- naekuoLv 71 decade agoBest Answer
Christmas (literally, the Mass of Jesus Christ) is a traditional holiday observed on 25 December. (In most Eastern Orthodox Churches, even where the civil calendar is the Gregorian, it is observed according to the Julian calendar, by which that date however coincides with the predominant reckoning of 7 January.) It is celebrated by most Christians to mark the birth of Jesus, which is believed to have occurred in Bethlehem in the Roman Province of Judea between 6 BC and AD 6. Christ's birth, or nativity, was said by his followers to fulfill the prophecies of Judaism that a messiah would come, from the house of David, to redeem the world from sin. Efforts to decide upon a date on which to celebrate his birth began some centuries later.Christmas has also acquired many secular aspects, which are sometimes celebrated more often than the birth of Jesus. Many Christmas traditions originated with pre-Christian observances that were syncretised into Christianity. Examples of this process are the northern European Yule, and the Winter Solstice celebration found in many older as well as recent pagan celebrations.In Western countries, Christmas has become the most economically significant holiday of the year. It is largely characterized by gifts being exchanged between friends and family members, and the appearance of Santa Claus. Various local and regional Christmas traditions are still practised, despite the widespread influence of American and British Christmas motifs disseminated by globalization, popular literature, television, and other media.The word Christmas is a contraction of Christ's Mass, derived from the Old English Cristes mæsse. It is often abbreviated Xmas, probably because X resembles the Greek letter Χ (chi) which has often historically been used as an abbreviation for Christ (Χριστός in Greek).
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