Christmas (PDF)

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Title: Christmas

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all means all

what is christmas?
Christmas is marked on the 25 December (7 January for
Orthodox Christians). Christmas is a Christian holy day
that marks the birth of Jesus, the son of God. Jesus' birth,
known as the nativity, is described in the New Testament
of the Bible.
The Gospels do not mention the date of Jesus' birth and it
was not until the 4th century AD that Pope Julius I set 25th
December as the date for Christmas as an attempt to
Christianise the Pagan celebrations that already took place
at this time of year. By 529, 25th December had become a
civil holiday and by 567 the twelve days from 25th December to the Epiphany were public holidays.
Christmas has always been a strange combination of
Christian, Pagan and folk traditions. As far back as 389
AD, St Gregory Nazianzen (one of the Four Fathers of the
Greek Church) warned against 'feasting in excess, dancing
and crowning the doors'. The Church was already finding
it hard to bury the Pagan remnants of the midwinter
festival which saw candles and fires being lit at mid-winter
celebrations for thousands of years. For people throughout
history, the sun strengthening and the days becoming
longer has always been a time of feasting and celebration.

25 dec.

An important part of today's Christmas is the myth of
Father Christmas (called Santa Claus in America). His
origins are in Christian and European tradition, but the
visual image of Father Christmas that we have today is the
one popularised by American card-makers in the Victorian

Opening the door to cultural discovery

This culture card forms part of a regular communications
from the CultureM team. If you would like more information
or to request a card for a holiday significant to you,
please email before the
relevent date of the holiday or event.

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