Merry Christmas is an annual event celebrating the birth of Christ, celebrated largely in December by millions around the world as a cultural and religious event. It is a significant festival in the Church calendar, and it is precede by the Advent season or the Nativity fasting, and begins the season of Christmastide, which traditionally lasts 12 days and ends on Twelfth Night. Christmas Day is a state holiday in many states, is formally celebrate by the vast majority of Christians, and is aesthetically honor by many non-Christians, and is an essential feature of the holiday period.
The description told in the New Testament, termed as the “Nativity of Jesus,” states that Jesus existed in Bethlehem in compliance with apocalyptic prophesies. When Joseph and Mary enter the city, the inn was full, so they were allocate a stable, where the Christ Child was shortly brought into the world, with angels declaring the news to shepherds, who then informed people.
Read More: History of Merry Christmas
Even though the date and year of Jesus’ birth remains a mystery, the church established December 25 as the day in the early fourth century. On the Roman calendar, this relates to the winter solstice. It is precisely nine months after the Annunciation on March 25, which also happens to be the occasion of the spring equinox. In the Gregorian calendar, which has been accept by almost everyone in civil calendars use in countries worldwide, most Christians celebrate on December 25. Yet, certain Eastern Churches observe Christmas on December 25 of the earlier Julian calendar, which coincides to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. For Christians, the major reason for celebrating Christmas is to believe that God entered the world in the incarnation of human to atone for humanity’s transgressions, rather than to know Jesus’ actual birth date.
The History of Christmas
The birth narratives in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels encouraged early Christian authors to propose several days for the celebration. Even though no date is given in the gospels, early Christians associate Christ with the Sun by using terms like “Sun of virtue.” On December 25, the Romans observe the winter solstice. On December 25, AD 336, the first known Christmas celebration took place in Rome. The time of the birth attracted the attentions of many people in the third century.
Several considerations influenced the choice of December 25 as a day for festivities. It was the winter solstice on the Roman calendar, and it was nine months following March 25, the vernal equinox and a date linked with Christ’ birth. Christmas had a part in the fourth-century Arian issue. After the controversy died down, the holiday’s popularity waned for a few decades. After 800, when Charlemagne was appoint as Emperor on Christmas Day, the celebration resume significance.
Christmas was prohibited in Puritan England because it was connect with drinking and other wrongdoing. It was reinstate as a legal holiday in England in 1660, but many people still regard it negatively. With the emergence of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, which emphasized the central importance of Christmas in Christianity and donation to the underprivileged, alongside Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and other writers emphasizing families, kids, gentleness, gift-giving, and Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, Christmas festivities and services became widely spread in the early nineteenth century.
Western practices in the modern era
Neither of the modern Christmas rituals have their origins in doctrinal or ceremonial declarations, and the majority are quite recent. The Renaissance humanist Sebastian Brant documented the tradition of planting fir tree branches in buildings in Das Narrenschiff. Although the specific date and history of the Christmas tree custom are unknown, it seems that pine trees decked with apples were first seen in Strasbourg in 1605.
In 1611, a Silesian duchess documented the first use of lights on such trees. The Advent wreath, which is form of fir twigs and has four candles to represent the four Sundays of Advent, is much more modern, particularly in North America. The tradition, which dates back to the 16th century, initially comprised a fir wreath with 24 candles, but the difficulty of putting so many candles on the wreath lowered the number to four.
Origin of saying “Merry Christmas”
As December 25 rapidly approaches you’ve most likely been delivering “Merry Christmas” greetings to everybody in your circle, particularly family members and friends. You may have even used it in an Instagram comment or two this year, as well as on the front of your Christmas cards. After example, in a society where “Happy Easter” and “Happy Birthday” are common greetings, the “merry” element of “Merry Christmas” is somewhat distinctive.
No one knows for sure where the term “merry” came from, but there are some intriguing hypotheses. “Happy Christmas” has not yet fully vanished; it’s still regularly use in Britain. This is said to be as “happy” became connect with a higher social level than “merry,” which was link with the unruliness of the underclasses. People took notice when the royal family picked “Happy Christmas” as their customary salutation. However, the phrase “Merry Christmas” goes back to at least 1534. A recorded message from Bishop John Fisher to Henry VIII’s top minister, Thomas Cromwell, confirms this. The famous saying is also used in the English carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” which was originat in the 1500s.
Sources state it may be as basic as a linguistic lesson. “Happy” defines an interior emotion, whereas “merry” describes a behavior—something energetic and possibly even noisy. During the 18th and 19th centuries, as both terms developed and altered connotations, people eventually stopped using “merry” as a separate term. It survived in commonplace idioms like “the more, the merrier,” and in items like Christmas songs and novels, thanks to Charles Dickens’ impact. Many of today’s Christmas traditions can be trace back to the Victorian Christmas.
It’s no surprise that we now hear something nostalgic when we hear “Merry Christmas.” Even the word “merry” conjures up images of December 25th.