Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
The name ‘Christmas‘ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life.
How is Christmas celebrated?
People celebrate Christmas Day in many ways. It is often combined with customs from pre-Christian winter celebrations. Many people decorate their homes, visit family or friends and exchange gifts. In the days or even weeks before Christmas Day, many people decorate their homes and gardens with lights, Christmas trees and much more.
It is common to organize a special meal, often consisting of turkey and a lot of other festive foods, for family or friends and exchange gifts with them. Children, in particular, often receive a lot of gifts from their parents and other relatives and the mythical figure Santa Claus.
Modern Christmas trees
Modern Christmas trees emerged in western Germany during the 16th century as Christians brought trees into their homes and decorated them with gingerbread, nuts and apples.
The custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts across Europe in the early 19th century.
As Germans emigrated to other parts of the world the tradition also spread.
But in places like the United States, having a Christmas tree was often viewed as a foreign pagan custom until the mid-19th century.
Christmas trees today
Today, Christmas trees come in all different shapes and sizes from traditional fir to artificial. The tradition of decorating a tree is embraced by millions of people worldwide of different faiths and cultures.
Christmas Eve, which is the day before Christmas Day, is celebrated in many countries worldwide. It is a Christian observance that falls on December 24 in the Gregorian calendar.