Christmas (literally, the Mass of Christ) is a traditional holiday in the Christian calendar which takes place around the end of December and celebrates the nativity of Jesus Christ. Christmas is also celebrated as a secular holiday throughout much of the world, including countries with little Christian population, such as Japan.
Date of celebration
Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in all Christian churches (Eastern
Rite Roman & Protestant), but since most Eastern Orthodox churches
have not accepted either the Gregorian calendar or the Revised Julian
Calendar reforms, the Ecclesiastic December 25 will fall on the civil
date of January 7 for the years between 1900 to 2099. The date comes from
the tradition that Jesus was born during The Jewish Festival of Lights
(i.e. Hanukkah the 25th of Kislev - the beginning of Tevet) Kislev being
accepted generally to correspond with December. The modern popular choice
of 5BC for the year of Jesus's birth would place the 25th of Kislev on
the 25th of November with the Old Julian calendar.
Traditionally in the United Kingdom the Christmas season ran for twelve days following Christmas Day, the twelve days of Christmas, a period of feasting and merrymaking that ended on Twelfth Night, the Feast of the Epiphany. This period corresponds with the liturgical season of Christmas.
Culture & Customs