Christmas - birth of Jesus Christ

Christmas

Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on 25th December as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent period and initiate the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is a civil holiday in lots of the world's nations, is celebrated by an growing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season. The precise day of Jesus' birth,
which historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unidentified. In the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church first positioned Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted also in the East. Theories advanced to explain that choice include that it falls accurately nine months after the Christian festivity of the conception of Jesus, or that it was chosen to coincide with either the date of the Roman winter solstice or of some ancient pagan winter festival.


The original date of the festivity in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the festivity for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2011, there is a variation of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalent thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of the world is January 7 and January 19. For this cause, Ethiopia, Russia and Ukraine celebrate Christmas, both as a Christian feast and as a holiday, on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7.
Christmas
Date
December 25

Significance
Traditional birthday of Jesus

Observances
Church services, gift giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decorating

Related to
Christmastide, Christmas Eve, Advent, Annunciation, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, Yule

Type
Christian, cultural

Also called
Noel
Yule
Feast of the Nativity


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