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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A great porchetta should be meltingly tender, with an almost startlingly crispy skin. It takes time to achieve these results—start the day before by salting a skin-on pork belly and leaving it overnight in the fridge. Next day, scatter the flesh with sliced garlic, rosemary, fennel seed, and lemon zest, then roll and tie it, cut it in half (so it fits a standard oven), and let it roast a long, long time. Rubbing the skin with baking soda before scoring helps ensure perfectly crisp results. Serve with roasted potatoes or soft polenta, either regular or red flint. If you’ve got leftovers, make Porchetta and Fried Egg Sandwiches.
What to buy: Ask your butcher for a whole pork belly with the skin on. These typically weigh 10 to 12 pounds. You can order half a belly; follow the same steps, using half the ingredients.
Special equipment: You’ll need a new, clean razor blade to score the skin, and sturdy cotton butcher’s twine to tie the roast.
Game plan: The salted pork belly needs to cure overnight, then roast for about 4 hours, so give yourself plenty of time.