The history of Christmas Celebration
The feast of the Nativity of Christ, which Christians celebrate on December 25, is deeply rooted in history and certainly was and remains one of the greatest Christian holidays. Christmas is a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
On December 25th many people celebrate Christmas. Among them are Catholics, Orthodox, and in this day celebrate the most Orthodox in the world, as the Lutherans and many other Protestant denominations. For many people from around the world on 25 December is a very important and solemn event in their lives.
As we have said, this holiday has a very long history and goes back many centuries. The first mention of Christmas come to us from the 4th century AD. The exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ, is still the subject of debate and research for many professionals. Many ecclesiastical writers and Ministers have not come to a conviction about this date. Many of them adhere to the version that the date of December 25 is against solar pagan celebration of "the birth of the Invincible Sun". This holiday, after Rome adopted Christianity has acquired a new meaning and content.
One of the latest hypotheses of modernity says that the date of December 25 for Christmas was chosen because of the coincidence of the celebration of the early Christians of the incarnation (March 25 is the date of conception of Christ) and Easter. Therefore, by simple calculation of adding to the date of the conception of Christ nine months, Christmas was held at the winter solstice.
Before the celebration of Christmas on December 25, there are five days of celebration from 20th to 24th December and six days after the holiday. In the fifth, the last pre-holiday day December 24 people do a strict fast. Christmas Eve traditionally ends in time with the appearance of the sky the first evening star. At this time, according to tradition, remember the prophecies and events from the old Testament that relate to the birth of Christ. During the celebration three meetings are held at different times of day: midnight, early in the morning at dawn and the day. These three services represent Christmas in the bosom of God the Father, in the womb of the mother of God in the soul of every Christian.
Since ancient times, even in the times of the Catholic St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century there was a tradition to put in the temples to worship the manger-a feeding trough for animals, in which lazily figure of the Baby Jesus. Further, this tradition began to take root not only in temples but also in homes. Also install home Santoni-models that depict the grotto, located in a glass box. In there lies the baby Jesus, and nearby is the mother of God, Joseph-son of the biblical Patriarch Jacob by Rachel, angel, shepherds who came to worship and animals-a donkey and an ox.
Over time the Church and folk customs harmoniously intertwined in celebration of Christmas. A very well known custom, when in Catholic countries, children and young people go home, sing songs, and I wish all the people living in these houses. In response to songs and good wishes, residents give children different gifts: roasted chestnuts, sausage, fruit, eggs, cakes, sweets. Participating in this process children wear different masks, animal skins and all this is accompanied by noisy fun. This ancient custom has repeatedly condemned Church employees and over time began to walk to houses of relatives, neighbors and close friends.
About surviving pagan traditions of the cult of the sun shows the tradition of ignition ceremonial hearth fire "Christmas log" at the time of Christmas. At this time solemnly recorded in the log house, with observance of ceremonies, set fire to, at the same time praying and cut on the wood of the cross. This is done in order to reconcile the pagan with the Christian traditions.
One of the most common and well-known Christmas tradition is decorating the tree. This tradition has come down from pagan times came to us from Germany, where the tree is a symbol of life and fertility. With the spread of Christianity in Central and Northern Europe spruce were decorated with colorful balloons and installed in their homes on December 24, using the tree as a symbol of paradise tree with fruit abundance.