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Historical Significance of Christmas


Christmas is the most wonderful time to celebrate with our loved ones among Christians. There are lots of customs associated with the festival featuring family togetherness, grand feasts, awaiting of gift bringers, singing Christmas carols and decorating houses.

Like every festival has its own means of origin, Christmas is originated from pagans and Jesus Christ’s birthdays. Some people believe in Pagan origin while some celebrate the day of Jesus birthday. Here we we have given the brief historical significance of Christmas.

Roman pagans were the first to introduce a week long celebration of the Saturnalia festival from 17-25 December. In the era of the 4th century CE, Christians brought into the festival of Saturnalia and succeeded in converting the Pagans into Christians. But there arises a problem, that there was nothing intrinsically Christian in Saturnalia festival. To rectify this, Christians named this day as Jesus’s birthday and celebrated on 25th December.


Origin of Christmas Trees– Christmas trees are the important part of Christmas celebrations. It also has its belief attached to the festival. When pagans celebrate their Saturnalia festival, they used to worship trees in the forest and bring them into their home and decorate their home with these trees. So, this observance was adopted by Christians naming the trees as a Christmas tree.

Origin of gift giving – In pre christian Rome, emperors necessitated their despised citizens to bring gifts and offering for them. Later, this ritual is exercised by normal people. Catholics gave this custom a Christian flavor of Saint-Nicholas, a gift bringer for the people. Since then, the Santa Claus has been the gift bringer for kids and children, which is the most exciting part of Christmas celebrations.

Origin of mistletoe – Mistletoe is supposed to bring good luck on Christmas. So people hang these plants in their home as the part of the decorations. The tradition of hanging them in the houses has originated from the times of the ancient Druids. When Christians came to Western Europe, some of them denied the use of mistletoe for decorations in churches, but many still continued their use. Also, the original custom of kissing under the mistletoe is originated from England.

Therefore, as early as 273 AD, Western Christians decided to celebrate the Jesus Christ’s birthday on 25th December as a ‘Christmas’.