Long time ago in Bethlehem
So the Holy Bible say
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ
Was born on Christmas day!
Remember humming this carol during your school Christmas choir or waiting for Santa Claus to bring you your gift on Christmas morning. When you picture Christmas, It is usually really cold weather, a brightly lit atmosphere, the smell of freshly baked Christmas delicacies and the warmth of your family and friends together when you picture Christmas. It is one of the times when the entire world experiences a jolly atmosphere at the same time. The weather has started to get chilly signalling the fact that Christmas is coming soon. Before you start your Christmas 2022 preparations, it would be great to know about the origin story, history, significance, celebrations and some interesting facts about Christmas.
Like every year, Christmas will be celebrated on 25th December 2022 this year, preceded by Christmas Eve celebrations on 24th December and continued until 1st January to ring in the new year.
History of Christmas:
Christmas is celebrated on the 25th December to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Christians or as people believe the Son of God. However, nobody knows the real date of Jesus Christ’s birth. The first time Christmas was celebrated was actually 300 years later Jesus’ actual birth in 336 AD.
So how did we arrive on this date of 25th December to celebrate Christmas?
According to famous folklore, on 23rd March, Mother Mary had an angel come into her dream and tell her that she would give birth to a special child. So counting 9 months from thereon, 25th December was chosen as Jesus’ date of birth.
While pregnant, Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem. They couldn’t find a spot for the night until they stumbled upon a place where cattle herders lived. Jesus was born there that night itself. This date also coincided with the existing pagan festivals honouring Satan and Mithra. Christians across the world started accepting this date and in 1870 Christmas was made a federal holiday in the United States.
Origin of Christmas:
The name Christmas originates from the words Christ and Mass- meaning Christ’s Mass. The celebration of Christmas first originated in Rome in 336 AD and from there on the festival grew steadily to be celebrated in all parts of the world. As of Christmas 2022, about 160 countries across the world celebrate the festival.
Significance of Christmas:
Christmas is celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ in this world. But why celebrate his birth? Jesus was said to be the son of god, the spiritual leader and the founder of spirituality. It is said that the world was full of hatred, greed, ignorance and hypocrisy before Jesus was born. His birth changed the lives of people. He taught them the importance of spirituality, purity, devotion, living a simple and humble life and giving up worldly desires. He changed the world to be a better place.
Christmas Celebrations and Traditions:
With 2 years of mild Christmas celebrations across the world, Christmas 2022 is going to be a fresh beacon of light. Many get in the Christmas spirit rights after Thanksgiving ends, i.e. almost a month in advance.
Christmas is the time of gala joy and enthusiasm among friends and families. Some Christmas traditions differ across the world according to countries and cultures but some common ones have been followed year after year.
Who’s Santa Claus?
Picture Christmas and you picture a fat, white-bearded man with a jolly smile wearing a red 2- piece suit and carrying a big red bag with him on his magical sleigh. However, this originated with Saint Nicholas, a Turkish monk, who had given all his wealth to the needy. Due to the Dutch Immigrants in the US, Saint Nicholas became ‘Sinter Klaas’ eventually evolving into ‘Santa Claus’. Santa is known to bring children gifts on Christmas day- well only for the ones on the list of nice children.
Even though Santa Claus is not real (heartbreaking right!), we can see many in costumes in public places giving out gifts and candies to children. So, Santa Claus is basically the mascot for Christmas.
Owing to the massive amount of movies made, Christmas could well be a genre in itself. Christmas-themed movies are definitely the highest-gross films and families also watch them together, cosying up in blankets, as part of their Christmas traditions.
Check out these movies for Christmas 2022: ‘A Magical Christmas Village’, ‘Lights, Camera, Christmas!’, ‘Catering Christmas’, ‘Maple Valley Christmas’ and so many others.
Singing Christmas Carols:
A Christmas carol or song is traditionally sung during the Christmas holiday season to amplify the festive vibe through music. Carolling groups often sing them in churches, go around in neighbourhoods or from house to house singing Christmas carols.
Decorating houses and Christmas trees:
Many enthusiastic Christmas celebrators start decorating their houses and putting up Christmas trees by early December. The Germans started the tradition of cutting up a fully green tree, setting it up indoors and decorating it in the 16th century. It is one of the most common Christmas traditions around the world. Houses are adorned with twinkling lights, bright cushions and rugs, fuzzy sweaters and socks hanging by the chimneys.
Giving and receiving gifts:
The giving and receiving of gifts is a symbol of showing affection and care towards your loved ones, especially during the holiday season. This tradition root from a story where the three wise men bring gifts for Baby Jesus.
Relishing the Christmas delicacies:
Having a scrumptious meal with all your family together at the dining table is one of the best parts of Christmas. Christmas cookies, Honey-glazed ham, plum cakes, candy canes and red wines are the main attractions of Christmas.
Interesting facts about Christmas:
- Leading 1 month up to Christmas nearly 2 billion candy canes are sold each year.
- ‘Jingle Bells’ was the first song to be played in outer space during NASA’s Gemini 6A space flight in December 1965.
- Xmas comes from the Greek language where the word Christ begins with an ‘X’.
- Initially, Santa Claus wasn’t supposed to be only white and red and wore green, blue and purple. Coca-Cola rebranded the image of Santa Claus.
- The main colours of Christmas- red symbolises the blood of Jesus, green symbolises life and gold symbolises light.
- Kissing under the mistletoe means asking for blessings from the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas surely is one of the most celebrated festivals across the world. It is an ideal time to get along with your friends and family one last time before the year ends. You can also continue the Christmas festive spirit by welcoming the new year.
Planning to celebrate Christmas 2022? Get your Visa online and book your flights online to meet your friends and family this holiday season. Planning a getaway for Christmas 2022? Browse through the best India tour packages to plan the best trip ahead.
Merry Christmas to one and all!!!
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