From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Also called Christ's Mass
Observed by Christians around the world, as well as by non-Christians who usually focus on the holiday's secular traditions.
Significance traditional birthdate of Jesus
Date December 25 (December 24 in some countries)
The Armenian Apostolic Church observes Christmas on January 6
January 7 in Old Calendarist Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the churches of Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Finland, Greece and Cyprus observe Christmas on December 25.
Observances religious services, gift giving, family meetings, decorating trees
Related to Annunciation, Incarnation, Advent; the winter holiday season
Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Christmas festivities often combine the commemoration of Jesus' birth with various customs, many of which have been influenced by earlier winter festivals. Traditions include the display of Nativity scenes, Holly and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill, compassion, love, acceptance, kindness, generosity, excitement and peace.
In most places around the world, Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day (or Saint Stephen's Day) on December 26. The Armenian Apostolic Church observes Christmas on January 6, while certain old rite or old style Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, the date on the Gregorian calendar which corresponds to 25 December on the Julian Calendar. The date as a birthdate for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not widely considered to be his actual date of birth.
The word "Christmas" is a contraction meaning "Christ's mass." It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. Dutch has a similar word, Kerstmis often shortened to Kerst. The words for the holiday in Spanish (navidad), Portuguese (natal), Polish (Boże Narodzenie), French (noël), Italian (natale), and Catalan (nadal) refer more explicitly to the Nativity. In contrast, the German name Weihnachten means simply "hallowed night." After the conversion of Anglo-Saxon Britain in the very early 7th century, Christmas was referred to as geol, the name of the pre-Christian solstice festival from which the current English word 'Yule' is derived. In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ (Χριστός). Since the mid-sixteenth century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ. Hence, "Xmas" is often used as an abbreviation for Christmas.
I think It will be great to share our traditions..
Christmas time is incredible.. so full of magic lights, smells, sounds, colours.. and expecially feelings..
In Italy Xmas is very well celebrated: as everybody knows my country is very very Catholic (too much sometimes..) so the whole nation celebrates it.
We all prepare the Christmas Tree and the Presepe (how do you say in English? Crèche I think.... :?: ). There are some towns in Italy that live only with the production of small figures for the Presepe, which is a true symbol of our Xmas. There are also Challanges where the best one wins and on TV it is broadcast.
All street are full of lights and Xmas Trees, and some towns prepare Presepi viventi (Crèches with true people who play the roles) and Xmas markets......
Actually in these years these public things aren't so easy to make: Italian economical crash is influencing Xmas aswell.. there isn't money anymore.. :(
On 24Th December, after the midnight celebration in all churches, Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) arrives................. All red and white dressed........... quite similar to Coca Cola SantaClaus!
On 25th everybody eats with his own family.... great meals are prepared!
Our tipical cakes are Panettone ,
An Italian particular Tradition is that, on 6th there's another Festivity: EPIFANIA
It's the day when Three Kings of the Orient (Magi) arrived to give gifts to Jesus.
In that day great fires are made in gardens or in front of Churches.. They're supposed to burn all "bad Spirits". A "witch" (a doll) is put at the top to personify those bad forces.
In the night of the 5th BEFANA (an old woman who fies on a broom comes to take sweets and bon bons to good kids. She puts them in a socket (a big one!)
If Children aren't good, Befana takes only coal for them!!!!
This is Italian Christmas time, oor better, just a little part....
I'd like to know more from your countries my friends!!
Tracy I love that avatar. It's so cute! Where'd you get it?
I am of German background and Christmas is called Weihnachten.
Germans celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve. There is a late night mass at all the churches and all the bells of the churches start ringing at midnight.
Also the four Sundays before Christmas there is what's called Advent. Instead of a X-mas stocking there is a little square of felt that you hang with little pockets in it for small presents a Advents gloisture(I think that's how you spell it) is made of wood with small candles on it and little bells and small wooden angels hanging from it. The candles are lit one at a time starting with first Sunday of Advent till the last Sunday before X-mas. Also traditional Christmas carols are listened to. Silent Night for example. It is a German Christmas carol. Stille Nacht, Heilage Nacht.
We also eat what are called Pfeffer Nuesse which are actually cookies with chocolate and lots of cinnamon. We also eat goose at Christmas with red cabbage and German style dumplings and lots of gravy! There is also what's called a Weihnacts Stolle which is very much like a Christmas log(you know the rolled cake) but instead of it being covered in chocolate this log is covered with icing sugar.
