Christmas Day is an annual commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated generally on December 25 by the billions of people around the world. It is a public holiday in many of the nations. It is celebrated religiously by the vast majority of Christians, as well as culturally by a number of non-Christian people. In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 has the main focus rather than December 25, with gift-giving and sharing a traditional meal with the family. The people around the world started celebrating ‘Advance Christmas or Advent Christmas’ right from the beginning of December.
What told New Testament?
The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus is delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies; when Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then disseminated the message furthermore.
The precise day of Jesus’ birth is unknown and is not stated in the gospels or in any secular text, but most scholars assume a date of birth between 6 BC and 4 BC. Two methods have been used to estimate the year of the birth of Jesus: one based on the accounts of his birth in the gospels with reference to King Herod's reign and the other by working backwards from his stated age of "about 30 years" when he began preaching (Luke 3:23) in "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar" (Luke 3:1-2): the two methods indicate a date of birth before Herod's death in 4 BC and a date of birth around 2 BC, respectively.
In the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church first placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted also in the East. Nowadays, most of the Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25.
Theories advanced to explain that choice include that it falls exactly nine months after the Christian celebration of the conception of Jesus, or that it was selected to coincide with either the date of the Roman winter solstice or of some ancient winter festival. In the Council of Tours of 567, the Church, with its desire to be universal, "declared the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany to be one unified festal cycle", thus giving significance to both the Western and Eastern dates of Christmas. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.
The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia. As of 2011, there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the more generally used Gregorian calendar. Those who use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of people is January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia celebrates Christmas, both as a Christian feast and as a public holiday on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7.
Many of the popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving and the hanging of Christmas stockings, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal and various deserts and the display of various decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, garlands and wreaths, mistletoe, nativity scenes, Advent calendars and candles and holly.
In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known variously as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Kris Kringle, among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.
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