How did Christmas start?
The celebration that marks the birth of Jesus Christ’s is known as the “Christ’s Mass” or Christmas. The celebrations date back to the 3rd Century AD in Europe and the Middle East. There is no definite evidence or proof that 25th December is actually the birth date.
Some record about Christmas
The early Christians did not extensively observe Jesus’s birth. Primarily, they paid attention to the life and the crucification of Jesus and his resurrection on Easter’s day. Even in those early days, when Christianity was a new religion, some celebrations may have been there to mark his birth.
The “feast calendar” which was written around 243AD indicates that around 3rd century, there were some celebrations. Some records also state that even in 2nd Century some data of celebration can be found in this calendar. However, the current nature of the Christmas Celebration is said to have started around 400AD. The parts around the North Africa, the Mediterranean, including the Middle East and southern Europe celebrated the birth of Lord Jesus.
Links with old historic celebrations
During the Roman Empire, the festival of Saturnalia was fêted. Saturnalia was actually a pagan festival lasted from 17-25 December each year, where lawlessness was celebrated. Even the Roman courts were closed and a decree stated that no one could be arrested for destroying public or private property. The culmination of the festival happened on 25th December, when a man or a woman would be killed to signify that the forces of darkness and evil have been destroyed.
Some data shows that this pagan Roman festival was transformed to a Christian celebration by the church. This theory shows that the Christian leaders and the community who want to carry on the open celebration made an agreement to choose 25th December as the Jesus birth’s celebration day. However, some of the religious leaders did not like this celebration as they still considered it to be a pagan celebration.
The current scenario
Christmas is no longer just a religious celebration, but has also become a commercialized event in the calendar. The pagans’ usually worshiped the trees during this festival, which was transformed into the ritual of decorating the Christmas tree. As with all other festivals, the tradition of giving and receiving gifts is also done during Christmas. In fact, the week leading up to the Christmas is when people are busy buying gifts for their loved ones, families and friends. Christmas is also the time, when families get together and enjoy the festive spirit as well.
The Santa Claus
The history of the Christmas celebration cannot be completed without Santa Claus. A church bishop named Nicholas may have been the original “Saint Nicholas” according to the historians. The word “Santa Claus” comes from the Dutch word “Sinterklass”. St. Nicolas wanted to help the underprivileged people without making a fuss, so he used to give money or gift to the poor people. Now children around the world look forward to receiving gifts from Santa Claus.