I have the pleasure of celebrating Christmas twice both the German and the Canadian Christmas. :D
Anne, Thanx a lot for sharing your background!
As you know, I love German ad Austrian culture, their language.. and their Weihnachten aswell...
I give a piece of advice to anybody: if you can, go and visit Salzburg with its incredible Christkindlmarkt (Xmas market), Lebkuchen (special biscuits) and Krampus (monsters that go around during the Advent: they represent the evil, which is won by St. Nikolaus).......Quite typical!!
You're right Anne, Tracy's new ava is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!! :P
Anne, can you tell us something about Canadian Christmas? :roll: Thank you!! :wink:
Hallo Sara! Wie gehts?
Hi Sara! how goes it?
Thanks very much Sara. I too really love Tracy's avatar. I wonder what Dirk's avatar going to be. :D
In Canada we traditionally celebrate our Christmas on Christmas day. A lot of people have the day off on the 25th. I think a lot of people in Canada celebrate Christmas from their own family traditions. For instance...I'm of German descent, there are many Italians in Canada, Greek...a lot of different cultures. We also have the traditional Christmas wreath on the door and the Christmas tree(Weihnacts baum..which I am very proud to say originated in Germany) I'm very proud of my heritage. I don't really think there is a typical Canadian Christmas since we have so many diverse cultures in Canada and each celebrate Christmas there own way.
We also build a lot of snow men. And the houses are decorated with X-mas lights.
We also drink egg nog with or without rum and send Christmas cards.
I know I'm not the only Canuck here. So my fellow Canadians...how do you celebrate your Christmas?
many many thanks for your words about the german christmas (Weihnachten).
My Adventskalender is with chocolate, every day a little piece in the morning. I got Adventskalender since I was a child and every year I bought one. This year I have 2, one for home and one for work. For me chocolate is a MUST HAVE in the christmas-time.
Greetings from Germany
Hallo Anne, mir geht es ziemlich gut und dir? (I'm quite ok and you?)
Thank you a lot for telling us about you!
We have seldom much snow in Italy at Christmas.. It must be spectacular in Canada!!
What is egg nog? Is it vov?
Do you have any kind of Presepe there (in my text above I explain with some links what it is)?
Anne, I also wonder about Dirk's avatar and eveythin.. quite exciting isn't it?
Eine Umarmung ( A Hug)
Do you have a good recipe for Lebkuchen? (there's a topic for recipes too..).. I'd really like to have it for Christmas!!!! :lol: :lol:
While cooking I could sing Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht...!! :P
Hallo Sara! Hallo Petra! und Alle!
Hi Sara Hi Petra and everyone!
Petra I forgot about the Adventskalender! I just got one from my downstairs neighbour.
Sara I also agree it's going to be exciting to have Dirk here...finally! I can't wait to see what his avatar is going to be. tt was lovely to hear about your tradition in Italy.
Looking forward to seeing how all of you celebrate Christmas. I hope Dirk posts here too.
Petra, Sara und Alle!
Petra, Sara and everyone!
*well that is a rough translation of a German saying...* :wink:
p.s Petra! we gotta get you an avatar. I could make you one if you like. Just PM me.
This is just Fabby, i love this thread.
Can reindeer fly? Yes they can. 'nuff said.
Apart from the Royal family, gift giving is on Christmas day
I am looking forward to the Pantomine , Its is a sparkly affair at a theatre where men dress up as Widow Twankey or Cinders ugly sisters and you are encouraged to boo and hiss, and It can be Alladdin or Snow White , Dick Whittington and Cinders as your heroes. The first panto as a child i remember was Danny La Rue , and he was the first man I ever saw in womens clothes... and I was 4. This is ideal entertainment for kiddies.
Turkey is the norm to eat here as the chosen bird but goose is making a slow comeback.
The Tv channels will show the aspect of religion , but it doesn't really touch some people and in the past , local councils in the Uk were said not to have christmas for fear of upsetting other religions, which is sad for we have chinese new year etc celebrated.
But it lives on either as a spiritual event or seen as a huge expense. ( but it didn't happen here and to be honest noone would take any notice of what local government would have said)
Sadly we may have the 12 Days of christmas but shops are open on boxing day so its basically only 2 days. I love a really old fashioned Christmas that i mostly manage to dothankfully.
