Where Exactly Did Christmas Originate from?
Christmas, which is observed on December 25, is a holy religious event as well as a global cultural and economic event. People have been celebrating it with customs and rituals that are both religious and secular in nature for two millennia now. Christmas Day is marked by Christians as the anniversary of the birth of their spiritual figurehead, Jesus of Nazareth, whose teachings serve as the foundation of their faith. Popular traditions include gifting, erecting and decorating Christmas trees, going to church, gathering with loved ones for feasts, and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus.
The origins of Christmas stem from both the pagan and Roman cultures. The Romans actually celebrated two holidays in the month of December. The first was Saturnalia, which was a two-week festival honoring their god of agriculture Saturn. On December 25th, they celebrated the birth of Mithra, their sun god. Both celebrations were raucous, drunken parties.
In order to dispel the darkness, the pagan cultures also set bonfires and candles in December, which also happens to be the month with the darkest day of the year. The Romans included this custom in their own festivities as well.
The Christian priesthood struggled to suppress the pagan traditions as Christianity spread throughout Europe. They instead, transformed the ancient ritual into a birthday celebration for Jesus because no one was aware of His exact birthdate.
In African tradition, during the month of December, communities celebrated a good harvest. This was observed in style, as food, and alcohol was present in local events, that catalogued activities like, wrsetling, bull fighting, cockfighting, dance competion and age set graduation after initiation.
In present day, Christmas is celebrated and observed globally with many traditions adopting it. It is the biggest holiday financially as purchases are high during the season.
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