To the extent that blogging for business is also for broadening readers’ horizons (as I hope it is), Christmas Day is a good time to examine who’s celebrating what this month, and where they’re doing it. December, I’m learning, is a month that marks a much greater variety of holiday celebrations around the world than just the three of which most of us denizens of the USA tend to be aware (Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa).
Take Bodhi Day, for example. It’s a Buddhist holiday celebrated on December 8th, marking the time Siddhartha became the Buddha. Lighting candles, stringing lights, and eating rice and milk are all part of the tradition.
Boxing Day is celebrated tomorrow (Dec. 26th). The traditions go back to the Middle Ages, and is a time for employers to give bonuses and gifts to workers, but also for people to “box up” food and clothing to help the poor. Boxing Day is celebrated in Australia, Canada, and parts of Europe, as well as in South Africa, where it is known as the “Day of Goodwill”.
Ganga Bois, a voodoo holiday celebrated December 10 in Haiti, while Junkanoo is a Bahamian celebration that takes place today, tomorrow, and January 1st. When slavery was still practiced, those were the three days salves were given time off to carry on their traditions with costumes, music, and dance.
The festival of Dongzhi, celebrated in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan fell this year on December 21st. Dongzhi is a time for families to visit each other and offer incense at temples. Traditional foods include rice flour balls served in broth and dumplings to symbolize reunion.
Also held on December 21 is the Zuni and Hopi Indian tribal winter solstice festival of Soyal. Soyal rituals are devoted to ceremonially bringing the sun back from its long winter slumber.
So, broadening as these holiday knowledge tidbits might be, is there a point to my including them in this Say it For You blog? Yes, more than one, in fact:
Whatever the nature of the business or practice for which you’re blogging, collecting trivia is a good idea. A tidbit can be the jumping-off point for explaining what problems you solve, for putting modern-day statistics into perspective, and for defining terminology.
While blog posts need to keep a sharp focus, in order for searchers to quickly confirm they've come to the right spot for the information, products, and solutions they need, interesting, different, content is what keeps them reading rather than "bouncing" away from your blog.
Readers are real people who want to do business with real people. If your blog writing shows you’re curious, interested in the world around you, and always up for learning new things, readers are more likely to engage with you.
At least once a year, it pays to take a holiday tour!