Christmas is a festival of joy, happiness, and feast which is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Lord Jesus Christ every year on the 25th of December. It is celebrated by billions of people throughout the globe with religious sentiments. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations.
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was a spiritual teacher, who preached a gospel of faith, love, and forgiveness. His life and teachings led to the emergence of a new religion “Christianity”, which became the dominant religious force in the western world. The Christian religion reveres Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea (then part of the Roman Empire), under the rule of Herod. Jesus was born into a Jewish family; his parents were Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his father had to travel to his place of birth to take part in the Roman census. Because of overcrowded due to the census, the family was offered a place in a stable, and hence Jesus was born in the humblest of surroundings – in a manger surrounded by animals.
According to the Gospels, the birth of Jesus was proclaimed to shepherds in nearby fields. Later on, Jesus was visited by three wise men from the east offering gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Shortly after Jesus’ birth, Herod was told a ‘future king of the Jews’ had been born in his kingdom. Feeling his temporal power threatened, he ordered all young Jewish boys to be killed. The Gospels relate how Joseph was warned in a dream and, as a result, took his family to Egypt before returning to Nazareth when it was considered safe.
Jesus’s teachings were characterized by a short, pithy statement that used striking imagery to capture the imagination of listeners. His most famous teachings are the sermon on the mount.
In the last months of his life, Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted enthusiastically by crowds who shouted ‘Hosanna’. Jesus then entered the main temple and created controversy by overturning the tables of the money lenders. Jesus criticized them for conducting business in a sacred temple – claiming they had turned the temple into a ‘den of robbers.’ The radical nature of Jesus’ teachings, in addition to his growing following, aroused the concern of the religious authorities, who felt threatened by the message of Jesus
Jesus was nailed to the cross with an inscription above his head. “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (INRI). He was crucified between two thieves.
Jesus died on the cross, with a Roman soldier puncturing his side with a spear to prove that he was dead.
History of Christmas
The celebration of the holiday of Christmas is not a biblical concept. Nowhere in the Bible are we given a date for Christ’s birth and nowhere in Scripture is there an account that there was ever commemoration of the occasion of Christ’s birth.
Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed either by the apostles or in the apostolic church for at least the first 300 years of church history. Christmas first came on the church scene about A.D. 440 when the Roman Catholic Church sought to incorporate the festival Saturalia, which honored Saturn and the Roman celebration of Natalis Solis Invicti, both of which were celebrated on December 25th.
The early church, in an attempt to get rid of the pagan holiday, declared December 25th to be the day to celebrate the birthday of the Son of God.
Many historians think that Jesus was born sometime in the spring because the shepherds were in the fields at lambing time. It seems quite appropriate that the “Lamb that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:19) would have been born during the time that all of the lambs destined for sacrifice in the temple were also born. Since it is also a fact that the very hour Christ gave His life for the sins of men, all over Jerusalem the Passover lambs were being slain (John 19:14). It would not be “coincidence” but the timing of the plan and purpose of God.
For today’s Christian, the origin of Christmas is, and should be, the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. So, consider your Christmas traditions.
What is special about Christmas Day?
It’s that time of the year and the word for the season is “joyful.” Christmas, one of the most celebrated holidays around the globe, offers an interesting view of the human condition. People go through a variety of emotions and thoughts around this time.
Although not the actual birth date of the Messiah, December 25th is held by billions around the world as a special time in Christianity. People all over the world flock to churches, temples, and masses to partake in communion, services, and other festivities this time of year.
Christmas is also one of the busiest time of year as people flock to the stores to take advantage of sales and bargains. Many are shopping for family and friends alike for gifts to give and open on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
Who celebrates Christmas?
Christmas is celebrated by Christians, who believe that it is the birth of Jesus or the son of God. It is always celebrated on December 25.
Christmas is the kind of festival that is so popular that it is celebrated in more than 160 countries throughout the world, by adults and children alike. Christmas is celebrated by those following the religion of Christianity, though the festival has universal appeal, across all religions.
Where Christmas is celebrated?
Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, and every country has its own traditional way of celebrating the holiday season. While Christmas is now largely a secular holiday celebrated by over 160 countries, it was traditionally a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and so some countries don’t commemorate it.
These are the countries that don’t celebrate Christmas – Morocco, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Maldives, Vietnam, Somalia, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Iraq, China, Congo, Algeria, Yemen, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Iran, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Oman, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Bhutan, Nepal, North Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Tunisia and Afghanistan.
How Christmas is celebrated?
Christmas celebrations include spending time with the family, decorating the entire house, inside and out and shopping, for friends and relatives. Spending Christmas with family is very important. On this day, all family members spend time in baking cookies, making fudge and preparing a big Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings. The children love to see each other and spend the day playing games and sharing their new gifts and toys that Santa Claus brought for each of them.
The exchange of Christmas gifts are a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Thus, gift-giving and merriment fill the holiday season of Christmas.
On Christmas Day, the year’s greatest feast is served. The feast is started off with drinks and music, followed by a procession of the food. Once everyone is seated, the food is served and eaten, after dessert, people drink and dance. Some of the food that is generally served include beef, meat pies, roasted duck, geese, pigs, plumb porridge, fancy cakes, bowls of wassail, and toast.
Christmas Day 2019 is on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.