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.
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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.
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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.
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Stew doesn’t need to be thick, meaty, and time-consuming; instead it can be packed with vegetables, healthy, and an easy weeknight meal. Just sauté some onion and garlic with spices, add harissa and root vegetables, and cook for about 45 minutes to infuse all of the flavors and cook the vegetables through. Sweet raisins, honey, and tangy preserved lemons balance things out in this Moroccan-inspired, one-pot, vegetarian dish. Serve it over couscous and top with crunchy almonds and fresh cilantro.
What to buy: Preserved lemons are a popular ingredient in Moroccan cooking. They’re preserved in a salt-and-lemon-juice mixture and are sold in jars. Look for them in gourmet grocery stores and online, or make your own.
Harissa is Tunisian spice paste that ranges in consistency from smooth to slightly chunky and from fiery hot to mild. It’s available in tubes and jars at many Middle Eastern and gourmet markets, or online. You can also make your own.
This recipe was featured as part of our Easy Weeknight Vegetarian Main Dishes.