Merry Christmas
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Merry Christmas

Christmas is one of the most popular Christian festivals, which is celebrated around the World with huge pomp and gaiety. The day is celebrated on 25th of December, every year to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the great messiah. Though the date of his birth is not certain, on the basis of Christian events and various narratives of Christ's birth, historians have traced it to somewhere around 7 or 2 BC, but the day is celebrated to commemorate something bigger than just Jesus's birthday and that is the celebration of God's arrival in the form of man, to atone for his sins and hence, making Christmas a festival to pray, enjoy and celebrate.


The festival involves people exchanging greetings with all their near and dear ones and decorating their houses in the most splendid way, with lights, autumnal items and most importantly the Christmas tree, decked up with various ornaments like stars and candies. Various traditions are associated with Christmas celebrations. People not only exchange wishes but gifts too, as gifts show the affection and emotions of a person. Christmas gifts in this sense, are determined by the norms and ways of celebration.

History of Christmas

Today the middle of the winter is celebrated as Christmas season around the world, but many ancient traditions and holiday festivals have contributed to Christmas history, which has given birth to the Christian tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior. The history of Christmas celebrations-giving of the gifts, the Yule log, singing of the carols, church processions, elaborate feasts, dates back to the early Mesopotamians over 4000 years ago and their New Year Festival called Zagmuk. The historical inspirations for Christmas can also be traced in Greek traditions through their festival of Sacaea, similar to Zagmuk and Scandinavian Yule Festival where wooden logs were put to fire for new hopes and fresh beginnings. The legend of St. Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop in Myra, the modern day Turkey, is also very popular as the Saint's generous gift giving believed to have inspired the tales of mythical Santa Clause, who is an integral part of Christmas.





Christmas Day

Literally meaning "Christ's mass", everything is so marvelous about the Christmas Day- the Christmas tree, decorations, carol singing, feasting, the nativity scene, where a small scene of Christ's birth is created with miniature figures, etc. As soon as the month of December begins, everyone starts waiting for Christmas. Every street, shop, town and house is decorated with the sparkling Christmas lights, shiny Christmas ornaments, wreaths, Christmas flowers and artificial snow sprayed everywhere. You would also be able to see the snow man outside the houses, dressed up as Santa.

Through the celebration of joy and happiness, love and compassion, faith and hope, Christmas literally enlivens, the otherwise dull Winter season. The festival is not about spending lots of money on decorations, parties or food, but about sharing memorable moments with your family and friends, and together evoke the birth, life and sacrifice of that Savior of mankind, the stories about whom we have been hearing from our parents and grandparents.

Activities

Most people prefer to start the day by attending a traditional mass in the church, especially during midnight, the believed time of Christ's birth, and then taking the celebrations to wishing each other, exchanging gifts and preparing the special meal. The menu of the meal depends upon the tradition in various countries, while a roast turkey with vegetables and sauces is a customary dish. The meal also contains various dessert items like rich, fruity Christmas puddings with brandy sauce or mince pies, pastry cases, chocolate fudge and the cakes. Wine or Champagne also makes an integral part of the meal, to raise a toast to the festive day. Another interesting activity during Christmas is the Children choirs, that visit houses and sing religious hymns and choirs at the doorsteps, which is considered to bring luck and grace to that house. Children also decorate a beautiful evergreen coniferous tree on Christmas to make Santa Claus, the mythical gifts bearer, happy and expecting a gift in return.

No matter how you celebrate Christmas Day, it is a secular holiday in most of the countries in the world and is marked with the spirit of fun and joy.



Last Updated On : October 21, 2011
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