Christmas is the jolly time of the year celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. It is observed on 25th December all across the world and holds a religious significance. Christians celebrate Christmas with traditions and practices that are religious.
Popular customs for Christmas celebrations in India and across the globe include attending Church, decorating houses, setting up Christmas trees, getting together with friends and family, exchanging gifts, and waiting for Santa Claus of course. People start homemade Christmas decorations well in advance by decorating their houses with lights and Christmas symbols like bells, wreaths, stars, candy canes, and candles.
Read further to know the history of Christmas and understand how it all started.
History of Christmas
As we all know, Christmas is celebrated on 25th December to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, who people believe to be the Son of God. The word Christmas comes from the Mass of Christ. But nobody knows the real birth date of Jesus Christ. For the first three centuries of the existence of Christianity, Jesus Christ’s birth wasn’t celebrated at all.
The first year when Christmas was celebrated on 25th December was in 336 AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Even in the Bible, the exact day of Jesus’s birth is not mentioned. Now you must be thinking then why do we celebrate it on the 25th of December.
There are different theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on 25th December. According to a famous Christian tradition, on 25th March, Mary was told that she would give birth to a special child. Nine months after the 25th of March is 25th December. Hence, 25th December was chosen as a day to celebrate the festival of Christmas. However, Church officials appointed 25th December as the date for the Christmas celebration because they wanted it to coincide with existing pagan festivals honouring Satan and Mithra.
Satan was the Roman God of Agriculture, and Mithra was the Persian God of light. It became easier to convince the Romans to accept Christianity as the official religion of the empire. Christmas in India and across the world is celebrated with great fun and fervour that allow people to get together with their loved ones and create everlasting memories.
Also Read - Top 10 Holiday Places In India For Christmas
Significance of Christmas
Christmas, in general, is celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ. But in the real sense, it symbolises the truth of spiritual life. When Jesus Christ was born, the world was full of hatred, greed, ignorance, and hypocrisy. His birth transformed the lives of the people. He taught them the importance of spirituality, purity, and devotion and how they could change their lives for the better. The festival of Christmas shows us that a life full of knowledge and light can take over the darkness spread in the corners of the world.
Jesus Christ taught people that they could only awaken their spirituality if they sought it. He taught them to live a humble and simple life and give up the desire for worldly pleasures, because satisfaction comes from within and not from the things we seek outside.
Christmas Eve celebrations in India and across the world have their own customs and traditions. One of the most widely practised traditions is going to the Midnight Mass Church Service. In many countries, people do not eat or drink on Christmas Eve, and then the main meal is eaten after the Midnight Mass Service. Like several traditional events and festivals in India, Christmas is the time to relish delicious food and desserts like Christmas cake with friends and family.
People follow the tradition of singing Christmas carols with a dedication that shows their love for God. They put up a Christmas tree and decorated it with twinkling fairy Christmas tree lights and ornaments. It brings in festive vibes and fills the hearts of people with joy and enthusiasm. And nothing can beat the fun of exchanging Christmas gifts with loved ones who make the occasion even more exciting.
Interesting Facts About Christmas That Are Worth Pondering
Further, we are sharing with you all some interesting Christmas history facts:
- The word Xmas came from the ancient Greek language where Christ begins with the letter ‘X.’ Hence, Xmas means Christmas. Initially, Santa Claus wore clothes that were green, blue, or purple. Coca Cola dressed Santa Claus up in red colour to match with their brand, and the idea got stuck
- The song ‘Jingle Bells’ was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont that was supposed to be played during Thanksgiving
- Santa Claus was known by the name of Sinterklaas in Dutch
- The origin of Christmas trees goes back to ancient Egyptians and Romans. The use of modern Christmas trees started in Germany in the 16th century when they were decorated with fruits and nuts
- Christmas tree lights were first produced by the USA in 1890
- The Christmas wreath represents the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. Later the three colours of Christmas were added- red, green, and gold. Red represents the blood of Jesus; green symbolises life and gold means light
- Mistletoe symbolises love and laughter. Kissing under the mistletoe is considered a way of asking for the blessings of the spirits of Christmas
- Going door to door singing carols is an English custom, which means raising a toast to people’s good health and fortune
- Christmas is not a biblical holy day. Nowhere it is mentioned in the Bible to keep Christmas as a sacred day.
