Mother's Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most in the months of March or May, it complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day, Siblings Day, Grandparents Day. The modern Mother's day began in the United States, at the initiative of Ann Reeves Jarvis in the early 20th century; this is not related to the many traditional celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have existed throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. However, in some countries, Mother's Day is still synonymous with these older traditions; the U. S.-derived modern version of Mother's Day has been criticized for having become too commercialized. Founder Jarvis herself regretted this commercialism and expressed views on how, never her intention.
The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew's Methodist Church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine, her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world". In 1908, the U. S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would have to proclaim a "Mother-in-law's Day". However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U. S. states observed the holiday, with some of them recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother's Day, she became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day, that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit; as a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis protested at a candy makers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923, at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925. By this time, carnations had become associated with Mother's Day, the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, arrested for disturbing the peace.
In 1912 Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase "Second Sunday in May, Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, Founder", created the Mother's Day International Association. She noted that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world." This is the spelling used by U. S. President Woodrow Wilson in his 1914 presidential proclamation, by the U. S. Congress in relevant bills, by various U. S. presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother's Day. While the United States holiday was adopted by some other countries, existing celebrations, held on different dates, honouring motherhood have become described as "Mother's Day", such as Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom or, in Greece, the Eastern Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple. Both the secular and religious Mother Day are present in Greece. Mothering Sunday is referred to as "Mother's Day" though it is an unrelated celebration.
In some countries, the date adopted is one significant to the majority religion, such as Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia's Mother's Day is the date of a battle. See the "International history and tradition" section for the complete list; some ex-socialist countries, such as Russia, celebrated International Women's Day instead of Mother's Day or celebrate both holidays, the custom in Ukraine. Kyrgyzstan has introduced Mother's Day, but "year on year International Women's Day is increasing in status". In most countries, Mother's Day is an observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in the United States, promoted by companies who saw benefit in making it popular; as adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events, is celebrated on different dates. In some cases, countries had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, their celebrations adopted several external characteristics from the US holiday, such as giving carnations and other presents to one's mother.
The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is offensive to one's mother not to mark Mother's Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated by immigrants, or covered by the media as
Yom Ashura or Ashura is the tenth day of Muḥarram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. For the majority of Shia Muslims Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH. Sunni Muslims have the same accounts of these events, but ceremonial mourning did not become a custom - although poems and recounting the events were and continue to be common. Mourning for the incident began immediately after the Battle of Karbala. Popular elegies were written by poets to commemorate the Battle of Karbala during the Umayyad and Abbasid era, the earliest public mourning rituals occurred in 963 CE during the Buyid dynasty. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain and Pakistan, Ashura has become a national holiday, many ethnic and religious communities participate in it. In Sunni Islam, Ashura marks the day that Moses and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh by God creating a path in the Sea, is the Islamic equivalent to Yom Kippur.
Other commemorations include Noah leaving the Muhammad's arrival in Medina. The root of the word Ashura has the meaning of tenth in Semitic languages. According to the orientalist A. J. Wensinck, the name is derived from the Hebrew ʿāsōr, with the Aramaic determinative ending; the day is indeed the tenth day of the month, although some Islamic scholars offer up different etymologies. In his book Ghuniyatut Talibin, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani writes that Islamic scholars differ as to why this day is known as Ashura, some of them suggesting that it is the tenth most important day with which God has blessed Muslims; the Battle of Karbala took place within the crisis environment resulting from the succession of Yazid I. After succession, Yazid instructed the governor of Medina to compel Husayn and a few other prominent figures to pledge their allegiance. Husayn, refrained from making such a pledge, believing that Yazid was going against the teachings of Islam and changing the sunnah of Muhammad. He, accompanied by his household, his sons and the sons of Hasan left Medina to seek asylum in Mecca.
On the other hand, the people in Kufa, when informed of Muawiyah's death, sent letters urging Husayn to join them and pledging to support him against the Umayyads. Husayn wrote back to them saying that he would send his cousin Muslim ibn Aqeel to report to him on the situation and that if he found them supportive as their letters indicated, he would speedily join them because an Imam should act in accordance with the Quran and uphold justice, proclaim the truth, dedicate himself to the cause of God; the mission of Muslim was successful and according to reports, 18,000 men pledged their allegiance. But the situation changed radically when Yazid appointed Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad as the new governor of Kufa, ordering him to deal with Ibn Aqeel. In Mecca, Husayn learned assassins had been sent by Yazid to kill him in the holy city in the midst of Hajj. Husayn, to preserve the sanctity of the city and that of the Kaaba, abandoned his Hajj and encouraged others around him to follow him to Kufa without knowing the situation there had taken an adverse turn.
