Remembering the Old Christmas
Christmas is known as the longest and merriest holiday season. As December comes near, the joyous vibe of the Christmas spirit fills the air. Christmas carols are playing everywhere; decorations are popping up in malls and parks; people are stressing over gifts to give for loved ones. Research has revealed that spending effort and time for someone else induces happiness more than spending the same on one’s self.
From simple holiday cards to elegant wine advent calendar, there’s no better occasion where people can declare their love and appreciation for someone than this season. Christmas, which means “mass for Christ,” is a religious celebration as well as a social necessity. Whether ‘you’re attending mass at the church or choosing the perfect wine advent calendar, it is important to share love and kindness with people.
Where Did Christmas Originate?
Christmas has become a staple holiday celebrated in most parts of the world. People have become too familiar with the ceremonies and rituals attached to the event that only a few people know where it all started.
The date of Christ’s birth is both unofficial and subjective. Pope Leo I, of Rome, chose said date because it coincides with the festival of Saturnalia, the Sun God. It was announced as the shortest day of the year, or more commonly known as the solar equinox. Leo wanted to replace Saturnalia with Christ and described Him as the “new light.” He made his congregation believe that Christ is the image of salvation and hope.
Some countries celebrate Christmas on the date proposed by Leo, which is the twenty-fifth of December. Meanwhile, Orthodox Christians celebrate it with the Epiphany, which falls on the sixth or seventh of January.
History of Christmas Traditions
Unknown to many people, Christmas originated from a Christianized pagan feast. In fact, the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol for fertility. Meanwhile, the Jewish tradition of lights, called Hannukah, also falls in December. Hence, Christmas lights became associated with the holiday as well.
On the other hand, nights are colder and longer in some countries, particularly in the Northern region. Thus, people wanted to look forward to something special. That may be expensive food, candles, and gifts. Hence, the tradition of cooking and sharing food and other offerings has become a tradition in other countries as well. In the north, fir trees symbolize hope; therefore, they are brought inside the homes to welcome crops and abundant food.
Is Santa Claus Real?
The legend of Santa Claus came from the story of Saint Nicholas, a bishop in Turkey, who helped women marry good men. He left money on doorsteps as an endowment for the poor who cannot afford husbands. He was named a patron saint of virgins and children. Later, he was celebrated on the sixth of December by people giving gifts to children in secret. His name got translated as Clause in English. European children used to leave a shoe outside the door to receive presents the following day.
While many old traditions have become insignificant in the modern era, the essence of Christmas remains intact with people showing their love for each other through the sharing of gifts. Further, people continue to take part in religious ceremonies like attending masses and lighting candles in churches.