Christmas Festival falls on 25th day of December every year and commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity. Christian community across the globe celebrate Christmas with faith, joy and enthusiasm. Celebrations for Christmas begin on the eve of Christmas on 24th December and continue till New Year's Day. During this entire period people make merry, party with friends and exchange seasons greetings and gifts with dear ones. High point of Christmas Festival celebrations include decoration of Christmas Tree, Christmas cakes, carols, and the jolly old Santa Claus - the mythical character who brings gifts for children.
Origin of Christmas Festival
The word 'Christmas' comes from 'Cristes Maesse', or "Christ's Mass." Historians claim that Christmas Festival was first celebrated in Rome circa 336 AD. In early times, there was a controversy on the date of Christmas celebrations as the exact date of Christ's birth was not known. But in 336 AD, Christian leaders fixed the Christmas date to December 25. This date was mainly an attempt to eclipse Saturnalia - a popular pagan holiday in Rome that celebrated the winter solstice. Gradually, the 25th December got acceptance from the Western World and later even Eastern Churches started celebrating Christmas Day on December 25th.
Christmas Festival Traditions
Christmas festival centers around various popular traditions. Adding age old traditions in your Christmas traditions helps you enjoy the festival to the fullest. The most popular tradition of decorating Christmas Tree is followed with great excitement by people across the world. In many countries, people decorate artificial spruce trees to keep alive the spirit of the tradition. Houses are decorated with auspicious mistletoe, lights and display of Nativity scenes.
Christmas is highly enjoyed by young children as it brings along winter holidays and time to perform some traditional activities. They keenly participate in cleanliness and decoration of their house. Children behave very nicely to make their favorite Santa Claus happy who brings gifts for them. Christians actively participate in midnight Christmas Mass and the joyous Christmas carnival. Christmas evening is the time to relish some traditional Christmas food especially the Christmas Cake. Tradition of singing Christmas carols and songs is also practiced with faith and dedication.
Celebrations for Christmas Festival
Festive air pervade everywhere when Christmas is near. It is celebrated with high spirits and gusto. Though the way of celebrating Christmas differs in various countries but the fervor and enthusiasm remains the same. Caroling, feasting and gift-giving are the main ingredients of a perfect Christmas celebration. Christmas preparations begin many days before the festival. Markets, streets, homes and churches are illuminated with colorful lights and decorated with Nativity scenes, Christmas trees and artificial snow. Pubs, party halls, restaurants, discotheques and even beaches are thronged by people at the time of Christmas. These celebrations are escalated with multiple fireworks and other festivities. It is celebrated with immense joy and mirth all around. Merry-making with family and friends is the significant part of the Christmas fiesta. No celebration is worth unless spent with loved ones. Some people go to their native place, stay at home or indulge in lavish balls and enjoy get-together with their dear ones.
These days workplaces also hold special theme parties. It gives people a chance to dress in their best. Now-a-days, many Christian schools perform Nativity plays and hold Christmas parties. Sumptuous meals also form an important part of Christmas celebrations. People spend a lot of time preparing their special Christmas delicacies. People are in the fun and frolic mood especially children as they get gifts from their beloved Santa Claus.