What comes to your mind when I say Christmas? You can imagine beautifully decorated Christmas tree in your house, people sharing gifts, fun-filled time with family, turkey dinner feasts, Christmas carols singing from far, etc. Oh! The list is endless. December is considered as the most auspicious time of the year, filled with great joy due to the celebration of Christmas held on every 25th December. This season is the time where families and friends share gifts with each other to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Not only the houses are adorned with festive lights and gifts but the whole town, shopping malls, streets, churches, etc. are also decorated. Christmas is meant to be spent with the family members, where you can indulge in baking cookies, preparing dinner and spending some quality time. Children wear new clothes and receive Christmas gifts that Santa Claus brings for them. There is so much more we can learn about Christmas celebrations held every year. Let us discuss the history and the origin of Christmas.
The main idea behind the celebration of Christmas is to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, who is considered the son of God by Christians. However, the original date in which the Christ was born is still unknown, as it was not given in the Bible. Even though the actual date of birth is still debated, the celebration of Christ’s birth was chosen as 25th December by most eastern churches during the 4th century.
The literal meaning of ‘Christmas’ is the Mass of Christ, from where the ‘Christmas’ came after shortening the word Christ-mass. Today, Christmas is the most popular festival that has filled the people’s life with love, joy, and happiness. It is celebrated every year on 25th December and has been marked as a secular holiday across the world. According to the concept of Mass of Christ, Jesus died and came back to life for us. The Service of Christ-Mass was allowed to be celebrated only after sunset and before the sunrise on next day. This is the reason why Christmas is usually celebrated at midnight.
The first Christmas celebration took place around 4000 years back and was recorded on around 25th December in 336 A.D. During the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, the 25th of December is chosen with an attempt to combine the traditions of pagan and Christian. From a long time it has been believed that December 25 was chosen to be the official date for Christmas, as it coincided with the period when the Romans used to celebrated the ethnic festivals of 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' and 'Saturnalia'. According to the scholars, the main reason why 25th December is celebrated as Christmas Day is due to its link with the celebration of pagan festivals that were originated in Rome and were evolved across the entire Roman Empire.
Christmas is the time when people celebrate with their family members with full of joyous moments by giving and receiving gifts. Apart from all the fun and celebration, one must also know about the traditions of Christmas that have been evolving from the old time of Christian period. The traditions, as well as the customs that are performed on the Christmas day celebration, were generated by the extension of Roman Pagan to Christianity. The Tradition mainly includes 12 days of Christmas celebration that starts on the Christmas Day and lasts until the late evening of 5th January. These 12 days have been considered as a time of celebration in Europe long before the middle ages. The traditional elements that are being used in Christmas Celebration are Snow, Yule Log, Cookies, Mistletoe, Wreath, Santa Claus, Caroling, Rudolph, Lights, and Christmas tree.
Most of the people know that Christmas day is celebrated to rejoice the birth of Christ into the world, but it also holds a very significant value towards the spiritual life.
The celebration begins from the day of Christmas Eve, one day before actual Christmas i.e. on 24th December. On this day, decoration for Christmas is started with many items like gift boxes, Tinsel, ornaments, Tree skirt, tree stand, fresh poinsettias, wide ribbon, stockings, scented candles etc. The three main colors used while decorating in Christmas season are heart red, snow white and green. The Yule log is lighted in many lands and the Christmas meal is followed thereafter. On Christmas Eve, the celebration of mass at midnight takes place according to the ancient belief that Jesus was born exactly at midnight. The happiest part of celebrating Christmas for children is Christmas tree, which includes decorations using apples, fir or pinecones, nuts and many paper cuttings. Christmas Eve marks the beginning of Christmas Day celebration with decoration of sparkling lights all around and Christmas carols sung in church/home.
On the morning of 25th December, we can see people dressed nicely and the shops’ windows in streets painted with artificial snow. Not just Christians, all the people across the world celebrate Christmas with full zeal and enthusiasm. Christmas not only gives the people a touch of harmony and liveliness to the festive celebration, but it also fills the day with love, hope, and faith. Though people exchange gifts with one another as a mark of good gesture on Christmas, it is not necessary if you are running out of money. The biggest celebration is not about the extravagant Christmas parties or gifts. Instead, you can spend a good time with your close ones. Simple things like having a good home-cooked meal or watching a beautiful movie with that special someone will make your Christmas celebration complete. You can also check out the things you can do this Christmas to make it more special in my article- The Wonderful Things To Do This Christmas.
On the Christmas day, people usually prepare a special Christmas meal consisting of traditional menus of their own countries. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, most people consider serving the meal, which consists of roast turkey, or goose with side vegetables. After the meal, Christmas pudding is being served that is prepared by boiling pudding with flour and dried fruits.
Well, now you know how Christmas came into existence and why it holds so much importance for the people celebrating it. Do not forget to celebrate this Christmas with your family and loved ones.
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