Christmas Day is on Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas a holiday memorializing
the birthday of Jesus Christ

Celebrated annually on December 25 by literally billions of people all over the planet. Fundamental to the liturgical Christian year, it is a feast that closes out the season of Advent and begins the Christmastide season, which continues for twelve days. Christmas is a national holiday In most of the nations of the world and celebrated by an growing array of non-Christians, and is a fundamental part of Christmas and the overall holiday season.

Historians place Jesus' birth between 7 to 2 BC, although the precise day is not known. During the early-to-middle 4th century, at the time the Western Christian Church initially positioned Christmas for December 25, which is the date also adopted in the East. Theories advanced to clarify that choice is that it falls precisely nine months following the Christian festival of Jesus' conception, or perhaps it was chosen to concur with either an ancient winter festival. or the date for the winter solstice of Rome.

The initial date for the Eastern Christianity celebration was on January 6 and that continues to be the Armenia, celebration date, where it still is a holiday celebrated by the Armenian Apostolic Church and also a public holiday. As of 2011, there's a 13 day spread relating to the Julian calendar with the typically used Gregorian calendar. For those who go by the Julian calendar, else the equivalent thus observe December 25 or January 6 for what for most of the population is January 7 or January 19. Entirely for this rationale, Ethiopia observes Christmas, mutually as a Christian banquet plus a public holiday during what's January 7 on the Gregorian Calendar.

Many of the prevalent festivity customs in various countries associated with Christmas contain pre-Christian or secular origins and themes. Prevalent customs for the holiday include exchanging Christmas cards, gift-giving, a special meal,, music, church celebrations, and the displaying of assorted decorations which includes; Christmas trees, garlands, lights, nativity scenes, holly and mistletoe. Additionally, several figures, recognized as Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus,, Father Christmas, along with other labels, are connected with delivering gifts for children through the Christmas season. Because gift-giving plus numerous other facets of the Christmas celebration involve increased economic endeavors among Christians plus non-Christians alike, the holiday has turned into a momentous event and a major sales period for businesses and retailers. The Christmas economic impact has steadily grown during the preceding few centuries in countless regions all over the world.

Decorations

Putting up Christmas decorations has a lengthy history. going back to pre-Christian times, citizens of the Roman Empire featured branches of evergreens indoors during winter. Using grenery for decorating was also included in the Jewish custom : "Now on the first day you shall obtain for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, boughs of leafy trees, palm branches and willows from the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. " (Leviticus 23:40)

Christian people included similar customs in their maturing practices.In London, recorded that during the 15th century, there was the Christmas custom for every parish churche and every household to be "decked out with ivy, holm, bays, and what ever the season provided that was green". The heart-shaped ivy leaves were said to be symbols of Jesus coming to earth, while holly was perceived as protection against witches and pagans, while its red berries and thorns represented the Crown of Thorns Jesus wore at his crucifixion along with the blood which he shed.

Nativity scenes come from as far back as 10th-century Rome. They were made popular by Saint Francis from Asissi in 1223, and quickly spread across Europe. Different styles of decorations occurred throughout the Christian world, depending upon available resources and local tradition and . The first commercially created decorations were made in Germany during the 1860s, and were encouraged by paper chains created by children. In countries where Nativity Scenes are popular, individuals are encouraged to create and compete for the most realistic and original appearing scenes. Within some families, pieces used to create the representation are thought of as valuable family heirlooms.

The traditional Christmas colors are red and green. White, gold and silver are also popular. Red is a symbol of Jesus' blood , which was shed during his crucifixion, whereas green is a symbol of eternal life, and the evergreen tree in particular, which does not shed its leaves during winter.

A Christmas tree is thought to be by some as being Christianisation of a pagan ritual and tradition adjoining the Winter Solstice, that encompassed using evergreen boughs, an adapted variation of tree worship by pagans. The English language use of "Christmas tree" was initially recorded in 1835 and represented an importation of German language. Today's tradition of a Christmas tree is thought to have started in Germany during the 18th century although many maintain that Martin Luther started the tradition during the 16th century.

Starting in Germany, the tradition was adopted by Britain, first by the wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte, and even more effectively by Prince Albert for the period of Queen Victoria's reign. By 1841 even more widespread acceptance Christmas tree had grown throughout Britain. By the 1870s, inhabitants of the United States also had embraced the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. Christmas trees are typically decorated with ornaments and lights.

A native Mexico plant, the Poinsettia, has had an association with Christmas since the 1800's. Other trendy holiday plants are mistletoe, holly, Christmas cactus and red amaryllis. Besides the Christmas tree, the inside of a home is often decorated using such plants, along with evergreen foliage and garlands. Displaying Christmas villages also has become a practice in many households during this holiday season. The exterior of homes may be adorned with lights and on occasion with snowmen, illuminated sleighs, and other Christmas forms

Other traditional decorations may include candles, bells, angels, candy canes, stockings, and wreaths. While the displaying of candles and wreaths in every window are also a time-honored Christmas exhibition. The concentric leaf assortments, most often from an evergreen, are the framework of Christmas wreaths and devised to ready Christians for Advent season. Candles in every window validate that Christians hold the belief that only Jesus Christ is a definitive world light. Both of these more subtle, although antiquated Christmas displays are shown in the Saint Anselm College image below.

Christmas banners and lights may be displayed along streets and shopping centers, with music being played from speakers, while Christmas trees are placed in prominent locations. In many areas of the world, it is tradition for consumer shopping areas and town squares and to sponsor and exhibit decorations. Brightly colored paper rolls featuring religious or secular Christmas motifs are made for the express purpose of gift wrapping. Christmas displays are traditionally removed on the Twelfth Night, being the night of January 5 in some countries.

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