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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This recipe skips the potato and uses ricotta cheese and pumpkin purée for gnocchi with a dense (but not heavy) texture rather than a pillowy-light one. Once the dough is rolled out, the gnocchi are cut and ready to be cooked. Just boil them, then give them a quick sauté in butter and fresh sage. To finish, take the gnocchi out of the pan, turn down the heat, and make a quick creamy sauce with crème fraîche and Parmesan cheese, then pour it over the gnocchi and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Serve as a first course for an autumn dinner party for four, or as a main dish for two hungry people.
Game plan: The uncooked gnocchi can be frozen uncovered on the baking sheet until solid, then transferred to a resealable bag and kept frozen for up to 2 weeks. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi directly into salted boiling water and boil until they float and are cooked all the way through, about 3 minutes.
This recipe was featured as part of our Fall Ingredients recipe gallery. For more fresh pasta recipes, see our Pappardelle Pasta recipe.