Christmas is an annual festival, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed 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 in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night. 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, 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 further disseminated the information.
Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, the church in the early fourth century fixed the date as December 25. This corresponds to the date of the solstice on the Roman calendar. Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, adopted 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 corresponds to a January date in the Gregorian calendar. 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; the celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, pulling Christmas crackers and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, wreaths and holly.
In addition, several related and interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses; the economic impact of Christmas has grown over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. "Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass". The word is recorded as Crīstesmæsse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131. Crīst is from Greek Khrīstos, a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ, "Messiah", meaning "anointed"; the form Christenmas was historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal. Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found in print, based on the initial letter chi in Greek Khrīstos, "Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use.
In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter", or, more as Nātiuiteð. "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās. In Old English, Gēola referred to the period corresponding to December and January, equated with Christian Christmas. "Noel" entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself from the Latin nātālis meaning "birth". The gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary. In Luke and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, Jesus is born there and laid in a manger. Angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, shepherds came to adore him. Matthew adds that the magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews. King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and returns to Nazareth.
The nativity stories recounted in Matthew and Luke prompted early Christian writers to suggest various dates for the anniversary. Although no date is indicated in the gospels, early Christians connected Jesus to the Sun through the use of such phrases as "Sun of righteousness." The Romans marked the winter solstice on December 25. The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome on December 25, 336. Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century. After this controversy was played out, the prominence of the holiday declined; the feast regained prominence after 800. Associating it with drunkenness and other misbehavior, the Puritans banned Christmas during the Reformation, it remained disreputable. In the early 19th century, Christmas was reconceived by Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, other authors as a holiday emphasizing family, kind-heartedness, gift-giving, Santa Claus. Christmas does not appear on th
Public holidays in Azerbaijan
Holidays in Azerbaijan were regulated in the Constitution of Azerbaijan SSR for the first time on 19 May 1921 by the Azeri leader Nariman Narimanov. Through the history non-working days have changed. Non-working days in Azerbaijan include the following: National days in Azerbaijan that are working days follows: January 30 – Day of Azerbaijani customs February 2 – Day of Youth in Azerbaijan February 11 – Day of Revenue Service February 26 – Day of Remembrance for Victims of Khojaly massacre March 5 – Day of Physical Culture and Sport March 28 – Day of National Security March 31 – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis March 23 – Day of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources April 10 – Day of the builder May 10 – Flower Festival June 2 – Day of Civil Aviation June 5 – Day of Reclamation June 18 Human Rights Day June 20 – Day of the gas sector July 2 – Day of Azerbaijani police July 9 – Day of the employees of the diplomatic service July 22 – National Press Day in Azerbaijan August 1 – Day of Azerbaijani language and alphabet.
August 2 – National Day of Azerbaijani cinema September 15 – Day of Knowledge September 18 – Day of National Music September 20 – Day of Azerbaijani Oil / Oil Workers' Day October 1 – Day of prosecutors in Azerbaijan October 13 – Day of Azerbaijani Railway October 18 - Independence Day November 6 – Day of Baku Metro Employees November 12 – Constitution Day November 22 – Day of Justice of Azerbaijan December 6 – Day of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan December 16 – Day of Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations Only the holidays of Ramadan and Qurban remain as non-working religious days in Azerbaijan as the country is secular and irreligious. The religious population of the country in Nardaran and a number of other villages and regions celebrate the Day of Ashura, a Shia mourning day in the Islamic calendar. Religious minorities of the country – Orthodox Christians and Jews - celebrate notable religious days of their faith. Despite the fact that the holiday Novruz takes its roots from the religion of Zoroastranism all Azerbaijanis celebrates it as a holiday of spring.
Holidays of Azerbaijan
Whitsun is the name used in Britain and Ireland, throughout the world among Anglicans and Methodists, for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples. In England it took on some characteristics of Beltane, which originated from the pagan celebration of Summer's Day, the beginning of the summer half-year, in Europe. Whitsuntide, the week following Whitsunday, was one of three vacation weeks for the medieval villein. Whit Monday, the day after Whitsun, remained a holiday in Britain until 1971 when, with effect from 1972, the movable holiday was replaced with the fixed Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May. Whit was the occasion for varied forms of celebration. In the North West of England and chapel parades called whit walks still take place at this time; the parades include brass bands and choirs. Traditionally, Whit fairs took place. Other customs, such as Morris dancing, were associated with Whitsun, although in most cases they have been transferred to the Spring bank holiday.
