Portal:Christmas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Introduction

A depiction of the Nativity of Jesus with a Christmas tree backdrop

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then further disseminated the information.

Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date that was later adopted in the East. Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.

Selected article

Badnjaks on sale at Kalenić Market, Belgrade
The badnjak (Cyrillic: бадњак, Serbian pronunciation: [ˈbadɲaːk]) is a log brought into the house and placed on the fire on the evening of Christmas Eve, a central tradition in Serbian Christmas celebrations. The tree from which the badnjak is cut, preferably a young and straight oak, is ceremonially felled early on the morning of Christmas Eve. The felling, preparation, bringing in, and laying on the fire, are surrounded by elaborate rituals, with many regional variations. The burning of the log is accompanied by prayers that the coming year brings food, happiness, love, luck, and riches. The badnjak is treated as a person, to whom salutations and sacrifices such as grain, wine, and honey are offered. The log burns on throughout Christmas Day, when the first visitor strikes it with a poker or a branch to make sparks fly, requesting that the family's happiness and prosperity be as abundant as the sparks. As most Serbs today live in towns and cities, the badnjak is often symbolically represented by a cluster of oak twigs with brown leaves attached, with which the home is decorated on Christmas Eve. The festive kindling of the log commemorates the fire that—according to Serbian folk tradition—the shepherds of Bethlehem built in the cave where Jesus Christ was born, to warm the Baby Jesus and his mother throughout the night.

Selected quote

Calvin Coolidge photo portrait head and shoulders.jpg
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.


Did you know?

Selected song

"O Holy Night", Length: 4 minutes 2 seconds
"O Holy Night" ("Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), a wine merchant and poet.

Related WikiProjects

Categories

Selected picture

The use of decorative, festive Christmas lights during the Christmas holiday season is a long standing tradition in many Christian cultures, and has been adopted as a secular practice in a number of other non-Christian, or non-predominantly Christian, cultures (notably in Japan).
Credit: User:Moofpocket
The use of decorative, festive Christmas lights during the Christmas holiday season is a long standing tradition in many Christian cultures, and has been adopted as a secular practice in a number of other non-Christian, or non-predominantly Christian, cultures (notably in Japan).

Quality content

Topics

Christmas tree

MainChristmas Eve · Christmas Day · Boxing Day · History · The Nativity · Bringers of gifts · Decorations · Economics · Customs

ChristianityNativity of Jesus · Nativity of Jesus in art · Nativity scene · Nativity of Jesus in later culture · Jesus Christ · Mary · Joseph · Angel Gabriel · Adoration of the Shepherds · Three Wise Men · Star of Bethlehem · King Herod · Massacre of the Innocents · Saint Nicholas · Twelfth Night · Epiphany · Advent · Christmastide Father Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters

By countryAustralia and New Zealand · Germany · Hawaii · Hungary · Indonesia · Ireland · Mexico · Philippines · Poland · Romania · Russia · Scotland · Serbia · Sweden · Ukraine ·

FolkloreFather Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters · Legend of the Christmas Spider

TraditionsTwelve Days of Christmas · Christmas trees · Wassailing · Yule log · Stockings · Ornaments · Lights · Nutcrackers · Christmas cards · Christmas songs · Christmas films · Christmas stamps  · A Visit from St. Nicholas · A Christmas Carol · NORAD Tracks Santa · Secret Santa · Advent calendars · Yule Goats · Santa Claus parades · Flying Santa · Christmas markets · Plants · Food · Feasts · Events · Parades · Christmas pickle · Miners' parades · Miner's figures · Candle arches · Christmas pyramids · Smoking figures · Incense candles

MediaFiction · Films · Plays · Episodes · Specials · Albums · Best-selling albums · Hit singles and tracks · Best-selling singles · Carols · Other Christmas music and songs

SocietyChristmas club · Christmas controversy · Christmas creep · Christmas Mountains · Christmas truce · Black Friday · Cyber Monday · White Christmas · Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 · Christmas and holiday season · Related holidays · List of winter festivals · SantaCon · Running of the Santas · Christmas in July · Christmas in August · Christmas in the American Civil War · Christmas in Puritan New England · Christmas in the post-War United States · Christmas seal

Things you can do

500px-Xmas tree animated.gif

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

December 2017 calendar

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database