Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
There are several reasons Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25. The date is nine months after March 25, a day recognized by Christians as Annunciation. It was the day Mary was told she would was having a baby. The nine months that follow are an approximation of Jesus’ birth. Dec. 25 also coincides with pagan Winter Solstice celebrations like Saturnalia' and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Since they were historically celebrated around that time of year there was precedent for holiday festivities during this time of year.
1 of 6
Next: What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
Christmas is a shortened from the words “Christ’s mass.” It’s derived from the Middle English word "Cristemasse" which has Greek, Hebrew and Latin origins. Christmas is an annual holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians around the world and is regarded as an important religious and cultural holiday.
2 of 6
Next: How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in many ways and celebrations vary across cultures. In the days leading up to Christmas, people usually put up special decorations including colorful lights and evergreen trees. Gifts are often placed under the tree and exchanged on Christmas day among loved ones. Large meals are also typically served as part of the celebration as well.
3 of 6
The best way to store fish is over ice. Remove the fish from its original packaging, rinse under cold water, and dry with paper towels. Set fish on a cooling rack and place inside a container filled with crushed ice. The ice should reach just beneath the fish, but shouldn’t touch it. Cover the container, rack, and fish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge. If the fish is stored longer than 24 hours, be sure to swap out the melted ice with a new batch. Ideally, any fresh fish should not be stored for more than two days.
4 of 6
Some fish can be frozen for up to year (with three months as the standard), but its freshness depends entirely on its exposure to air. To limit this from taking place, you should first clean the fish, wrap it in aluminum foil or freezer paper, and place it in a freezer bag. Press down on the bag before closing to eliminate any excess air.
5 of 6
Thawing frozen fish is quite an easy process. Simply leave it in the refrigerator overnight or place the wrapped fish in a bowl of cold water. Don’t microwave the fish, as some sections will cook while others are continuing to thaw.
6 of 6
Next: Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
Halibut fillets can easily dry out when seared on the stovetop or broiled a minute too long in the oven, so to keep the fish moist in this recipe, we bake it in a spicy sauce. We switched up the usual pasta served alongside puttanesca with crunchy crostini instead. First toast the bread, then make the sauce by adding anchovies, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, capers, and olives to sautéed onions and cooking everything until the flavors blend. Put the sauce in a baking dish, nestle the fish in the sauce, and bake for a quick 15 minutes. Serve the halibut and sauce over the crostini with a crunchy green salad.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush for this recipe.
Game plan: The sauce can be prepared through step 2, cooled, and refrigerated for up to 4 days before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. The bread can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.