Christmas Day 2021 | Why We Celebrate Christmas

Christmas-Day-2020-Calendar

When is Christmas Day in 2021?

Christmas is a time of year full of tradition, wonder and celebrated by billions of people around the world. You’ve probably heard of Christmas carols, Father Christmas and advent.

The season of red, green and gold. December is full of excitement along with the hustle and bustle of everyone trying to finish their annual festive preparations.

But, this time of year is actually about much more décor, buying presents for everyone and mince pies. So, what is Christmas, why is Christmas celebrated, and when is Christmas Day in 2021?

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What is Christmas and Why is Christmas Important?

Christmas is a Christian holy day celebrated annually to mark the birth of Jesus, the son of God. It’s an annual Christian festival, and a special time of year to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. 

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the word Christmas is formed from the word “Christ-mass” or “Cristes maesse” in old-English. The mass of Christ. Christmas was originally called Yule, which is the old-Saxon word for mid-winter before it became Christ-mass in the 19th century.

Christmas is now one of the biggest celebrations around the world and celebrated by billions of people, and not just by Christians. In the Western church, Christmas day is celebrated on the 25th December every year. This traditional date goes as far back as A.D. 273. 

However, the Christmas we know today began to shape in Victorian times during the reign of Queen Victoria. It was well-documented how much Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert loved Christmas. 

Prince Albert was Germany-born and brought over traditions such as the Christmas tree. This encourages families all over the country and soon became the fashion to have a well-decorated tree in your home.

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Why is Christmas Celebrated on the 25th of December?

You may be surprised to hear that Jesus’ birthday was not on the 25 of December. Ironically, no one knows the official day Jesus was born and why Christmas is celebrated on 25th December.

This is because there is no recorded date in the Bible, and the earliest Christians did not celebrate the birth of Jesus. In fact, Easter was the main holiday and the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. 

The celebration of Christmas was first recorded in Rome from 336 A.D. However, there is evidence to suggest that Jesus’ birth may have happened in Spring. Shepherds would not be herding their sheep in the middle of winter.

Pope I then chose the 25th of December as the date to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

However, contrary to belief, it is likely that the 25th of December was selected to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. Christmas actually began as a Pagan celebration for around 300 years prior to it being a Christian annual festival.

Nativity-Scene

When is Christmas Day 2021

This year, in 2021, Christmas Day falls on Saturday, 25 December. This is the 4th Saturday in December. This also means that the Christmas Day and Boxing Day bank holidays, for countries such as the UK, will fall on Monday 27 December and Tuesday 28 December as substitute days.

For more information on the UK dates and bank holidays visit GOV.UK.

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How is Christmas Celebrated?

Traditional Christmas symbols have evolved to what they are today and celebrated all over the world in different religions, cultures and countries.

Christmas is no longer just celebrated by Christians and is now a holiday day for many countries, but not all, around the world.

It is a time when families and friends come together to share their own traditions and sometimes give gifts to each other. For children, Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, who brings presents is a big part of this excitement. 

People around the world have their own traditions and way of celebrating Christmas. Some of the traditional ways are retelling the story of Jesus’ birth through nativity plays – often in schools by children playing different characters. 

In Church, services include carol singing which are happy songs retelling the story of Jesus. A midnight mass is often attending by Christians on Christmas eve as a way of starting Christmas day. 

On Christmas Day, a Christmas dinner is often enjoyed with family and friends by sharing traditional food such as Turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies. 

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What is the Meaning Behind Christmas Traditions?

Christians have long celebrated Christmas for thousands of years, however, the meaning of some of the Christmas traditions we know and love today were founded before Jesus Christ was born

What is the Christian meaning behind these traditions?

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees are a symbol of everlasting life with God. These were used by Egyptians before Christ to decorate their homes during the winter months.

Bells

Bells symbolise ringing out news, to proclaim the birth of Christ. The ringing of bells goes back as far as Pagan celebrations.

Holly

Holly is considered by Christians to symbolise the thorns of Jesus’ crown when he died on the cross.

Red

Red is the colour primarily associated with Christmas and represents holly berries and Christ’s blood when he died on the cross. The colour red also represents the colour of Bishop robes.

Candles

Candles represent Jesus being the ‘light of the world’, and was used to represent the star of Bethlehem in early records dating back to the middle ages.

Gifts

Gifts are associated with the Christian tradition of the Three Wise Men who presented gifts to baby Jesus.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a symbol which originated in ancient Greece. During Roman times, evergreen Mistletoe would be used to restore and reconcile friendships for enemies at war.

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Our Final Thoughts on Christmas Day in 2021

So, when you celebrate Christmas Day in 2021, decorating your home and buying Christmas presents for family and friends, remember why we celebrate Christmas. The traditions behind the festival and the birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s so easy to get lost in the business with everything going on. But, pause and, reflect on the meaning of Christmas – perhaps with a candle and some mistletoe.

Related Christmas Articles:

Christmas Day 2021 | Why We Celebrate Christmas

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