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.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist Health Emergency Room

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/13/14) — Madisonville Police responded to a disturbance call from Baptist Health emergency room… Read More

US 60 Extension at Owensboro to Open Monday, Sept. 15

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/13/14) — A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is preparing to open a major portion of… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 12, 2014 16074

Woman's Body Found in Theater Day After…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 10, 2014 7999

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Police Capture…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 10, 2014 4085

Hopkins, Webster Men Arrested for Meth by…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
September 10, 2014 3900

Woman Accused of Trying to Give Child…

in Top Stories by Det. Otis Chamberlain
September 13, 2014 2931

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 10, 2014 7999

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Police Capture…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 10, 2014 3900

Woman Accused of Trying to Give Child…

in Top Stories by Det. Otis Chamberlain
September 13, 2014 2931

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 11, 2014 2421

Suspect Arrested for Possession of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 11, 2014 1930

Three Injured in Early Morning Two-Car…

in Top Stories by Officer Falon Graham

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 10, 2014 2077

Owensboro Police Department Activity…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
September 10, 2014 1912

Randy Lanham, Marty Brown, Team Up for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 10, 2014 1550

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
September 11, 2014 1234

Owensboro Police Department Activity…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
September 11, 2014 1207

Owensboro Parks Plans Fall Day Camp

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 11, 2014 2918

Subject of Officer-Involved Shooting…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 10, 2014 2800

School System's New Finance Officer Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 10, 2014 2529

School System's Request for $5.5M Falls…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 11, 2014 2172

Two Accidents Occur on U.S. 62 Within…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
September 11, 2014 1703

Job Corps Students Volunteer with…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06