Holidays Calendar for December 21, 2016

São Tomé Day is a public holiday in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe celebrated on December 21. It commemorates the discovery of the island of São Tomé by Portuguese navigators around 1470.

Armed Forces Day in the Philippines is celebrated on December 21 to commemorate the foundation of the country's military in 1935. Although it is not a public holiday, it is marked with relevant events and activities.

In East Asia, winter solstice is celebrated with a traditional Chinese festival known as the Dongzhi Festival. It is observed in many East Asian countries, but only Macau recognizes Dongzhi as a public holiday.


Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival that lasts for five days, from December 21 to December 25. It honors Ganesha, one of the most worshiped Hindu deities. Ganesha is venerated as the patron of arts and culture.

Saparmurat Niyazov Memorial Day is a special remembrance day in Turkmenistan that commemorates the death anniversary of the country's first president. It is observed on December 21.

The National French Fried Shrimp Day is celebrated annually on December 21. It is a perfect excuse for all seafood lovers to treat themselves to a delicious dish.

Yule, also known as Yuletide, is an ancient Germanic midwinter festival. It is celebrated on the day of winter solstice. Yule originated as a pagan festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples. Some of its customs are still reflected in Christmas celebrations.


This Day in History

  • 2012 Gangnam Style by the South Korean musician Psy became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. The music video first went viral in August 2012.
  • 2009 Died: Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist who won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery concerning reversible protein phosphorylation.
  • 2006 Died: Saparmurat Niyazov, also known as Türkmenbaşy, Turkmen politician and statesman who served as the leader of Turkmenistan from 1985 until his death.
  • 2004 A suicide bomber carried out a terrorist attack at the Forward Operating Base near Mosul, Iraq, killing 14 U.S. soldiers, 4 U.S. civilians, and 4 Iraqi soldiers.
  • 1990 Died: Kelly Johnson, American systems engineer and aeronautical innovator best known as the developer of the Lockheed U-2 and Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird".
  • 1988 A terrorist bomb exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew. The aircraft crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 people on the ground.
  • 1970 Elvis Presley met United States President Richard Nixon at the White House. At the meeting, he expressed his patriotism and his contempt for the counterculture.
  • 1967 Born: Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgian and Ukrainian politician. He served as the 3rd President of Georgia and Governor of Odessa Oblast (region) in Ukraine.
  • 1958 Charles de Gaulle was elected the first President of the French Fifth Republic. This was the only French presidential election by the electoral college.
  • 1958 Died: Lion Feuchtwanger, German-Jewish novelist and playwright who influenced many contemporaries. His best known works include Jud Süß and Die Jüdin von Toledo.
  • 1948 Born: Samuel L. Jackson, American actor and film producer. His is known for his roles Jungle Fever, Jurassic Park, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and many other films.
  • 1946 A 8.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in Nankaidō, Japan. It caused extensive damage, destroying 36,000 homes,killed at least 1362 people and injured over 2600.
  • 1940 Died: F. Scott Fitzgerald, renowned American novelist, short story writer, and poet. He widely is considered to be one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
  • 1940 Born: Frank Zappa, American musician, songwriter, composer, conductor, bandleader, record producer, and filmmaker. His prolific career spanned over three decades.
  • 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated feature film, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre, Los Angeles, California.
  • 1937 Born: Jane Fonda, American actress of stage and screen, writer, former fashion model and fitness guru, political activist. She has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress.
  • 1935 Born: Phil Donahue, American talk show host, film producer, and author best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show that premiered in 1967.
  • 1920 Died: Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, Somali religious and patriotic leader who established the Dervish State, an early 20th-century Somali Sunni Islamic state.
  • 1917 Born: Heinrich Böll, German writer. He was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Literature. Böll is considered to be one of Germany's foremost post-Second World War writers.
  • 1913 English journalist Arthur Wynne published the first ever crossword puzzle in the New York World. The puzzle was originally named "a word-cross puzzle".
  • 1890 Born: Hermann Joseph Muller (H. J. Muller), American geneticist, molecular biologist, and educator who was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • 1873 Died: Francis Garnier, French officer and explorer known for his exploration of the Mekong and Yangtze rivers in Southeast Asia and China, respectively.
  • 1872 The Challenger expedition, led by Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England. The expedition made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography.
  • 1824 Died: James Parkinson, English surgeon, apothecary, geologist, palaeontologist, and political activist. He is best known for being the first to describe Parkinson's disease.
  • 1804 Born: Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British Conservative politician and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kindgom in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880.
  • 1773 Born: Robert Brown, Scottish botanist and palaeobotanist primarily remembered for his observation of Brownian motion (random motion of particles suspended in fluid).
  • 1620 The Pilgrim Fathers landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The anniversary of this event, Forefathers' Day, is erroneously celebrated in Plymouth on December 22.
  • 1549 Died: Marguerite de Navarre, princess of princess of France, Queen of Navarre, and Duchess of Alençon and Berry, the wife of Henry II of Navarre (since 1525).
  • 1375 Died: Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian writer, poet, and important Renaissance humanist. Boccaccio's most notable works include The Decameron and On Famous Women.
  • 1118 Born: Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr.