Christmas is a festival which needs no introduction! What is Christmas after all? It is that time of the year which makes the year end, satisfying and, of course, a little more than fun at the same time. Christmas is the perfect time of the year that gives you the year end feeling, and yet, the New Year balances it with a warm beginning. The word “Christmas” comes from the old English, “Cristes maesse,” or the mass of Christ.
History of Christmas
Apart from the festive aspect of Christmas that we now celebrate, it also has a significant history to it. Jesus, who is believed to be the Son of God was born on the 25th of December and therefore, this day celebrates his birth.
25th December was chosen as the date for Christmas to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It could as well be possible that this is celebrated as the ‘true light of the world’ for it is the time of December solstice and days at this time are longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Christmas holiday customs are a culmination of various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian.
Over the time, Christmas has turned out to be a day on which children receive so many presents from one and all, and of course, the much-awaited Santa Claus, the father of Christmas comes home. Not to forget, Christmas gifts and cards are also sent out to people staying away and welcome the Christmas cheer.
For most of the people, Christmas is a time to share time with family, go on feasts, and reunite with their far relatives. While for some people, Christmas remains to be a close-knit affair, there are people who organize brunches and feasts for both friends and family and often do it in potluck fashion.
Churches on these days are lit with the Christmassy cheer and at the same time provide special services which including crèche or miniature Nativity scene. They are major traditions for the day of Christmas.
Christmas day is obviously a public holiday in most of the countries worldwide which includes Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, etc. Most of the institutions, both governmental and educations, many business firms, post offices, etc., are all closed on this day. Public transport on this day could as well be a problem if not planned earlier since there can be changes in the running schedules.
Every occasion or festival to be precise has a couple of symbols attached to the entire idea and notion of it. A milestone is one of the most commonly put décor items. It is so said, that people who meet under the milestone, are by default supposed to kiss. For instance, the druids of Gaul regarded mistletoe growing on oak trees as an item from heaven. Other similar such symbols also include holly and ivy, both of which are related to pagan festivals which are decorated as per choice along with trees and greenery all over.
The father of Christmas, Santa Claus is yet another major symbol of the day. Others include the Christmas tree, socks, candy canes, snowmen, and reindeers. Not to forget all those cards and posters and other marketing stuff that we prepare for the day.
At the end of it all, Christmas is nothing but just another day, but those lights, the gifts, the décor is what adds to the thing on this day. After all, you don’t get to see too much of Christmassy feels until and unless December sinks in and the fun and frolic follows!
Christmas is definitely just the perfect way to put an end to the year, and nothing can beat the joy that this time has in the minds of the people. Traditions are followed, and gifts and presents are couriered, at the end of it all, it is totally the perfect feels for Christmas cheer!