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 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.

In Other News...

Grapevine Church Offering Interactive 'Miracle of Jesus' Event

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/26/15) — Grapevine Christian Church is hosting the “Miracle of Jesus,” a unique, multi-sensory,… Read More

Bid Awarded for Downtown Plaza Roof, Back Wall Construction

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/25/15) ― An Oak Grove company was awarded a bid to install a roof and back wall for the… Read More

Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 9664

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 20, 2015 9660

Dispatchers Overhear Drug Activity during…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8623

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7411

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4344

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 15213

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14326

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 25, 2015 1910

Man Hospitalized after Early Morning Car Accident

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 1790

Hopkins County Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted -…

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 1142

Students Serve to Learn Life Lesson

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 1011

Madisonville Police Reports Released

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 903

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 884

Muhlenberg Sheriff's Office Makes Cocaine Bust

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 855

Two Vehicle Collision Sends Four to Area Hospitals

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 848

A.G. Conway Announces $256 Million Settlement…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 840

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores…

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 726

Thanksgiving is Peak Day for Cooking Fires

by SurfKY News