Christmas – celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ
Christmas or Christmas Day is an auspicious religious festival for Christians. It is being celebrated every year on the specified date December 25 with great fervor to commemorate the birth and life of Lord Jesus Christ. Christians on this occasion gather at the churches in the morning for the ‘church service’, popularly known as mass, for Christ. Christmas, nominally a holiday is observed in various innovative ways apart from following traditional practices that includes: preparation of dishes, exchanging gifts, offering prayers and enjoying meal with family members. Following the centuries old customs and beliefs, Christians will observe Christmas 2011 on Sunday in the month of December.
For pilgrims and ardent followers of Jesus, Christmas is a season for pilgrimage. To make long and tiresome journeys to shrines or the sacred city Bethlehem, located in Palestine, Jerusalem that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus according to the New Testament Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
Merriment of Christmas has a long history and believed to bring goodwill. For many people, this festival is truly a magical season as they can stay at their houses and spend some good moments with their friends and family members. Christmas is a very special occasion for children because they fantasize Santa Claus traveling a long journey carrying fancy gifts for them.
The festivity of Christmas usually continues nearly for a month. But preparation gears up a few weeks ahead of Christmas. Houses, churches and offices are fascinatingly embellished with colourful lights to mark the religious festival in a grand way. Delicious cuisines and traditional dishes such as turkey, fruit cake, roasted potatoes, fudges and more are an integral part of this celebration.
Christmas is celebrated across the world following customs that varies from one to another country. But certain customs prevails irrespective of geographical boundary that includes sending warm Christmas greetings, fancy Christmas gifts and Christmas cards; to hold nativity plays, beautify Christmas tree and visit church to sing Christmas songs praising or reliving baby Jesus and Holy Mother Mary.
The excitement of the festival is also expressed and shared with lovely and snappy Christmas SMS or messages. Happy Christmas and Merry Christmas quotes available in varied languages are also popular as successful medium to share the spirit of joy and peace of the occasion.
Christmas tree, known as Yule tree, has a distinctive significance in this festival. The Christmas tree is adorned with beautifully wrapped gifts, ribbons and attractive items to make the occasion more pleasant. But with the growing awareness to protect trees and go eco-friendly, people now opting for artificial Yule tree at their houses to observe Christmas.
Christmas is the best time for a vacation. As New Year follows the festivity, people plan for long rejuvenating vacation making the occasion a memorable one.