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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Maxime Bilet, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine and the brand-new Modernist Cuisine at Home,* shared this easy, fun way to give chocolate a popping effect. Just melt your favorite type of chocolate with some butter, then mix in crushed puffed-rice cereal and some Pop Rocks—any flavor you like! Once it cools, break it up and surprise kids or adults with this novel treat.
What to buy: You can purchase large quantities of unflavored Pop Rocks–style candy online and at some specialty markets.
Click here to watch Maxime demonstrate this recipe in an episode of our CHOW Tips video series.