Hobbies and Crafts Ideas | Collecting Hobbies | Home Hobby Ideas
Page: Christmas History - The Origins of Christmas Celebrations

Christmas History

A Brief History of Christmas Celebrations around the World

Although commercial activities during Christmas today are often blamed for making the season too materialistic, let's not forget that it's this very commercialization that makes Christmas so popular.

Comments that the religius aspect of Christmas is so overlooked and overshadowed that its celebration seems purely pagan are actually not far from the thruth. There has always been some link between Christmas and pagan celebrations.

../images/Church-at-Christmas.jpg
Celebrations of Christmas during winter time has its roots in pagan end of year celebrations.

Church leaders instituted Christmas as a religious holiday during winter because that time of the year was popular for the celebrations of many pagan festivals. The hope was that Christmas would also become a holiday that would gain much popularity.

Winter Solstice

Long before the birth of Jesus Christ, people in various parts of Europe would
celebrate light and birth in the darkest days of winter. The winter solstice (the longest night of the year), when the harshest part of winter was over, was a time of celebration for many peoples because they would look forward to more hours of sunlight during the longer days ahead.

The Norse in Scandinavia celebrated Yule from the winter solstice on December 21 through to January. Men brought home logs that were lighted and a feast would take place until the log was completely burned. Each spark from the fire was believed to represent a new pig or calf to be born in the coming new year.

The pagan god Oden was honored by Germans during the mid-winter holiday. Oden inspired great fear in the Germans who believed that Oden traveled at nights through the sky, to observe people and make a decision about who would perish or prosper in life. This belief caused most people to stay inside during the period.

../images/Christmas-feast-450.jpg
Organizing a Christmas feast is part of Christmas history and origins that goes back to its early beginnings.

Saturnalia Holiday

In Rome it was the god of agriculture, Saturn, who was honored in a holiday called Saturnalia. It was a holiday that started during the week that led up to the winter solstice and continued for a month with hedonistic celebrations. There was plenty of food and drink and the normal social class rules of who had privilege and power in Roman society were totally disregarded as everyone participated in the festivities. Some Romans also had a feast called Juvenalia to honor children and the birthday of the sun god Mithra was sometimes celebrated by the upper classes.

The Feast of the Nativity

In the early years of the start of Christianity Christmas was not celebrated. The main Christian holiday in those years was Easter. It was in the 4th Century that church officials made a decision to have the birth of Jesus celebrated as a holiday and Pope Julius I chose December 25 as the day of Jesus' birth. The holiday, which was first called the Feast of the Nativity, spread to England by the end of the 6th Century and to Scandinavia by the end of the 8th Century.

Christmas Pagan Celebrations

Church leaders achieved the goal of having Christmas celebrations, including attendance at church, become popular during the winter solstice. But they were unable to control other pagan-like celebrations during Christmas. Believers would attend church on Christmas and then participate later in raucous and drunken celebrations. But by the Middle Ages, from around the 5th to the 16th Century, Christianity had outgrown paganism as a religion.

../images/House-and-street-decor.jpg
Modern Christmas celebrations have their roots in the past, but have been modified to keep in step with the modern times and technology.

Christmas celebrations in England

The celebration of Christmas in Europe changed in the early 17th Century, when Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans gained power in England in 1645. To remove decadent behavior from the society, Cromwell cancelled Christmas as the Puritans noted that the Bible doesn't mention any date for Jesus' birth. The lack of this information and specific Biblical references to Christmas is also cited by religious groups like Jehovah Witnesses as the reason they don't observe or participate in Christmas. Christmas celebrations returned in England around 1649 when Charles II was restored to the throne.

Christmas celebrations in America

Christmas wasn't a holiday in early America because the Pilgrims who came to America had even stricter beliefs than Cromwell and the Puritans. Christmas celebrations were even forbidden in Boston from 1659 to 1681. During the same time however, settlers in Jamestown in Virginia were reported to have enjoyed Christmas.

After the American Revolution, Christmas again lost popularity and it wasn't until June 26, 1870 that Christmas was declared a federal holiday. Christmas in the United States gained popularity as a holiday period during the 19th Century. Christmas celebrations also changed at that time to be more family-centered rather than being carnival-like.

