Christmas is probably the most awaited festival all over the world. The very thought of it brings a million smiles, a billion reflections of all the happy moments that we have spent with our family & friends.
It’s the only festival which is celebrated all over globe with utmost joy, happiness, and not limited to one country or continent.
It was the magical day when Jesus was born to Virgin Mary in the city of Bethlehem, assisted by her husband Joseph in a stable. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the young infant was visited by some astrologers, who were in search of “the king of Jews”, following s star.
There are many theories explained by various churches, how they have arrived at the date of December 25th to celebrate Christmas and the history, logic of celebrating on the particular day. But we are not here to judge or review all those theories. Rather we are here to share the joy and happiness that is spread across the humanity. Christmas is celebrated in various ways in many nations. Traditions and cultures differ in the way the people celebrate and show their traditions. Midnight mass is conducted in churches across the world differently. Children often enact the whole event, by setting up the stable, animals, to be realistic and sing carols with reference to the event.
Christmas was more a public festival rather a family event. In the middle ages, the public used to gather at one place to share the gifts, joy and celebrate by dancing, singing, eating, and sporting. In the 17th and 18th century there were some protest against the celebration of Christmas by numerous church groups in England and Scotland. Even now there are lot of countries like Afghanistan, Korea, Pakistan, and Vietnam, where Christmas is not observed as a public holiday. However in the 19th century it’s believed that the novel “Christmas Carol” written by Charles Dickens is believed to revive the spirit and made it merrier. This gave an instant popularity among the people, which helped Christmas to be more a family centered and a festival of sharing joy, compassion, generosity, hopeand goodwill.
Christmas is all about decoration, great food, joy and gift sharing as centuries passed by. Each and every house is decorated with holm, ivy, bays and whatsoever. The traditional colors of Christmas are red, green and gold, of which red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, green the eternal life and gold symbolizing royalty. The modern Christmas tree is believed to be a tradition started by Martin Luther in 16th century, but some believe that this tradition is started by Germans in the 18th century. By the mid of 19th century this tradition has gained much of attention and spread all over Britain, US and to other parts of world.
The interior of the house is decorated with plants like holly, mistletoe, red amaryllis, cactus and Christmas tree. All these are decorated with bells, candles, candy canes, angels and wreaths. Outside of the house is decorated with lights, illuminated sleighs, snowmen, and other figures.
Food is a traditional part of the Christmas celebration, and this special meal including various dishes and differ from country to country. Standard Christmas meal include turkey or goose, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, bread ad cider. Special desserts include Christmas pudding, mince pies, fruit cake and yule log. In some parts of Europe fish and lamb are served as main course. In some other parts beef and pork are preferred.
Singing Christmas carols with music is how most of the people celebrate in the church. Some of the carols can be traced back to 13th or 14th century as they were sung in small villages. Mostly the carols are communal folk songs sung during gatherings and celebrations. It was in late 18th century that signing carols was more popular in churches.
Gifts & Cards:
Exchanging gifts and cards is one more core aspect of Christmas. This is a way to greet and make someone you know happy by gifting them some valuable thing. Cards are sent across globe, right form family members personally and by companies to its employees as well. Popular game called “Secret Santa” is played for fun among groups and companies, where each person is secretly assigned to someone to get them a gift what they like the most. So it’s the Santa’s responsibility to find out what the other person likes. At the end of the game the person who gets the gift will have a chance to predict the “secret Santa”.
There are lot of characters associated with Christmas, out of which the Santa Claus is the most popular one. Derived from Dutch for Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus is known for his generosity, care for children, and gift giving.
Form Proud Stories we wish and hope that you and your family will have a great Christmas and holiday full of fun.