Holidays Calendar for December 26, 2016

Independence and Unity Day is a public holiday in Slovenia celebrated on December 26. It commemorates the official proclamation of the results of the Slovenian independence referendum on December 26, 1990.

Hanukkah is a Jewish eight-day festival of lights that starts on the 25th day of the month Kislev. It commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt that followed Judah Maccabee's victory over the Seleucids.


Kwanzaa is an annual week-long celebration that is observed from December 26 to January 1. This holiday is celebrated in the United States and also in diaspora in the Western Africa. Kwanzaa honors the African heritage in African-American culture.

On the day after Christmas, the National Candy Cane Day is celebrated. A candy cane is a cane-shaped boiled sweet stick typically associated with Christmas holidays.

While in most states Father's Day is a secular holiday, in some countries it originated from a religious feast dedicated to Saint Joseph. For example, Father's Day in Bulgaria is celebrated on December 26 because the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors Saint Joseph on this day.

This Day in History

  • 2009 The Wuguang High-Speed Railway opened in China. At the time of its opening, it was the world's fastest train service. The speeds were reduced nationally in 2011.
  • 2006 Died: Gerald Ford, American politician and statesman who served as the 38th President of the United States from 1974 (Richard Nixon's resignation) to 1977.
  • 2004 The final re-run ballot of the Ukrainian presidential election was held, following the Orange Revolution. Viktor Yushchenko was elected the third President of Ukraine.
  • 2004 A 9.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean with an epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.
  • 2001 Died: Nigel Hawthorne, English actor who won several BAFTA TV Awards, a BAFTA Award, an Olivier Award and a Tony Award. He was appointed a CBE in 1987 and knighted in 1999.
  • 1991 The Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The Russian Federation assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and is recognised as its continued legal personality.
  • 1986 Born: Kit Harington, English actor who rose to prominence playing the role of Jon Snow in the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones created by HBO.
  • 1977 Died: Howard Hawks, American film director, screenwriter, and producer of the classic Hollywood era. His best known films include Sergeant York and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
  • 1973 Died: Harold B. Lee, American religious leader who served as the 11th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from July 1972 until his death.
  • 1972 Died: Harry S. Truman, American politician and statesman who served as the 33rd President of the United States from 1945 to 1953. Under Truman, the Allies successfully concluded WWII.
  • 1971 Born: Jared Leto, American actor, singer, songwriter, and director. He is the lead vocalist for 30 Seconds to Mars. In 2013, he earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
  • 1963 The Beatles' songs I Saw Her Standing There and I Want to Hold Your Hand were released in the United States, marking the beginning of international Beatlemania.
  • 1963 Born: Lars Ulrich, Danish musician, songwriter, actor, and producer. He is best known as the drummer and one of the founding members of the American band Metallica.
  • 1943 The Battle of the North Cape was fought during World War II. The German battleship Scharnhorst was sunk by Royal Navy forces off Norway's North Cape.
  • 1931 Died: Melvil Dewey, American librarian and educator, primarily remembered for inventing the Dewey Decimal System of library classification (first published in 1876).
  • 1925 Died: Jan Letzel, Czech architect, primarily remembered for designing a building in Hiroshima whose ruins are now the A-Bomb Dome or Peace Memorial.
  • 1899 Born: Udham Singh, Indian revolutionary, best known for assassinating former Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab Michael O'Dwyer as an avenging of a massacre.
  • 1898 French scientists Marie and Pierre Curie announced the discovery of radium discovery to the French Academy of Sciences. It's name was derived from the Latin word for "ray".
  • 1893 Born: Mao Zedong, Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed from its establishment in 1949 until his death.
  • 1891 Born: Henry Miller, American writer best known for his semi-autobiographical works Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn, and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy.
  • 1890 Died: Heinrich Schliemann, German businessman and a pioneer of field archaeology. He is best known for founding the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.
  • 1872 Born: Norman Angell, English lecturer, journalist, writer, and politician. Angell was awarded the 1933 Nobel Peace Prize for his book The Great Illusion.
  • 1825 The Decembrist Uprising, also known as the Decembrist Revolt, tool place in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I.
  • 1791 Born: Charles Babbage, English polymath (philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and mechanical engineer) best known as the author of the concept of a programmable computer.
  • 1785 Born: Étienne Constantin de Gerlache, Dutch and Belgian lawyer and politician who served as the first Prime Minister of the newly founded Belgian state in 1831.
  • 1783 French inventor Louis-Sébastien Lenormand became the first person to make a witnessed descent with a parachute. He jumped from the tower of the Montpellier observatory.
  • 1776 The Battle of Trenton was fought during the American Revolutionary War. In this small but pivotal battles the Continental Army defeated the Hessian force garrisoned at Trenton.
  • 1530 Died: Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, commonly known as Babur, the first Mughal emperor. He is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  • 1476 Died: Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan from 1466 until his death. Sforza was famous for being lustful, cruel and tyrannical. He was also a patron of music.
  • 1194 Born: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. He was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen.