Sunday December 25, 2022
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 Years Day on Christmas Day.
St Stephen's Day
Monday December 26, 2022
Catholic or protestant : Remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
New Year's Day
Sunday January 1, 2023
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. Paid holiday when falling on Saturday or Sunday