Many of the traditions of Christmas that exist today were born centuries ago. The modern day traditions of exchanging gifts, bonfires, carnivals, songs of carollers which echo in the cities, huge feasts and many more have all originated from the time of the Mesopotamian. Most of these traditions began when the Mesopotamian started the New Year celebration. Some of the modern day customs and traditions of Christmas day celebration are:
Trees have been worshipped in many ancient cultures and quite often trees were brought at homes and decorated anticipating a good crop growth in the upcoming year. The Christmas tree of modern times was born in around 8th century while the German tribes was being converted by St. Boniface. The oak tree was worshipped by the tribe and St. Boniface cut a massive tree. In its place a fir tree grew and since then Christians started decorating the evergreen tree to celebrate Christmas.
It is thought that mistletoe fell direct from heaven on earth and it grew in the form of a tree. It made people believe that it is the representation of union of earth and heaven. Mistletoe thus signifies reconciliation of God and the mankind. The mention of a kiss under mistletoe represents reception of God’s gift from heaven.
Saint Nicholas a saint of 4th century was a bishop and favourite of children who used to distribute gifts. 6th December his day of feast day started being observed as children’s holiday and was called Saint Nikolaas in Holland. Since the English were not able to pronounce this name they started calling him Santa Claus and started celebrating it on Christmas. In Germany Santa Claus was called Kriss kringle and started celebrating the day on 25th December commemorating the birth of Jesus.
Holly, having sharp edges worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion, is one of the most significant symbols of Christmas day celebration. It is symbolises crown of thorns and the red berries symbolises blood.
The Chaldeans mean infant when they say “Yule”. The Germanic tribes celebrated Yule day or child’s day. The tradition of Yule log started in Italy and France sometimes 1200 years back. People used to cut huge massive log and place them in the hearth. And later the log thus cut is speckled with oil, salt and wine. It was believed that saying prayer with these logs would protect the household from evil spirits.
It is believed that the Candy Canes were developed to represent Jesus. The “J” shape represented Jesus. The white colour therein sis the symbol of purity and the red stripes are the representation for blood.
The tradition of wishing Christmas by sending cards to each other began in Victorian England. Printers of London Goodall and Sons started to produce Christmas cards in bulk. A card wishing “Merry Christmas” was first fabricated in 1862. They later on designed various cards having various designs like snowmen, mangers, holly and robins.