Whaddon, Cambridgeshire has its own Whitsun tradition of singing a unique song around the village before and on Whit Sunday itself. The name is a contraction of "White Sunday", attested in "the Holy Ghost, whom thou didst send on Whit-sunday" in the Old English homilies, parallel to the mention of hwitmonedei in the early 13th-century Ancrene Riwle. Walter William Skeat noted that the Anglo-Saxon word appears in Icelandic hvitasunnu-dagr, but that in English the feast was called Pentecoste until after the Norman Conquest, when white began to be confused with wit or understanding. According to one interpretation, the name derives from the white garments worn by catechumens, those expecting to be baptised on that Sunday. Moreover, in England white vestments, rather than the more usual red, were traditional for the day and its octave. A different tradition is that of the young women of the parish all coming to church or chapel in new white dresses on that day. However, Augustinian canon John Mirk, of Lilleshall Abbey, had another interpretation: Goode men and woymen, as ȝe knowen wele all, þys day ys called Whitsonday, for bycause þat þe Holy Gost as þys day broȝt wyt and wysdome ynto all Cristes dyscyples.
Thus, he thought the root of the word was "wit" and Pentecost was so-called to signify the outpouring of the wisdom of the Holy Ghost on Christ's disciples. The following day is Whit Monday, a name coined to supersede the form Monday in Whitsun-week used by John Wycliffe and others; the week following Whit Sunday is known as "Whitsuntide" or "Whit week". As the first holiday of the summer, Whitsun was one of the favourite times in the traditional calendar, Whit Sunday, or the following week, was a time for celebration; this took the form of fêtes, fairs and parades, with Whitsun ales and Morris dancing in the south of England and Whit walks and wakes in the north. A poster advertising the Whitsun festivities at Sunbury, Middlesex in 1778 listed the following attractions: On Whit Monday, in the morning, will be a punting match... The first boat that comes in to receive a guinea... In the afternoon a gold-laced hat, worth 30s. To be cudgell'd for... On Whit Tuesday, in the morning, a fine Holland smock and ribbons, to be run for by girls and young women.
And in the afternoon six pairs of buckskin gloves to be wrestled for. In Manchester during the 17th century the nearby Kersal Moor Whit races were the great event of the year when large numbers of people turned the area into a giant fairground for several days. With the coming of industrialisation it became convenient to close down whole towns for a week in order to clean and maintain the machinery in the mills and factories; the week of closure, or wakes week, was held at Whitsuntide. A report in John Harlan and T. T. Wilkinson's Lancashire Folk lore reads: It is customary for the cotton mills etc. to close for Whitsuntide week to give the hands a holiday. Whit Monday was recognised as a bank holiday in the UK in 1871, but lost this status in 1972 when the fixed Spring Bank Holiday was created. 1485: Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur has the Knights of the Round Table witness a divine vision of the Holy Grail on a Whitsunday, prompting their quest to find its true location. 1607: Thomas Middleton refers to "the Whitsun holy-days" in Michaelmas Term.
1611: In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale Perdita imagines that she plays "as I have seen them do / In Whitsun pastorals". 1617: James I's Declaration of Sports encouraged "Whitsun ales", among other things, as soon as church was over on a Sunday. 1633: George Herbert wrote a poem called "Whitsunday", first published in The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. 1759-67: Laurence Sterne's novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman contains several allusions to Whitsuntide. 1785: Samuel Johnson records in his Prayers and Meditations that "Between Easter and Whitsun-tide attempted to learn the Low Dutch language." James Boswell reproduces the remark in his Life of Samuel Johnson. 1787: The Whitsun Donative was an anonymous satirical pamphlet inspired by Sterne's Tristr
Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday is the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost, a moveable feast in the Christian calendar. It is moveable. Whit Monday gets its English name from "Whitsunday", an English name for Pentecost, one of the three baptismal seasons; the origin of the name "Whit Sunday" is attributed to the white garments worn by those newly baptized on this feast. The Monday after Pentecost is a holiday in Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ivory Coast, Monaco, the Netherlands, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Switzerland and Ukraine. In many of these countries, Whit Monday is known as "the second day of Pentecost" or "the second Whitsun". In France, it became a work day for many workers from 2005 to 2007; this was to raise extra funds following the government's lack of preparation for a summertime heat wave, which led to a shortage of proper health care for the elderly.
It continues to be a "worked public holiday" in France. In Liechtenstein, Whit Monday is considered to be a "favorite holiday", much like Christmas in many other countries. In Germany, Whit Monday is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. In South Tyrol, it replaces the holiday of the local patron saint celebrated elsewhere in Italy; until 1973, Whit Monday was a public holiday in Ireland. It was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom until 1967, it was formally replaced by the fixed Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May in 1971. It was a public holiday in various former British colonies in the Pacific, it remains a public holiday in some of the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. In Sweden, Whit Monday was a public holiday until 2004 as it was replaced by the National Day of Sweden from 2005. Although Whit Monday is a civil holiday in many countries, it was not a Catholic religious holiday any more than the other weekdays that follow Pentecost Sunday; until the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, they were part of the octave of Pentecost, added in the 7th century.
