A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with face gestures. A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a chorus; the former term is often applied to groups affiliated with a church and the second to groups that perform in theatres or concert halls, but this distinction is far from rigid. Choirs may sing without instrumental accompaniment, with the accompaniment of a piano or pipe organ, with a small ensemble, or with a full orchestra of 70 to 100 musicians; the term "Choir" has the secondary definition of a subset of an ensemble. In typical 18th- to 21st-century oratorios and masses, chorus or choir is understood to imply more than one singer per part, in contrast to the quartet of soloists featured in these works.
Choirs are led by a conductor or choirmaster. Most choirs consist of four sections intended to sing in four part harmony, but there is no limit to the number of possible parts as long as there is a singer available to sing the part: Thomas Tallis wrote a 40-part motet entitled Spem in alium, for eight choirs of five parts each. Other than four, the most common number of parts are three, five and eight. Choirs can sing without instrumental accompaniment. Singing without accompaniment is called a cappella singing. Accompanying instruments vary from only one instrument to a full orchestra of 70 to 100 musicians. Many choirs perform in many locations such as a church, opera house, or school hall. In some cases choirs join up to become one "mass" choir. In this case they provide a series of songs or musical works to celebrate and provide entertainment to others. Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as a choral concert, by way of visible gestures with the hands, arms and head.
The primary duties of the conductor or choirmaster are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble. The conductor or choral director stands on a raised platform and he or she may or may not use a baton. In the 2010s, most conductors do not play an instrument when conducting, although in earlier periods of classical music history, leading an ensemble while playing an instrument was common. In Baroque music from the 1600s to the 1750s, conductors performing in the 2010s may lead an ensemble while playing a harpsichord or the violin. Conducting while playing a piano may be done with musical theatre pit orchestras. Communication is non-verbal during a performance. However, in rehearsals, the conductor will give verbal instructions to the ensemble, since they also serve as an artistic director who crafts the ensemble's interpretation of the music. Conductors act as guides to the choirs they conduct, they choose the works to be performed and study their scores, to which they may make certain adjustments, work out their interpretation, relay their vision to the singers.
Choral conductors may have to conduct instrumental ensembles such as orchestras if the choir is singing a piece for choir and orchestra. They may attend to organizational matters, such as scheduling rehearsals, planning a concert season, hearing auditions, promoting their ensemble in the media. Eastern Orthodox churches, some American Protestant groups, traditional synagogues do not use instruments. In churches of the Western Rite the accompanying instrument is the organ, although in colonial America, the Moravian Church used groups of strings and winds. Many churches which use a contemporary worship format use a small amplified band to accompany the singing, Roman Catholic Churches may use, at their discretion, additional orchestral accompaniment. In addition to leading of singing in which the congregation participates, such as hymns and service music, some church choirs sing full liturgies, including propers. Chief among these are the Roman Catholic churches. Mixed choirs; this is the most common type consisting of soprano, alto and bass voices abbreviate
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era, is a style of a cappella close harmony, or unaccompanied vocal music, characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. Each of the four parts has its own role: the lead sings the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, the baritone completes the chord below the lead; the melody is not sung by the tenor or baritone, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags or codas, or when some appropriate embellishment can be created. One characteristic feature of barbershop harmony is the use of what is known as "snakes" and "swipes"; this is. Occasional passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts. Barbershop music is performed by either a barbershop quartet, a group of four singers with one on each vocal part, or a barbershop chorus, which resembles a choir with the notable exception of the genre of music.
According to the Barbershop Harmony Society, "Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and singable melodies, whose tones define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and barbershop seventh chords that resolve around the circle of fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions." Slower barbershop songs ballads eschew a continuous beat, notes are held ad libitum. Except for the bass, the voice parts in barbershop singing do not correspond to their classical music counterparts. Barbershop singing is performed both by men's and women's groups; the defining characteristic of the barbershop style is the ringing chord, one in which certain overtones of the four voices reinforce each other, sometimes so that the overtone is perceived by the listener as a distinct tone though none of the voices are perceived as singing that tone. This effect occurs when the chord, as voiced, contains intervals which have reinforcing overtones that fall in the audible range. Both of these characteristics are important in many styles of singing, but in Barbershop there is an extreme emphasis on them that tends to override other musical values.
