Saturday, October 30, 2010

Facts About The Christmas Season

by Lisa Karen

Christmas has always been linked to Christianity. This very old tradition has been around for centuries and many people believe in celebrating it despite the belief that it is a widely celebrated Christian tradition. It is believed that Christmas is held to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This belief has been held for centuries and is the main basis for this holiday season. Christmas has many different traditions and customs which have bee adapted to various beliefs and traditions.

Basis Of Christmas

The real basis of this Christian holiday is actually a pagan Roman ritual called the Saturnalia. This pagan Roman holiday was supposed to be celebrated from December 17 up to December 25. This pagan ritual specified that during this period of time, there are no laws and courts. Injuries and crimes are to be allowed. This pagan ritual, which is the precedent of Christmas, entailed that each Roman community choose a specific person who is encouraged to commit atrocities, crimes and other lower pleasures. After the allotted time, the chosen person is then killed to symbolize the end of the lawlessness.

Christmas Customs

Christians eventually took it upon themselves to revise this pagan ritual and change it to be celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ and call it Christmas. There are many traditions from the said Roman pagan ritual which is still practiced during the Christmas season. Three of these traditions are the consumption of human shaped cookies (gingerbread men), singing in the streets naked (caroling, fully clothed) and the giving of gifts to the higher Roman officials (gift giving). The Merry Christmas greeting was eventually coined and Santa Claus sprang from Saint Nicholas.

The belief in Saint Nicholas was also adapted to suit the Christmas holidays. In spite this very Christian fact, it is believed that people who idolized Saint Nicholas took over the gift giving role of a certain grandmother figure in Italy and adapted this woman's customs for their favorite saint.

Many of the Christmas traditions, customs and beliefs are manipulated to suit the season. In spite of this, many people have actually adapted well to this new holiday tradition. The Christmas season is now a fully Christian holiday which inspire people to be kind to one another as well as to be generous. The season is now celebrated with the focus on family and love. This just goes to show that the origins may not be as important as the point that this season wishes to make. - 39969

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