What is Christmas Day?
Christmas is an annual festival celebrating Jesus Christ's birth, mainly commemorated on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration by billions of people worldwide.
Christians and many non-Christians have been celebrating Christmas as a secular family celebration since the early twentieth century, free of Christian themes and marked by an increasingly extravagant exchange of gifts. Santa Claus, a legendary figure, is central to this secular Christmas celebration.
Christmas Day - All Quick Overview
- Time/Date: 25 December
- Category: Religious
- Where It’s Marked: Globally (It's also a Federal Holiday in the United States)
- Why It’s Marked: This day is marked to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
History of Christmas Day
Christians celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Though many Christmas Day rituals and traditions have arisen from that single event, it is not the entire tale. There are myths and realities surrounding Christmas.
Nobody knows for sure when or where Jesus was born. The apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell similar events in the New Testament of the Bible, but they never specify the date of Jesus' birth. Around 221 AD, the earliest Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus is mainly responsible for the creation of December 25.
Historians think the early church picked December 25 as the official date for Christmas to link the Son of God's birth with the "rebirth of the sun," which occurs after the winter equinox. Another viewpoint grounds the date on Jesus' conception date of March 25, the spring equinox. The date of Jesus' birth would then be December 25, nine months later.
The church once declared January 6 as Jesus' baptismal day and the correct date for Christmas. However, by the 9th century, Christmas had become a minor holy day.
By the Middle Ages, Europeans had developed some of the Christmas traditions we know today. Homes in Strasbourg began to display apple-decorated fir trees.
People started exchanging gifts in the 17th and 18th centuries as a representation of the Magi bringing gifts to Bethlehem for the newborn baby Jesus. Fir wreaths decorated initially with 24 candles to symbolize the 24 days before Christmas was later reduced to four much safer candles by the 19th century.
Traditions around Christmas Day eventually migrated from Europe to Latin America, North America, and other world regions.
How to Celebrate Christmas Day
Christmas is a time for good spirits, festive decorations, and family and friends. Celebrating a religious or secular Christmas is a day for love, peace, and fun.
People generally decorate their homes and do activities to get into the Christmas spirit to celebrate the day. To make your Christmas day beautiful memory, you can-
- Buy a Christmas tree and decorate it because trees are a big part of Christmas.
- Ask your children to hang stockings over the mantle.
- Decorate your home and brighten it with Christmas lights.
- Place mistletoe, poinsettias, and evergreen around your home. Over the years, these plants have become a part of Christmas.
- Read Christmas stories with your children to enjoy quality time with each other. Or watch any classic Christmas movies to learn more about Christmas.
- If your country or neighborhood celebrates Christmas, walk through neighborhoods to see what individuals put up.
- Christmas celebration is incomplete without good food. So Bake cookies and cakes, cook a special Christmas dinner and enjoy it with family and friends.
- If you love to sing, try caroling this Christmas.
- If you want to celebrate a religious Christmas, many church services take place on Christmas day from the morning to the evening.
- Don’t forget to give presents to family, friends, and people in need because this day is all about giving and sharing.
- Charity is a hallmark of Christmas. So to make it more special, donate to your favorite charity.
Countries That Observe Christmas Day
The majority of governments around the world observe Christmas as an official public holiday; some even celebrate both Julian/Orthodox Christmas on January 7 and Gregorian Christmas on December 25. Other nations acknowledge Christmas as a cultural occasion but refrain from designating it as a legal holiday. In a few majority-Muslim countries, such as Pakistan, only Christians are allowed to celebrate Christmas Day as an official holiday.
However, countries like Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Comoros, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, North Korea, Somalia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen don’t celebrate this day.
Interesting facts about Christmas Day
There are many less-known yet mind-blowing facts about Christmas. If you want to know some, here they are-
- "Jingle Bells" was initially a Thanksgiving song in 1857
- The most recorded Christmas song in history is Silent Night. Since 1978, there have been more than 733 different copyrighted versions.
- Celebrating Christmas used to be illegal From 1659 until1681.
- The tallest Christmas tree ever shown was in Seattle, Washington. It was 221 ft. tall.
- The year's busiest shopping day is not Black Friday but the final two days before Christmas.
- Christmas is derived from the Latin phrase Cristes Maesse, which means "Christ's Mass."
- Christmas trees are usually around 15 years old when they are sold.
- Spoiled Christmas leftovers cause more than 400,000 illnesses.
- The letter X in "X-Mas" is not an acronym. It stands for "Chi," which is Greek for Christ.
- December 25 was chosen because it falls on the same day as the pagan celebration of Saturnalia, which was marked by revelry, betting, and gift-giving.
- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, mishaps related to Christmas decorating result in 14,700 visits to hospital emergency rooms each November and December.
Unique Christmas Day Celebration Ideas
Are you looking for ideas to make your Christmas day unique and more exciting? Well, we got your back. You can choose to do any of the following and make your day special.
- Make your Countdown Routine to mark the end advent period and fill it with your kids' favorite tiny toys, gifts, and chocolates.
- You don't want to cook on Xmas day? Then don't. Get your family members ready, go to your favorite restaurant and order their best dish for Christmas or anything you want to eat.
- Don't forget to take a family photo on Christmas day. Want to make it more special? Then keep posing the same every year.
- You and your loved ones can also wear matching Christmas jammies.
- Remember to show gratitude to the Almighty, your family, and friends and do something extra special for them to make their day unique.
Christmas Day Quotes
Many people tried to convey the beauty and significance of Christmas using words. Here are some famous Xmas day quotes.
"Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most." — Ruth Carter Stapleton
"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts."— Janice Maeditere
"Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand." — Dr. Seuss
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."— Will Ferrell
1. What is the purpose of Christmas Day?
The birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is commemorated by most Christians on December 25 as Christmas Day.
2. When was Jesus born?
Although the gospels and no historical source mention Jesus' birth date, most biblical historians estimate that he was born between 6 and 4 BC.
3. Who invented Santa Claus?
A monk named St. Nicholas is where the story of Santa Claus first began. Nicholas is thought to have been born somewhere in the 280s AD at Patara, a city in modern-day Turkey close to Myra.
4. Is Christmas Eve a federal holiday?
No. Although Christmas Eve is not a recognized government holiday, employers often offer non-essential employees the day off with pay or a partial day off in various regions of the country.
Christmas Day Observances
|2021||Saturday||25 December||Christmas Day|
|2022||Sunday||25 December||Christmas Day|
|2023||Monday||25 December||Christmas Day|
|2024||Wednesday||25 December||Christmas Day|
|2025||Thursday||25 December||Christmas Day|
|2026||Friday||25 December||Christmas Day|
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