Christmas is not merely a festival but is a traditional practice that is being practiced across the world not being constrained by the holds of any discrimination.
The name Christmas came into existence only in recent times, from the term Cristes maesse.
The word X-mass is named so, because X, in the name represents the starting letter of the name Christ in Greek.
In the earlier times, different terms were used to denote this traditional practice which are Yule(Germanic), geōl(Old English), Navidad(Spanish), Natale(Italian), Noël(French).
Origin of Christmas Festival
The origin of this tradition has its very old root from pagans tradition, which was acknowledged and taken into the practice by the Romans, probably because of the tribal infiltration across all the established empires.
Romans as a tradition celebrated an occasion called Saturnalia (exchanging gifts), along together with, the birthday of the god Mithra who is the sun of righteousness, and the New Year.
These celebrations brought prosperity to all those Roman people, so the elders, Sextus Julius Africanus to be precise, selected December 25 would be great for the celebration of the birthday of the light of the world.
There is another theory based on Spring Equinox. There is also a saying that no human knows exactly the date of the Christ’s birth.
Christmas was started to be celebrated as a specific liturgy in the Christian communities only after the 9th century. But, it has been said that the first Christmas celebration was recorded to be celebrated by the Roman emperor, Constantine( at around 336 AD). The early Christian churches celebrated Christmas on January 5 (called Epiphany).
Christmas Festival Traditions
Whatever may be the festival traditions we are following now, but all those traditions came to practice only in recent times.
The tradition of Christmas tree decoration was said to be first initiated by Sebastian Brant(1494) and was implemented using fir trees decorated with apples by Strasbourg (1605). Further add-ons to the decoration with candles were done by Silesian Duchess in the late 16th century.
There is another tradition followed during this season called Advent calendar, in which there will be 24 openings starting from December 1 to 24, indicating the advent of Christ.
The most important tradition is the exchanging of gifts, which was recorded to be coming to the practice towards the end of the 18th century, even though having its seeds being laid in the earlier period.
Never should forget the pleasant evenings of the entire week, in some countries even now, filled with the sweet, enlightening air filled with the musical notes from the Christmas carol, which was the fruit of work by Charles Dickens.
And of course, family gatherings accompanied by family dinner which is also decorated with delightful traditional delicacies and desserts.
Celebrations for Christmas Festival
The Christmas festival is being celebrated by almost every human in their ways, which makes this festival cross the bounds like religion, race, etc….
The most common way, the Christians celebrated the Christmas itself varies. But when we hear the word Christmas, What comes to our mind are church gatherings, cake, carols, dinner.
The celebration of the Christmas by Roman Catholics will attain its glorious second in the midnight mass, while the protestant Christians celebrate their merry Christmas on the evening of December 24 in their candlelight services.
Even though their way of celebrating their rejoice varies, the hearts of all were turned towards the glorious relationship between God and the Man, and also among men, which is being renewed each passing year during this celebration.
The word Christmas indicates the holidays with loved ones. Celebrations are all over the world where the loved ones are together which includes home, schools, beaches, party halls, native places.
Everywhere the only thing that will be in the mind is to make merry.
The celebrations will go up to 2 weeks even after December 25th in some churches.
So, from all the facts and history of the evolution of Christmas, we came to understand that this holiday stands as one of the greatest examples of the saying, “Unity in Diversity”. The only thought it gives us is, the joy lies among us when our loved ones are among us.