For example, favored chords in the jazz style are characterized by intervals which don't audibly ring, such as diminished or augmented fifths. For another example, Barbershop music is always a cappella, because the presence of fixed-pitch instruments, so prized in other choral styles, makes perfect just tuning of chords impossible; the physics and psychophysics of the effect are well understood. The effect is audible only on certain kinds of chords, only when all voices are rich in harmonics and justly tuned and balanced, it is not heard in chords sounded on modern keyboard instruments, due to the slight tuning imperfection of the equal-tempered scale. Gage Averill writes that "Barbershoppers have become partisans of this acoustic phenomenon" and that "the more experienced singers of the barbershop revival have self-consciously tuned their dominant seventh and tonic chords in just intonation to maximize the overlap of common overtones." However, "In practice, it seems that most leads rely on an approximation of an equal-tempered scale for the melody, to which the other voices adjust vertically in just intonation."What is prized is not so much the "overtone" itself, but a unique sound whose achievement is most recognized by the presence of the "overtone".
The precise synchrony of the waveforms of the four voices creates the perception of a "fifth voice" while at the same time melding the four voices into a unified sound. The ringing chord is qualitatively different in sound from an ordinary musical chord e.g. as sounded on a tempered-scale keyboard instrument. Most elements of the "revivalist" style are related to the desire to produce these ringing chords. Performance is a cappella to prevent the distracting introduction of equal-tempered intonation, because listening to anything but the other three voices interferes with a performer's ability to tune with the precision required. Barbershop arrangements stress chords and chord progressions that favor "ringing", at the expense of suspended and diminished chords and other harmonic vocabulary of the ragtime and jazz forms; the dominant seventh-type chord is so important to barbershop harmony that it is called the "barbershop seventh". BHS arrangers believe that a song should contain dominant seventh chords anywhere from 35 to 60 percent of the time to sound "barbershop".
Barbershoppers may have used the word "minor chord" in a way, confusing to those w
South Street Seaport
The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, centered where Fulton Street meets the East River, adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, is distinct from the neighboring Financial District, it is part of Manhattan Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, is bounded by the Financial District to the west and north. It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city; this includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, modern tourist malls featuring food and nightlife. The first pier in the area appeared in 1625, when the Dutch West India Company founded an outpost here. With the influx of the first settlers, the area was developed. One of the first and busiest streets in the area was today's Pearl Street, so named for a variety of coastal pearl shells.
Due to its location, Pearl Street gained popularity among traders. The East River was narrowed. By the second half of the 17th century, the pier was extended to Water Street to Front Street, by the beginning of the 19th century, to South Street; the pier was well reputed, as it was protected from ice of the Hudson River. In 1728, the Schermerhorn Family established trade with the city of South Carolina. Subsequently and indigo came from Charleston. At the time, the port was the focal point of delivery of goods from England. In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the British occupied the port, adversely affecting port trade for eight years. In 1783, many traders returned to England, most port enterprises collapsed; the port recovered from the post-war crisis. From 1797 until the middle of 19th century, New York had the country's largest system of maritime trade. From 1815 to 1860 the port was called the Port of New York. On February 22, 1784, the Empress of China sailed from the port to Guangzhou and returned to Philadelphia on May 15, 1785, bringing along, in its cargo and black teas and other goods.
This operation marked the beginning of trade relations between the newly formed United States and the Qing Empire. On January 5, 1818, the 424-ton transatlantic packet James Monroe sailed from Liverpool, opening the first regular trans-Atlantic voyage route, the Black Ball Line. Shipping on this route continued until 1878. Commercially successful transatlantic traffic has led to the creation of many competing companies, including the Red Star Line in 1822. Transportation contributed to the establishment of the New York one of the centers of world trade. One of the largest companies in the South Street Seaport area was the Fulton Fish Market, opened in 1822. In 2005, it was moved to the area of Bronx. In November 1825, the Erie Canal, located upstate, was opened; the canal, connecting New York to the western United States, facilitated the economic development of the city. However, for this reason, along with the beginning of the shipping era, there was a need to lengthen the piers and deepen the port.
On the night of December 17, 1835 a large fire in New York City destroyed 17 blocks, many buildings in the South Street Seaport burned to the ground. By the 1840s, the port recovered, by 1850, it reached its heyday: Looking east, was seen in the distance on the long river front from Coenties Slip to Catharine Street, innumerable masts of the many Californian clippers and London and Liverpool packets, with their long bowsprits extending way over South Street, reaching nearly to the opposite side. At its peak, the port hosted many commercial enterprises, ship-chandlers, boarding houses and brothels. However, by the 1880s, the port began to be depleted of resources, space for the development of these businesses was diminishing, the port became too shallow for newer ships. By the 1930s, most of the piers no longer functioned, cargo ships docked on ports on the West Side and in Hoboken. By the late 1950s, the old Ward Line docks, comprising Piers 15, 16, part of 17, were vacant; the South Street Seaport Museum was founded in 1967 by Norma Stanford.
