Christmas and Its History
December 25th is the day when many Christian churches welcome the Christmas festivity that takes place for three holy days to remind us of the birth of Jesus Christ. There are other Christians, mostly Orthodox churches to continue this celebration on the 7th of January that is the day that corresponds to 25th of December of the Julian calendar.
From its historic perspective, Christmas has undergone various stages, and not all of them are filled with joy as it happens nowadays when we welcome it inside our homes and celebrate it with our families and friends.
Christmas time for instance was not known at all in the early days of church establishments for later, in the Middle Age, to start being celebrated and welcomed through various manifestations of festivity and joy. Not to mention that it has known also times of banning and being even argued in 2000 by USA Supreme Court.
In the first days of Christian churches, Christmas had nothing to do with being celebrated by people, but mostly the Resurrection of Christ was seen as an event worth being celebrated. The date of December 25 was officially introduced with the present significance in 350 short after Byzantine Empire (under the rule of Constantine the Great – 312) declared Christianity as their official religion.
There is however a record of this feast that dates back in the year 221 with a famous theologian, Origen, stating that celebrating Christmas is in fact of a pagan influence. He declares that only sinners are those who celebrate their birth dates considering that saints are remembered only after their birth in heaven – meaning the date of their death.
Middle ages knew the Christmas celebration as it became the most predominant of the holidays with all the magnates and royal houses celebrating the day as well. It is during these historic ages, that Christmas has gained popularity as many festivals accompanied and made this celebration to evolve in to what it is nowadays.
With the coming or Reformation in the 17th century, Christmas knew again a decline as Protestants condemned the festivity while Catholic church gave this holiday a more religious connotation. In 1644, Charles I had officially banned Christmas this leading to many riots in several parts of the kingdom.
In USA there was also an opposition of the Puritans towards the celebration of Christmas this resulting into an outlaw holiday in the city of Boston in the late period of the 1600s. Other cities were also against this celebration considering it an English custom.
Washington Irving was the one who revived the spirit of Christmas as one to bring the warmth and joy in to the souls of people. It is known that mostly German immigrants were the ones to advance the idea of celebrating Christmas which lead to finally declaring it a national holiday starting with 1870.