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Interesting Christmas facts you should know

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Christmas cat

Origin of Christmas and how different cultures celebrate the day

Christmas was introduced by Emperor Constantine to unite Christians and Pagans. The first Christmas was celebrated in Rome in 336 on Mithra, the Roman sun god’s birthday which also occurred on the same day as the Saturnalia festival.

Christians use the day to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, but both Christians and non-Christians have adopted this holiday to mark the end of the year, with many companies giving their employees an annual break around this time.

Below are some interesting facts you should know about Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Christmas is not the birthday of Jesus

Even though Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas, it is not his actual birthday.

Nobody knows the exact birthday of Jesus, but scholars believe it to be mid to late September somewhere between 6 BC and 2 BC.

Santa Claus was first featured in a poem about the legend of St. Nicholas

In his poem about St. Nicholas, Clement Clarke Moore gave the legend who came out the night before Christmas to distribute toys to children and called him Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a monk who gave away all his wealth for the poor.

In Moore’s poem, “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” Santa Claus flies from home to home on a sled driven by reindeer, which has greatly shaped Christmas celebrations.

Today, Christmas is marked with family get-togethers, good food, and gifts.

Countries that do not celebrate Christmas

Several countries across the world do not celebrate Christmas. Afghanistan, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, North Korea, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Yemen do not recognize the day as a public holiday.

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th

Orthodox Christians in Egypt and Ethiopia celebrate Christmas 13 days after December Christmas, which often falls on January 7th.

Gifting is done on Christmas Eve

Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Argentina, Colombia, Sweden, and Brazil celebrate Christmas on 24th when they exchange Christmas gifts.

12 Days of Christmas

Twelvetide is a Christian festival marking 12 days of Christmas, from December 25th to January 6th. It is popular in countries such as Germany.

The longest Christmas lasts 4 months

The longest Christmas is marked in the Philippines, lasting 4 months from September.

Unique Christmas traditions in Africa

Each country in Africa has a unique way of celebrating Christmas. For instance;

  1. The Lantern Festival in Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia)
  2. The legend of Anna in Ghana.
  3. The Old Man Bayka walks on the streets of Liberia asking for gifts.

In addition, not everyone wishes others a Merry Christmas on Christmas. In Liberia, it is “Christmas on You.”

How does your community celebrate Christmas? Share via [email protected] and we’ll share with our readers.

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