Christmas, a festival. Now, what is a festival? Festival is an occasion in which a bunch of people following same or different caste or culture celebrates a particular memory. Maybe a memory of the birthday of their Guru or God, a memory of Ram’s return or any such special memory. Generally, it has a cultural or religious aspect. On days like these, we observe a holiday. A day when we keep aside all other work and give some time recalling the specific event. Festivals are divided on the basis of religion or culture or based on locations. There are many local events like the Goa Carnival. One important festival celebrated at the end of the year is Christmas.
Christmas is a festival which is celebrated every year on 25th December. It is an occasion on which people recall the birth of the great Jesus Christ. On this day, people show great respect to Jesus Christ by celebrating his birthday in various ways. A joyous, pious and ethnic festival which marks the end of every year. This date, that is 25th December has got its importance from A.D. 273. Honoring of the sun was also celebrated on this particular day, it is a pagan festival. To counter the pagan festival, Christians started to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Mainly, early followers wanted an escape from the pagan festival.
Coming to the celebration of Christmas, in early times, the celebration was not confined to one day. It was believed that a day started at 6 in the evening and ended at 6 on the day after. Therefore, Christmas celebration started on 24th December, 6 PM and ended on 25th December, at 6 PM.
Some traditions followed during Christmas are not just for fun but have some meaning. Elements like trees, bells and candles, all have a meaning to render.
Green Trees :
The classic green trees are a pious thing to bring to the house. It is a symbol of perpetual life.
Christ symbolizes light, enlightenment to the world. Candles on this day are the very obvious element. Candle spreads light over-all the world, to the human soul.
Gifts are something which every baby receives on his birthday. Similar is the case, on the birthday, Jesus received plentiful gifts and so do every child now on his birthday.
Ever observed a lot of red on his birthday. It symbolizes merriness of his birth and blood of its death(crucifixion). Other traditional colors include green and gold. Green stands for eternal life similar to an evergreen tree. Lastly, gold which shows royalty, in relation to the gifts given by Magi.
Bells is a medium to spread good news and happiness.
Santa Claus :
How can we forget Santa Claus? Santa Claus is the most exciting part of every child. Obviously, who doesn’t love gifts, moreover, when it’s a surprise. Is anyone interested in the story behind Santa Claus? Here it goes. Santa Claus is no one but Saint Nicholas. He was a diocesan in the church. While assembled for a religious prayer, he got to know about slavery. There was a family who sells their children for doing slavery in order to fulfill their whims and requirements. He was in ultimate gloom. He decided to help out that family. So one night, in ultimate silence, he put a gold bar in a sock. He went and kept that sock at the door of that poor family.
Coming to Christmas cards, it’s an invitation to everyone to celebrate the great event. It’s a joyous invitation to be merry and jolly for a day.
Christmas Carols :
Christmas carols are what you will hear all day. Carol is a Christmas song especially sung in this day. “This Endris Night” is an English Christmas Carol by Thomas Wright sung back in 15th century. Other songs include Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Jingle Bell Rock is not to forget.
Back to those days, in the Christian era, mistletoe was used in Christmas as tinsel. Not only it served the purpose of decoration, but it was also believed that it saved the people from evil spirits and ghosts. For a light mood, it was believed that lovers should kiss under a mistletoe. This kissing tradition is more popular among the servants. There were theories like a male could ask a kiss to any female he wishes. If the case is so, that the female denies kissing, bad luck is knocking the door. If she agrees to kiss, they would probably marry each other and stay in love for the rest of their lives. Whatever these theories are, you should enjoy this eve in whatever way you wish.
Other than these, there is a thing called holly or Christ’s thorn. It is used as another medium of decoration. It is believed to bring wealth and prosperity to whoever gets this to their house.
A special treat on any festival is a necessity. Any festival is incomplete without a special cuisine. Christmas also has its special cuisine. Cakes are something which is a must on the day of Christmas. No doubt, it’s a birthday, birthday of the Christ. Cakes can be of various types but they generally consist of fruit cakes. Other than this, a special twelve fish meal is served on this occasion. This meal is specifically known as Sicily. Pudding, birds, goose and many such things are also included in most of the cuisines.
Do visit a church, pray for a happy and longer life. Pray for relief to all those people in misery. Pray for the health and prosperity of all.
To make your Christmas religious and loyal towards Jesus, make an effort to help the poor, make an effort to light the candle, to spread light and to remove darkness, the darkness of injustice and misery. Make sure to read the verses of the Bible, there is a lot Jesus wants to teach you. Everyone whether a Christian or not celebrates Christmas. It’s a beautiful occasion. Everyone sings for Santa to come. Everyone meets their friends and relatives and enjoy to their fullest. This is the true essence of any festival.
Merry Christmas to all!