Date: November 29-December 6
Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day festival of lights, celebrated each night with menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. Chanukah means “dedication” in Hebrew and is named as such because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. In second century BCE, Judah the Maccabee drove the Greeks from the land and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, rededicating it to the service of God.
Alternate spelling: Hanukkah, Chanukkah
Pronunciation: KHAH-nik-uh / KHAH-noo-kah
Chanukah begins at sundown on November 28. Work is permitted, except Shabbat.
What is Hanukkah?, Chabad
Glossary of Jewish Terminology, Judaism 101, jewfaq.org
St. Andrew’s Day
Culture/religion: Scottish observance
Date: November 30
St. Andrew is Scotland’s patron saint and his day – St. Andrew’s Day – is celebrated annually on November 30.
St. Andrew is known for his desire to help those who are less fortunate and has been celebrated in Scotland for over a thousand years. It wasn’t until 1320 and the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath that he officially became the patron saint of Scotland, and then, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the celebration of his day became commonplace.
St. Andrew’s Society of Charleston (South Carolina) was founded in 1729 by a group of wealthy Scottish immigrants and is the oldest Scottish society of its kind in the world. St. Andrew’s Society of Charleston was known for helping orphans and widows. Later, The St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York was founded by Scotsmen who wanted to help the poor and distressed.
St. Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festival where people gather to celebrate the patron saint with Scottish culture, including dancing, music, food and drink.
St. Andrew’s Day was started by a group of ex-pats in the U.S. who wanted to reconnect to their Scottish roots.
Who Was St. Andrew?, Scotland.org
International Day of Disabled Persons
Culture/religion: National observance
Date: December 3
Recognized annually on December 3, the annual observance of International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by a United Nations General Assembly resolution. The goal is to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all areas of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations