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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Panna cotta is a simple, eggless Italian custard that can be flavored countless ways. In this version, buttermilk adds a silky texture and tangy flavor. Just bloom gelatin in cream, then heat the mixture with sugar and vanilla seeds. Strain, stir in the buttermilk, pour into ramekins, and chill. Serve this creamy dessert topped with fresh berries or over a pool of Raspberry Coulis.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush and 6 (6-ounce) ramekins for this recipe.
Game plan: This dessert can be made up to 1 day in advance.
Nestle the empty vanilla bean pod from this recipe in a jar of granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar—it’s great for sweetening whipped cream or your morning coffee.