Merry Christmas 2019: History, Importance & significance of the festival

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Merry Christmas 2019 : During this time, pine trees are decorated with colourful bells, candles, candies, stars and gift stockings. (Source: File Photo)

Merry Christmas 2019: Christmas is celebrated by people across the world on December 25 every year. The day marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the second of the Holy Trinity of Christianity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit).

As the story goes, Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. There is no record that the birth actually took place on December 25, mainly because the Gregorian calendar didn’t exist back then. However, it was in 336 that Emperor Constantine, known as the first Christian Roman emperor, declared December 25 as Christmas to celebrate Christ. A few years later, Pope Julius I declared that the day would mark the birth of Christ.

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Over the centuries, it has become one of the biggest festivals to be observed all over the world. Celebrations start from December 24 (Christmas Eve) and continue till December 26 (Boxing Day).

The birth of Christ is an event of utmost importance to followers of Christianity as it is believed that God had sent his Son on earth as a sacrifice to redeem the people of the world from their sins. This sacrifice denotes the crucifixion of Christ. Many attend the midnight mass at churches followed by an elaborate Christmas feast on this day. Christmas carols and Santa Claus are an important part of the festivity too.

During this time, pine trees are decorated with colourful bells, candles, candies, stars and gift stockings. Most of the Christmas decorations consist of four colours — red, green, golden and white, and they have their significance as well. While green denotes eternal life, red signifies the blood Christ shed, golden denotes royalty (he was known as the Son of David, the King of Israel) and white denotes peace.

The Christmas feast is a delicious spread that the entire family enjoys together. The traditional Christmas meal comprises of delicacies such as roasted turkey, gingerbread, roasted chicken, mince-pie, Christmas cake, pudding, eggnog, mashed potatoes and mulled wine.