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We are approaching the holiday season as we reach the conclusion of 2022. It means preparing for the most wonderful holiday of the year, Christmas. It is observed annually on December 25, with festivities beginning on December 24, known as Christmas Eve.
The celebration commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and is both religious and commercial in nature. It is one of the most important days in Christianity, and it is spent singing carols, eating great food, exchanging gifts, visiting friends, spending time with family, and doing a variety of other activities. People also decorate their homes by hanging mistletoe and wreaths on their doors and putting up a Christmas tree with ornaments and lights inside. Though the event is significant in the Christian community, it is also celebrated by non-Christians.
History and Significance
Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem to Joseph and Mary. Christ is thought to have been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born when Mother Mary was still engaged to Joseph. There is no confirmation that Jesus was born on December 25, however, because the Gregorian calendar did not exist at the time. The Bible likewise does not specify a specific date.
Festivals are known differently in different countries around the world. Yuletide is the German word for Christmas, Navidad is the Spanish word, Natale is the Italian word, and Nol is the French word.
Christmas is more than just a religious holiday. It also recalls Jesus’ birth and strives for purity and dedication. Mankind believe that on this day, God brought his son to earth to rescue people from their sins and to lead them in the right direction.
Christmas is associated with a number of ceremonies. People sing carols, hang mistletoes to symbolize love, donate to the needy, attend midnight mass at the Church on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts, bake cookies, and spend the day with loved ones, in addition to bringing home a Christmas tree and decorating it with decorations.
Children also like to leave warm milk and cookies out for Santa at night in the hopes that he will bring them gifts. Santa Claus has been a part of Christmas stories for a long time. He is based on the stories about St. Nicholas, who lived in the 4th century. People say that Santa Claus and his many helpers live at the North Pole. Every year, on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus drives his sleigh from the North Pole to bring gifts to children.
When did Christmas trees originate?
The genuine Christmas tree tradition has its roots in 16th-century Germany, where Christians began decorating their homes with trees or, in hard times, with plain stacks of wood shaped like pyramids. The practice of hanging candles on tree branches is most generally attributed to Martin Luther, who founded the Protestant Reformation movement in the 1500s. Christmas trees were a common sight in Germany by the 18th century, and cities along the affluent Rhineland were lighting them with wax candles. In the 19th century, especially among German immigrants, the Christmas tree was considered as a symbol of German culture.
What does the Christmas tree symbolize?
Ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice as the beginning of longer, lighter days and as a sign that the Sun God was regaining strength. Since evergreen trees retain their color throughout the four seasons, they were honored in conjunction with the solstice as a sign of the approaching warmer months.
The modern Christmas tree
In 1846, a photograph of Queen Victoria and her German-born husband, Prince Albert, posing in front of a Christmas tree with their children was published by The London News. Because the couple and their family were well-liked by her people, the Christmas tree quickly swept both British and American culture.
The Christmas tree has become an internationally recognized symbol, despite the fact that historically not all Christian nations decorated their homes with evergreens and presents. This is due to the impact of the West and the advent of consumerism. In reality, people of many different religions have accepted the Christmas tree (See Japan for instance). Throughout the 20th century, artificial materials like tinsel and brilliant electric lights took the place of homemade ornaments. This resulted from developments in science and industry.