Christmas

Christmas
Christmas Day
Nativity tree2011.jpg
A depiction of the Nativity of Jesus with a Christmas tree backdrop
Also calledNoël, Nativity, Xmas, Yule
Observed byChristians, many non-Christians[1][2]
TypeChristian, cultural
SignificanceCommemoration of the Nativity of Jesus
CelebrationsGift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc.
ObservancesChurch services
Date
FrequencyAnnual
Related toChristmastide, Christmas Eve, Advent, Annunciation, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, Nativity Fast, Nativity of Christ, Yule, St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[8][9] observed primarily on December 25[4][10][11] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][12][13] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;[14] in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave.[15] Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations,[16][17][18] is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians,[19] as well as culturally by many non-Christians,[1][20] and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies.[21] When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then further disseminated the information.[22]

Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[23] a date that was later adopted in the East.[24][25] Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.[26][27][28][29]

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[30] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[31] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

Etymology

"Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass". It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038[9] followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.[32] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah", meaning "anointed";[33][34] and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.

The form Christenmas was also historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal;[35] it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, literally "Christian mass".[36] Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), "Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use;[37] it has precedent in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where "Χρ̄" is an abbreviation for Χριστός).[36]

Other names

In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter",[38][39] or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteð (from Latin nātīvitās below).[38][40] "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās.[41] In Old English, Gēola (Yule) referred to the period corresponding to December and January, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas.[42] "Noel" (or "Nowel") entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs) meaning "birth (day)".[43]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kersfees
Alemannisch: Weihnachten
አማርኛ: ገና
Ænglisc: Crīstesmæsse
العربية: عيد الميلاد
aragonés: Nadal
armãneashti: Crâciunu
অসমীয়া: বৰদিন
asturianu: Navidá
Avañe'ẽ: Arareñói
azərbaycanca: Milad
বাংলা: বড়দিন
Bahasa Banjar: Hari Natal
Bân-lâm-gú: Sèng-tàn-cheh
башҡортса: Раштыуа
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Божае Нараджэньне
भोजपुरी: क्रिसमस
Boarisch: Weihnochtn
bosanski: Božić
brezhoneg: Nedeleg
буряад: Рождество
català: Nadal
Чӑвашла: Раштав (уяв)
Cebuano: Pasko
čeština: Vánoce
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Pascua
corsu: Natale
Cymraeg: Nadolig
dansk: Jul
davvisámegiella: Juovllat
Deitsch: Grischtdaag
Deutsch: Weihnachten
eesti: Jõulud
Ελληνικά: Χριστούγεννα
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Nadêl
español: Navidad
Esperanto: Kristnasko
estremeñu: Naviá
euskara: Eguberria
فارسی: کریسمس
føroyskt: Jól
français: Noël
Frysk: Krysttiid
furlan: Nadâl
Gaeilge: An Nollaig
Gaelg: Nollick
Gàidhlig: Nollaig
galego: Nadal
ગુજરાતી: નાતાલ
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Natal
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sṳn-tan-chiet
한국어: 크리스마스
Hawaiʻi: Kalikimaka
Հայերեն: Սուրբ ծնունդ
हिन्दी: क्रिसमस
hornjoserbsce: Hody
hrvatski: Božić
Ilokano: Paskua
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: নাটাল
Bahasa Indonesia: Natal
Interlingue: Crist-nascentie
Iñupiak: Kraisimaġvik
isiZulu: UKhisimusi
íslenska: Jól
italiano: Natale
עברית: חג המולד
Basa Jawa: Natal
ქართული: ქრისტეს შობა
kaszëbsczi: Gòdë
қазақша: Рождество
Kinyarwanda: Noheli
Kiswahili: Krismasi
Kongo: Nowele
Kreyòl ayisyen: Nowèl
kurdî: Gaxand
кырык мары: Шартял
Ladino: Navidad
latgaļu: Zīmyssvātki
latviešu: Ziemassvētki
Lëtzebuergesch: Chrëschtdag
lietuvių: Kalėdos
Limburgs: Kaersjmes
lumbaart: Nedàl
magyar: Karácsony
मैथिली: क्रिसमस
македонски: Божиќ
Malagasy: Noely
Malti: Milied
मराठी: नाताळ
مازِرونی: کریسمس
Bahasa Melayu: Krismas
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Séng-dáng-cáik
мокшень: Роштува
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ခရစ္စမတ်
Dorerin Naoero: An bum in pudu Jesus
Nederlands: Kerstmis
Nedersaksies: Kìrsttied
नेपाली: क्रिसमस
日本語: クリスマス
Napulitano: Natale
Nordfriisk: Jül
Norfuk / Pitkern: Kresmes
norsk: Jul
norsk nynorsk: Jul
Nouormand: Noué
Novial: Yule
occitan: Nadal
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Mavlud
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕ੍ਰਿਸਮਸ
Pälzisch: Woihnachde
ភាសាខ្មែរ: បុណ្យណូអែល
Plattdüütsch: Wiehnacht
português: Natal
Ripoarisch: Weihnachte
română: Crăciun
Romani: Kristuno
rumantsch: Nadel
Runa Simi: Nawirá
русиньскый: Різдво Хрістове
саха тыла: Ороһуоспа
Gagana Samoa: Kerisimasi
संस्कृतम्: क्रिस्मस्
Seeltersk: Wienoachten
sicilianu: Natali
සිංහල: නත්තල
Simple English: Christmas
سنڌي: ڪرسمس
slovenčina: Vianoce
slovenščina: Božič
کوردی: کریسمس
српски / srpski: Божић
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Božić
suomi: Joulu
svenska: Jul
Tagalog: Pasko
татарча/tatarça: Раштуа
తెలుగు: క్రిస్టమస్
tetun: Natál
тоҷикӣ: Мавлуди Исо
Türkçe: Noel
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Krïthmath
українська: Різдво Христове
اردو: کرسمس
vèneto: Nadal
vepsän kel’: Raštvad
Tiếng Việt: Lễ Giáng Sinh
walon: Noyé
文言: 聖誕節
West-Vlams: Kestdag
Winaray: Pasko
Wolof: Nowel
吴语: 圣诞
Xitsonga: Khisimusi
ייִדיש: ניטל
Yorùbá: Christmas
粵語: 聖誕節
Zazaki: Gağand
žemaitėška: Kaliedas
中文: 圣诞节
Lingua Franca Nova: Natal