A Christian festival
celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic j?l or the Anglo-Saxon ge?l, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. The corresponding terms in other languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity. The German word Weihnachten denotes “hallowed night.” Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts.
In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role. Christmas is celebrated on December 25TH.
- Santa Claus, A legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. (And adults as well/there is a child in all of us. This year his big gift could be the lowest interest rates in history so open your gift.) His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries.
- The date of December 25th is not necessarily the date of birth for Jesus. It is most probably because of, following pagan rituals; what time of year is better suited for “JOY”? Why on the 25th instead of the Winter Solstice itself:
A Roman Priest named Africanis came out with March 25th as the date of creation and added 9 months, bringing us to December 25th. The Roman Church took another 100 years to accept that date. The year 336 was the first year that Dec. 25th was officially accepted by the church. Until then the “Birth of the Sun Son” was celebrated at that time; again because I referred to as the best time of the year for a celebration. At the same time in ancient Rome; Saturnalia was celebrated by gift exchanges.
- Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”) also spelled Hanukkah,or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, It is a Jewish festivalthat begins in December, according to the Gregorian calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates in particular the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day of the festival. Although not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah came to be widely celebrated and remains one of the most popular Jewish religious observances.
- Again, is this the actual time of year, or simply the best time to have a celebration?
- The Gift exchange may or may not have been a part of the Holiday history. It may very well have been a way to placate Jewish children, not to mention adults like me.
- According to the book of I Maccabees, the celebration of Hanukkah was instituted by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BCE to celebrate his victory over Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the king who had invaded Judaea, tried to Hellenize the Jews, and desecrated the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Following this victory in a three-year struggle against Antiochus, Judas ordered the cleansing and restoration of the Temple. After it was purified, a new altar was installed and dedicated on Kislev 25. Judas then proclaimed that the dedication of the restored Temple should be celebrated every year for eight days beginning on that date. In II Maccabees the celebration is compared to the festival of Sukkoth (the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths), which the Jews were unable to celebrate because of the invasion of Antiochus. Hanukkah, therefore, emerged as a celebration of the dedication, as the word itself suggests.
- Although the traditional practice of lighting candles at Hanukkah was not established in the books of the Maccabees, the custom most likely started relatively early. The practice is enshrined in the Talmud, which describes the miracle of the oil in the Temple. / According to the Talmud, when Judas Maccabeus entered the Temple, he found only a small jar of oil that had not been defiled by Antiochus. The jar contained only enough oil to burn for one day, but miraculously the oil burned for eight days until new consecrated oil could be found, establishing the precedent that the festival should last eight days.
- Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. From there, he combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa.
- The name Kwanzaa comes from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, families gather and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara, then one of the seven principles, values of African culture, is discussed. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December.
- Boxing Day takes place on December 26. Only celebrated in a few countries, the holiday originated in the United Kingdom during the middle ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were opened and their content distributed, a tradition that still happens in some areas. It was also the day servants were traditionally given the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families.
- Boxing Day has now become a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, among other countries. In England, soccer matches and horse races often take place on Boxing Day. The Irish refer to the holiday as St. Stephen’s Day, and they have their own tradition called hunting the wren, in which boys fasten a fake wren to a pole and parade it through town. The Bahamas celebrate Boxing Day with a street parade and festival called Junkanoo. The day-after-Christmas holiday is celebrated by most countries in the Commonwealth, but in a what-were-we-doing-again? bout of amnesia, none of them are really sure what they’re celebrating, when it started or why.