Christmas Day 2018: Origin and Reasons for Celebration

Christmas is celebrated all over the world not only by Christians but also by everyone or non Christians. No doubt it is the major festival of the Christians which is celebrated every year on 25th December, across the globe, to rejoice the birth of Jesus Christ. What is the history behind Christmas Day, importance of Christmas tree, Santa Claus, etc. Let us study in detail about Christmas festival through this article.
Dec 24, 2018 15:50 IST
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Why Christmas day is celebrated on 25th December?
Why Christmas day is celebrated on 25th December?

Christmas is celebrated every year on 25th December with full enthusiasm and is the most important festival of Christians. Nowadays, Christmas is celebrated all over the world not only by Christians but also by everyone or non Christians. Children’s especially wait for this day as they got several gifts. This is the time of Joy where families, friends come together, spread joy and happiness. The word 'Christmas' comes from the Mass of Christ or Jesus. This day is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and Christians consider Jesus is the son of God, the Messiah who has come from Heaven to save the world. Christian believes that Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem before two thousand years. The term Christmas roots from Cristes maesse, a primitive English idiom that says Mass of Christ.

There are lots of interpretations regarding the name of Christmas and why it is celebrated. One of them is, Eucharist or Communion is a Mass service where Jesus died for his people and then came back to life. Therefore, the 'Christ-Mass' is the service that took place after the dusk and before the dawn on next day and so the trend of Midnight started. And this way we got the name Christ-Mas that is Christmas.

Origin of Christmas

The first known date of Christmas being rejoiced on December 25th was in 336AD, through the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine who was the first Christian Roman Emperor. After some years, Pope Julius I formally announced that the birth of Jesus would be rejoiced on the 25th December.

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There are various diverse traditions and theories justifying the reason of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th. A quite primitive Christian custom supposed that the event when Mary knew that she will give birth to a special child, Jesus, called the Annunciation was on March 25th - and thus still rejoiced currently on the 25th March. Nine months later the 25th March is the 25th December. March 25th was even the occasion few early Christians across the globe had made up, and even the day that Jesus passed away on when he was a grown person.

December 25th may have even been selected as the Winter Solstice and the early pagan Roman midwinter festivals known as 'Saturnalia' and 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' happened in December near this date - thus it was a period when individuals were previously celebrating events.

Origin of Christmas Tree

Simply as before Christians introduced Roman pagans by linking Christmas with the Saturnalia, so even followers of the Asheira sect and its branch members were selected by the Church giving sanctions to “Christmas Trees”.  Pagans had worshipped trees in the forest since ages, or grown them in their homes and decorated them, and this ceremony was known and rejoiced with a Christian facade by the Church.

Do you know that the 1st decorated Christmas tree was placed or kept in Riga, Latvia in 1510? In Germany the first Christmas tree was decorated with apples, ginger bread, wafers and sweets. Different types of trees are used in different countries as Christmas tree and every time they are not fir trees. Like in New Zealand - the 'Pohutakawa' tree is used and consists of red flowers.
In 19th century, in Germany, first artificial Christmas trees were developed. Modern Artificial Christmas trees are made up of PVC and that too in China. Amazing is that real Christmas trees helps in removing dust and pollen from the air.

How is it Celebrated?

Christmas is a celebration that is filled with delight, cheerfulness and worship in the life of people. On this occasion, people go to church, sing carols, participate in different religious services, swap presents, beautify their homes with holly, mistletoe, lights, flowers and Christmas trees and conduct family get-togethers. On the Christmas Eve, churches across the globe perform evening services. At midnight, many churches perform extraordinary candlelight services. Santa Claus is an admired personality in the Christmas event who distributes presents to the kids. People prepare several cakes and feasts, express their joy and happiness by singing Christmas carols i.e. songs and welcome the Lord. Kids or children used to celebrate this festival with full of joy and excited for the gifts which were given by the parents, friends, family members and also wait for Santa Claus eagerly.

So, now you may have come to know about Christmas Day, its history and how it is celebrated across the globe.

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