Saturnalia, or the festival of Saturn, was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of the vintage and harvesting to honor Saturn, the god of agriculture. As part of the festivities, masters served their slaves--an acknowledgment of the equality of rank and lack of class distinctions which existed during the golden age (supposedly ruled over by Saturn). Other observances included the exchanging of gifts, offering of sacrifices, and unrestrained merrymaking.
Kwanzaa is a 7-day festival celebrating the African American people, their culture, history, and community. Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest" in the African language Kiswahili, has gained tremendous acceptance and is now celebrated all over the world--especially in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean. Despite some misconceptions, Kwanzaa is neither political nor religious in nature and is not a substitute for Christmas. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and continues until New Years Day, January 1st.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby is not only the best-selling Christmas/holiday single in the United States, but also the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 Seinfeld episode called "The Strike". The holiday's celebration includes a Festivus dinner, practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".
In 1605, Guy Fawkes conspired in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up King James the First and members of both Houses of Parliament. He was caught red-handed in the cellar below the House on November 4, 1605, tortured and executed. Guy Fawkes Day is still celebrated in Britain every year on November 5 with bonfires, fireworks and the burning of the "guy", usually a grotesque effigy.
Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish New Year and the creation of the world. It is one of the holiest days of the Jewish year. The Bible refers to this holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday was instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.