Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Christmas Day, originally an annual Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is celebrated on December 25, throughout the world. With the passage of time, Christmas celebration has become an occasion to celebrate and reaffirm the universal feelings of love, affection and the oneness of all the humanity in most countries. It is especially so in India and some other Asian and African countries, even in places where the Christian population is a minority.

There are people who think that this date is not known to be Jesus' actual birthday, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, a historical Roman festival, or the date of the northern hemisphere's winter solstice. There is one more reason to think so because of readjustments in Calendars in some systems like the Gregorian calendar, Julian calendar and others. But the generally accepted date of birth of Jesus is 25 December, and let us celebrate this date as the date on which the great messiah of love and affection blessed the mankind.

Christmas celebrations may vary in the manner in which it is celebrated around the world, reflecting differing cultural and national traditions. For example, Christmas is very popular in countries such as Japan and Korea, though the Christian population is very small in those countries, but they have adopted many of the secular aspects of Christmas, such as sending gifts, colorful decorations with Christmas trees and other symbolic Christmas items and greeting one another with love and affection.

Christmas Day is a major festival and public holiday in most countries of the world, especially in some non-Christian countries, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration, for instance Hong Kong. As exceptions, countries where Christmas is not a formal public holiday include China, (except Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Thailand, Nepal, Iran, Turkey and North Korea.

As I said, may be because of calendar conflicts, or as a matter of their beliefs, while most countries celebrate Christmas on December 25, some national churches, including those of Russia, Georgia, Egypt, Armenia, Ukraine, Macedonia and Serbia celebrate Xmas on January 7. This is because of their use of the traditional Julian calendar, under which December 25 falls on January 7.

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