New Year's Day -
Sunday January 1, 2017
Secular holiday : The world's most widely celebrated holiday, New Years was set on January 1 by Julius Caesar because that was the date the Roman consuls took over their duties.
Saint Nicholas -
Wednesday December 6, 2017
cards/flowers : A festival for children related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.
Christmas Day -
Sunday December 25, 2016
Catholic or protestant : Since pre-historic times in Europe, festivities (bonfires, offrerings) were marking the beginning of longer hours of daylight with fires and ritual. The Roman festival of Saturnalia lasted several days in December (gambling and offerings). Germanic tribes also celebrated mid-winter (drinking and rituals). The Bulgarian (with Koleduvane) and the Polish (with Gwiazdka) perpetuate this tradition. Jesus of Nazareth was probably born in springtime (Reformists favour autumn). But in the 4th century, December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth by Pope Julius I (Bishop Liberus is also mentioned in 354 A.D.). Thus, a Christian element was introduced in the long-established mid-winter festivals. Before 1582, the Papal States and other Italian city states celebrated New Year’s Day on Christmas Day.
Boxing Day -
Monday December 26, 2016
Secular holiday : Alsace & Moselle constitute a unique regional entity in the French Republic due to the maintenance of the legal specificity acquired by these territories between 1871 to 1918, when they were German territories: legal agreement with the Vatican, specific academic system, railroad, social institutions etc. This local and unusual legal specificity within the framework of the French Republic was maintained because of a clear wish expressed by the Alsatian & Moselle populations when the territories reintegrated France after the Great War, as they were anxious to preserve their culture, regional idiosyncracy and their social specificities (like personal bankrupcy or specific public holidays).