Christmas is the most celebrated and festive time of the year. So it is only right to learn the history of Christmas as the special occasion that we know it today.
During this season, Christians across the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You will hear non-stop Christmas songs and carols blaring everywhere to lift the mood. Houses are fully decorated with Christmas tree and other Christmas decors. Most of all, a great abundance of food and merriments that are being shared by people. After all, it is the season of giving.
Interesting insights about the history of Christmas
Who invented Christmas?
I think the more proper term would be – is Christmas invented? People coming from different backgrounds may disagree in certain aspects regarding this matter, but as a strong believer in faith I would put it this way: no, the day of Christmas is not invented. Instead, I am offering another term: designated. December 25 was designated as Christmas Day from the 3rd century.
It was originally believed to be a Pagan of origins in Germany, as they worship the Sun. It was then evolved and interpreted by the Romans to celebrate it in line with the winter solstice (25th December) as this is the 9th months after the vernal equinox (25th March) that is linked with the Annunciation or the conception of Jesus.
When did Christmas start?
During the early Christian times, Easter was far more celebrated than Christmas. When the fourth century came, church leaders have decided to set a date for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. They intended for it to be celebrated as a holiday.
No mention of December 25 as the birth of Jesus can be seen in the Bible. Historians also argue about certain aspects of the nativity scene which do not seem to add up. This includes the presence of shepherds in the middle of winter – a time when there are no sheep to herd.
Pope Julius I appointed December 25 to be Christmas day. As for the reason behind the choice of this date, many maybe’s were presented but no concrete reason was ever recorded.
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How did the celebration of Christmas begin?
The Christmas celebrations as we know it today has been made popular during Victorian times. Prince Albert, the Prince Consort of Queen Victoria brought the German tradition of decorating pine tree with wax candles and various sweets, which eventually we called now as Christmas Tree.
Since then, the celebration and decorations of during the Christmas period spread out throughout the whole British Empire and to the USA. The celebration of Christmas in the USA formally became a federal holiday on June 26, 1870.
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
For people of the Christian faith like me, Christmas is celebrated because it is the day that Christ, our Savior, was born. It signifies that hope has come, and by Jesus becoming man salvation was within reach as a gift to be received from God.
For people who have been born in a society where Christmas is widely celebrated regardless of religion and spirituality, Christmas is celebrated because it has become a yearly tradition to give gifts, sing carols and be with family on December 25.
What is Christmas all about?
Christmas is all about Jesus Christ being born. Take away all the lights and glitters, the gift-giving and festive gatherings that normally come with the celebration, and it will still be Christmas.
Here in the Western world, we seem to forget about the true meaning of Christmas and everything seems feels to be more commercialised. As if everything is all based on material gift-giving. Don’t forget that the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and sharing the gift of love and compassion with others.
That’s the brief and interesting history of Christmas for your reference. I hope that inspires you to truly celebrate the festivities more meaningful and fulfilled.