When opened as a museum, the focus of the Seaport Museum conservation was to be an educational historic site, with shops operating as reproductions of working environments found during the Seaport's heyday. In 1982, redevelopment began to turn the museum into a greater tourist attraction via development of modern shopping areas; the project was undertaken by the prominent developer James Rouse and modeled on the concept of a "festival marketplace," a leading revitalization strategy throughout the 1970s. On the other side of Fulton Street from Schermerhorn Row, the main Fulton Fish Market building, which had become a large plain garage-type structure, was rebuilt as an upscale shopping mall. Pier 17's old platforms were demolished and a new glass shopping pavilion raised in its place, which opened in August 1983; the original intent of the Seaport development was the preservation of the block of buildings known as Schermerhorn Row on the southwest side of Fulton Street, which were threatened with neglect or future development, at a time when the history of New York City's sailing ship industry was not valued, except by some antiquarians.
Early historic preservation efforts focused on these buildings and the acquisition of several sailing ships. All buildings and the entire Seaport neighborhood are meant to transport the visitor back in time to New York's mid-19th century, to demonstrate
Manhattan referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U. S. state of New York. The borough consists of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson and Harlem rivers. S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower and Upper Manhattan. Manhattan has been described as the cultural, financial and entertainment capital of the world, the borough hosts the United Nations Headquarters. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, the borough has been the setting for numerous books and television shows. Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013. Manhattan traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan. Manhattan is documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders, which equals $1038 in current terms; the territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790; the Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace.
Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898. New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area, is the most densely populated U. S. county. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2017 population of 1,664,727 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles, or 72,918 residents per square mile, higher than the density of any individual U. S. city. On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile. Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, is the smallest borough in terms of land area. Manhattan Island is informally divided into three areas, each aligned with its long axis: Lower and Upper Manhattan. Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017, Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal.
The borough hosts many prominent bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement; the City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan, including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world; the name Manhattan derives from the Munsee dialect of the Lenape language'manaháhtaan'. The Lenape word has been translated as "the place where we get bows" or "place for gathering the bows". According to a Munsee tradition recorded in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at the lower end, considered ideal for the making of bows.
It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen. A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River. Alternative folk etymologies include "island of many hills", "the island where we all became intoxicated" and "island", as well as a phrase descriptive of the whirlpool at Hell Gate; the area, now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – became the first documented European to visit the area that would become New York City, he entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows and named the land around Upper New York
Barbershop Harmony Society
The Barbershop Harmony Society and named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash and Rupert I. Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1938, the organization grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages; as of 2014, just under 23,000 men in the United States and Canada were members of this organization whose focus is on a cappella music. The international headquarters was in Kenosha, Wisconsin for fifty years before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 2007. In June 2018, the society announced. A parallel women's singing organization, Sweet Adelines International was founded in 1945. A second women's barbershop harmony organization, Inc. broke from SAI in 1959 over an issue of racial exclusion, with SAI being white-only at that time. Several international affiliate organizations, in countries around the world, add their own flavor to the signature sound of barbershop harmony.
The original name SPEBSQSA was intended as a lampoon on Roosevelt's New Deal alphabet agencies. Because of the name's length and the difficult-to-pronounce acronym, society staff and members refer to SPEBSQSA as The Society. For decades, SPEBSQSA was the official name, while the Barbershop Harmony Society was an recognized and sanctioned alternate. Members were encouraged to use the alternate name, because it was felt that the official name was an in-joke that did not resonate outside the Society. In mid-2004, faced with declining membership, the Society adopted a marketing plan that called for using "Barbershop Harmony Society" and retaining the old name for certain legal purposes; the old official name spelled "barber shop" as two words, while barbershop is used elsewhere. In reference to the acronym SPEBSQSA, The Society has said "attempts to pronounce the name are discouraged". Unofficially, it is sometimes pronounced as if it were spelled "Spebsqua". In late 2004, the Society established Barbershop Harmony Society as its new "brand name", with a logo and identity program released in 2005.
