Christmas, that is Christmas, preparations were made this year for Christmas, which is celebrated every year in the Christian world. When it comes to Christmas, New Year’s Eve comes to mind. So what is Christmas (Christmas) and when is it celebrated? The difference between Christmas and New Year came to the fore due to the Christmas celebrations that started tonight. Christmas celebrations, in the Christian world, Hz. Although it symbolizes the birthday of Christ, it has now become a universal celebration day all over the world with the figure of Santa Claus.
What is the Word Meaning of Christmas (Etymologically Christmas)?
The word Christmas comes from the Latin word Natalis (birth). It has been translated into Turkish by the French word Noël (Christmas season). It is also thought to derive from the French word “news” or “nouvelle” meaning “new”. It is also thought to mean “New Sun” formed by the combination of the word “noio” meaning new and the word “hel” meaning sun in the Gaulish language.
The word Christmas was used as the name of New Year celebrations in the pagan societies of that time. In the Roman Empire period, it is known that when a happy event is welcomed, the people shout ““. Another determination on this subject is that the word Noel is derived from the French word “Nouvelle”, which means news or new.
Used in the same sense as Christmas and especially in English speaking countries,is a combination of the words “Christos (Christ)” in Greek and “Messa” (Eucharist rite) in common Latin. The origin of the word Messa means “missa” in Latin, which means sending. It is thought to be used to mean the disintegration of the community at the end of the rituals.
When and For What Is Christmas Celebrated?
Celebrated as the birth of Jesus on December 25 every year in Christian countries, it is also known as the Christmas, the Birthdays, the Holy Birth or the Anniversary. Celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by non-Christian societies, Christmas is celebrated with no religious content, only for entertainment purposes, as gifts and to greet a new year.
Christmas is celebrated by most Christians on December 25th. Celebrations, which started on December 24 on Christmas Eve, continue until the evening of December 26 in some countries. Eastern Orthodox Churches (Armenian Church) celebrate January 6, which falls on December 25 in the Julian calendar, as Christmas. In countries with a majority of Christians, the Christmas holiday is combined with the New Year holiday. In our country, New Year celebrations are held on December 31, and the date of January 1 was officially declared as “New Year Holiday”.
How to Celebrate Christmas What to Do While Celebrating Christmas?
Preparations for Christmas, which are celebrated in Christian countries in a more colorful and enthusiastic way than Muslim and other faith countries, begin months in advance. These preparations are carried out with great care. Advent calendars with 24 windows are prepared during the Advent period, that is, before the 25th of December, the birth date of Christ. In these calendars, pictures or candies are hidden behind each window, one is opened every day.
In some countries, advent candles are lit, and in schools, plays and performances are staged, which portray the birth of Jesus and bring gifts to Jesus by three astrologers from the east. Christmas hymns are sung in choirs in churches and streets. Christmas parties are held on the weekends before Christmas. Christmas trees are decorated. Streets, streets, shopping malls, gardens and interiors of the houses are decorated with lights and new year ornaments.
Christmas trees are decorated with great splendor. People buy gifts for each other. The arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve is symbolically animated. The children are eagerly awaiting the gifts that Santa Claus is said to bring. People give each other the gifts they put under the Christmas trees decorated on the Christmas night.
In most countries, “New Year Celebrations” are held on December 31, when Christmas merges with the new year, in order to meet a new year, relieve the tiredness of the past year and to have hope for the coming new year.
These celebrations have stripped of their religious purpose in Christians, but are included in the “Christmas Tradition”, to make gifts, to celebrate with relatives and friends by preparing tables, decorating Christmas trees, decorating houses, streets and shopping centers, people wearing “Santa Claus” clothes filled with small gifts to attract customers to shopping centers. Actions such as distributing small gifts to children from their bags are carried out. This situation can be explained as the passage of behavioral habits and traditions taken from different cultures to our culture for entertainment and to strengthen family and friend ties.
What Are the Foods to Eat at Christmas?
In many countries, Christmas Dinner is prepared on the afternoon of December 25 and the meals are eaten as a family. Each country has different dishes according to its own culture. However, mostly Turkey Fried Turkey and Sausage are consumed. In some countries, it is served with Christmas Pudding on the cake as a dessert after dinner.
Food is left in the homes for Santa and his deer on Christmas Eve. While milk and cookies are left in the USA, wine with liquor (sherry), fruit tart and carrot are left in our country.
