Christmas, sometimes called Xmas, is widely observed around the world. The 25th of December is celebrated annually to commemorate Jesus’ birth. Generally, the phrase refers to Christ’s Day mass. In addition to sharing gifts, attending nativity plays, making an advent calendar or wreath, putting up a tree, and singing carols, Christmas traditions are found throughout the world. There is a rich history associated with Christmas because it has been observed for many years.
It has been a celebration connected to a variety of spiritual and cultural practices since the early 20th century. Christmas is a holiday that is observed by people all around the world.
Origin of Christmas
Roman and paganic cultures both contributed to the development of Christmas. During the month of December, the Romans actually observed two festivals. The first was Saturnalia, a two-week celebration celebrating their god of cultivation Saturn. The birth of their sun god, Mithra, was commemorated on December 25. The gatherings were loud and inebriated at both occasions.
The pagan cultures also burned bonfires and torches in December—the month in which the year’s darkest day occurs—to chase away the shadows. As part of their own festivities, the Romans also adopted this custom.
The Christian priesthood struggled to suppress paganism as Christianity spread throughout Europe. They transformed the ancient ritual into a birthday celebration for Jesus because no one was aware of His exact birthdate.
Let’s Examine the Facts and Traditions of Christmas History
The Christmas tree first appeared
The evergreen fir tree serves as the Christmas tree. Long before Christianity, evergreen trees and plants were a component of winter festivals. For instance, the Romans used evergreen trees to adorn their temples at the winter solstice to symbolize fertility and new birth.
The idea of the contemporary Christmas tree first appeared in Germany, when many Christians took trees home and done the decoration of Christmas Day with fruit, nuts, and gingerbread. Additionally, the practice gained popularity in the 19th century in European noble homes and royal courts. The Christmas tree tradition spread with the German immigrants all over the world.
Pagans Held Early Winter Festivals Prior to Christmas
The midst of winter was a big celebration for many societies around the world for ages before the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth. Notably, it was a time for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Yule, an annual holiday honoring the wild hunt, the deity Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mdraniht, was celebrated on December 21 by the Germanic tribes and the Norse people. Similar to the modern Christmas customs, the pagan holidays included yule log, yule feast, and yule singing.
Saturnalia, a Holiday from the Roman Era
In honor of the god Saturn, the ancient Romans observed the festival of Saturnalia. The month-long festival got under way a week before the winter solstice. The solstice fell on December 25th in accordance with the Roman calendar. Role reversal was a prominent feature of the festival. Here, the servants assumed the role of the masters, gaining the right to speak freely without fear of retribution. The Romans also practiced the custom of presenting gifts.
Origins of Christmas Eve
People know the day before Christmas as Christmas Eve. In the evening, a lot of churches ring bells and sing hymns and songs. In addition, because Jesus was born at night, churches celebrate his birth with a Midnight Mass. Maybe another justification for the pre-holiday festivities is that, for ancient Jews, a day started at six in the evening and lasted until six the next evening.
Christmas used to be Prohibited
Christmas quickly gained a reputation for being an intoxicated and chaotic holiday. In the 17th century, the Puritans outlawed it as a result. After it restored King Charles II to the throne, they eventually repealed the restriction.
The Puritans and the New England pilgrims held similar values. .From 1659 through 1681, they even forbade Boston from celebrating it.
Where Santa Claus came from?
All children love the idea of Santa Claus. He comes with presents, but do you know where he came from? St. Nicholas, a Christian monk who lived in Myra, Turkey around 280 A.D., served as the model for Santa Claus. He became known for being a patron of many and for bringing gifts and defending youngsters. Saints like Nicholas, however, lost favor in much of Northern Europe following the Reformation in the 1500s, but the Dutch colonies insisted on maintaining the legend of St. Nicholas as a bringer of gifts. Dutch immigrants therefore brought Sinterklaas to America.
The historical facts and traditions date back centuries and in some cases millenia. It’s impossible to determine their origins because they were passed on orally through generations before they were written down, so there are likely many reasons and even legends as to why something was first started. The important thing to remember is that regardless of when these things started, they all have become important holiday traditions for many people.