Facts about England in December
December used to be the tenth month of the Roman year, and it gets its name from the word ‘decem’, which means ten.
The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Winter monath‘, or ‘Yule monath‘ because of the custom of burning the yule log around this time. After many Anglo-Saxons became Christians they called it ‘Heligh monath‘ or holy month, because Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is celebrated in December.
In the northern hemisphere December marks the beginning of winter, and it is the time of rain, wind and snow.
December is very much associated with Christmas and a lot of December customs and traditions have therefore been swallowed up by the festival.
Christmas, the mass of Christ, is held on 25th December and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.
At the beginning of December, the season of Advent starts. The word advent means ‘coming’, and as its name suggests it is a time of preparation for the coming feast of Christmas.
We have a vast section on our website about Christmas and how it is celebrated in Britain.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the first day of the season of winter. It falls on or near 21 December.
The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world. It is a celebration of the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the North Pole is at its furthest point away from the sun (the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky).