Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh, 
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
Through the fields we go
Laughing all the way.
Bells on bob-tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.
Jingle bells, jing-jingle bells
Jingle all the way,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh, brruup
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
Through the fields we go
Laughing all the way.
Bells on bob-tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun…


Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree
Christmas

Merry Christmas to all :)

Christmas is an annual function. Christmas is celebration of  birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is celebrate on every 25th December of every year. This day is Public Holiday in many of nations and it's celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians.

Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree
Santa Claus
Why do we celebrate on December 25th?

There are two specific theories for why we use the date of December 25th for Christmas.

First, people and religions of the day celebrated some sort of holiday around that time. From Jewish Chanukah to Pagan Winter Solstice to Germanic Yule to Roman Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birth of the Unconquered Sun); the sheer number of celebration days with trees, decorations, yule logs, mistletoe and feasts seem to point to a season of celebration to which Christians added the birth of Jesus as a counter-cultural event and possibly even an escape from the pagan holidays for early believers.

December 25th was the Saturnalia Festival of emancipation, gift giving and the triumph of light after the longest night. The Christian sees the truth implicit in this pagan tradition that reflects: Christ the Light of the world, His triumph over the night of sin in Luke 1:78-79:

"...Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

The second theory centers around the date “accepted” by the Western Church of March 25 as the Annunciation or Immaculate Conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. December 25 is 9 months later and thus celebrated as the birthday of Jesus. Regardless of the possible reasons for the date, the church calendar was set in the West during Constantine’s reign while the Eastern Church held onto the date of January 6 for some time.

6 Ways to Make Christmas about Jesus:-
  1. Give a gift to Jesus.
  2. Like Christ, give to those who can't repay you.
  3. Pause to sense the darkness outside at night, and then thank God for sending the light.
  4. Read the Scriptures to your family.
  5. Start some traditions that point to Christ.
  6. Enjoy this wonderful time of the year, don't lose the season for the rush.

The Origin of the Christmas Tree


Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

Among the many accounts claiming to explain the origin of the Christmas tree, the three most popular are from Germany — making it the likeliest place of origin. The stories span from the 8th to the 16th century. All three have some element of historical fact, and they may even loosely connect from one to another.

1. The first story is about St. Boniface. In the 8th century, he was a missionary to some of the remotest tribes of Germany. He is probably best known for what is called the “Felling of Thor’s Oak.” It is said that upon entering a town in northern Hesse (Hessia), Boniface learned that the people worshiped the god Thor who they believed resided in a great oak tree among them. Boniface determined that if he wanted to earn an audience with the people, he would have to confront Thor. He announced before the people that he was going to cut down the oak, and he openly challenged Thor to strike him down. Miraculously, as Boniface began to chop the oak, a mighty wind blew and hurled the tree to the ground. Tradition holds that a fir tree was growing in the roots of the oak, and Boniface claimed the tree as a symbol of Christ. Needless to say, the people readily accepted Boniface’s message, and the tree eventually came to be associated with the birth of Christ and a celebration of the day when the mighty God (who could hurl a gigantic oak to the ground) chose to humbly enter the world as a babe.

2. Another possible source of the Christmas tree (and probably the most likely) comes from medieval religious plays in Germany. Among the most popular of these plays was the “Paradise” play. It started with the creation of man, acted out the first sin, and showed Adam and Eve being expelled from Paradise (the Garden of Eden). It closed with the promise of a coming Savior, which made the play a particular favorite during the Christmas season. In the play, the Garden of Eden was most often represented by a fir tree hung with apples and surrounded by candles.

3. A third tradition about the origin of the Christmas tree attributes it to Martin Luther, an influential leader of the Reformation. Some say that on Christmas Eve, Luther was walking through the woods near his home. He was struck by the beauty of how the snow shimmered in the moonlight on the branches of the trees. In an effort to re-create the magnificent sight for his family, he cut down the tree, placed it in his home, and decorated it with candles.

What Do People Do in Christmas?

Many Christians mark Christmas Day by attending special church services, spending time with family members, wearing new clothes and eating a festive meal. Some families exchange gifts or give small presents or sweets to children. They may display small electric lamps or small clay oil-burning lamps and decorate their homes with banana or mango leaves. Some also put up a nativity scene with clay figures or a Christmas tree. Christmas trees in India are usually imitation pine trees or branches of native trees or bushes.

Some stores and malls may put up Christmas decorations and have actors playing Santa. Christmas celebrations in tourist areas and hotels may be created to emulate how Christmas Day is celebrated in the countries where tourists and travelers are from. 

Public Life in India in Christmas
National, state and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on Christmas Day. Christian stores, businesses and other organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Those wishing to use public transport on the day may need to contact the local transport authorities to check on timetables.


Background

Many Christians remember Jesus Christ's birth when they celebrate Christmas Day, which is on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar. His actual birthday remains unconfirmed. Scholars think that Saint Thomas the Apostle introduced Christianity to the area that is now India around 52 CE. There are now around 24 million Christians in India. The states with the largest percentages of Christians are:


  • Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland in north-west India.
  • Goa on the west coast.
  • Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south.

Christmas Day is widely celebrated in these states, but may be barely marked in others.

Symbols
Symbols of Christmas in India include:


  • Small electric lights and oil burners.
  • Decorations made of banana or mango leaves.
  • Artificial pine trees or branches of native tree and bushes decorated with Christmas themed ornaments.
  • Nativity scenes with small clay figures.
  • Statues of or actors playing Santa Claus.

Celebrate Christmas in Other Countries
Christmas Day is a holiday in many, but not all, countries. Many homes have Christmas trees and other decorations in the weeks leading to Christmas Day. Some workplaces hold Christmas parties prior to December 25. Festive activities include exchanging presents, singing Christmas songs, going to parties.

It's a special time when children get presents from family, friends and Santa Claus, or Father Christmas. Christmas cards are also given or sent out prior to Christmas Day.

For some, Christmas is an exclusive family affair, while others invite friends to a Christmas buffet or pot luck meal. Churches have special services and may include a crèche or miniature Nativity scene.

What's Open or Closed?
Christmas Day is a public holiday in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Government offices, educational institutions, many businesses and post offices are closed on this day. If you plan to travel with public transport, check with the local transport authority on schedule changes.

About Christmas Day
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was born. Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7.

The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. It is likely that the Christmas date of December 25 was chosen to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It it also possible that the celebration of the birth of the “true light of the world” was set at the time of the December solstice because this is when the days in the northern hemisphere begin to grow longer. Christmas holiday customs derive from various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian.

Symbols
The mistletoe is a commonly used Christmas decoration. By tradition, people who meet under a hanging mistletoe are obliged to kiss. Mistletoe has pagan associations. For example, the druids of Gaul regarded mistletoe growing on oak trees as sent from heaven.

Other common decorations associated with Christmas are holly and ivy – both are associated with Pagan festivals as it was customary to decorate with greenery for these festivals.

Images of Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, snowmen, reindeer, and candy canes are seen in cards, posters, signs and other printed or marketing material associated with the Christmas celebrations. Images of baby Jesus, the Christmas star, and other symbols associated with the religious meaning of Christmas are also seen during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

CHRISTMAS. The word "Christmas" means the mass of Christ and is the name for the Christian observance of the nativity of Jesus on 25 December. In liturgical importance, Christmas was originally in fourth place, following Easter, Pentecost, and Epiphany, yet in terms of popular observance it has become the most important feast day of the year and the basis for a vast commercial retail industry derived from it, even in countries like Japan and Korea, where Christianity is not the predominant religion.

The early Christians were not initially concerned with the Nativity of Christ, and even in the fourth century C.E. it was not a universally fixed observance among Christians. The choice of 25 December is considered arbitrary and not based on evidence provided in the New Testament, the Christian text dealing with the life of Christ. Many theories have been put forward for the choice of the 25 December as Christ's Nativity, but that it fell during Roman Saturnalia is now largely dismissed. It appears to have been fixed in relation to Epiphany (6 January), counting backward twelve days (now the twelve days of Christmas) or thirteen nights by the lunar calendar. It also falls three days after the winter solstice, a date when a number of pagan gods underwent resurrection after the shortest day of the year. This includes Sol Invictus of the Roman state religion during pagan times, a cult associated with the deification of the emperor. Whatever the explanation, it is evident that the early Christian Fathers, in their struggle for political and psychological supremacy, turned the interpretatio romana (the process of romanizing foreign gods) on its ear by expropriating a number of pagan symbols and observances and providing them with new Christian meanings. For this reason, Christmas and especially the foods associated with it represent a fusion of diverse pagan strands varying widely in emphasis from one country to the next. The celebration of Yule in Scandinavia has become one of the most distinctive aspects of the holiday as observed in northern Europe. The tradition of St. Nicholas of Myra in the Netherlands and the Franciscan cult of the Bambino Gesu in Italy are examples of the many forms these fusions have taken. All are expressed symbolically in food.

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