The Monday after Pentecost is now the first day of the resumption of Ordinary Time. While the details differ from diocese to diocese, the most widespread practice in Germany was to have a compulsory votive Mass of the Holy Spirit outranking solemnities. However, in February 2018, Pope Francis declared that henceforth, Whit Monday will be the fixed date for the celebration of a new feast known as the “Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church” to be celebrated throughout the universal Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church Whit Monday is known as "Monday of the Holy Spirit" or "Day of the Holy Spirit" and is the first day of the afterfeast of Pentecost, being dedicated to the honor of God the Holy Spirit and in commemoration of his descent upon the apostles at Pentecost; the day following is known as Third Day of the Trinity. In the services on the Monday of the Holy Spirit many of the same hymns are sung as on the day of Pentecost itself. During the Divine Liturgy the Deacon intones the same introit as on the day of Pentecost, the dismissal is the same as on the day of Pentecost.
Special canons to the Holy Spirit are chanted at Matins. The table on the right provides columns giving the dates on which Whit Monday is observed in both Western and Eastern Christianity; the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches calculate Pascha differently from the West, so the date of Whit Monday will be different most years. Azores Day Christianity portal Trinity Week—Day of the Holy Spirit Orthodox icon and synaxarion
The Greco-Italian War took place between the kingdoms of Italy and Greece from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. This local war began the Balkans Campaign of World War II between the Allies, it turned into the Battle of Greece when British and German ground forces intervened early in 1941. In the mid-1930s, the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini began an aggressive foreign policy and annexed Albania in the spring of 1939. World War II began on 1 September 1939 and on 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the Allies. By September 1940, the Italians had invaded British Somaliland and Egypt. In the late 1930s, the Greeks had begun to build the Metaxas Line opposite Bulgaria and from 1939 accelerated their defensive preparations against an Italian attack from Albania. In 1940, there was a hostile press campaign in Italy and other provocations, culminating in the sinking of the Greek light cruiser Elli by the Italians on 15 August. On 28 October, Mussolini issued an ultimatum to Greece demanding the cession of Greek territory, which the Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas, rejected.
The Italian army invaded Greece on 28 October. The invasion was a disaster, the 140,000 troops of the Italian Army in Albania encountering an entrenched and determined enemy; the Italians had to contend with the mountainous terrain on the Albanian–Greek border and unexpectedly tenacious resistance by the Greek Army. By mid-November, the Greeks had stopped the Italian invasion just inside Greek territory. After completing their mobilization, the Greeks counter-attacked with the bulk of their army and pushed the Italians back into Albania – an advance which culminated in the Capture of Klisura Pass in January 1941, a few dozen kilometers inside the Albanian border; the defeat of the Italian invasion and the Greek counter-offensive of 1940 have been called the "first Axis setback of the entire war" by Mark Mazower, the Greeks "surprising everyone with the tenacity of their resistance". The front stabilized in February 1941, by which time the Italians had reinforced the Albanian front to 28 divisions against the Greeks' 14 divisions.
In March, the Italians conducted the unsuccessful Spring Offensive. At this point, losses were mutually costly, but the Greeks had far less ability than the Italians to replenish their losses in both men and materiel, they were dangerously low on ammunition and other supplies, they lacked the ability to rotate out their men and equipment, unlike the Italians. Requests by the Greeks to the British for material aid only alleviated the situation, by April 1941 the Greek Army only possessed 1 more month's worth of heavy artillery ammunition and was unable to properly equip and mobilize the bulk of its 200,000–300,000 strong reserves. While content to let the Italians wear the Greeks down and finish the war in the summer of 1941, Adolf Hitler decided in December 1940 that potential British intervention in the conflict represented a threat to Germany's rear; this caused him to come to the aid of his Axis ally. German build-up in the Balkans accelerated after Bulgaria joined the Axis on 1 March 1941.
British ground forces began arriving in Greece the next day. On 6 April, the Germans invaded northern Greece; the Greeks had deployed the vast majority of their men into a mutually costly stalemate with the Italians on the Albanian front, leaving the fortified Metaxas Line with only a third of its authorized strength. During the Battle of Greece and British forces in northern Greece were overwhelmed and the Germans advanced west and south. In Albania, the Greek army made a belated withdrawal to avoid being cut off by the Germans but was followed up by the Italians. Greece surrendered to German troops on 20 April 1941, under the condition that they would not have to surrender to the Italians. Greece was subsequently occupied by Bulgarian and Italian troops; the Italian army suffered fifty thousand sick. The economic and military failings of the Italian fascist regime were exposed by the Greek debacle and simultaneous defeats against the British in North Africa, which reduced the Italian fascist regime to dependence on Germany.
