Christmas is celebrated annually on the 25th of December and is also celebrated by some people of other faiths too. People go shopping for Christmas decorations for home, wish, and exchange gifts with each other in a jubilant mood.
People enjoy 25th December, since it is also a public holiday in many countries across the world. The day before Christmas i.e December 24th evening is celebrated as Christmas eve and people have dinners and get-togethers during this time.
This article will try to highlight some important facts about Christmas to give you a deeper insight. Go ahead knock yourself out.
1. What is Christmas?
Christmas is an annual festival celebrated around the world, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus son of Joseph the anointed one (Messiah) is considered the blessing of God for humanity as per Christian belief. The word “Christmas” comes from the old English word “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. As this is a rare possibility that the celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ (True Light of the World) happened during the time of the December Solstice.
The solstice is the days of the northern hemisphere growing longer. Actually, Christmas customs are derived from various cultures including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian. It is celebrated in many countries by billions of people who remember the birth of Christ who came to redeem mankind. It is celebrated on 25th December every year with lots of fun, joy, prayers, meetings and family gatherings by Christians and many non-Christians too.
Significance of Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is a world-popular tradition of festive celebration. When it comes to this festive season, it is partly from Christan liturgy starting at sunset. According to the “book of Genesis,” the story of creation that states the first day starts in the evening and ends in the morning.
Christmas Eve is also known as the vigil of Christmas. Usually on this day workers in most countries get half a day off or a day off to get ready for the Christmas celebration. In different cultures, presents are exchanged and opened on the night of Christmas eve.
Many people lit up their Christmas trees, hung mistletoes and placed other Christmas decorations on this day. In addition, it is a popular time for children to hang Christmas stockings in anticipation of Santa Claus’ arrival.
History of Christmas
When we look at the history of Christmas we come to know that it is celebrated to acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary, in a place called Bethlehem, Israel, about 2000 years ago. Christians believe that he is the son of God; sent to save the people of the earth and give eternal life to people who trust and believe in him.
Different empires of the past like the Roman empire, etc have influenced Christmas celebrations in some way or the other. As per various Historians & Researchers, Charlemagne was crowned Christian Emperor of the west in St Peter’s Cathedral, Rome, on Christmas Day, A.D. 800. There is also a Hungarian side to Christmas, such as Father Christmas in blue coat and hat with Fur Trim, carrying a sack of toys & a basket of fruit.
2. When is Christmas celebrated?
It is predominantly celebrated on December 25th across the world but there are some people who celebrate it on other dates too. As per the Julian calendar, the celebration of Christmas happens on the 7th of January and according to the Armenian Apostolic Church, the celebration took place on the 6th of January.
Some popular Orthodox churches still use a different calendar system for their religious celebrations. Most of these churches are located in Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, Ukraine, etc. Most of these countries celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. Some Greek Catholics also celebrate on this date. In Armenia, The Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on the 6th of January!
During the early times, the major holiday was the 6th of January which was celebrated as the arrival of the Magi ( Noble Pilgrimage from the East or Three Kings from the East) to see the newborn baby Jesus Christ. This comes after the birth of Jesus and Easter which is celebrated as the reincarnation of Jesus. But 25th December officially came into existence, celebrating the birth of Jesus, in 336 A.D according to the earlier calendar of Romans.
The first day of celebration starts just one day before Christmas, which is also known as Christmas Eve. It is celebrated on December 24, according to the Gregorian calendar every year. The second day is Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 25 every year. The third day of celebration is known as Boxing Day, celebrated one day after Christmas, on December 26.
3. Why is Christmas celebrated?
If you are thinking; why do people celebrate Christmas? This day is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God who was born to Mary in Bethlehem about two thousand years ago. Messiah; who was born to lead humanity to the rightful path of living and free them from the pain of unethical way of living. This celebration is a sign of remembrance of his good teachings that would lead us to righteousness.
Save Tree & Have a Blissful Christmas
Each and every festival is needed to celebrate in the most joyful way and that’s the same case with Christmas. For reference, you can check out the above-mentioned image. But according to some research, this day around 120 million trees are cut down on a large scale. This phenomenon leads to massive deforestation and CO2 release. During this Christmas celebration, you can look into the well-being of mother nature more.
4. Where Is It Mostly Celebrated?
Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world. While Christmas is now largely considered a secular holiday and is celebrated by over 160 countries. In Europe, it is celebrated all over the UK, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, Germany, etc. The countries celebrating in Asia include South Korea, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. In the Southern hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand are popular for their exotic Christmas trees, fireworks and celebrations. In Africa, it is popular in Nigeria, South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, etc.
It was traditionally a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and hence some countries don’t commemorate it. It is celebrated widely in the USA and South America including Canada.
5. How is Christmas Celebrated?
On this festival, Christians around the world go to Church, sing Christmas carol songs and visit different houses to sing Christmas songs and celebrate. They give presents to each other and their family members.
Many people set up beautiful Christmas trees and decorate them with some of the best Christmas tree decorations. They also prepare interesting Christmas Puddings & decorate their houses with beautiful Christmas lights which come in unique colours and designs including sparkling LED lights.
They wear new Christmas party dresses and celebrate their parties in style. At midnight, churches conduct extraordinary candlelight services and offer prayers along with all their members and their families. This is also known as the midnight mass.
Santa Claus is one of the most notable figures in the Christmas event and is responsible for distributing presents to the kids. Families bake several special varieties of Christmas cakes, prepare sumptuous feasts and express their joy and happiness by singing Christmas carols and having fun games. Some people get involved in charitable works and demonstrate God’s love by arranging meals, clothes, and shelter for poor and underprivileged people.
A Christmas after the COVID-19 pandemic; people are elated to celebrate this Christmas with total happiness without staying indoors and hesitating to travel and meet other people. If you’re away from your friends and family during this festival you can make video conferencing calls to greet them online to celebrate Christmas safely, with love and care.
How Long Is Christmas Break/ Vacation?
When this festive season hits on your Calendar get ready to plan your holiday. As it is also a holiday season, Christmas break for every country is different. In the United States of America & the United Kingdom, It’s generally a two weeks holiday. In countries like India or China, it’s only a one-day celebration. But in India during this month the Winter breaks commences and add a festive vibe to this holiday season.
6. Who is Santa Claus?
Christmas is the time of year when Santa Claus delivers gifts to children in his red suit. He is world-famous and depicted as a portly, jolly, white-bearded man sometimes wearing spectacles with a red coat having a white fur collar and cuffs. Santa Claus wears a popular white fur-lined red hat along with a black leather belt and boots. People believe that he travels from house to house on his reindeer-driven sledge and sends gifts in red stockings down the chimney for the good and well-behaved kids.
The real Saint Nick was a Turkish monk who lived in the 3rd century. He was well known for being a charitable and selfless person; eventually becoming the patron saint of sailors and children. According to legend, he was a rich man; thanks to an inheritance from his parents, but he gave it all away in the form of gifts to the less fortunate.
He eventually became the most popular saint in Europe and, through his alter ego, Santa Claus, remains very popular among the young generation, to this day. He is also a prominent symbol for Christmas celebrations around the globe.
If you ask people what Christmas means to them you would get many different answers. It is indeed a special time to be thankful and grateful for the gift of life. It is a time to cheer and enjoy your time with family and friends as another year draws to a close and the whole world celebrates the birth of Christ. It’s time to find some unique Christmas gifts to get the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Wear your Christmas outfits and decorate your homes with cool Christmas decorations. It’s time to enjoy the festive season and the cool weather to have a great time and celebrate the festival of peace, joy, love and happiness.
“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!”