christmas tree inside 300U.S. (12/25/13) — Both a worldwide commercial marvel and a sacred religious holiday, Christmas is celebrated all around the world by observing it with traditions and practices.

Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the birth of Jesus, the spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Some customs include gift exchanging, decorating, attending churches, sharing meals with loved ones and waiting for Santa Clause to arrive.

Before the birth of Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the dark winters. During the winter solstice, people rejoiced when the worst of the winter was behind them and to look forward to longer days of extended sunlight.

The Norse of Scandinavia celebrated Yule from Dec. 21 through January. Fathers and sons gathered huge logs, which they set on fire and feasted until the logs burnt out. The Norse believed that every spark represented a new pig or calf that would be born in the coming year.

In Germany, the pagan god Oden was honored during the mid-winter holiday. It was believed that Germans were terrified of him because he made night time flights through the sky to observe people and would decide who would prosper or perish.

In Rome, they celebrated Saturnalia, which is a holiday to honor and celebrate Saturn, god of agriculture, during the beginning of the week leading up to the winter solstice that continued into a full month. Saturnalia was a pleasure-seeking time, where food and drinks were readily available and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For this month, masters would become slaves and peasants would be in command of the city.

Also during this time, Romans observed Juvenalia with a feast for children. Mirtha, god of unconquerable sun birthday was celebrated on Dec. 25. It was believed Mirtha, an infant god, was born of a rock and for some Romans, Mirtha’s birthday is the most sacred day of the year.
 
In early years of Christianity, Easter was the main celebrated holiday, not the birth of Jesus. It wasn’t until the fourth century church officials instituted the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

It wasn’t until the 19tg century Americans started to embrace Christmas and reinvented the holiday to a family-centered day of peace and reminiscence.

Christmas Day, Dec. 25 officially became a federal holiday in the United States June 26, 1870.

In 1931, the tradition of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was started by a group of construction workers that placed a tree in the middle of their construction site.

Every year, 30 to 35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States and it is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

1 DOW 18,010.68
-115.44 (-0.64%)    
2 S&P 2,107.39
-13.40 (-0.63%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,070.03
-27.95 (-0.55%)    

Most Read This Week

May 23, 2015 8216

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 7005

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 5538

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3926

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 27, 2015 3842

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11054

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 8216

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 28, 2015 5538

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1919

Greenville Man Charged with Rockport Robbery,…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1443

Livingston Street, Hanson Rezoning Request…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1361

Dawson Springs Woman Charged on Drug Offenses, DUI

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1139

Teens Injured When Vehicle Crashes into Tree

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1115

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released - May…

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 1020

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 966

Two Hopkins Countians to Receive MERR Scholarships

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 957

Slaughters Student, Madisonville Faculty Member…

by Joyce Riggs
May 28, 2015 869

Southside Elementary Wins $30,000 in National…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News