Christmas is an occasion when people share their happiness and spread joy all around. It is the time to reflect back on year that went by and remember all those occasions that you were special and enjoyable. Christmas is like icing on the cake as it closes the year on a beautiful and cheerful note. Christmas is the best way to make all your near and dear ones realize how special they are and howmuch they mean to you. Most Christmas talk of how wonderful is the spirit of Christmas and how blessed are the people who celebrate it.
History of Christmas
Christmas is one of the most popular festivals around the world. The approaching winter season indicates us that Christmas is around and we usually associate the winter with the Christmas celebration and with 25th December as thebirth of Lord Christ. However to your amazement, the history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years and it tells us that celebration during the winter season were common, even way before the Christ was born. It has been celebrated at different places for different reasons and it was quite later that the date of the celebration was fixed to be 25th December. Explore the chronological descriptionof the emergence of Christmas celebrations in the following paragraphs.
Since the times of early Mesopotamia celebrations, there were grand celebrations with bonfires, yule log, sharing of gifts, carnivals and parades during the time that is now known as Christmas season in the honor of their chief god, Marduk. It was believed that every year the God had to wage a war with monsters of chaos inthe winter season and the Mesopotamian king had to swear his faithfulness to the god and return with Marduk to battle at his side. This called for sacrifice of the king, which was indeed not a practical thing to do and hence a criminal condemned to death was crowned as the 'mock king' and dressed in royal dress and given all the privileges and respect of the king and then was sacrificed like theKing himself. Ancient Greeks had a similar festival where their God Kronos fought against the tyrant God Zeus and his Titans.
Persians and Babylonians celebrated the festival of Sacaea to spread the message of universal love. 25th December has been sacred to the pagans of Romans and the Persians following Mithraism as their religion and on this day, the slaves swapped positions with their mastersand could treat the masters as their slaves. Early superstitious Europeans performed special rituals during the Winter Solstice to persuade the sun to come back as they believed that winter was the season for evil spirits, witches, ghosts and trolls. Scandinavians even sent scouts to look for sun on the mountaintops who would rush back to the village as soon as they saw the first rays of the sunto deliver the good news. The good news was enough cause for them to celebrate Yuletide, when a great feast was held around the bonfires made of Yule logs. Some of the people would tie apples on the branches of the coniferous trees in the hope of approaching Spring and Summer.
Romans celebrated Saturnalia from mid-December to 1st of January in the honor of their pagan god Saturn that featuredshouts of 'Jo Saturnalia!' masquerades, grand feasts and exchange of Strenae or lucky fruits as gifts. Christmas, in its early days, was observed as the solemn and religious holiday as the birth of Christ that merged later on with the joyous activity of Saturnalia with the increasing number of converts until at last church approved of these celebrations within certain limits. It is believed thatChristmas celebrations are being held since 98 AD though; it was 39 years later that the Bishop of Rome ordered a solemn feast to be held every year to the Christmas Eve. It took more than another two centuries for the Bishop of Rome, Julius I, to chose December 25th as the day of observance of Christmas.
* Wish you a Merry Christmas and may this festival bring abundant joy and happiness in...
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