zoroastrianism came from. Dec. 30: is the Catholic Feast of the Holy Family and on this day celebrate Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Dec. 28 is Holy Innocents Day when Christians reflect upon the death of all the baby boys 2 years old and younger than King Herod had murdered in an attempt to kill Jesus. On January 6th, 2021 Catholics will observe Epiphany, which celebrates the Wisemen finding Jesus and Mary safe from Herod in a house.