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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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.
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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 smooth, creamy potato and turnip purée (potatoes for body, turnips for their earthy, slightly peppery bite) is a lovely thing. Adding pear to the equation makes it ethereal, the perfect side for rich holiday meats like duck, turkey, roast beef, or ham, a surprising alternative to mashed potatoes. You begin by boiling the potato and turnip together until about halfway done, then adding peeled cubes of Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett pear. Drain, cook briefly to dry out, then purée with butter and cream.
This dish is especially fabulous with our Rosemary Rib Roast with Cipollini or Truffle-Roasted Chicken.
We featured this recipe in our Recipes for Winter Ingredients photo gallery.