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Christmas 2019: When, Why And How We Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th to remember the birth of Jesus Christ

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Christmas is one of the most popular and the most awaited festival of the masses across the globe. It is celebrated in more than 160 countries throughout the world, by adults and children alike with much gaiety. Christmas is celebrated by those following the religion of Christianity, but at present, the festival has universal appeal, across all religions. Merry Christmas Wishes

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Christmas 2019: Here is all you need to know about Christmas

Popular Christmas Celebrations:

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and it is usually celebrated on December 25th. The first day of celebration is the day before Christmas, which is known as Christmas Eve. It is celebrated on December 24, every year, according to the Gregorian calendar. The second day is Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 25 every year. The third day is known as Boxing Day, celebrated the day after Christmas, on December 26.

Traditionally, people decorate their homes with bright, colourful lights and a Christmas tree with an angel on top of it. Feasts are prepared and gifts are exchanged by family and friends and the day is spent in the company of your loved ones. Popular folklore is all about Santa Clause who brings gifts for the children by coming down the chimney and placing them right below the Christmas tree, on the night of Christmas.

The story behind Christmas:

As per the traditional narrative behind Christmas celebrations. Joseph and a heavily pregnant Mary arrived at the city of Bethlehem, but they had no lodgings. They were confined to a stable in an inn, which is where Jesus was born. This is the place that the three wise men visited with gifts for Baby Jesus. This traditional narrative is known as The Nativity of Jesus.

The English term Christmas is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have been derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. One widespread explanation of the origin of this date is that December 25 was the Christianizing of the dies solis invicti nati (“day of the birth of the unconquered sun”).

It was a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the casting away of winter and the heralding of the rebirth of spring and summer. For a long time before this, the celebration of Jesus’ birth was observed in conjunction with his baptism, celebrated on January 6. Christmas wasn’t widely observed until after Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and declared it the Roman empire’s favored religion. Western Christians officially began celebrating December 25 as the birth of Jesus in 336 AD.

Christmas is Celebrated in Different countries on Different dates:

Although December 25th is the date when most people celebrate Christmas, there are some other dates as well! Orthodox Churches in Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, Ukraine, and other countries use the old ‘Julian’ calendar and as per it celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church also celebrates Christmas on the 7th of January. Some Greek Catholics also celebrate on January 7th. In Armenia, the Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6th. It also celebrates Epiphany on this day.

Other Christmas Celebrations:

Advent – The Time Before Christmas

Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!. It means ‘Coming’ in Latin. People celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. In many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics Churches Advent lasts for 40 days, starting on November 15th. But for those who celebrate Christmas on 7th January, Advent starts on 28th November. During Advent, many people fast.

The 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany- After Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6. Therefore it is known as The 12 Days of Christmas! The celebrations finished on the evening of 5th January, which is better known as Twelfth Night. Following Twelfth Night, on 6th January, is Epiphany, when people remember the Wise Men (also sometimes called the Three Kings) who visited Jesus when he was a baby; and the Baptism of Jesus when he was an adult. This is also the time when people take down the Christmas decorations. But there are some who leave them till Candlemas.

Candlemas – The End of Christmas

For many, the end of the Christmas celebrations come on February 2nd, 40 days after Christmas, with Candlemas. Candlemas, also known as the ‘Presentation of Jesus at the Temple’ or the ‘Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.  It is the time when some Christians remember the time when Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to give thanks to God for giving them a son.

The name Candlemas comes from ‘Candle Mass’ because the candles are blessed to be used in churches during the coming year or are given out to people for them to use in their homes and private prayers.

So get set to welcome the lord in your home and celebrate the festival with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas to All!

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