Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas cards are illustrated messages of greeting exchanged between friends and family members during the weeks preceding Christmas Day.The traditional greeting reads wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, much like that of the first commercial Christmas card, produced by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.The custom of sending them has become popular among a wide cross section of people with the emergence of the modern trend towards exchanging E cards.Christmas cards are purchased in considerable quantities, and feature artwork, commercially designed and relevant to the season.The content of the design might relate directly to the Christmas narrative with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christian symbols such as the Star of Bethlehem, or a white dove which can represent both the Holy Spirit and Peace on Earth.Other Christmas cards are more secular and can depict Christmas traditions, mythical figures such as Santa Claus, objects directly associated with Christmas such as candles, holly and baubles, or a variety of images associated with the season, such as Christmastide activities, snow scenes and the wildlife of the northern winter.There are even humorous cards and genres depicting nostalgic scenes of the past such as crinolined shoppers in idealized 19th century streetscapes.Some prefer cards with a poem, prayer, or Biblical verse while others distance themselves from religion with an all inclusive Season greetings.
32. Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December
No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on the 25th December.The early Christians certainly had many arguments as to when it should be celebrated! Also, the birth of Jesus probably did not happen in the year 1AD but slightly earlier, somewhere between 2BC and 7BC (there is not a 0AD the years go from 1BC to 1AD!).The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor).A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.There are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.A very early Christian tradition said that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special baby, Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th and It is still celebrated today on the 25th March.Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died on when he was an adult.December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called aturnalia and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti took place in December around this date so it was a time when people already celebrated things.
33. The History of Christmas Trees
The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years.Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come.The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia.Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees.It probably started about began 1000 years ago in Northern Europe.Many early Christmas Trees seem to have been hung upside down from the ceiling using chains (hung from chandeliers lighting hooks).Other early Christmas Trees, across many part of northern europe, were cherry or hawthorn plants (or a branch of the plant) that were put into pots and brought inside, so they would hopefully flower at Christmas time.If you could not afford a real plant, people made pyramids of woods and they were decorated to look like a tree with paper, apples and candles.Sometimes there were carried around from house to house, rather than being displayed in a home.It is possible that the wooden pyramid trees were meant to be like Paradise Trees.These were used in medieval German Mystery or Miracle Plays that were acted out in front of Churches on Christmas Eve.In early church calendars of saints, 24th December was Adam and Eve day.The Paradise Tree represented the Garden of Eden.It was often paraded around the town before the play started, as a way of advertising the play.The plays told Bible stories to people who could not read.
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