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.
1 of 3
Next: What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
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.
2 of 3
Next: How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
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.
3 of 3
Next: Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
Arancini are small Italian rice croquettes traditionally from Sicily. Their name translates as little oranges, which is indicative of their shape, size, and color. In this version, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese are stirred into the rice, which is then formed into balls and filled with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. After the arancini are fried, the center melts and gets all oozy. For extra flavor, serve these with a simple marinara or tomato sauce for dipping.
What to buy: Arborio is a variety of short-grain Italian rice with a high starch content. It can be found in gourmet grocery stores, Italian markets, or online through BuonItalia. You can substitute Carnaroli if you’re having a hard time finding Arborio. For the wine, use a dry, unoaked white like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
Special equipment: You’ll need a deep-frying/candy thermometer for this recipe.
Game plan: The risotto can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.
You’ll need to make the tomato sauce before you begin.