Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. The holiday period extends from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6. Questions about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and other traditions are also welcome.
Asked in Christmas, Lyrics and Sheet Music
What are the motifs in A Musicological Journey Through The Twelve Days of Christmas?
I can't get them all, even though I've sung the piece a couple of times. But: 1 is Gregorian Chant. 4 is the Vivaldi Gloria; 7 is Saint-Saens, the Swan, from Carnival of the Animals; 8 is Wagner, the Ride of the Valkyries, 10 is Offenbach, Gaites Parisiennes, 11 is Tchaikovsky, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker, and 12, John Philip Sousa, The Stars and Stripes Forever. And isn't it fun?
Asked in Christmas, Desserts, Snacks, and Treats, Cakes
What is the shape of the popular Buche de Noel at Christmas time?
The Buche de Noel is supposed to be formed in the shape of a long cylinder, and is supposed to resemble a log. The name Buche de Noel actually means log shaped or Christmas log cake. It is shaped as a Yule Log and is used during festivities. It is not used much nowadays but its still a traditional thing for some French families that take it seriously.
How many words can you make out of Christmas?
Some words that contributors found in the word Christmas: a am arc arch arm, arms art, arts as ash at cam car, cars cart cast cat, cats char chair, chairs charm chart chasm chat Chris Christ cram hair ham, hams harsh has hat, hats hi his hiss hit, hits I is it, its itch ma March mas mash mass mast mat, mats match math mint mirth miss mist racism ram, rams rat, rats rich rim Sam sash sat scam scar scat sir sis sit, sits smash stair star, stars starch stash stir tar this trash tram trim tsar
Asked in Christmas
Where and how did Christmas start?
Christmas Beginnings Christmas or "Christ's Mass," the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth, began in European and Middle Eastern Christendom in the 3rd Century. These early celebrations, feasts, or "Masses" were not standardized or widely held. It is thought that the early Christians did not widely celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is most likely true since the primary focus was on His life, crucifixion, and particularly His resurrection (Easter). There certainly were some early celebrations. Early writings including a "feast calendar" written in 243AD indicate that there were some celebrations in the third century and perhaps in the second century. Christmas celebrations did not gain widespread prominence however until the Middle Ages or starting from around 400AD. These celebrations began and occurred in the areas where Christianity started and spread, the areas around the Mediterranean, including the Middle East, North Africa, southern Europe. Christmas day, December 25, is not necessarily the actual date of Christ's birth. The true date may not be known because we lack enough information to pinpoint it precisely. (Beware that there are many who claim to have calculated the actual date and are most likely no more accurate than December 25.) Other dates including December 25 were used for this feast. December 25 was settled on by the early church for reasons that are not absolutely clear (but there are some logical reasons for that date). There were pagan celebrations on and around December 25th. There were pagan holidays year round. No one can be absolutely certain of the exact day of Christ's birth. An early winter date is as reasonable a guess as any and December 25th has been the frontrunner for eighteen centuries. There are many theories surrounding Christmas, such as the belief that it was created simply to convert pagans and/or replace the pagan celebrations around the winter solstice. The problem with these theories is two-fold. First, there is a lack of evidence. There was no big push in early church to create a birthday celebration for Christ. Of course, the church was and is "in the business" of spreading Christianity so there is no doubt that the early church fathers wanted pagans to convert and wanted celebrations to honor God. Second, pagan worship practices were seasonal and on-going. That is, almost any date or time frame could be said to be a pagan "Holy" day. That Christian Holy Days would clash with and even replace pagan days was inevitable. In short, Christmas began in the early areas of Christendom in the 2nd or 3rd Centuries. It is also Jesus Christ's Birthday Actually it is possible to approximately determine when Jesus' birth was. First of all the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus' birth occurred before the death of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:15), which occurred in the spring of 4 BC (or BCE) so Jesus's birth most likely occurred in 5 BCE. secondly the Gospel of Luke records that Zachariah, John the Baptist's father, was serving in the Temple as a priest of the Division of Abijah, which was the 8th of 24 priestly divisions. This service would have ended around May 20th 6 BC. This would have resulted in a likely birth of John the Baptist around the end of February 5 BC, and Jesus birth would have likely occurred near the end of August or the first week of September 5 BC. In any case Jesus was not born on Dec. 25. That date was chosen for Christmas because it was the date when the Winter Solstice occurred. THis date was widely celebrated as the birth date of the Persian sun god Mithras, who was widely worshipped in the Roman Empire, particularly among soldiers. The Emperor Constantine was among those who worshiped Mithras. When the chucrch became flooded with pagan converts, a huge problem arose. The converted pagans did not want to give up the Winter Solstice festival as it was a time of much celebrating. The church basically followed the old saying "If you can't beat them, join them" and decreed that December 25 should not be celebrated as the birth date of the sun god, but rather as the birth date of the Son of God. Christmas is a pagan holiday and the fact that virtually all of the popular customs observed on this date are of pagan origin confirms that fact.