Although the legal name remained SPEBSQSA, Inc. the decision was controversial, as many members felt that the new name did not reflect a mission of preservation and encouragement of the style. Many members were concerned that the term "quartet" had been dropped, fearing a movement in the direction of choral singing and downplaying quartet singing. A key aspect of the Society's mission is in the preservation of barbershop music. To this end, it maintains the Old Songs Library. Holding over 100,000 titles this is the largest sheet music collection in the world excepting only the Library of Congress; the "Barberpole Cat Program" is a collection of 12 songs that are considered standard repertoire for every barbershopper Every member receives a booklet upon joining the society. The purpose of this collection is so that whenever any barbershoppers meet they will always have something ready to sing; the society has published collections such as Strictly Barbershop. Harmony Foundation International, a 501 not-for-profit organization, was incorporated in 1959 as a charitable subsidiary of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
In 2003, in preparation for a new headquarters location, the Society sold both Harmony Hall, a historic lakefront mansion in Kenosha and its nearby facility located in a strip mall which the Society purchased in 1976 and renovated. HHW had housed merchandising, IT and membership. Operations and staff from both buildings were consolidated into a remodeled HHW. In 2006 the Society announced plans to move its headquarters to Tennessee. In August 2007, the Society completed the relocation in Nashville. In June 2018, the society announced it would allow women to join as full members, with each chapter deciding whether to remain all-male or add a mixed or all-women's chorus. Since 2009, women had been allowed to join as associates. To promote and improve barbershop singing, the society annually runs international and district-level contests for choruses and quartets; when a quartet wins the international gold medal, the foursome are considered champions forever and may not compete again. A chorus that wins the gold, must sit out of competition for only two years and thus may compete for the gold medal again in the third year following their win.
The Vocal Majority, based in Dallas, TX, thirteen-time International Chorus Champions – the chorus with the most international gold medals, ten of which were in succession until 2009. The Ambassadors of Harmony, based in St. Charles, MO, International Chorus Champions in 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2016, their 2009 championship interrupted the Vocal Majority's streak at 10 consecutive championships. The Masters of Harmony, nine-time International Chorus Champions; the Westminster Chorus, a youth barbershop chorus in California started by young members of the Masters of Harmony, International Champion in 2007, 2010, 2015. The Louisville Thoroughbreds Chorus, the society's first 7-time International Champion chorus won the gold medal in 1962, 1966, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1981 and 1984. For purposes of administration of local
A Christmas tree is a decorated tree an evergreen conifer such as a spruce, pine or fir, or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas, originating in Northern Europe. The custom was developed in medieval Livonia, in early modern Germany where Protestant Germans brought decorated trees into their homes, it acquired popularity beyond the Lutheran areas of Germany and the Baltic countries during the second half of the 19th century, at first among the upper classes. The tree was traditionally decorated with "roses made of colored paper, wafers, sweetmeats". In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there is a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garlands, baubles and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the Angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. Edible items such as gingerbread and other sweets are popular and are tied to or hung from the tree's branches with ribbons.
In the Western Christian tradition, Christmas trees are variously erected on days such as the first day of Advent or as late as Christmas Eve depending on the country. The Christmas tree is sometimes compared with the "Yule-tree" in discussions of its folkloric origins. Modern Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany, its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther, said to have first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Turckheim, dating 1576. While today the Christmas tree is a recognized symbol for the holidays, it was once a pagan tradition unassociated with Christmas traditions. Modern Christmas trees have been related to the "tree of paradise" of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples and wafers was used as a setting for the play.
Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls. At the end of the Middle Ages, an early predecessor appears referred in the Regiment of the Order of Cister around 1400, in Alcobaça, Portugal; the Regiment of the local high-Sacristans of the Cistercian Order refers to what may be considered one of the oldest references to the Christmas tree: "Note on how to put the Christmas branch, scilicet: On the Christmas eve, you will look for a large Branch of green laurel, you shall reap many red oranges, place them on the branches that come of the laurel as you have seen, in every orange you shall put a candle, hang the Branch by a rope in the pole, which shall be by the candle of the altar-mor."The relevance of ancient pre-Christian customs to the 16th-century German initiation of the Christmas tree custom is disputed. Resistance to the custom was because of its supposed Lutheran origins. Other sources have offered a connection between the symbolism of the first documented Christmas trees in Alsace around 1600 and the trees of pre-Christian traditions.
