Christmas Day

Religion: Christian
Country: India, International
Upcoming Christmas Day is on 25 December 2020 (Friday)

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Christmas is one of the most important festivals for the Christian community world over. This day marks the birth of Jesus Christ who was founder of Christianity.

Christmas Day History

Exact birth date of Jesus Christ is unknown. It is not mentioned in the Holy book ‘Bible’. His birthday was not celebrated for few centuries after his crucifixion. It was only in 336AD that western world started to celebrate Christmas on 25th December after first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine decalred that christainity would be a preferred religion but the eastern world continued to celebrate it on January 6th Some reports say that it was Hippolytus who first argued on December 25th as the date while many other sources say that it was Theophilus of Antioch who first claimed that Jesus was born on this day.

However some evidence suggests that church chose this date to celebrate Christmas because it aligned closely with a pagan festival and the church wanted to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. Pagans already celebrated two festivals in December like Saturnalia and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Winter solstice was also a festival celebrated around December 21 when the time between rising sun and setting sun is shortest which falls in December month. Many believe that this day was chosen to celebrate Christmas so that pagans don’t have anything to celebrate.

How Christmas is Celebrated?

Christmas is celebrated with great fervour, fanfare and enthusiasm in India. It is an occasion for merry making and celebrations. The celebrations begin on Christmas Eve a day before Christmas. Christians attend midnight mass on this day as it is believed that Jesus Christ was born on the stroke of midnight. Carol singing is also a major aspect of the celebrations. Churches are decorated with poinsettias flowers and candles come alive with the festive air. People erect Christmas trees in their homes and decorate it with stars, gifts and lights. People also place a star with light outside their homes. Decorated cribs with figures of baby Jesus, Mother Mary, Joseph are placed in people’s homes. In India some Christians also decorate their homes with mango leaves.

Markets wear festive look weeks before the festival with shops selling all kind of Christmas memorabilia. People greet each other and exchange gifts and cards on this day. Nativity plays which depict the life of Jesus Christ are also held. Santa Claus is also a major attraction during Christmas who distributes gifts among the children. Entire family gets together for family reunion on this occasion which is a widespread tradition on this day. This is a day to meet friends and have a good time feasting on the delicacies prepared on this day. Overall Christmas is time for joyous celebrations.


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