The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” later shortened to “Christ-Mass.” The even shorter form “Xmas” – first used in Europe in the 1500s – is derived from the Greek alphabet, in which X is the first letter of Christ’s name: Xristos, therefore “X-Mass.”

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ , observed most commonly on December 25th as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.

In liturgical importance, Christmas was originally in fourth place, following Easter, Pentecost, and Epiphany, yet in terms of popular observance it has become the most important feast day of the year and the basis for a vast commercial retail industry derived from it, even in countries like Japan and Korea, where Christianity is not the predominant religion.

feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night.

The celebratory customs in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, 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, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.

 

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