Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

The History of Christmas

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

© Copyright 2014 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 by using one of the social media links below.

Faces & Stories: The People of Land Between the Lakes

In Other News...

Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Minor

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/23/14) — Madisonville Detectives conducted a knock and talk after receiving an anonymous tip that… Read More

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Reporting Check Stolen She Cashed

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/24/14) — Madisonville Police arrested a woman for cashing a check and then reporting it stolen… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 20, 2014 6678

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 19, 2014 4483

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 18, 2014 3422

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 21, 2014 3415

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 20, 2014 2844

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 2650

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 22, 2014 2647

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 23, 2014 2612

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2440

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
October 22, 2014 2306

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 23, 2014 2612

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1843

Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Minor

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1635

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 23, 2014 1613

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 23, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1528

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Lisa Miller
October 22, 2014 1235

Build, Go and Grow Regional Entrepreneurship…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Patricia Wiles
October 23, 2014 1021

America Should Not Go Greek in the Bathroom

in General News For All Sites by Dr. Glenn Mollette
October 22, 2014 973

Come Monster Mash at the Museum This Saturday

in General News For All Sites by National Corvette Museum
October 23, 2014 966

Vocational Rehabilitation Seeks Public Input Nov.…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
October 23, 2014 829

UPDATE: Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week –…

in Local (Hopkinsville) Top News by Paul Ray

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss