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Christmas

Christmas

Christmas, Is all about celebrating  the  birth  of Jesus , and  to spend  some  quality time with your family and have fun. In modern days its also tells us about sharing.

Quick Facts
  • Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
  • The word “Christmas” comes from the Old English name “Christes Maesse,” which means “Christ’s Mass.”
  • The tradition of substituting X-mas for Christmas has its origins in the early Christian church. The first letter of Jesus Christ’s name is X in the Greek language.
  • The custom of decorating a Christmas tree has been traced back to the 15th century.
  • Each year between 34-36 million Christmas trees are produced to cope with holiday demand.
  • The modern Christmas tree (typically evergreen conifers-usually pine, balsam or fir species) originated in Germany in the 16th century and became popular in England.
  • A large Christmas tree is traditionally placed every year in Rockefeller Center (Manhattan, New York City).
  • The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.
  • The name Santa Claus originated from the Dutch word Sinterklaas which means Saint Nicholas who gave gifts on December 6.
  • Cartoonist Thomas Nast is credited with creating the current image of Santa Claus based on his illustrations that began appearing in Harpers Weekly in 1863.
  • The poem “The Night Before Christmas”, published anonymously in 1823, is generally credited for creating the modern day idea of Santa Claus.
  • James Pierpont’s 1857 song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving.
  • Electric tree lights were first used just 3 years after Thomas Edison has his first mass public demonstration of electric lights back in 1879.
  • Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • There are 364 gifts in the popular holiday carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
  • Russians Orthodox people celebrate Christmas on January 7th.The reason is that the Russian Orthodox Church still lives according to the old Julian calendar, which is currently 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.
  • In Vatican City Christmas celebrations start with the Novena which comes eight days prior to the festival and closes on the Christmas day.
  • In Germany, Christmas Eve is said to be a magical time of the year when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.
  • The busiest days of the year in terms of Church attendance revolve around Christmas and Easter.
  • Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.
  • The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.
  • In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.
  • The tradition of burning a Yule log actually has its roots in ancient Scandinavia. Supposedly the Yule log was a source of good luck and its remnants were saved to inspire good fortune throughout the year. It was such a widely held belief that people even threw the ashes in wells to make the water safer to drink.
  • The annual Christmas pudding was more than just a tasty treat. Small items were placed in them which had the power to predict what the New Year would bring. Coins were associated with a gain in wealth, a ring was a sign of an imminent marriage and a button signified extended bachelorhood. This idea actually goes back to the middle ages where the cake being served on the Twelfth Night would come complete with a hidden bean. Whoever found this bean was declared “king” for that one night.
  • The Holy Days and Fasting Act of 1551 in Britain declares that all its country’s citizens must attend the annual church services held on Christmas day. In fact it goes as far as stating that no vehicle should be used to travel to church on this day. The law still exists on the books, although it is not observed.
  • The tradition of gift-giving has strong association with Paganism. The Roman festival of Saturnalia featured periods of gift-giving, this idea was later incorporated into the traditional Christmas celebrations.
  • Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol that helped revive the “spirit” of Christmas and seasonal merriment. Its instant popularity played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion.
  • Other traditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, poinsettia from Mexico, holly, mistletoe, red amaryllis, and Christmas cactus and angels. Both the displaying of wreaths and candles in each window are a more traditional Christmas display. The concentric assortment of leaves, usually from an evergreen, make up Christmas wreaths and are designed to prepare Christians for the Advent season. Candles in each window are meant to demonstrate the fact that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate light of the world. The outside of houses may be decorated with lights and illuminated sleighs, snowmen, Reindeer and other Christmas figures.

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