(My favourite event last year was that my god daughters church did the nativity as an episode of big brother, which was sooo funny mary was to give birth in the big Bro house and it was charming too)
Drink tends to be Mulled wine with clove and cinnamon.
Then anything alcoholic.
Parties which are held at work are alledgedly a no no. Because people..
A - Get drunk and insult the boss.
B Get drunk and snog someone they don't fancy.
C Get drunk and photocopy their naked bum.
Slade is our 'national' Christmas anthem' with Noddy Holder shouting ITS CHRIISTMAAASSSS, so Noddy pension is well and truly paid for.
This is a general ( true on occaisions) view of a uk Christmas but there are other ways that it is celebrated, warm hearted and kind ways too.
Well speaking as another Canadian, I don't think our traditions are much different from the Americans. My family is from the UK so we have pretty much the same traditions - big dinner on Christmas Day, a wreath on the door, lights on the house, that sort of thing. I personally love to bake, shortbread, mince tarts, cranberry bars, pumpkin pie etc and so forth. Hrm....now I'm getting hungry :wink: I should look at the recipe thread and see what I can add :D
Christmas in Canada depends on your heritage. Anne's right. This is such a culturally diverse country that we sort of have the "usual" Christmas things, such as a tree, big dinner, gift giving, but each family does it with their own cultural twist.
For instance, in my area the population is mostly Ukranian. So they celebrate their Christmas in January as well as Dec. 25th.
Also in Canada we have Boxing Day. Which is the day after Christmas and was traditionally set aside for the day of "opening your boxes". It's like a second Christmas Day ( and also the biggest shopping day of the year with the Boxing Day sales ;) )
yes, of course, you can ask me, I live in Hamburg, it is a big city in Germany
but my home is not direct in the city. Where I live I have a big forest near my home, it is really wonderful!
I am so sorry about recipes. But I haven't one.
Ah yes, Boxing Day sales, another tradition of the season 8) Hehheh, usually I'm too full of turkey to even venture out the door but somehow my husband always seems to get up before dawn to hit the sales :?
"p.s Petra! we gotta get you an avatar. I could make you one if you like. Just PM me."
Thank you so much for your offer. I try to make an avatar and, I got it :D :D :D
Your new avatar is really nice, I like it.
:arrow: Tracy, Thank you for telling us about christmas in your area!! And.... your avatar is really really cute!!!
:arrow: Petra, Hamburg should be incredibly nice at Christmas time.. all Germany is brighting during the Advent..!
the Christmas-Market in Hamburg will start at Nov.26th. Can't wait to see all this
beautiful lights. I love Christmas-Markets :D It's every year wonderful!
I visited Cologne for two days for the christmas Market and it was wonderful, it was cold enough, friendly enough, and the markets traders were quite kind as we stuggled with our german.
I have always fancied Christmas in any part of europe but Scotland for hogmany ( new year) and i have never done that, but Iwill ,its just that my scots friends live in england.
Would you post soe phtos for us if you have time?
Nothing's better than Christmas in Germany/Austria in my experience!! :wink:
I will try to take photos from the market.
I didn't know this, but Saint Nicholas in Dutch is 'sinterklaas' that when adopted by the american language is 'Santa Claus'
Over in the UK Santa is commonly known as santa, but our traditional name for him is 'Father Christmas'.
In the middle ages, he was a different person, he was a kind of drunk :roll: dressed in green and acted as a 'Master of Ceremonies' at fairs and balls, jollying up people at the time, then the later incarnation as gift giver and the middle ages character merged into one to be what he is known as today. ( hence the sherry and mince pie to be left out at night....)
Has anyone ever visited 'Lap land?' I would like to know!
Lily, that's really really interesting :!: :!:
Thank you a lot for sharing it...
In fact in Italian we still call him "Babbo Natale", which means Father Christmas (Babbo is an old fashioned way to say father/dad). :P
yesterday I was going to the Christmas-Market to get a bit Christmas-Feeling.
It was so beautiful, maybe I will go again in 2 weeks.
Sorry, I can not post pictures to this time, because my PC at home do not work :(
Have a great day
We have our annual christmas market on the 15th December. It's in a large village/small town not far from where I live. The stall holders and shop keepers dress up - this years theme is "Enchanted Christmas" :D Santa arrives at 4pm and gives out free presents( which is normally chocolate) to the children :shock: And around this time they switch on the christmas tree lights :!: It's really magical and gives everyone a great feeling of community spirit :wink:
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