What Is The Importance Of Christmas?

    
What Is The Importance Of Christmas

Christmas is a festival celebrated on December 25 in most parts of the world to mark the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is a special day, which is the focus of the liturgical year of Christians preceded by the period of Advent and beginning of Christmas-tide that ends on the Twelfth Night.

Christmas is a public holiday in most countries around the world. But it is rejected by some Christian groups and other nations. The month and date of Jesus’ birth are not certain, but the Western Church has since the 4th century, attributed Christmas to December 25. This date has been adopted eventually by the East. This date is based on the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar most in use in the secular world.

Christmas Traditions:

Christmas is associated with several customs and traditions.

It is the most well attended Church service of the year, along with Easter. In Catholic countries, religious parades and processions are organized in the days before Christmas. In other countries, secular parades are organized with traditional figures like Santa Claus.

Another major tradition is that of Christmas gift-giving. In most countries, gift giving occurs on Christmas Day. In some others, gift giving may be done on Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) and Epiphany (January 6).

There is also a long history of putting up Christmas decorations. Ivy, which has heart-shaped leaves, was used to deck up homes and Churches symbolized the incarnation of Jesus while Holly was meant to protect against evil spirits, its red berries, and thorns representing Jesus’ crown of thorns during his crucifixion.

Nativity scenes originated from 10th-century Rome. St. Francis of Assisi is credited to have made it really popular since 1223. The design of the Nativity scene varies regionally, according to local materials and traditions. From simple cribs to live manger scenes, there is a wide range of such decorations. The original Christmas decorations come from Germany inspired by paper chains created by children. In some countries, competitions are held for the best representation of the nativity scenes. Also, some nativity scene decorations are passed down as family heirlooms.

The traditional colours of Christmas are gold, green and red. Red stands for the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, green for eternal life like the evergreen tree and gold for royalty like the gift given by the Magi.

Christmas tree is also a festival tradition. It became really popular in Europe and the United Sates by the 1870’s. They came to be decorated with ornaments and lights.

Some plants came to be associated with Christmas like Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Christmas cactus and Red Amaryllis. These may be used to decorate the inside of a home while the outside may be dressed in lights and snow figures. Other decorations include angels, wreaths, candles, bells, stockings and candy canes. Candles symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world.

Other traditions include singing of Carols, like Silent Night and Jingle Bells. Gift giving by Santa Claus is another much-loved tradition. Santa is typically a grandpa like figure travelling on his sleigh from the North Pole to the homes of kids delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. Also, there is family gathering especially Christmas dinner featuring special dishes like stuffed Turkey, mince pies, Yule log cake, Christmas pudding, etc.

In some countries, Stamps are released with traditional Christmas pictures to mark the festival. Also, the world over, Christmas cards are a money spinner, with people sending cards to friends and family though the advent of e-cards has slowed down the paper version.

True Meaning of Christmas

The main aim of celebrating Christmas is to honour the fact that God came into the world in the form of a human to atone for the sins of mankind. He is Jesus Christ, who lived 2000 years ago in Israel and died by crucifixion to atone for our sins.

God came into this world as a tiny infant without lowering his deity or abandoning his divine nature. He was totally human with our emotions and thoughts, and he was also fully God, all powerful and all wise.

By the meaning of Christmas, one must look mainly at the purpose of the birth of Christ. The main purpose of Christ was to enter the world and become one of us, humans, so as to rescue us from our sins.

Jesus is no ordinary human. He is the incarnation of God in the flesh (John 1:1, Colossians 2:9). He is part of the Trinity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. He was subject to the same limitations and temptations as us, humans.

Christmas is the celebration of a historical event: God entering into our world so that he may exemplify his perfection and holiness and by his death he may save all those who followed him from his righteous judgment.

The birth of Jesus was wonderful and special. God sent angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee to appear before Mary, a virgin betrothed to Joseph, of the family of David. The angel informed Mary that she had found favour with God and would bear his son. He told her that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and must name her child Jesus. He would be the Son of the King of Kings.

When Joseph wanted to break his betrothal with Mary, an angel appeared in his dreams and asked him not to do this, as she had conceived of the Holy Spirit. Joseph marries Mary, and they wait the birth of Christ.

As per the census of Augustus, the Roman emperor, Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem, the native place of Joseph. There unable to find lodgings for the night, Joseph and Mary stay in a stable. There in the manger, Jesus is born.

The baby Jesus is visited by shepherds, who were led there by angels as well as by the three kings of the Orient or the Magi, led by a star.

This is the magical story of the birth of Jesus, when God, the Almighty took human form in a humble manger. By celebrating his birthday, we are marking the purpose of his life: to save mankind from its sins.



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