On the way, Husayn found that Muslim ibn Aqeel, had been killed in Kufa. Husayn encountered the vanguard of the army of Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad along the route towards Kufa. Husayn addressed the Kufan army, reminding them that they had invited him to come because they were without an Imam, he told them that he intended to proceed to Kufa with their support, but if they were now opposed to his coming, he would return to where he had come from. In response, the army urged him to proceed by another route. Thus, he turned to the left and reached Karbala, where the army forced him not to go further and stop at a location that had limited access to water. Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the governor instructed Umar ibn Sa'ad, the head of the Kufan army, to offer Ḥusayn and his supporters the opportunity to swear allegiance to Yazid, he ordered Umar ibn Sa'ad to cut off Husayn and his followers from access to the water of the Euphrates. On the next morning, Umar ibn Sa'ad arranged the Kufan army in battle order; the Battle of Karbala lasted from morning to sunset on October 10, 680.
Husayn's small group of companions and family members fought against a large army under the command of Umar ibn Sa'ad and were killed near the river, from which they were not allowed to get water. The renowned historian Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī states: … hen fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses. Once the Umayyad troops had murdered Husayn and his male followers, they looted the tents, stripped the women of their jewelry, took the skin upon which Zain al-Abidin was prostrate. Husayn's sister Zaynab was taken along with the enslaved women to the caliph in Damascus when she was imprisoned and after a year was allowed to return to Medina. According to Ignác Goldziher, ver since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family … has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions; these are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies …'More touching than the tears of the Shi'is' has become an Arabic proverb.
The first assembly of the Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali is said to have been held by Zaynab in prison. In Damascus, she is reported to have deliv
Halloween or Hallowe'en known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in several countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints and all the faithful departed, it is believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals the Gaelic festival Samhain. Some believe, that Halloween began as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.
Some Christians abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, soul cakes. The word is of Christian origin; the word "Hallowe'en" means "Saints' evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve. In Scots, the word "eve" is and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, Hallow Een evolved into Hallowe'en. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556. Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived". Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for'summer's end'."Samhain was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated on 31 October – 1 November in Ireland and the Isle of Man.
A kindred festival was held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts, called Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall and Kalan Goañv in Brittany. For the Celts, the day began at sunset. Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of Welsh literature; the names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century, are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween. Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the'darker half' of the year. Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned; this meant the Aos Sí, the'spirits' or'fairies', could more come into this world and were active. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as "degraded versions of ancient gods whose power remained active in the people's minds after they had been replaced by religious beliefs"; the Aos Sí were both respected and feared, with individuals invoking the protection of God when approaching their dwellings.
At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for the Aos Sí; the souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Places were set by the fire to welcome them; the belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world. In 19th century Ireland, "candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the dead. After this the eating and games would begin". Throughout Ireland and Britain, the household festivities included rituals and games intended to foretell one's future regarding death and marriage. Apples and nuts were used in these divination rituals, they included apple bobbing, nut roasting, scrying or mirror-gazing, pouring molten lead or egg whites into water, dream interpretation, others.
Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Their flames and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, were used for divination. In some places, torches lit from the bonfire were carried sunwise around homes and fields to protect them, it is suggested that the fires were a kind of imitative or sympathetic magic – they mimicked the Sun, helping the "powers of growth" and holding back the decay and darkness of winter. In Scotland, these bonfires and divination games were banned by
Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 since the Middle Ages; this celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19 is still used for it, though many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the U. S. date, the third Sunday of June. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most in the months of March and June, it complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother's Day, Siblings Day, Grandparents' Day. A customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe is known to date back to at least the Middle Ages, it is observed on 19 March, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini in Catholicism and "the putative father of Jesus" in southern European tradition; this celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese, in Latin America, Mother's Day is still celebrated on 19 March.
The Catholic Church supported the custom of a celebration of fatherhood on St. Joseph's day from either the last years of the 14th century or from the early 15th centuryEmily, Fathers Day Celebration. Apparently on the initiative of the FranciscansPeter, Happy Father’s Day From This Father To All Fathers. In the Coptic Church, the celebration of fatherhood is observed on St Joseph's Day, but the Copts observe this celebration on July 20; this Coptic celebration may date back to the fifth century. Emily, Father's Day Celebration. Father's Day was not celebrated outside Catholic traditions, until the 20th century; as a civic celebration in the US, it was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother's Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting. After Anna Jarvis' successful promotion of Mother's Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance of a "Father's Day" was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church.
Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested. Clayton's event did not have repercussions outside Fairmont for several reasons, among them: the city was overwhelmed by other events, the celebration was never promoted outside the town itself and no proclamation of it was made by the city council. Two events overshadowed this event: the celebration of Independence Day July 4, 1908, with 12,000 attendants and several shows including a hot air balloon event, which took over the headlines in the following days, the death of a 16-year-old girl on July 4; the local church and council were overwhelmed and they did not think of promoting the event, it was not celebrated again for many years. The original sermon was not reproduced by the press and it was lost. Clayton was a quiet person, who never promoted the event and never talked to other persons about it.
In 1911, Jane Addams proposed that a citywide Father's Day celebration be held in Chicago, but she was turned down. In 1912, there was a Father's Day celebration in Vancouver, suggested by Methodist pastor J. J. Berringer of the Irvington Methodist Church, they mistakenly believed. They followed a 1911 suggestion by the Portland Oregonian. Harry C. Meek, a member of Lions Clubs International, claimed that he had first come up with the idea for Father's Day in 1915. Meek said; the Lions Club has named him the "Originator of Father's Day". Meek made many efforts to make it an official holiday. On June 19, 1910, a Father's Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd, her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. She was a member of Old Centenary Presbyterian Church, where she first proposed the idea. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909 at Central Methodist Episcopal Church, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them.
Although she suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June. Several local clergymen accepted the idea, on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day, "sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city". However, in the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, it faded into relative obscurity in Spokane. In the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level, she had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, any traditional present for fathers. By 1938, she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the holiday's commercial promotion. Americans resisted the holiday for its first few decades, viewing it as nothing more than an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day, newspapers featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes.
However, the said merchants remained resilient and incorpor
Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif is the observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad, commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while Shi'a scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date. The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds; the Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588. The term Mawlid is used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints. Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad's birthday. Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are Wahhabi/Salafi. Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word, meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant.
In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad. Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid refers to the'text composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day"; the date of Muhammad's birth is a matter of contention since the exact date is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. The issue of the correct date of the Mawlid is recorded by Ibn Khallikan as constituting the first proven disagreement concerning the celebration. Among the most recognisable dates, Sunni Muslims believe the date to have been on the twelfth of Rabi' al-awwal, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe the date to have been on the seventeenth. Since the Islamic calendar came into existence after Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Yathrib the date of death is known but the date of birth is not known. In early days of Islam, observation of Muhammad's birth as a holy day was arranged and was an increased number of visitors to the Mawlid house, open for the whole day for this celebration.
This celebration was introduced into the city Sabta by Abu'l'Abbas al-Azafi as a way of strengthening the Muslim community and to counteract Christian festivals. The early celebrations, included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast; the celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of recitations of the Qur ` an. According to the hypothesis of Nico Kaptein of Leiden University, the Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimids, with Marion Holmes Katz adding "The idea that the celebration of the mawlid originated with the Fatimid dynasty has today been universally accepted among both religious polemicists and secular scholars." This Shia origin is noted by those Sunnis who oppose Mawlid. Among Sunnis, the Mawlid celebration emerged in the 12th century, the first detailed description of a Sunni Mawlid celebration was of one sponsored by emir Gökböri.
Among Muslim scholars, the legality of Mawlid "has been the subject of intense debate" and has been described as "perhaps one of the most polemical discussions in Islamic law". Traditionally, most Sunni and nearly all of the Shia scholars have approved of the celebration of Mawlid, while Wahhabi and Ahmadiyya scholars oppose the celebration. Examples of historic Sunni scholars who permitted the Mawlid include the Shafi'i scholar Al-Suyuti who stated that:My answer is that the legal status of the observance of the Mawlid – as long as it just consists of a meeting together by the people, a recitation of apposite parts of the Qur'an, the recounting of transmitted accounts of the beginning of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and the wonders that took place during his birth, all of, followed by a banquet, served to them and from which they eat-is a good innovation, for which one is rewarded because of the esteem shown for the position of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace –, implicit in it, because of the expression of joy and happiness on his – may God bless him and grant him peace – noble birth.
The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani too approved of the Mawlid and states that:As for what is performed on the day of the Mawlid, one should limit oneself to what expresses thanks to God, such as the things that have been mentioned: recitation, serving food, alms-giving, recitation of praise about the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and asceticism which motivate people to perform good deeds and act in view of the next world. The Damascene Shafi'i scholar Abu Shama supports the celebration of the Mawlid as does the Maliki scholar Ibn al-Hajj who spoke positively of the observance of the Mawlid in his book al-Madhkal; the Shafi'i Egyptian scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami was an avid supporter of the Mawlid and wro
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
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