Christmas is a word that, in Portuguese, has its origin of the term “natalis”, of the Latin which, in turn, is derived from “nascor” (to be born). “Natalis” also turned “natale” (Italian) and “noel” (French), in addition to other languages. In Spanish turned into “christmas”. Already English their evolution if gave from “Christ’s mass” or “mass of christ”. Used as an adjective, has the meaning of states the place of birth (city christmas).
As a religious celebration, is the day of commemoration of the birth of Jesus christ, deployed by the western Church around 336, in Rome, since we do not know exactly the day that Christ was born. There are records, however, that put the day of December 25 as Christmas even in the TWELFTH century, in the region of present-day Turkey, then known as Anatolia.
Christmas is a religious holiday celebrated throughout the christian world on December 25th, although the countries that still use the Julian calendar to do the day 7 of January. The date was chosen to coincide with the feast of Saturnalia, which celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and announced that spring would return (in the northern hemisphere).
The Church, with the aim of converting the pagans, became the feast of Christmas, a tradition that continues even today. In the southern hemisphere, Christmas is the center of the end of year holidays and also mark the summer holidays.
Although in the tradition is a religious holiday, Christmas is also celebrated by people of non-christian, with the usual exchange of gifts and cards greetings. This is also the best time of the year for the trade, taking advantage of the tradition of exchange of gifts.
Origin of Christmas
According to some historians, the Christmas has its origin in ancient Babylon, a feast that celebrated the birth of Nimrode, one of their kings, and also in Egypt, where the date marked the birth of the goddess Isis. Also in the north of Europe, before christianity, the season was celebrated to mark the end of the short days and the return of the Sun.
The tradition led the party through the time, until the turning into the Christmas that we know today.
The history of Christmas
There are researchers who claim that the birth of Jesus took place in April, other that was in the feast of Tabernacles of the jews (the current month of September).
While the Church has not formalized the date of Christmas, the feast was celebrated on different days, depending on the region. However, for that to enter into the liturgical calendar and became the tradition that it is today, and also to mark the year I of our era (after Christ), was established on the 25th of December.
Historically, however, the birth of Jesus happened in the year 7 a. C., that is, the count was made erroneously, the fact which remains to the present day.
Meaning of the Symbols of Christmas
With the passing of time the various symbols have been incorporated into Christmas, coming from the ancient traditions of each people, and these symbols eventually turn into tradition of the holiday season.
So also with the christmas tree, the wreaths, Santa Claus, the star and, taking advantage of a time in which the emotional side touches people, came the Christmas songs, Christmas poems, messages of Christmas and the exchange of gifts.
Christmas tree and Crib
The Christmas tree as the tradition was a symbol created by Martin Luther in Germany in 1530. The germans that immigrated to America brought the symbol that become universal in the celebrations of Christmas.
The crib with the images of the child Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Magi and shepherds, was created by St. Francis of Assisi, in the THIRTEENTH century, to mark the scene in the mind of christians.
The figure of Santa Claus has its origin in the saint Nicholas, a catholic bishop who lived around the years 300 and that used to give children gold coins, left in stockings. The germans in the incorporated in the figure of an old man beards white, making it the great symbol of Christmas for children.
Recounts the Bible that the magi were guided to the site of the birth of Jesus by a bright star, that showed them the way. The Christmas star that we currently use in the feasts have their origin.
Also in the magi was the inspiration for the present. As they took gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus, celebrating the coming of the Messiah, until today this tradition still stands, when we give gifts to family and friends.
All that today marks the Christmas comes from the traditions of the previous peoples to christianity. The celebrations of the winter solstice were made with great banquets, which gives us today the excellent recipes of Christmas. The parties also had their songs, which have earned us the songs of Christmas. And, finally, the Christmas candles, which remind us that Jesus came to be the “light of the world”.