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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Potato gratin has a reputation for being laden with cream, butter, and cheese. To lighten things up, we used chicken broth instead of cream and took it easy on the cheese. But this dish still has crispy cheese on top and soft layers of flavorful potatoes. In our opinion, it’s as delicious as the classic.
What to buy: Graddost is a semifirm cow’s-milk cheese that is mild and creamy in flavor and great for melting. It can be found at Swedish grocery stores or online. If you can’t find it, Havarti is a good substitute.
This recipe was featured as part of our Summer Solstice menu.