An essay on christmas : the pre-Christian origins
Of course, like many other Christians and simply ordinary people, you’re also looking forward to obtaining awesome gifts for Christmas. But, do you really know what stands for this holiday? Let’s get familiar with the origin of this great day in our essay on christmas.
Perhaps, you’ll be surprised to hear this, but the history of Christmas doesn’t start with one of the most legendary personalities – Christ. The shortest day of the year, known as the winter solstice has been celebrated in different form for millennia. Northern Europeans called it «Jul.» Later, in the English language the given noun transformed into «Yule.» Ancient Rome called it the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which stood for «the birthday of the great Sun.» At that time pagans devoted their feastings and sacrifices to this day. Thus, they commemorated the very beginning of the Sun’s revival.
The birth of the long-awaited Messiah to Israelites was mentioned in many books of the Old Testament, not to mention various descriptive christmas essays. As you know, there’s some debate over the Immaculate Conception. Recently, it has been unveiled that the original Jewish word, initially translated as «virgin» most likely stands for «young woman» and that certainly had nothing to do with with miracles.
No one knows for sure whether Christ really existed on our planet or not and a great number of scholars keep debating over this. Perhaps, the most problematic nuance here is the date. Medieval Christians pointed out to 0AD. On the other hand, according to the Gospels, that’s 4BC. Then, the Gospel of Luke states that Mary and Joseph left before his birth for Bethlehem for a large census. From any christmas descriptive essay you can learn that the closest census to Christ’s birth was in 6AD. Humphrey Carpenter told in his book one Jewish religious teacher had been executed by crucifixion approximately between 28AD and 30AD.
For the first time the Roman Empire was in opposition to the young religion, to put it mildly. In that country Christians were born and even thrown to the lions. Nevertheless, gradually polytheistic Rome changed its mind as for Christianity. The first Christian emperor of Rome was Constantine I. In 313AD, he issued a special order that officially permitted the practice of the religion and forced the return of property confiscated from the Church.
25 December wasn’t the most crucial date for Christians for a long time. Only after the coronation of Emperor Charlemagne on Christmas Day (800AD) this date acquired a greater significance. In England, the date became more important after the Christmas coronations of Edmund the Martyr and William the Conqueror, in 885AD and 1066AD.
Both Massachusetts Puritans and the English parliament headed by Oliver Cromwell tried to officially ban the celebration of this holiday in England. They simply considered Christmas to be pagan and popish.
Evergreen trees were a must-have component of pre-Christian solstice celebrations. However, in England they weren’t used for this purpose until Victorian times, when people enjoyed an idea of having an evergreen tree in the house. The Queen’s family introduced this tradition to the country, as her German parents had been already familiar with that custom.
Initially, Father Christmas and Santa Claus were absolutely different people. The patron saint of archers, sailors, kids, ships, students and pawnbrokers became a bringer of Christmas gifts in Dutch folklore. Named Sinterklaas in Dutch, he was traditionally depicted as a bearded large man in a green cloak. As for Father Christmas, also dubbed Pere Noel, he was just an embodiment of the Christmas spirit cheer. However, that spirit was never associated with gift-bringing. These two opposite myths gradually merged and became absolute synonyms. By the way, until the 1930s, Santa Claus boasted a variety of colors. Then, Haddon Sundblom depicted him in the red and white coloration in a Coca-Cola advert and since that time, the given image of Santa became superior in most cultures of the world.
An awesome thing took place just three months after the beginning of the World War I. When British and German troops stared across No Man’s Land, both armies suddenly ceased fire. The Germans began hanging candles on trees and sing carols. The British troops responded in the same way. Then, representatives of the both sides dared to creep out into the wasteland to exchange gifts. Sometimes, they even played football.
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