Christmas 2021: History, Significance and all you need to know about this day celebrating Jesus Christ's birth
- Christmas 2021: Here's all you need to know about the history and significance of this auspicious day celebrating Jesus Christ's birth.
Christmas 2021: As we get ready to bid goodbye to 2021, we also prepare for the holiday season to begin. It also means that we are all looking forward to one of the most joyous times of the year - the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, commemorated as Christmas. Around the world, the festival of Christmas marks a religious holiday and a commercial occasion. People celebrate the festive spirit by attending get-togethers with family members, visiting friends and indulging in memorable parties. The celebrations for the festival begins from the evening of December 24, called Christmas Eve.
People celebrate Christmas by decorating the houses with colourful lights and other festive ornaments. A Christmas tree is also brought inside the homes and decorated with ornaments, ribbons, twinkling lights, and more. It is an important day for the Christian community around the world. However, it is celebrated with much enthusiasm by non-Christians, too.
History of Christmas 2021
The term, Christmas, is of recent origin. It translates as 'mass on Christ's day.' However, different countries around the globe have various names for the festival. It is referred to as Yuletide in Germany, Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, and Noël in French.
Many centuries ago, early Europeans marked both light and birth in the darkest days of winters. They celebrated the winter solstice, as they looked forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
It is believed that Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. However, as the Gregorian calendar did not exist back then, there is no proof that he was born on December 25. Bible also does not mention the exact date for his birth. Emperor Constantine - the first Christian Roman emperor - declared December 25 as Christmas. After a few years, Pope Julius I also announced the day would be marked as the birth of Christ.
In the early centuries of Christianity, the celebration of Christ's birth was strongly opposed, as he was considered a martyr for all people. It was commonly believed that saints and martyrs should be honoured on their martyrdom day. Additionally, Easter was the main holiday and not Christmas. In the fourth century, church officials finally decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.
Significance of Christmas 2021
Christmas holds great significance for the Christian community. They believe that God sent his Son to earth to sacrifice himself. He came to salvage all of humanity and absolve them of their sins. This is why Jesus Christ's crucifixion symbolises the ultimate sacrifice.
In modern times, Christmas has come to be associated with the mythical figure of Santa Claus, the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. He is based on the traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Saint. It is believed that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole with his many helper elves. Each year, on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus rides on his sleigh from the North Pole to give gifts to children all around the world. And kids wake up early in the morning to open their presents.
To celebrate Christmas, people attend midnight mass at churches on Christmas Eve. Families also prepare an elaborate Christmas feast on this day. People also sing carols at the church. The festival marks the end of the year and symbolises all things heart-warming, blessed and jolly.