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Christmas Story

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“And so, this Christmas 2009 season
may our hearts with gladness glow,
As we read the blessed Christmas story
That took place so long ago”

Christmas, the very word conjures up images of Christmas tree, singing carolers, the star, Santa Claus, twinkling lights and the ginger bread man. Christmas is perhaps the only festival that has transcended every geographical boundary and is celebrated with an equal amount of delight and cheer all across the globe. But how much do you really know about this festive holiday? So, let’s take a look into the “blessed story” of Christmas with DGreetings and explore the various myths related to it.
Christmas Story - The word Christmas is derived from the words “Cristes maesse”, or "Christ's Mass." Christmas primarily commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the father of the Christian religion, who is regarded as the son of God. For the Christian community, heaven is where Jesus is. Jesus with his innate power taught the blind to see and the dumb to speak. He bore the sins of humanity and died on the cross to save the mankind. So, isn’t it very obvious for us to celebrate the birth of this Messiah?

However the popularity of Christmas can be traced to the time when Christ wasn’t even born. People in Rome, Europe and Scandinavia celebrated the winter season with partying and a lot of gaiety. It was regarded as the perfect time for the celebrations as the winter season offered good supply of meat and wine, requisites for the feast. These pagan festivals celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.
The winter festivities centered on the hope of the longer days and extended hours of sunlight, after the long harsh winters.

If we go by the historical records available, Christmas was first celebrated on January 6 according to the old Julian calendar. The day was also observed as an official Roman holiday which commenced from A.D. 534. The ritual was continued until when due to some difference of opinions or other reasons, the celebration was changed over to the Gregorian calendar in 1743. This shift from Julian to Gregorian calendar resulted in a change of date for Christmas celebrations. According to the Gregorian calendar, the Christmas Day fell on December 25. It is believed that Pope Julius I chose December 25 to be the date to observe Christmas. According to the popular myth, the church chose this date in an attempt to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival or the Feast of the Nativity.

With the iconic popularity of Christianity, the celebration gradually spread all across the globe. This ritual spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the Christmas festivities had reached all the way to Scandinavia.

The early seventeenth century witnessed a wave of religious reform which threatened to change the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. In 1645 Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England and declared to rid England of debauchery and decadence. They called off the celebrations of Christmas as a step to make England a country freed from profligacy. But with restoration of Charles II to the throne, the popular festivities related to Christmas were again in the vogue.

Christmas had a late arrival in America, and was even encountered hostilities from various social sectors. In the years 1659 to 1681 the Christmas festivities were outlawed in Boston. However, the Christmas spirit regained popularity after American Revolution, as English customs fell out of favor. But in the early nineteenth century as Americans felt the need of a family holiday, they embraced Christmas as a perfect time to reinforce emotional ties. As a result, Christmas was declared as a national holiday for celebration on June 26, 1870. Such was the magic of Christmas that Americans even rediscovered the Christmas celebrations and metamorphosed it from a mere carnival into a family-oriented day of party, gaiety and frolic.

So, take a moment on this Christmas to unfold the essence of Christmas with

  • Christmas History
  • History of Christmas tree
  • History of Christmas Carol
  • History of Santa Claus
  • History of Reindeer
  • History of Wreaths

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