For example, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmas time."During the Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia, houses were decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other antecedent customs now associated with Christmas. The Vikings and Saxons worshiped trees; the story of Saint Boniface cutting down Donar's Oak illustrates the pagan practices in 8th century among the Germans. A folk version of the story adds the detail that an evergreen tree grew in place of the felled oak, telling them about how its triangular shape reminds humanity of the Trinity and how it points to heaven. Georgians have their own traditional Christmas tree called Chichilaki, made from dried up hazelnut or walnut branches that are shaped to form a small coniferous tree.
These pale-colored ornaments differ in height from 20 cm to 3 meters. Chichilakis are most common in the Guria and Samegrelo regions of Georgia near the Black Sea, but they can be found in some stores around the capital of Tbilisi. Georgians believe that Chichilaki resembles the famous beard of St. Basil the Great, because Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates St. Basil on 1 January. In Poland there was an old pagan custom of suspending a branch of fir, spruce or pine called Podłaźniczka from the ceiling. An alternative to this was mistletoe; the branches were decorated with apples, cookies, colored paper, stars made of straw and colored wafers. Some people believed that the tree had magical powers that were linked with harvesting and success in the next year. In the late 18th and early 19th century, these traditions were completely replaced by the German custom of decorati
Christmas and holiday season
The Christmas season called the holiday season, or the festive season, is an annually recurring period recognized in many Western and Western-influenced countries, considered to run from late November to early January. It is defined as incorporating at least Christmas, New Year, sometimes various other holidays and festivals, it is associated with a period of shopping which comprises a peak season for the retail sector, a period of sales at the end of the season. Christmas window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies when trees decorated with ornaments and light bulbs are illuminated are traditions in many areas. In the denominations of Western Christianity, the term "Christmas season" is considered synonymous with Christmastide, which runs from December 25 to January 5, popularly known as the 12 Days of Christmas. However, as the economic impact involving the anticipatory lead-up to Christmas Day grew in America and Europe into the 19th and 20th centuries, the term "Christmas season" began to become synonymous instead with the traditional Christian Advent season, the period observed in Western Christianity from the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day until Christmas Day itself.
The term "Advent calendar" continues to be known in Western parlance as a term referring to a countdown to Christmas Day from the beginning of December. Beginning in the mid-20th century, as the Christian-associated Christmas holiday and liturgical season, in some circles, became commercialized and central to American economics and culture while religio-multicultural sensitivity rose, generic references to the season that omitted the word "Christmas" became more common in the corporate and public sphere of the United States, which has caused a semantics controversy that continues to the present. By the late 20th century, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the new African American cultural holiday of Kwanzaa began to be considered in the U. S. as being part of the "holiday season", a term that as of 2013 has become or more prevalent than "Christmas season" in U. S. sources to refer to the end-of-the-year festive period. "Holiday season" has spread in varying degrees to Canada. Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on December 17 of the Julian calendar and expanded with festivities through December 23.
The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." The earliest source stating December 25 as the date of birth of Jesus was Hippolytus of Rome, written early in the 3rd century, based on the assumption that the conception of Jesus took place at the Spring equinox which he placed on March 25, added nine months. There is historical evidence that by the middle of the 4th century the Christian churches of the East celebrated the birth and Baptism of Jesus on the same day, on January 6 while those in the West celebrated a Nativity feast on December 25; the earliest suggestions of a fast of Baptism of Jesus on January 6 during the 2nd century comes from Clement of Alexandria, but there is no further mention of such a feast until 361 when Emperor Julian attended a feast on January 6 in the year 361.
In the Christian tradition, the Christmas season is a period beginning on Christmas Day. In some churches the season continues through Twelfth Night, the day before the Epiphany, celebrated either on January 6 or on the Sunday between January 2 and 8. In other churches it continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on the Sunday following the Epiphany, or on the Monday following the Epiphany if the Epiphany is moved to January 7 or 8. If the Epiphany is kept on January 6, the Church of England's use of the term Christmas season corresponds to the Twelve Days of Christmas, ends on Twelfth Night; this short Christmas season is preceded by Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day: the majority of the commercialized Christmas and holiday season falls during Advent. The Anglican Communion follows the Christmas season with an Epiphany season which lasts until Candlemas, traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas–Epiphany season; the Pew Research Center found that as of 2014, 72% of Americans support the presence of Christian Christmas decorations, such as the nativity scene, on government property.
Six in ten Americans attend church services during Christmastime and "among those who don't attend church at Christmastime, a majority say they would attend if someone they knew invited them."According to Yanovski et al. in the United States the holiday season "is consid