Christmas (Noel)


When many of us think about Christmas, the first thing that pops on to our minds is “tReE” or “sAnTA”. However, do we know what’s behind these traditions or do we think about the why?

Christmas is known to Christians world wide as the birth of Christ. It is the day in which Mary birthed her son, even though she was a virgin. The father of her son, was God. He was born in a manger, as Mary and Joseph could not find a place at the Inn they were staying at.

The reason why December 25th was named the date for Jesus’ Birthday is actually unclear. In early times of Christianity, the church was actually opposed to recognizing the birthday of martyrs, nor that of Jesus. In fact, most thought that birthdays were actually a pagan custom.

There is a link between the date of Jesus’ birthday and the fact that the winter solstice is so close. It also perhaps doesn’t help that the Christmas tree resembles the Yule tree so much. There is also an idea that a popular holiday in the Roman empire called the ‘day of birth of the unconquered sun’ was the reason for the date.

Another view suggests that December 25th was the date of Jesus’ birthday because of the reasoning of the Spring equinox. This is the reported date where the creation of the world was commenced. It was believed that on the 4th day was that Jesus was conceived. For this reason, 9 months later, was marked Jesus’ Birthday.

Whichever view you take, there is no doubt that Christmas is celebrated both by Christians and Non-Christians Alike. The holiday taking off in a marketing storm that frequently results in other holidays struggling to get a little bit of recognition.

Something many people in the English speaking world might not know is that Christmas is actually celebrated at different times during the year besides December 25th. In fact, some people choose to actually celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, with the official holiday ending on the 6th of January. Others actually start celebrating the 12 days of Christmas on January 7th in the Orthodox religion because they follow the Julian Calendar’s date for Christmas that pre-dates the Gregorian Calendar. (So I guess depending on who your family is, you could have 24 days of Christmas back to back.)

Now we just need someone to do some research on how we got from Jesus’ birthday to having a gluttonous bearded grandpa who shoves himself down a chimney and plants presents or coal in your house.