A very Merry Christmas from PeopleView Team

The traditional greeting this time of year wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. It’s a wonderful thought that conjures up images of much fun and laughter with one’s family. But I wondered if that was the original intent behind this greeting. On doing my research I realized that Christmas is actually a translation of the Old English ‘Cristes Maesse’ meaning the mass of Christ, in those times merry meant peaceful or blessed thus it was a wish for a blessed or peaceful mass of Christ.

But times change and so do the meanings of words and the ways that holidays are celebrated. Santa Claus and the Christmas tree that seem so integral to the imagery surrounding the celebrations at Christmas were not part of Christmas for most of the world till very recently. Santa Claus traces his origin from Saint Nicholas who was said to be a very generous Bishop of the city of Myra that is now is Turkey. The Christmas tree is German in Origin and became popular amongst the English during Queen Victoria’s reign.

Another interesting fact is that different parts of the world celebrate Christmas on different days depending on whether they follow the Julian or the Gregorian calendar. Countries in Eastern Europe such as Russia, Estonia, Serbia and the Orthodox Greeks follow the Julian calendar and thus celebrate the Birth of Christ on the 7th of January which is the date that corresponds to the 25th of December on the Gregorian calendar.

Today Christmas is a time of religious significance for Christians as well as a time of celebration with family and friends. So widespread are the merry ways of Christmas that many people who follow other faiths also set up a Christmas tree, exchange presents and celebrate a time of togetherness with their families. Interestingly there are a few countries where Christmas is not an official holiday; these include China, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

In addition to Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, Christmas presents, the Mass and the family get together Christmas is made enjoyable by the many carols and delicacies such as plum cake and eggnog that are part of a traditional Christmas.

With these interesting facts about Christmas as food for thought, I leave you with wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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