Christmas is one of the most important and globally recognized festivals. The modern-day celebration of Christmas is very different from the times Christmas was celebrated during the early days. Some people wonder: What is Christmas? or Why is it celebrated around the world? But, this festival has a special place in the hearts of people and many eagerly await December every year to celebrate it with great fervor and excitement with family and friends. Actually, it is a Christian festival but people of all faiths celebrate Christmas in many countries across the globe.
So, What day is Christmas on? The 25th of December is celebrated as Christmas day and it has been a public holiday in many countries for decades. Some may wonder what day is Christmas eve? The eve of 24th December is celebrated as Christmas eve and families get together to celebrate this time in a special way. People usually decorate their homes, exchange gifts, and also attend special prayer meetings at churches to mark this day and spend quality time. So, go ahead and read this article to get a better idea about the most popular global festival. Get to know about some cool information and fun facts too and understand the real purpose and meaning of Christmas.
What is the Meaning of Christmas?
The word “Christmas” comes from the old word “Cristes Maesse” which was the old English word for “Christ’s Mass”. This basically meant the tradition of doing the special mass ceremony to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The first known use of the word Christmas was before the 12th century according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Even the word Christ originated from the Greek word “Christos” which meant Messiah according to the Hebrew language. So now you would have a fair idea about; what does Christmas mean?
History of Christmas
When we look at the history of Christmas; we get a fair idea that it is celebrated to acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary, in a place called Bethlehem about 2000 years ago. Bethlehem is a town in the country Israel which is located in the middle east. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God sent to earth to redeem the people and give eternal life to those who trust and believe in him.
During those days not much information was available about the actual date and hence there are some disagreements about the exact date. But today Christians around the globe celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December; that comes once every year. Several empires of the past like the Roman empire have influenced the celebrations in some way or the other.
Why is it Important and Special?
Presently, Christmas is celebrated as a religious and cultural holiday that is focused around the birth of Jesus. During the early days, Christian celebrations majorly focused on the crucifixion and resurrection and hence Easter was the most popular holiday during those days. Then after a few centuries, the Christian church became much larger and more influential. The political leaders of those times wanted to make the Christian holidays more popular but still allowed traditional celebrations that people were enjoying.
These days Christmas is celebrated in many countries by billions of people who fervently celebrate the birth of Christ. The whole month of December has a festive feel and people celebrate with a lot of joy by conducting prayers and organizing family gatherings with their near and dear ones. Kids around the world eagerly wait for December to decorate their house, make the crib, fix the lights and stars, and collect their Christmas presents. It’s the time to spread happiness and soak in the atmosphere of the festive season. Remembering the birth of Christ and how it has impacted the world and changed history makes it even more important. The festive vibes are so enthralling and the cool weather along with snow in some countries make it a perfect time to celebrate with all dear ones.
How is Christmas Celebrated?
Christmas is celebrated in different ways around the globe and every country has its own traditional way of celebrating it. This popular festival is celebrated widely in the USA and South America. It is also very popular in countries like Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Poland, Norway, Ireland, Australia, Germany, India, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. People celebrate this festival in several other countries in Africa and more than 160 countries around the world.
It is considered a sacred religious holiday and people observe it with religious and secular practices. Some of the popular customs include setting up and decorating Christmas trees, exchanging gifts, attending church and the popular midnight masses, sharing meals, and celebrating with Santa Claus. Churches and homes are decorated with lights and the pine trees are brightly lit with colorful and sparkling lights.
People decorate their homes and wear Christmas party dresses when they go to celebrate the parties. They sing Christmas carols and also visit houses of friends and family to sing these carols. Many Christians usually celebrate by going to church and participating in the prayers and carol singing. They also perform skits elaborating on the birth of Christ. People greet each other with “Merry Christmas” wishes and also send cards.
If you wonder what is the most popular food at this festival? It is the cookies, cakes, and honey ham. Many bake or buy exclusive plum cakes to celebrate and enjoy with family and friends. Some people play games and have a fun time together.
Many people are also actively involved in doing charitable works to demonstrate God’s love to people. They provide food, warm clothes, and shelter to the poor and underprivileged people. Some spend their entire time with the downtrodden and share their things with them to make them feel happy and special during this special season.
Christmas does play a significant role in the lives of billions of people living around the globe. Don’t waste time wondering what to do on Christmas? Just follow some of the things we have mentioned above in the article like decorating your home and doing some charity work too! You can easily buy Christmas gifts online if you want to save time and make your dear ones happy. Enjoy your time and be thankful as you approach the end of another eventful year. Have a great time this year and spread the cheer, peace, and love to all the people around you.