25th December is celebrated as Christmas to mark the day of the Birth of Christ into this world. As soon as December enters, people all over the world get excited about Christmas celebrations.
Although the festival is mainly celebrated by Christians, it is one of the most enjoyed and celebrated festivals among different communities all over the world.
It is a festival full of culture and tradition. The festival of gifts, carols, lights, decorations, and most importantly Santa Clause and Christmas tree.
Let’s learn something more about this festival:-
History of Christmas
Christmas is celebrated in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ into this world. Jesus is believed to be the son of God according to the Christians.
Joseph and Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Jesus of Nazareth was a spiritual leader, whose teachings formed the foundation of Christianity.
The name Christmas came from the mass of Christ. A mass service is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then comes back to life.
The Christ-mass service is one service that is allowed to take place after sunset. Hence, Christ-Mass became Christmas as a shorter version.
Even Though the specific birth date of Jesus is not mentioned in the Bible Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor, marked 25th December as ‘Christmas’.
Since then this day is celebrated in remembrance of Jesus Christ and the sacrifices he made for mankind. Christmas celebrations start from Christmas eve and continue till 26th December.
Significance of Christmas
Christians believe that God has sent his child on earth as a sacrifice to save his people on earth from their sins. Jesus was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred, and hypocrisy ruled upon the people.
Jesus is believed to be the messiah that had been prophesied for generations. Therefore, Christmas is the celebration of love, generosity, benevolence, peace, kindness, brotherhood, and family.
Christmas is also known as the ‘Feast of Nativity’ and has cultural as well as religious significance.
Previously, Christmas was not celebrated by the early Christians. In Fact, there was a custom to celebrate a Saint’s birth into eternal life. Thus, Good Friday (Christ’s death) and Easter Sunday (His Resurrection) were celebrated.
Traditions of Christmas
We all are aware of some famous traditions that Christmas carries. These traditions add extra cheer to the festival.
To begin with, decorations for Christmas play a very important role. People decorate their houses with stars, candy canes, holly, mistletoe, and stockings.
And, of course, everyone’s favorite Christmas tree, be it a really tall one or a miniature version, everyone has a Christmas tree decorated in their house. People also attend midnight mass at churches on the eve of Christmas.
People during Christmas often go door-to-door in small groups singing carols.
Many individuals and churches also set up a scene, depicting the birth of Christ. A barn is recreated, where there are figures representing Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. They are usually surrounded by angels, the biblical Magi, shepherds, and animals like a donkey, ox, and camels.
And everyone’s best-loved Santa Clause.
As children, we heard stories about Santa or St Nicholas. The legend of Santa Claus goes back hundreds of years to a monk named St Nicholas. It is said that he was born around 280 AD in Patara, near Myra in present-day Turkey.
But we knew Santa Clause who came from the North Pole. He has a flowy white beard to complement his potbelly and often goes “Ho ho ho!” in a jovial manner.
Parents tell their children to be good, to behave well, and listen to their parents the whole year as on Christmas eve Santa visits the children who have been nice throughout the year and leaves behind gifts for them.
Kids, therefore, leave out empty stockings hanging on Christmas trees for presents, before going to bed.
The Christmas feast is believed to be one of the greatest feasts for Christians. Starting the feast with drinks they have beef, meat pies, roasted duck, geese, pigs, plumb porridge, fancy cakes, bowls of wassail, and toast.
The true meaning of Christmas is a kind of hallmark sentimentality about a world where there is no strife, anger, hatred, and criticism. The true meaning of Christmas is not about man-loving man but is about God-loving man.
Even amid the pandemic, people are still high on the enthusiasm of celebrating this festival as it symbolizes all things heart-warming and jolly.