The History of Christmas
Christmas is the symbol of joy, of giving and receiving, of laughter with your friends and of togetherness with your friends and family. Most of all Christmas is the celebration of love, and the love for which Jesus Christ came in to this world and then sacrificed his whole life for it. It is the spirit of love, representing Christmas that makes it the most popular festival throughout the world.
The Origins of Christmas
The meaning of Christmas is ‘Mass of Christ’ while the origins of this celebrated day began with the birth of a babe in Bethlehem. In the beginning, this day was celebrated mainly by Roman Catholics on December 25th as the birthday of Jesus Christ however later on it was gradually celebrated among people of all religions. It is considered very likely that Christmas celebrations were done in the reaction to the Roman Saturnalia that marks the return of the sun and the god of sowing. Other legends opinions that the Christmas celebration was introduced to fight against the pagan celebration of 25th day of December as this day was sacred to both the Romans as well as the Persians whose religion Mithraism was one of Christianity’s main rivals at that time. At 520 AD Christmas had become the official religion of the Roman Empire, Emperor of that time making it a civil holiday.
Christmas had become the most significant religious festival in most parts of Europe by the end of the year 1100 and Saint Nicholas was a figure of gift giving in many European countries. During the 1400’s and 1500’s century there were many renowned artists who had painted the scenes of nativity representing the birth of Jesus in their work. Many examples of these works can be found in the print version of The World Book of Encyclopedia.
The popularity of the festival grew until a religious movement of the 1500’s, which gave birth to Protestantism. Due to this reformation, the Christmas was outlawed in England and in the parts of the English colonies in Americas during the 1600’s. Nevertheless, the old traditions of feasting and decorating began soon reappearing and merged with the more Christian aspects of the celebration. Although it become a much quieter holiday than celebrated before the prohibition period set up by the England government.
Christmas is celebrated in different ways around the world whether it is Asia, Africa, Europe, South America or Australia. With its long and cloudy history, Christmas is still considered the most widely celebrated festival around the world, and also the most popular festive globally.