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What “Christmas” mean?

Merry Christmas!


Christmas is an Annual Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Most members of the Roman Catholic Church and followers of Protestantism celebrate Christmas on December 25, and many celebrate on the evening of December 24 as well. In addition to being a religious holiday, Christmas is a widely observed secular festival.

For most people who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is characterized by gathering among family and friends, feasting, and gift giving.

The word Christmas entered the English language sometime around 1050 as the Old English phrase Christes maesse, meaning “festival of Christ”. Along the way, Christian beliefs combined with existing pagan feasts and winter rituals to create many long-standing traditions of Christmas celebrations. For example, ancient Europeans believed that the mistletoe plant held magic powers to bestow life and fertility, to bring about peace, and to protect against disease.

Northern Europeans associated the plant with the Norse goddess of love, Freya, and developed the custom of kissing underneath mistletoe branches. Christians incorporated this custom into their Christmas celebrations, and kissing under mistletoe eventually became a part of secular Christmas tradition.

Christmas gained increased prominence largely because many people believed it could draw families together and honor children. Giving gifts to children and loved ones eventually replaced the public celebrations of the past, and Christmas became primarily a domestic holiday. Most people who celebrate Christmas also participate in special holiday rituals in their homes. Families often decorate evergreen trees and place colorfully wrapped presents beneath them.

Many families attend church on Christmas Eve and open their gifts that evening. Others wait until the next morning to exchange gifts.

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What “Christmas” mean?
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