Origin of Christmas and the meaning of the celebration

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In antiquity, Christmas was celebrated on several different dates, as the date of Jesus' birth was uncertain. It was only in the fourth century that December 25 was established as the official date of commemoration. Therefore, it is believed that there is a relation of this fact with the officialization of the celebration of Christmas. The old Christmas celebrations used to last up to 12 days, as this was the time it took for the three Magi to arrive in the city of Bethlehem and deliver the presents (gold, myrrh and incense) to the baby Jesus. People often set up trees and other Christmas decorations in early December and dismantle them until 12 days after Christmas. From the chronological point of view, Christmas is a date of great importance for the West, since it marks the year 1 of our History .

Santa Claus: origin and tradition

Scholars say that the figure of the good old man was inspired by a bishop named Nicholas, who was born in Turkey in AD 280. The bishop, a good-hearted man, used to help poor people by dropping sacks with coins near the chimneys of the houses. It was transformed into a saint (St. Nicholas) by the Catholic Church, after several people reported miracles attributed to him. The association of St. Nicholas' image with Christmas took place in Germany and spread throughout the world in a short time. In the United States, he got the name of Santa Claus, in Brazil from Santa Claus and in Portugal from Santa Claus.

The clothes of Santa Claus

Until the end of the 19th century, Santa was depicted in dark brown or dark green winter clothing. In 1886, the German cartoonist Thomas Nast created a new image for the good old man. Nast's red-and-white, black-belt outfit was featured in Harper's Weekly's this year. In 1931, a Coca-Cola advertising campaign showed Santa with the same costume created by Nast, which were also the colors of soda. The advertising campaign was a great success, helping to spread the new image of Santa Claus around the world.

The Christmas Tree and the Nativity Scene

In almost every country in the world, people set up christmas tree on sale to decorate homes and other environments. Together with the Christmas decorations, the trees provide a special climate in this period. It is believed that this tradition began in 1530, in Germany, with Martin Luther . One evening as he walked through the woods, Luther was struck by the beauty of the snow-covered pines. The stars of the sky helped to compose the image that Luther reproduced with tree branches in his house.

In addition to stars, cotton and other ornaments, he used lighted candles to show his family the beautiful scene he had witnessed in the forest. This tradition was brought to the American continent by some Germans, who came to live in America during the colonial period. In Brazil, a country with a Christian majority, Christmas trees are present in several places, because, in addition to decorating, they symbolize joy, peace and hope. The crib also represents an important Christmas decoration. It shows the scene of the birth of Jesus, that is, a manger, the animals, the Magi and the parents of the boy. This tradition of setting up cribs began with St. Francis of Assisi in the thirteenth century. The Christmas songs are also part of this beautiful celebration.

The Christmas is celebrated annually on December 25 , the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is a Christian celebration, but with the passage of time it has spread out of the religious realm. Today, Christmas is a holiday in almost every country in the world, regardless of religion, everyone celebrates this holiday in their own way. Christmas festivities begin the day before Christmas , December 24 , when the family meets for supper and exchanges presents and messages of affection.

Origin of Christmas

In the third century AD, the Church wanted to convert the pagan peoples to the Roman Empire, so that they would begin to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Thus, December 25th was chosen so that the date of Jesus' birth coincided with the Roman festival dedicated to the "birth of the sun god", which commemorated the winter solstice. The old Christmas celebrations used to last up to 12 days, as this was the time the three Magi took to find the Baby Jesus, which is celebrated on January 6, known as the Day of Kings .

Christmas Symbols

Christmas is made of many symbols, such as the Christmas tree, always full of ornaments, the crib, to symbolize the birth of Jesus, the candles and the bells. Another very important symbol is Santa Claus , a character who was inspired by a bishop named Nicolau , who was born in Turkey and who used to help poor people. Nicolau left sacks with coins near the chimneys of the houses. After several people reported miracles attributed to him, Nicholas was consecrated saint (St. Nicholas) by the Catholic Church.

