Christmas, the Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. The English word Christmas (“Mass on the day of Christ”) is of relatively new origin. The first word Yule may come from Germanic zol or Anglo-Saxon Geol, which refers to the winter solstice festival. Related words in other languages (Christmas in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Christmas in French) are likely to refer to the birth of Christ. The German word Christmas means “holy night”. Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike, characterized by increasingly complex exchanges of gifts with and without Christian elements. At this secular Christmas party, a mythological figure named Santa Claus plays a central role.
Origin and Development
The early Christian community distinguished between the identification of the date of Jesus’ birth and the religious celebration of the event. The actual observance of the day of Jesus’ birth took a long time to come. In the first two centuries of Christianity, in particular, there was strong opposition to the recognition of martyrs or even the birthday of Jesus. Many church fathers have made sarcastic remarks about the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays when in fact saints and martyrs are to be honored by the church during their martyrdom days, their true “birthdays”.
Christmas was widely celebrated with a specific worship in the 9th century, but fell short of the prevalent meaning of Good Friday or Easter, the other two major Christian holidays. Roman Catholic churches celebrate Christmas Mass at midnight, and Protestant churches have increasingly held candlelight Christmas services in the late evening of 24 December. From the Garden of Eden until the arrival of Christ. Service, called E.W. Developed by Benson and introduced at the University of Cambridge, growing in popularity.
In most European countries, gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve on 24 December, according to the idea that the baby Jesus was born on the night of 24 December. However, on the morning of 25 December, it became a time of exchange of gifts in North America. In 16th and 17th century Europe, the slightest exchange of gifts took place on the morning of the 25th, when the family returned from Christmas day. When the 24th night became a time for exchange of gifts, Christmas was being held in the late afternoon of that day. In North America, the centrality of the morning of 25 December to open gifts for families, with the exception of the Catholic Church and some Lutheran and Episcopal churches, led to a virtual end of ceremonies. Church services. This day is a vivid example of how social customs influenced religious practices.
Given the importance of Christmas as one of the most important Christian holidays, most European countries, under Christian influence, celebrate 26 December as Boxing Day. This practice is reminiscent of the early Christian religious view that the celebration of Christmas as well as the celebration of Easter and Pentecost should last a full week. However, one week compliance was gradually reduced to Christmas Day and an additional public holiday on 26 December.