In our country, there is no end in the New Year’s tables. Turkey, rice, pastry, stuffed desserts, various sherbet and pudding desserts, appetizers for raki (Russian Salad, Haydari, Tarator, Cheese), nuts or salted peanuts to be eaten with other drinks and beverages, fruit juice and acidic drinks if the drink is not consumed, and what I cannot count. many food and beverages take their place on the New Year’s table. In a family with a large young population, many of these foods are left to the parents, as young people often prefer to have fun outside.
British Christmas pudding
In many countries, Christmas dinner is prepared on the afternoon of December 25, and family members gather around the table. Although the Christmas meal differs from country to country, the most common is fried turkey and sausage. In some countries, it is ignited by pouring brandy on the cake (Christmas pudding) served as dessert after the meal.
Long before Christmas, children write letters to Santa Claus to make lists of gifts they want. In the simulated huts of Santa Claus set up in urban centers and shopping malls, attendants dressed as Santa himself or his elves listen to the children’s requests before Christmas and collect their letters to convey to Santa Claus. Food is left in the homes for Santa and his deer on Christmas Eve. Common practice in the US is to quit milk and cookies. In Turkey, liqueur wines (sherry), fruit pies and carrots left.
The pine tree, which is decorated with lights and ornaments during Christmas festivities, is called the Christmas tree. Today, it is known that the Christmas tree is a ritual that comes from Pagan traditions.
Using evergreen trees and wreaths as symbols of immortal life was a common tradition of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Jews. Tree worship, common among European pagans, continued, after their conversion to Christianity, as the Scandinavian tradition of furnishing their houses and granaries with trees on New Year’s Eve to scare away the devil and prepare a tree for birds at Christmas time. In Germany, a Yule (New Year) tree was placed at the entrance of the house or inside the holidays that coincided with the middle of winter.
The present-day Christmas tree is thought to originate in western Germany. The main set of a play that portrays Adam and Eve in the Middle Ages was a pine tree with apples, representing the garden of Eden. On the feast of Adam and Eve (December 24) the Germans would plant such a heavenly tree in their homes and hang thin pieces of doughless bread on it symbolizing the blessed bread in Communion; These were later replaced by donuts in different shapes. In addition, candles symbolizing Jesus were added in some places. During the Christmas season, the Christmas pyramid was also located in the same room as the tree. In the 16th century, the Christmas pyramid and paradise tree merged to form the Christmas tree.
Concerns about Christmas losing its religious meaning and commercializing
The economic aspect of Christmas has become increasingly important since the 1800s, increasing concerns in religious circles about the loss of its religious meaning and commercialization. Today, Christmas is celebrated with enthusiasm even in countries like England and France, where more than 60 percent of the population do not believe in gods. Christian circles are concerned that Christmas has become a holiday of shopping and gifts and that children care more about Santa Claus than Jesus.
The poem “A visit from St. Nicholas” written in 1822 popularized traditional gift giving and Christmas shopping. In his book “The First Christmas in New England”, written in 1850, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a character who complained that the true meaning of Christmas was lost in a shopping spree.
In 1958, Stan Freberg and Daws Butler recorded a sound theater for radio called “Green Christmas” sic, using satires of the art of grinding. Due to the controversial nature of the work, it had no commercial releases until 1983. Green Noel satirizes the commercialization of Christmas and the word ‘green’ symbolizes the green shades of the US dollar.
In the USA, it is observed that concerns about Christmas going beyond its true purpose of celebration are increasing day by day. On this subject, one of the New York writers Gabriel Calderon said that “Children see Santa Claus more important than Christ.”
Winterval is a word used to mean approaching the new year and all winter festivals celebrated in the new year. It is a combination of the English words winter and festival. The word winterval is used to describe all winter festivals celebrated in different religions and cultures as a whole, such as New Year’s Day, Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah, Neopagan Yule and Native American Kwanzaa celebrations.
Christmas in non-Christian societies
Christmas is considered a public holiday in many countries with a minority of Christians, such as India and Malaysia. Citizens of some Muslim countries, such as Syria, also celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Muslims in Turkey, and celebrate the birth of Jesus, they celebrate Christmas. However, many Turkish citizens celebrate the New Year’s Eve on December 31, similar to the Christians’ Christmas celebrations (eating turkey, decorating a Christmas tree, sending Santa Claus cards, etc.). These celebrations generally do not have a religious content. It is celebrated just for fun.