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 3
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 3
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 3
Next: Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
This recipe accompanies our You’re Doing It All Wrong video with pastry chef Boris Portnoy. This is his approach, but he encourages everyone to experiment with the spices to suit your personal preferences. Boris’s pumpkin pie is a bit spicy, so if you think you might like something more tame for Thanksgiving, drop the pepper and the citrus peels.
Game plan: This recipe makes enough pie dough for 2 pie crusts and 1/2 cup of the spice mix. Wrap the extra dough tightly in plastic wrap, store the spice mix in an airtight container, and freeze both for up to 1 month.
The CHOW test kitchen retested and updated this recipe in 2011. We converted the metric measurements to standard and made the directions easier to follow. All of the ingredients and the method remain the same.