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The History Of Christmas



Christmas is coming up, and not everyone knows its history and why we celebrate it. I am going to share with you the history behind it why Christmas came to be, and some interesting facts about Christmas and about how invented Sant Claus. I hope that you enjoy this article.


Sum up of Christmas:


"Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural..."


"For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature."


"Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends, and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive."


"December 25—Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870."


How Christmas Started:


How did Christmas Start? Based on The History Channel Website:


"The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight."


"In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year."


"The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking."


"In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside."


Is Christmas Really the day Jesus was Born?:


Do you think that Christmas is really the day Jesus was born? Well based on the History Channel Website:


"In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century."


"By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion."


"On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens."


Who Invented 'Santa Claus'?:


Have you ever wanted to know why Santa Claus is a thing or who invited Santa Claus? Well now you are going to get your questions answered. based on the History Channel Website:


"The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around A. D. 280. St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors."


"St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation."


"In 1822, Episcopal minister Clement Clarke Moore wrote a Christmas poem called “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known today by it’s first line: “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” The poem depicted Santa Claus as a jolly man who flies from home to home on a sled driven by reindeer to deliver toys."


"The iconic version of Santa Claus as a jolly man in red with a white beard and a sack of toys was immortalized in 1881, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore's poem to create the image of Old Saint Nick we know today."


Christmas Traditions Worldwide:


Have you ever wondered what other people around the world do for Christmas? Well now your question of what they do around the world for Christmas will be answered. Based on The History Channel website:


"Christmas traditions around the world are diverse, but share key traits that often involve themes of light, evergreens and hope. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions from around the globe, many of them centered on the winter solstice. Discover the origins of Christmas traditions from around the world like the Yule log, caroling and candy canes and learn how Christmas is celebrated “Down Under.”"


Christmas Facts:

  • Each year, 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are about 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States, and trees usually grow for between four and 15 years before they are sold.

  • In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.

  • When Christmas was cancelled: From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.

  • Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.

  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.

  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.

  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.

  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

I hope that You have enjoyed the History behind Christmas, and I hope you have leaned something about the holiday we celebrate every year.


Sites:


History Channel


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