Let’s decorate the house for the holidays and reminisce about the end of another year with these festively fun facts about December!
Break out the bubbly! It’s December and now is the time to celebrate the holidays! Let’s all get nice and cozy by a warm fire and raise our glasses to these fun facts about December.
As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves in the company of the people we love the most. We enjoy all our old holiday traditions, spend quality time with our families (whether we like it or not), and reflect on another year lived.
Being the last month of the year, December has a winding down feeling where we can celebrate with one last hurrah and then recharge and refocus for the new year ahead.
In December, we set goals, we give gifts to others, we bake cookies. Heck, we may even have a sing-along or two.
We’re about to take a trip through the 12th month. From the darkest nights of the year, into the holiday season, to New Year’s Eve – we even talk about a rather random Mexican radish carving contest!
It’s all happening in the month of December, so hurry up and read on before the calendar switches over!
Also, you can learn all about the fun facts of January here. This really is one of the most fascinating months of the year so check it out why now!
16 Fun Facts About December
1. The last month of the year
The name December is derived from the latin word decem, meaning 10.
But wait? Isn’t December the 12th month of the year? It is now. But the early Roman calendar consisted of only 10 months before January and February were added later by Roman ruler Numa Pompilius, so it used to be the 10th and final month of the year.
We just don’t think Duodecimember (the latin word for twelve) has the same ring to it.
2. Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, oh my!
December is a month for celebration! While many Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate Christmas, other cultures mark this time of year with their own holiday traditions.
Kwanzaa, celebrated by African Americans, is a way to connect with African culture and historical heritage.
Hanukkah, celebrated by the Jewish population, is known as The Festival of Lights.
3. World’s wackiest festivals
The strangest and most intriguing festivals happen in December. Are you ready to get weird? We sure are!
First, there’s Krampusnacht in Austria. This is where Santa’s evil twin Krampus, a half-goat/half-man demon, chases naughty children through the streets.
How about the Burning Clocks Festival in Brighton, England? This is where paper lanterns are burned in an enormous bonfire on December 21st to mark the shortest day of the year.
Last, but not least, the Night of the Radishes. The radish-carving festival is celebrated every December 23rd in Mexico. Is one is probably the weirdest of the lot!
4. Baa and Arrow
If you were lucky enough to be born in the month of December you will belong to the zodiac sign of Sagittarius (December 1st to 21st) or Capricorn (December 22nd to 31st).
Sagittarians are represented by the archer and are independent and compassionate.
Capricorns are represented by the goat and are practical and stubborn.
5. Where did the sunshine go?
Here’s a couple December facts that will descend you into darkness.
December contains the shortest days of the year making it the darkest month on the calendar.
In places like Alaska, Siberia and the Canadian territories, December is the month when the sun never rises, pitching thousands of people into complete darkness for several days.
If you want to spend December up north, we suggest you bring a light therapy lamp!
6. Can someone turn on the lights?
Lights are very symbolic to the month of December.
Millions of people decorate their houses with twinkling lights at Christmas. Others light candles and place them on the windowsills.
There’s the Fête des Lumières in Lyon, France, a celebration of the Virgin Mary with a spectacular Basilica light show. This is one of the biggest light shows in the world.
There’s also the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City which is always pretty special.
And let’s not forget the nine candles that are lit during Hanukkah. Basically, lots of lights!
7. It’s Oscar season baby!
Every December some of the biggest movies are released to a limited audience in order to qualify for the Academy Awards the following year.
Some of the biggest December releases of all time include, Titanic (1997), Avatar (2009) and all three Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003) films.
No wonder December is the biggest money-making month at the box office!
8. The winter constellations
Are you ready to get a little cosmic with some astronomy fun facts about December?
The constellation Orion dominates the sky in December. Look southeast to find three stars lined up in a row. This is Orion’s Belt.
Rigel, a bright white star, forms Orion’s knee. And to the upper left of the belt, is Beetlejuice. Congratulations! You’ve identified Orion. Just don’t say Beetlejuice three times.
Also, look out for Sirius, the brightest star in the winter night sky.
9. You may be destined for pop stardom
Is there something about being born in the last month of the year that leads to great success in the world of pop music? Some of today’s biggest female pop stars were all born in December.
Britney Spears on December 2nd, Nicki Minaj on December 8th, Taylor Swift on December 13th and Billie Eilish on December 18th.
10. The attack on Pearl Harbor
It was on December 7th, 1941 that the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service descended on the Pearl Harbor naval base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
The surprise attack left over 2,300 Americans dead and led to the USA formally entering World War II on the side of the Allies.
11. A time to treat yourself and others
The month of December sees people spending a lot of their hard earned cash! Even the stock market rises during December on what investors and stockbrokers call the ‘Santa Rally’.
In 2019, the average American spent $900 exclusively on holiday spending, including decorations, gifts, groceries and other holiday-specific purchases.
12. Humans take flight for the first time
It was on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, when Orville Wright completed the first powered flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft.
Kill Devil Hills!? You wouldn’t catch us flying off a hill with a name like that!
It couldn’t have bothered Orville’s brother Wilbur, who went up in the same aircraft right after his brother had safely landed.
13. Start saving if you want to travel
These December facts may help the next time you book a vacation. More people travel in December than any other month of the year.
With people returning home for the holidays and others escaping south to the warmth and sunshine of tropical destinations, the prices for everything from plane tickets, accommodation, and even gasoline goes up in December.
Here’s an age old travel tip: plan well ahead to get a better price!
14. The unluckiest day of the year
Forget Friday the 13th, according to folklore, the unluckiest day of the year is December 28th, also known as The Feast of the Holy Innocents or Childermass.
It was important not to start a new job or relationship on December 28th, and up until the 17th century it was also believed that beating children with sticks on this day could repel some of the bad luck coming your way.
This is definitely one of the most creepy December facts!
15. Pick your own birthstone
While most months, like April (diamond) and July (ruby), have a specific birthstone to represent them, December has three different birthstones fighting for the top spot.
Tanzanite, turquoise and zircon all represent December and each offer a different shade of brilliant blue.
If you were born in December take your pick of the three! It’s always good to have options, right?
16. Looking ahead and setting important goals
As the year comes to a close, most people have a chance to reflect on the past year and what they may want to achieve, change or continue as the calendar switches over.
New Year’s Eve celebrations take place around the world on December 31st with raucous crowds, live music, drinks, fireworks and a countdown to midnight.
December is the only month that ends with a kiss and a hug and a cheer of Happy New Year!
Who wants more fun facts?
If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!