Asked in Christmas, Azerbaijan
How do people in Azerbaijan celebrate Christmas?
Come and enjoy Christmas in Azerbaijan which will be a treasured moment for you and your near and dear ones. Christmas in Azerbaijan is a must-see for the tourists paying a visit to beautiful country of Azerbaijan. Christmas in Azerbaijan is mainly celebrated by the Christians residing in the country. Christmas is organized annually as it is followed in other parts of the world. The festival of Christmas is celebrated because of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. The residents of the country of Azerbaijan wait for the whole year to celebrate and take part in the celebrations of Christmas in Azerbaijan. As part of Christmas celebrations in Azerbaijan, people start decorating their houses much in advance. Nowadays, people ornate their homes with various kinds of holly wreaths candles, stars and also various kinds of colorful ribbons. Christmas in Azerbaijan also include making the Christmas Tree. People ornate Christmas Tree with various kinds of lights and plastic stars. Plastic Christmas tree has also come into being. The Christmas tree is decorated with various kinds of artificial colorful lights to make the Christmas tree more decorative. The streets of Azerbaijan are lit up with various kinds of lights. Youth and the adults take part in the Christmas celebrations will complete zeal and enthusiasm. During the Christmas Eve in Azerbaijan, children write letters to Santa Clause mentioning about the gifts they want from him. They also hang stocking for Santa Clause to keep the gifts in it. The parents on the Christmas Eve go the markets to buy presents for their kids. On the day of Christmas in Azerbaijan, kids wake up early in morning to see, if Santa Clause has keep gifts for them. Finding their gifts in the stocking their happiness knew no bounds. Moreover, on Christmas day in Azerbaijan people visit the churches and offer prayer to Jesus Christ. Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner parties are arranged as a part of Christmas in Azerbaijan. Various kinds of mouth-watering dishes including cakes and pastries are served to the guests during the parties. People gift their friends and relatives with various kinds of presents like flowers and chocolates. Baku in Azerbaijanis is known for its Christmas celebrations. Thus, Christmas in Azerbaijan is full of merriment. To know more about Christmas in Azerbaijan log on to travel.mapsofworld.com.
Asked in Christmas
When and how did Christmas become an official government holiday?
President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a legal holiday in 1870. The bill to make Christmas a holiday was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Burton Chauncey Cook (Illinois). It was approved and passed to the Senate on June 24, 1870. When both houses had agreed on the wording (below) it was passed on to President Grant, who signed it on June 28, 1870. Here is the wording of that act of Congress: 'An Act making the first Day of January, the twenty-fifth Day of December, the fourth Day of July, and Thanksgiving Day, Holidays, within the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following days, to wit: The first day of January, commonly called New Year's day, the fourth day of July, the twenty-fifth day of December, commonly called Christmas Day, and any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fast or thanksgiving, shall be holidays within the District of Columbia, and shall, for all purposes of presenting for payment or acceptance of the maturity and protest, and giving notice of the dishonor of bills of exchange, bank checks and promissory notes or other negotiable or commercial paper, be treated and considered as is the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, and all notes, drafts, checks, or other commercial or negotiable paper falling due or maturing on either of said holidays shall be deemed as having matured on the day previous." APPROVED, June 28, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant.
Asked in Christmas, Easter, Time
How did the celebration of Easter originate?
Easter is a pagan holiday that Christians adopted into their religion. The idea of an Easter egg hunt within this Holiday comes from the Goddess of fertility that the pagans had. Easter eggs were originally known as "isthar eggs" to celebrate His resurrection from the dead. Rabbits have lots of babies, and eggs are where babies come from. In pagan cultures it was popular to paint the maidens and hide them in the Forrest and fields before the young men went and found them. It's in the spring when a lot of animals are born. To Christians the resurrection of Jesus fell nicely into this pagan celebration of life. In addition, the ancient pagans of Europe had a spring-fertility goddess known as, Eastre. Her symbols were the swan. In one legend, she is tricked into turning into a rabbit, not realizing she cannot turn back. She still retains her powers of fertility (symbolized by the egg) however, and thus you have an egg-laying rabbit. So the symbols of rebirth (the egg) and of Spring ( when it seems rabbits overrun the woods) were joined and survived with the coming of Christianity. It was then quite easy for the missionary Christians to bring together an ancient concept of Easter, the important pagan time of rebirth with the idea of a "reborn" or resurrected god in Christ. It may not seem it in these times, but Easter is the most important day of the Christian world. It is the day of resurrection and proof of everlasting life. Thus, for a large population, already accustomed to spring-rebirth celebrations, it was quite easy to transition to the new religion. "The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible says that Easter was originally the spring festival in honor of the Teutonic goddess of light and spring known in Anglo-Saxon as Eastre, or Eostre. In any case, the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition) states: 'There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament.' "The book Medieval Holidays and Festivals tells us that the holiday is named after the pagan Goddess