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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The best way to store fish is over ice. Remove the fish from its original packaging, rinse under cold water, and dry with paper towels. Set fish on a cooling rack and place inside a container filled with crushed ice. The ice should reach just beneath the fish, but shouldn’t touch it. Cover the container, rack, and fish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge. If the fish is stored longer than 24 hours, be sure to swap out the melted ice with a new batch. Ideally, any fresh fish should not be stored for more than two days.
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Some fish can be frozen for up to year (with three months as the standard), but its freshness depends entirely on its exposure to air. To limit this from taking place, you should first clean the fish, wrap it in aluminum foil or freezer paper, and place it in a freezer bag. Press down on the bag before closing to eliminate any excess air.
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Thawing frozen fish is quite an easy process. Simply leave it in the refrigerator overnight or place the wrapped fish in a bowl of cold water. Don’t microwave the fish, as some sections will cook while others are continuing to thaw.
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Combining a few classic French flavors makes a quick yet refined dish that’s ideal for entertaining. Just mix together smoked trout with apples, crème fraîche, fresh tarragon, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Spoon it onto some crunchy crostini and serve this sophisticated yet easy hors d’oeuvre at your next cocktail party—along with an easy cocktail like our Moscow Mule recipe.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush for this recipe.
What to buy: Crème fraîche is a naturally thickened fresh cream with a tangy flavor and a rich texture. Perfect for appetizers and desserts, it’s also good in soups and sauces because it doesn’t curdle or separate with heat. If you can’t find it, sour cream is a decent substitute.
Game plan: The smoked trout salad can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container. Stir briefly before topping the toasts.
The toasts (crostini means little toasts in Italian) can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored covered at room temperature. Once assembled, serve the crostini immediately.
If you’re feeling especially industrious, you can use your own smoked trout for this recipe.