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Christmas is a major Christian holiday and a traditional time of joy and togetherness for many people worldwide. The season celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ but is not exclusively tied to Christianity. Celebrated mostly around Christian churches, families gather to celebrate Christmas with gift-giving and food. Famous religious artwork, such as angels and shepherds, decorate homes during Christmas. Furthermore, special meals are prepared and consumed during the Christmas season.
Christmas is a traditional time for families and friends to gather and celebrate. The gathering is typically called a ‘Christmas party’ or a ‘Christmas gathering.’ Christmas is a time to spend quality time with family and friends while exchanging gifts. Food traditionally served at Christmas includes turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, green peas, fruit salad, apple sauce, cookies and more.
The origin of Christmas
The Christmas holidays are a religious celebration worldwide. However, the exact origin of Christmas is unknown. Jesus is the central figure of Christianity. Christians celebrate His birth with feasting, gift-giving and pageantry. They also commemorate the shepherds’ meeting with the Angel Gabriel and the event that resulted in Jesus’s birth.
Despite the broad appeal of Christmas, there needs to be more clarity over its name and meaning. Some believe it references Christ’s birth in a time of peace and salvation. Alternatively, some believe it refers to Christ’s birth on December 25th. Both ideas have their supporters and detractors. No one knows what Christmas means or where it came from. Regardless, today’s Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus as they do other religious holidays.
The origins of Christmas are disputed but have become part of the tradition. The modern celebration of Christmas begins with the Adoration of the Shepherds fresco by Leonardo da Vinci in 1452. This was when Leonardo da Vinci introduced a shepherd’s scene to an infant Christ in the manger. This has become a traditional way to celebrate Christmas around the world.
The earliest reference to celebrating Christmas dates back to 1601 in England. However, the Germanic/Roman Catholic bishop Nicholas Elfdded translated ‘to be born’ into ‘to birth.’ He also added the Latin word ‘cultus,’ which means a religious celebration.’ Therefore, a religious festival related to the birth of Jesus Christ became ‘Christmastide.’
Today’s abbreviated name for the holiday – ‘Christmas’ – has its roots in an Old English word that means ‘holy mother.’ The current English name for the holiday – ‘Christmas Day’ – also comes from an Old English word that refers to the day rather than to December 24th as a specific date.
The religious nature of Christmas is readily apparent to anyone who attends church during the holiday season. Churches hold special services on Christmas Eve. Christmas carol concerts are another popular tradition that most people participate in during their local area’s annual Christmas festival. Families decorate their homes with festive decorations like snowmen or angels dressed in colourful clothing. People bring homemade gifts that they think others will enjoy. This custom dates back thousands of years and is one of humanity’s earliest forms of gift-giving.
The significance of Christmas is so great that it has become one of the most celebrated holidays worldwide. People gather around Christmastimes to celebrate with family and friends – usually at churches or other religious institutions. Some people also choose to hold private celebrations at home with their closest loved ones. Popular festivals include Christmas tree decorations, carolling and Christmas cards.
The traditional celebration of Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ through gifts, dinners and merrymaking with loved ones throughout the year! Many people mark this time of year with decorations, festive food items or celebratory acts.
Feel welcome at your celebration!
Lucubrate MagazineDecember 2022
The photo on the top of the article: Adobe Stock