Christmas Day, which takes place on December 25, represents one of the biggest holidays of the year for Christians, when they celebrate the birth of Jesus, the God’s only son. On this festive day, families gather around the table to enjoy a special meal and spend time together.
One of the major Christmas traditions is to prepare and decorate a Christmas tree at home. Big firms often organize special corporate parties, where all employees give presents to each other, sing carols, and spend quality time together.
Children love this holiday especially, since they receive presents not only from their close ones but also from friends and/or Santa Claus. Winter Christmas cards are popular during this period, too.
Christmas is celebrated in many countries, such as Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada. Thus, most government institutions and educational establishments are closed. Public transportation may also work short-time.
Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians celebrate it on different dates: the 7th of January and the 25th of December respectively.
The word “Christmas” stems from the Old English “Cristes maesse” – the Christ’s mass. Most likely, the 25th of December was chosen instead of the celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. Another theory suggests that it happens at the time of December solstice, when days are becoming longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Christmas traditions comprise of other numerous nations, such as Teutonic, Roman, West Asian, Christian, and Celtic.
One of the most recognizable decorations for this day is the mistletoe. It is believed that people that stand under the mistletoe have to kiss. The symbol takes roots to pagan times, when druids of Gaul believed that it was a heavenly sign.
Holly and ivy represent the other famous symbols and are both used as decorations for homes and the other places.
The Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, along with the reindeer, snowmen, and candy canes are to be placed anywhere: from various postcards and images to marketing materials and printed posters. The Christmas Star, Baby Jesus, etc. are also commonplace symbols that can be noticed during and around the Christmas Day and Eve.