Emperor's Birthday is one of the most important public holidays in Japan. It's annually celebrated on December 23, that is birthday of reigning Emperor Akihito. After his death the date of the holiday will be determined by the birthday date of the next emperor.
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.
The Egyptians celebrate Victory Day on December 23. This is not a public holiday, however, it's a very important date for the nation. This holiday marks the end of the Suez Crisis and liberation of Port Said.
The National Pfeffernuesse Day is an informal holiday dedicated to tiny spiced cookies known as pfeffernuesse or peppernuts. These cookies are a typical Christmas treat in Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Festivus is a secular holiday that began as a parody holiday festival. It is celebrated on December 23 and is considered an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season.
This Day in History
2014Died: Kailasam Balachander, Indian producer, actor, playwright, a well-known person in Indian cinema for his distinct film-making style. He was known as a master of unconventional themes and hard-hitting subject matters of contemporary time.
2013Died: Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian officer, inventor. He is most famous for developing the AK-47 assault rifle and its improvements AKM, AK-74m, and the PK machine gun.
2009Died: Robert L. Howard, American officer, recipient of Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War. He was also awarded 8 Purple Hearts, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Silver Star and 4 Bronze Stars.
2007Died: Michael Kidd, American choreographer, dancer and actor. Kidd staged some leading Broadway and film musicals of the 1940s and 1950s and he's best known for his athletic dance numbers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
2007The Kingdom of Nepal was officially abolished, the country transited to a federal republic headed by the Prime Minister.
2003At least 234 were killed in a natural gas field explosion, that occurred in Guoqiao, Kai County, Chongqing, China.
1986Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It became the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world without aerial or ground refueling.
1984Died: Joan Lindsay, Australian author, best known for her novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.
1972Died: Andrei Tupolev, Russian aircraft engineer. He is famous for designing the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tupolev Tu-104 aircraft.
1972Died: Charles Atlas, Italian-American bodybuilder, developer of a bodybuilding method and its associated exercise program.
1972More than 10,000 were killed when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake stroke Managua, capital of Nicaragua.
1970Died: Charlie Ruggles, American actor, whose career spanned for 6 decades. He appeared in close to 100 films, often in comic roles.
1968The 82 sailors from the USS Pueblo were released after 11 months of internment in North Korea.
1962Born: Stefan Hell, German physicist, known for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. This work won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014.
1956Born: Dave Murray, English musician and songwriter, best known as one of the earliest members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.
1954American surgeon J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph Murray performed the first world's successful kidney transplant.
1952Born: William Kristol, American journalist and publisher, the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard.
1947The scientists at Bell Laboratories demonstrated the transistor for the first time.
1946Born: Ray Tabano, American musician, known as one of the founding members of Aerosmith. He was replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971.
1945Born: Adly Mansour, Egyptian politician and judge. He served as President of Egypt from July 4, 2013 to June 8, 2014.
1933Born: Akihito, Emperor of Japan, the 125th Emperor of his line. To date he's the only reigning emperor in the world.
1911Born: Niels Kaj Jerne, Danish physician and immunologist. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies.
1893The opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck received the debut performance Hoftheater in Weimar. It was conducted by Richard Strauss.
1834Died: Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist and demographer, an influential person in the relating fields. He's known for his Malthusian catastrophe, a theory stating that population will be checked by famine and disease.
1823A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published anonymously. Later it was attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.
1812Born: Samuel Smiles, Scottish-English author, best known for his book Self-Help. This novel claims that poverty is caused largely by irresponsible habits, attacks materialism and laissez-faire government. This work became the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism and made Smiles famous almost overnight.
1805Born: Joseph Smith, American religious leader, founder of Mormonism. By the time of his death he attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded religion and religious culture, that continues to the present-day.
1790Born: Jean-François Champollion, French philologist, orientalist, and scholar, primarily known as the decipherer of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. He is regarded as the founder of Egyptology.
1783George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland.
1771Died: Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, Canadian nun and saint. After becoming a widow she founded the religious order the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, that is commonly known as the Grey Nuns.