of the Dawn and of Spring, Eostre. And who was this goddess? Eostre it was who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the White God, because of his purity and also the Sun God, because his brow supplied light to mankind, answers The American Book of Days. It adds: 'There is no doubt that the Church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them. As the festival of Eostre was in celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus, whose gospel they preached.' "This adoption explains how in certain lands the Easter customs, such as Easter eggs, the Easter rabbit, and hot cross buns, came about. Concerning the custom of making hot cross buns, with their shiny brown tops marked by a cross, the book Easter and Its Customs states: The cross was a pagan symbol long before it acquired everlasting significance from the events of the first Good Friday, and bread and cakes were sometimes marked with it in pre-Christian times. "The book Curiosities of Popular Customs answers: It was the invariable policy of the early Church to give a Christian significance to such of the extant pagan ceremonies as could not be rooted out. In the case of Easter the conversion was peculiarly easy. Joy at the rising of the natural sun, and at the awakening of nature from the death of winter, became joy at the rising of the Sun of righteousness, at the resurrection of Christ from the grave. Some of the pagan observances that took place about the 1st of May were also shifted to correspond with the celebration of Easter. So Easter is actually a Pagan ritual that was absorbed by the church. Easter was originally a celebration of the fertility god Ashtoreth of Babylon. More commonly known as Ishtar (Easter) is the praise of fertility, (eggs) birth, (mother and child) and was incorporated into celebration of Jesus resurrection because the catholic church didn't want to stop the pagan worship they folded it into ours to keep the peace and money flowing. It will be exposed and punished severely in the near future by King Jesus. The Christians first celebrated this holiday, because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, (Easter).
Asked in Christmas, Santa Claus
Why do people put up Christmas trees?
Christmas trees originated in the Germanic states around the 15th century. Evergreen trees, especially the Fir tree, being beautiful and green in the winter were commonly used for decorations. The triangular shape was suggestive of the Christian Trinity and the evergreen trees were used to symbolize the "Tree of Life." The Christmas Tree originated in Rome. The Romans decorated their houses with evergreen leaves to celebrate their holiday Saturnalia. Since the Christians used Saturnalia to make Christmas they used the Romans idea about the trees. Christmas trees are an ancient German tradition. They are evergreen trees and stay green through the winter unlike many other plants. This means they can be used at Christmas and probably symbolises staying cheerful through months when food was scarce. This makes sense as no-one really knows when Jesus was born and Christmas is more likely based on the winter solstice a roman festival to celebrate getting through the winter. King George the Third brought Christmas trees to England because his wife was German. They were then only in the royal family until Queen Victoria's reign when they became common throughout the country. Queen Victoria also had the idea of putting presents under the tree.
Asked in Christmas
What celebrities are pagan?
Sully Ema, says is the belief "...that the earth is the mother to us all and we should honor and respect her and live a harmonious life." Other names associated with Wicca are Cybill Shepherd, Olympia Dukakis. Patrick Stewart (identifies as... Gardnerian) and singer Avril Lavigne. Other possible followers are Camille Paglia, Deborah Harry, Gabriel Byrne, George Lucas, supermodel Rachel Hunter, Robert Plant, Vigo Mortensen, William S. Burroughs and Yoko Ono.
Asked in Christmas, Chocolate
When do you start eating chocolate on an advent calendar?
Asked in Christmas
What is Christmas?
Christmas Simply put, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Additional input: Traditionally, it's supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Historically, it's "winter festival". Christmas is just a couple days following the "shortest day" for the northern hemisphere. That means that the north poll of the earth's axis is pointing AWAY from the Sun. As the earth continues it's trip around the Sun, the days start to get longer. According to older European celebrations, when the Sun started back north, there was reason to celebrate and that was the beginning of the Winter Festival. When Constantine united Europe under the "Universal Religion", he incorporated several of the more familiar holidays into the religion he needed to unite Europe. Winter festival is about the rebirth of the land so it was generally felt that Christmas would fit in. While Constantine's efforts to unite Europe eventually failed, his Catholic (universal) religion continues today. Check out some books by John M. Allegro, as I understand he is a professor at Salford University. He helped decipher the Dead Sea Scrolls. One book of his in particular, called the "Sacred Mushroom and the Cross," explains many links between the old traditions from the Pagan rituals that have been adopted by the Christian faith. It will explain some of the reasons we use Santa, the reindeer, the red and white colors, etc. He also explains how some of the miracles that Jesus performed can be easily explained with everyday occurrences -- all very interesting and rather controversial. I would be happy to divulge more if you have the time and you are interested.
Asked in Christmas
What does the X in Xmas mean?
Originally the X was not an X as we use it in the English alphabet; it was the Greek letter chi which looks very similar to an X. The Greek letter X (chi) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos ( Χριστός) so Xmas therefore means "Christ's Mass" which is what the word Christmas actually means. For more information, please refer to the related question below.