With the month of December, lights and decoration around the town hints the heralding festival —Christmas—celebrated on December 25. And everyone likes the decoration whether one is a Christian or not. Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God.
While understanding the etymology of Christmas, the name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist. It is where Christians remember that Jesus died for people and then came back to life.
The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one. That was allowed to take place after sunset and before sunrise the next day. So people had it at midnight. Thus the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas. Christmas is now celebrated by people around the world, whether they are Christians or not. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have. People, and especially children, also like Christmas as it’s a time when you give and receive presents.
However, there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. One story tells about Christmas being the day when Mary was told, she would have a very special baby Jesus. Also called the Annunciation was on March 25th – and it’s still celebrated today on the 25th March.
Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made. And also the day that Jesus died on when he was an adult. The date of March 25th was chosen because people had calculated that was the day on which Jesus died as an adult (the 14th of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) and they thought that Jesus was born and had died on the same day of the year.
Some people also think that December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’ took place in December around this date – so it was a time when people already celebrated things.
None of the contemporary Christmas customs have their origin in theological or liturgical affirmations, and most are of fairly recent date. Christians believe that Jesus is the light of the world, so the early Christians thought that this was the right time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They also took over some of the customs from the Winter Solstice and gave them Christian meanings, like Holly, Mistletoe and even Christmas Carols!