Many hotels and pubs arrange events and parties on Christmas Eve to gather the crowd and help people make the most of this occasion. Searching online for Christmas celebrations near me is the best way to look for fun and happening Xmas parties around. You can also plan a family trip during the Christmas holidays to make this time of the year exciting and memorable.
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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Interesting Facts About Christmas
Q1. What are the trends for Christmas 2023?
A1. The trending colour picks this Christmas are going to be rich shades of Green, Pops of Pink, Victorian Blue, Nostalgic Retro Colours, and Rainbow Hues.
Q2. What is the most popular Christmas gift?
A2. Rum cakes, plum cakes, vibrant silk scarves, red wines, and knitted sweaters are the top christmas gift choices.
Q3. How can I decorate My Tree for Christmas?
A3. Purchase some beautiful lighting and ornamental items from the stationery or gift stores in the area. The pieces should be arranged in a structured fashion to provide an appealing sequence that seems flawless overall. Additionally, you may hang some fake gifts to make them appear more inviting and evoke the actual spirit of Christmas.
Q4. What is the most popular decoration of Christmas?
A4. Hanging colourful socks, reindeer figures, dummy gifts, candies, beaded garlands, and ribbons are the age-old and still trending items used for decoration of christmas.
Q5. Who is the real Christmas Santa?
A5. St. Nicolas of Myra is the real Christmas Santa who was believed to be very generous, kind, and legendary. He was also known by the name Kris Kringle.
What is the importance and significance of Christmas? ›
Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The name Christmas comes from the mass of Christ. A mass service is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then comes back to life.What is the brief history of Christmas? ›
The first time the birth of Jesus Christ was attributed to the date December 25 was in the 4th century, according to early Roman history. Early celebrations of Christmas are thought to have derived from Roman and other European festivals that marked the end of the harvest, and the winter solstice.What are the three importance of Christmas? ›
Christmas is a festival celebrated by Christians the world over on December 25, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is the celebration of love, generosity, benevolence, peace, kindness, brotherhood, and familial bonding.What are 3 interesting facts about Christmas in the USA? ›
3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. each year. Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850. It takes about 15 years to grow the average Christmas tree. Alabama was the first state to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.Why is it called a Christmas? ›
Why is it called Christmas? A big step in rebranding the old holiday was to give it a new, religious name. In fact, the word Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, Old English for “Christ's Mass,” which references the Catholic tradition of holding a special mass ceremony to celebrate Jesus.When did Christmas become important? ›
The celebration of Christmas started in Rome about 336, but it did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century.What was Christmas originally called? ›
The pre-Christian Germanic peoples—including the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse—celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period, yielding modern English yule, today used as a synonym for Christmas.Which month was Jesus born? ›
The common Christian traditional dating of the birthdate of Jesus was 25 December, a date first asserted officially by Pope Julius I in 350 AD, although this claim is dubious or otherwise unfounded.When was Jesus actually born? ›
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea. Herod the Great was king in Israel at the time of Jesus' birth. But he actually died already in 4 BC and not in the year 0, so the period from 7 to 4 BC can be considered as the time of Jesus' birth.What is the moral significance of Christmas? ›
Christmas is God's gift to mankind. God gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ to die for mankind (John 3:16) so that through His death man shall be saved from sin and its eternal consequence, which is Hell Fire. This is the real meaning of Christmas.
What is the main message of Christmas? ›
The good news of Christmas is that even when the world or our circumstances change – the message of Christmas is timeless. Because Christmas is about the birth of God's Son – Jesus. It is about how he came to give us love, hope and joy. That message doesn't change from year to year.What is the spiritual meaning of Christmas? ›
Christmas is a celebration, a time for giving and not simply a day we exchange gifts. The spirit of Christmas is in the 'togetherness', it's in the thought to which you put into thinking about others, it's a selfless time, where we forgive, take stock of what's important and become 'better' versions of ourselves.What was the original purpose of Christmas? ›
Christmas was traditionally a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, but in the early 20th century, it also became a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike.How did Christmas get its name? ›
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the word Christmas originates from the phrase “Cristes Maesse”, first recorded in 1038, which means the Mass of Christ or Christ's Mass.What is the Bible saying about Christmas? ›
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."What is Christmas in the Bible? ›
Christmas is the time to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate Christmas because the birth of Christ is a crucial part of the Gospel, which Todd Friel of Wretched Radio summarizes as "the good news of Jesus Christ, the God-man who died for sinners that we might be saved."