The Christmas is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus among men. This homage to the Child Jesus is, next to Easter, the most respectable ceremony of the Christian calendar. This event awakens among the Christians of the world all feelings of solidarity and fraternity, establishing in the Planet a climate of love and unity. Although today it is subverted by voracious consumerism, suffocated by the materialism in force, this feast preserves a special meaning, as if Jesus were really reborn among us. Even those who do not believe in the coming of the Messiah are infected by the prevailing atmosphere on Earth.

The word Natal comes from the Latin 'natális', originating in the verb , denoting birth, being inserted into the world. Primitive Christians had a habit of cultivating every passage in the life of Jesus, especially those linked to the Passion and Death on the Cross. But curiously, at that time, no one's birthday was celebrated, so it was not considered important to record people's birthdays. For this reason the date of the appearance of Jesus in our world was not bequeathed to posterity. In the fourth century, Pope Julius I instituted the 25th of December for the commemoration of Christmas. Its official celebration was decreed by Pope Liberius in the year 354 AD This does not mean that Jesus was actually born on this day. Christmas is a feast that actually takes the place of a pagan celebration, a cult of the god Mithra, a Persian deity who revealed the return of the sun at the height of winter in the Northern Hemisphere - a phenomenon called the Winter Solstice . The veneration of this god began in Rome in the last century before the coming of Christ, and was one of the religions that most pleased the Roman people during the Empire. Gradually, Christianity shaped this celebration in its image and likeness. Thus, the Church did not have to forbid these pagan festivals, but only to carry out a kind of religious syncretism, conferring on them a Christian character.

According to the biblical view, in the month that, by the Gregorian calendar, is in correlation with the Jewish month of Jesus' birth, the second half of December, the cold would be so intense that no one would be found outside a shelter, but Luke , in his Gospel, refers to shepherds who dwelt outdoors with their flocks in the region where Jesus was born. Thus, the researchers believe that the Messiah can not have been born at this time, but rather at some time in the spring or summer. But it may also be that this gospel passage is only symbolic. Christmas is impregnated with magic, it is a ritual that, over time, included cults, specific songs, religious dramas, among other elements. Today, various feasts are held, such as the Christmas Car - a small reproduction of the birth of Jesus, from the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary to the visit of the Magi -; The Folia de Reis- party of Portuguese origin that annually recalls the visit of the Magi to Jesus, among others. The Christmas Tree symbolizes the transformation of life, the birth of the Messiah, the pine tree was chosen because its leaves are always lush, full of life. This tradition first appeared in Germany. The exchange of gifts is an inheritance of the offerings of the Magi to the Baby Jesus on the occasion of his birth. The candles mean goodwill, the receptivity of people. The cards appeared in England in 1843, were designed by John C. Horsley, who designed the first of them to donate it to a friend. On the other hand, the foods typical of Christmas represent abundance, since in antiquity most people went hungry and valued the meat as a very important dish.

The Crib is a picture of the genesis of Jesus in a stable, with the crib as a crib. St. Francis of Assisi was the creator of the first crib in 1223. Today this ritual is perpetuated, no longer in the hands of an elite or religious orders, but through popular tradition. Santa Claus, in turn, was based on St. Nicholas Thaumaturgies, archbishop of Mira, in the fourth century. He used to help, anonymously, anyone who was in financial trouble. St. Nicholas had a habit of depositing a sack with coins in the chimneys of the houses of his protégés. After being declared responsible for several miracles, he was declared a saint and became a symbol of Christmas, also from Germany.

What is Christmas:

Christmas is a commemorative date that symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ. This celebration takes place more than 1,600 years ago on December 25th. Christmas refers to birth or to the place where somebody was born. For example, the expression "hometown" indicates the city where a particular individual was born. The word "natal" means "from birth."

Origin of Christmas

Christmas (with uppercase) is the name of the Christian religious festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity. Christmas Day, December 25, was stipulated by the Catholic Church in the year 350 (4th century) through Pope Julius I, and later became a holiday. The Bible says nothing about the exact day that Jesus was born and so the commemoration of Christmas was not part of early Christian traditions. Christmas began to be celebrated to replace the pagan party of Saturnalia , that by tradition happened between 17 and 25 of December. The commemoration of Christmas in place of this celebration was an attempt to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity among the pagans. Despite this, some scholars claim that Jesus was born in April, and that the date was instituted by the Roman Emperor Constantine to please the Christians.