In the late 1920s, the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini said that Fascist Italy needed Spazio vitale, an outlet for its surplus population and that it would be in the best interests of other countries to aid in this expansion. The regime wanted hegemony in the Mediterranean–Danubian–Balkan region and Mussolini imagined the conquest "of an empire stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Hormuz". There were designs for a protectorate over Albania and for the annexation of Dalmatia and economic and military control of Yugoslavia and Greece; the fascist regime sought to establish protectorates over Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, which lay on the periphery of an Italian European sphere of influence. In 1935, Italy began the Second Italo-Ethiopian War to expand the empire. In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began and Italy made a military cont
Public holidays in Georgia
For the holidays in the U. S. state of Georgia, see Public holidays in Georgia National holidays of Georgia
Theotokos is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara, are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer"; the title has been in use since the 3rd century, in the Syriac tradition in the Liturgy of Mari and Addai and the Liturgy of St James. The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos because her son Jesus is both God and man: one divine person with two natures intimately and hypostatically united; the title of Mother of God is most used in English due to the lack of a satisfactory equivalent of the Greek τόκος / Latin genetrix. For the same reason, the title is left untranslated, as "Theotokos", in Orthodox liturgical usage of other languages. Theotokos is used as the term for an Eastern icon, or type of icon, of the Mother with Child, as in "the Theotokos of Vladimir" both for the original 12th-century icon and for icons that are copies or imitate its composition. Theotokos is an adjectival compound of two Greek words Θεός "God" and τόκος "childbirth, parturition.
A close paraphrase would be " whose offspring is God" or " who gave birth to one, God". The usual English translation is "Mother of God"; the Church Slavonic translation is Bogoroditsa. The full title of Mary in Slavic Orthodox tradition is Прест҃а́ѧ влⷣчица на́ша бцⷣа и҆ прⷭ҇нод҃ва мр҃і́а, from Greek Ὑπεραγία δεσποινίς ἡμῶν Θεοτόκος καὶ ἀειπαρθένος Μαρία "Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary". German has the translation Gottesgebärerin. "Mother of God" is the literal translation of a distinct title in Greek, Μήτηρ του Θεού, a term which has an established usage of its own in traditional Orthodox and Catholic theological writing and iconography. In an abbreviated form, ΜΡ ΘΥ, it is found on Eastern icons, where it is used to identify Mary; the Russian term is Матерь Божия. Variant forms are the compounds Θεομήτωρ and Μητρόθεος, which are found in patristic and liturgical texts; the theological dispute over the term concerned the term Θεός "God" vs. Χριστός "Christ", not τόκος vs. μήτηρ, the two terms have been used as synonyms throughout Christian tradition.
Both terms are known to have existed alongside one another since the early church, but it has been argued in modern times, that the term "Mother of God" is unduly suggestive of Godhead having its origin in Mary, imparting to Mary the role of a Mother Goddess. But this is an exact reiteration of the objection by Nestorius, resolved in the 5th century, to the effect that the term "Mother" expresses the relation of Mary to the incarnate Son ascribed to Mary in Christian theology. Theologically, the term "Mother of God" should not be taken to imply that Mary is the source of the existence of the divine person of Jesus, who existed with the Father from all eternity, or of her Son's divinity. Within the Orthodox and Catholic tradition, Mother of God has not been understood, nor been intended to be understood, as referring to Mary as Mother of God from eternity — that is, as Mother of God the Father — but only with reference to the birth of Jesus, that is, the Incarnation. To make it explicit, it is sometimes translated Mother of God Incarnate..
The Nicene-Costantinopolitan Creed of 381 affirmed the Christian faith on "one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds", that "came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, was made man". Since that time, the expression "Mother of God" referred to the Dyophysite doctrine of the hypostatic union, about the uniqueness with the twofold nature of Jesus Christ God, both human and divine. Since that time, Jesus was affirmed as true Man and true God from all eternity; the status of Mary as Theotokos was a topic of theological dispute in the 4th and 5th centuries and was the subject of the decree of the Council of Ephesus of 431 to the effect that, in opposition to those who denied Mary the title Theotokos but called her Christotokos, Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person, both God and man and human. This decree created the Nestorian Schism. Cyril of Alexandria wrote, "I am amazed that there are some who are in doubt as to whether the holy Virgin should be called Theotokos or not.
For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how is the holy Virgin who gave birth, not?". But the argument of Nestorius was that divine and human natures of Christ were distinct, while Mary is evidently the Christotokos, it could be misleading to describe her as the "bearer of God". At issue is the interpretation of the Incarnation, the nature of the hypostatic union of Christ's human and divine natures between Christ's conception and birth. Within the Orthodox doctrinal teaching on the economy of salvation, Mary's identity and status as Theotokos is acknowledged as indispensable