A LADY STANDING IN THE SNOW ON CHRISTMAS

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is that special time of the year when people worldwide celebrate with their loved ones by exchanging various gifts including sending flowers, sharing love around, being merry with one another, spending quality time with family and friends creating fun memories, and all those beautiful things you can think of doing with family and friends.

 

But have you ever wondered what Christmas is truly about, and how it came to be, including the stories surrounding whether it is the actual birth of Jesus Christ or the pagan festival for worshiping their sun god, or why it’s even being celebrated on the 25th of December and the main reasons for Christmas?

 

Then this is for you as we will discuss everything and the truth about Christmas.

 

WHY IS CHRISTMAS ON THE 25TH OF DECEMBER

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD CHRISTMAS

WHEN DID PEOPLE START CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS – PURPOSE AND ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS

EFFECT OF CHRISTMAS IN NIGERIA

WHY CHRISTMAS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY S

 

WHY IS CHRISTMAS ON THE 25th of DECEMBER

Two holidays were actually celebrated by the Romans in December. The first was Saturnalia, this was a two-week festival celebrating their god of agriculture Saturn. Then on the 25th of December, they celebrated the birth of Mithra, their sun god. 

Both celebrations were of a loud harsh grating tone, especially of voice, and were rowdy.

Also on December 25th, which is one of the darkest days of the year, the pagan cultures usually made bonfires and lit candles so there could be light and incorporated this tradition into their own celebrations.

As Christianity spread across Europe, the Christian clergy were not able to fully restrain or keep in check the pagan customs and celebrations.

Since no one knew Jesus’s actual date of birth, they adapted some of the pagan rituals into a celebration of his birthday and by doing so, also trying to curb pagan customs and celebrations.

 

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD CHRISTMAS

Christmas is gotten from the Middle English Christemasse and from Old English Cristes mæsse. It is a contraction meaning “Christ’s mass.” 

Christmas is sometimes called Xmas because the Roman letter “X” looks like the Greek letter Χ (chi), an abbreviation for Christ (Χριστός).

 

Christmas is observed on the 25th of December or the 7th of January in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

In most Christian communities, Christmas is celebrated with great cheer, song, exchange of gifts, storytelling, and family gatherings. The popularity of Christmas is mainly because of the “spirit of Christmas,” a spirit of charity expressed through gift-giving and acts of kindness that celebrate the human heart of the Christian message.

 

WHEN DID PEOPLE START CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

Celebrating Christmas goes back as far as A.D. 273. Two pagan festivals celebrating the sun were also on that day and it is possible that December 25 was chosen to counteract the influence of paganism.

To this day some people feel uncomfortable with Christmas because they think it is somehow tainted by the pagan festivals held on that day. But Christians have long believed that the gospel not only transcends culture, it also transforms it.

 

 In A.D. 320 one theologian answered this criticism by noting, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it.”

 

There is no definite clue as to the actual day of birth of Jesus Christ. The New Testament stated that it happened in the days of Caesar Augustus and while Quirinius was governing Syria which is 44 BC to AD 14 according to Luke 2:1-2 in the Bible.

 

WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS – PURPOSE AND ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS

For Christians, one of the main purposes why Christmas is celebrated is because of the birth of Jesus Christ and the reason is John 3:16 “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  

Christmas is God’s gift to mankind God gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ to die for mankind so that through His death man shall be saved from sin and its eternal consequence, which is Hell Fire. This is the real meaning of Christmas.

Even for the non-religious, it has also come to mean a time to appreciate and celebrate our friends, family and loved ones generally. 

This is the good news that Christians were given thousands of years ago, for all people, and still holds true up to this time, for everyone, Christian or not.

For me, the purpose of Christmas is not only to celebrate that God loves us and is with us, and for us, all the time, but also to appreciate the people in my life and share gifts with them. 

EFFECT OF CHRISTMAS IN NIGERIA

Some of the things people look out for at Christmas in Nigeria, especially in Lagos and Abuja are the beautiful decorations on the roads and streets, hanging out with family and friends, exchanging gifts, watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas songs, and attending carol services in the church, display of fireworks, and also for some (mostly Igbos) visiting the village to spend time with extended families they haven’t seen for months and to attend festivals like the popular Calabar festival.

 

Christmas in Nigeria is very unique because that is when most people experience genuine happiness and love through sharing of food and gifts.

 

I remember growing up as a child, there was this feeling about Christmas that always made me happy. The songs, rhymes, foods, fun, showcasing of new clothes, and a lot more were so thrilling to me then and even now. I also see it as an opportunity to stay away from studying and have fun with friends e.g. playing games, watching movies, sports, and a lot more. 

WHY IS CHRISTMAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAYS

Christmas is important because it is observed by billions of people around the world. and it is a time of love, happiness, merriment, exchanging of gifts, and spending quality time with family and friends 

For Christians, this holiday is significant because it celebrates God becoming a man in order to save mankind from its sin through the birth of Jesus Christ. 

As we celebrate this festive season, may we be filled with joy, hope, peace, and love not just for our family and friends, but for every person we meet throughout the coming year.  Let us all be kind and be a friend to one another.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

 

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