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Christmas Traditions

Christmas celebrations evokes the feeling of joy, love and compassion which connects the various cultures together and reminds us about the messages of "peace" and "hope" spread by Jesus Christ who was born on this day. Since the history of Christmas is vast and originated from many cultures all over the world, there are many traditions and


customs that have become associated with this festival over the centuries. All these traditions of Christmas have certain significance and sentiments attached to it but they are symbolic of the lively and magical spirit of Christmas season.



The Candy Cane
Candy canes have been around for centuries, but it wasn't until around 1900 that they were decorated with red stripes and bent into the shape of a cane. Earlier, candy canes were shaped like shepherd's crook to symbolize the good shepherd, Jesus Christ. They were often given to children in church services to keep them quite. One story associated with the origin of candy cane is about a candy maker from Indiana who wanted to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. He used a plain white peppermint stick and bended it into the shape of a cane. Through the white color, he wanted to symbolize the purity and sinless nature of Jesus, and virginity of Mother Mary. Next, he added three small stripes to symbolize the pain inflicted upon Jesus before His death on the cross, also representing the Holy Trinity. One bold line was then added to represent the bloodshed by Christ for the mankind.

Mistletoe and Holly
Arguments against the use of mistletoes, like holly in Christmas decorations originate from the plant's significance in pagan tradition and its association with magical powers.

Mistletoe has associations in regard to Celtic and pagan rituals as well as in Norse mythology. Many years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They gathered this evergreen plant, which is parasitic on other trees and used it to decorate their homes. Ancient people believed the plant had supernatural powers and special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. In some cultures like those of Scandinavians, the mistletoe was considered as a plant of love, peace and harmony. The present day custom of kissing under the mistletoe also stems from Norse mythology. This tradition has become very popular now and is fun filled. However, the early church had banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins and the church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.

There are many other Christmas traditions and symbols as well like,

Poinsettia

Christmas Rose

Christmas Tree

Santa Claus

12 Days Of Christmas

Christmas Eve

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