  Christmas Traditions and Decor
../images/Beads-star-105.jpg
Christmas Crafts
../images/Christmas-decorations-gallery-105.jpg
Christmas Decoration Gallery
../images/Christmas-illustration-105.jpg
Christmas Illustrations
../images/Christmas-glass-ornaments-105.jpg
Christmas Ornaments
../images/Christmas-tree-top-105.jpg
Christmas Tree Top
../images/House-and-street-decor-105.jpg
Christmas History
../images/Santa-Claus-105.jpg
Christmas Traditions
../images/Christmas-candles-light-105.jpg
Christmas Trivia
../images/Christmas-at-the-office-105.jpg
Christmas at the Office
../images/Christmas-in-Betlehem-display-105.jpg
Christmas in the World
../images/Decorated-house-in-Canada-105.jpg
Christmas in the USA
../images/Pom-Pom-Ornaments-105.jpg
Pom-Pom Decorations
../images/Santa-Claus-in-tropics-105.jpg
Tropical Christmas
     

Home
HOBBIES
   Archery as a Hobby
   Awesome Hobbies
   Boating as a Hobby
   Five Musical Instruments
   Hobbies for Children
   Hobbies to Pass Time
   Hobbies to Take Up
   Hobby for My Personality
   Hobby Ideas for Men
   Home and Hobby
   Home Based Carpentry
   Home Hobby Kits
   Learning to Draw
   Look at Hobby Ideas
   Nurture Your Creativity
   Outdoor Hobbies
   Pass Time Hobby
   Photography as a Hobby
   Play Bluegrass Guitar
   Start Singing Hobby
   Stress Reducing Hobbies
   Summer Hobby Ideas
   Turn Hobby Into Business
CRAFTS
   Arts and Crafts
   Art Supplies and Kits for Kids
   Be Your Own Wedding Planner
   Boat Craft Ideas
   Craft Maker Tools
   Crafting With Kids
   Create Wedding Decorations
   Creative Party Invitations
   Customizing Your Clothes
   DIY Table Centerpieces
   DIY Yarn Crafts
   Fun Paper Crafts
   Holiday Crafts
   Home DIY Projects
   Home Made Invitations
   Kids Craft Ideas
   Make Glasses Case
   Make Out of Wood
   Mardi Gras Crafts
   Teach Your Child Sewing
   Turn Craft Hobby Into Business
   Using Old Cardboard
CHRISTMAS
   Christmas Crafts
   Christmas Decoration
   Christmas Illustrations
   Christmas Ornaments
   Christmas Tree Top
   Christmas History
   Christmas Traditions
   Christmas Trivia
   Christmas at the Office
   Christmas in the World
   Christmas in the USA
   Pom Pom Decorations
   Tropical Christmas
GIFTS
   Awesome Christmas Gifts
   Awesome Gift Ideas
   Baby Bath Gift Ideas
   Christmas Gift Ideas
   Cookie Gift Basket
   Embroidery Christmas Gifts
   Give a Gift Basket
   Gift Ideas for Her
   Gift Ideas for Him
   Gift Ideas for Kids
   Gift Wrapping Craft
   Gifts and Hobbies
   Gifts for Makeup Lovers
   Handicraft Gift
   Travel Gift Ideas
FLOWERS
   Buy Flowers in India
   Choosing a Florist
   Send Flowers Gift
   Send Unexpected Flowers
   Valentine Day Flowers
COLLECTING
   Art Collectibles Hobby
   Collectables for Investment
   Collecting Sports Memorabilia
   Model Aircraft Collection
   Pin Collecting Hobby
   Rock Collecting Hobby
HOLIDAYS
   Adventure Holiday Spots
   Adventurous Driving Trails
   Adventurous Hiking Trails
   Adventure Travel in Asia
   Beach Resort Holiday
   Family Beach Vacations
   Family Holidays With Teens
   Five Beach Holiday Tips
   Holiday Reduces Stress
   Luxury Cruise Holiday
   Popular Island Holidays
   Safe Beach Holidays
   South Africa Safari Holidays
   Staying Healthy During Holidays
   Unique Holiday Destinations
RECREATION
   Custom Built Caravans
   Five Car Audio Gadgets
   Outdoor Sports Activities
   Renting Photo Booth London
   Sports Recreation Activities
Self Improvement
   Innovation Tips in Life
   Self Improvement Power
   Self Improvement Success
   Self Motivation Tips
   Using Creative Thinking
Warhammer
   Miniatures Gallery
   Leveling Guide
About
Contact
Updates
Guest Posts
Links

Home
HOBBIES
CRAFTS
CHRISTMAS
GIFTS
FLOWERS
COLLECTING
HOLIDAYS
RECREATION
Self Improvement
Warhammer
About
Contact
Updates
Guest Posts
Links
Link to us
Privacy Policy