Merry Christmas 2017: Christmas celebrations take on many forms across more than 160 countries. (File)
Christmas is one of the most important as well as popular festivals celebrated throughout the year. Christmas is the kind of festival that is so popular that it is celebrated in more than 160 countries throughout the world, by adults and children alike. Christmas is celebrated by those following the religion of Christianity, though the festival has universal appeal, across all religions. There are many ways to celebrate Christmas and the manner with which Christmas is celebrated is different in many countries, even though the Christmas spirit is universal in nature. Essentially, when one says Christmas, there are three different days in which one can celebrate the holiday.
The first day of celebration is the day before Christmas, which is known as Christmas Eve. It is celebrated on December 24, every year, according to the Gregorian calendar. The second day is Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 25 every year. The third day is known as Boxing Day, celebrated the day after Christmas, on December 26.
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who in the Christian religion, is also known as 'The Son Of God'.
Although there are many interpretations, the traditional narrative behind Christmas celebrations is that Jesus' parents, Joseph and Mary, arrived at the city of Bethlehem, but had no lodgings. They were confined to a stable in an inn, which is where Jesus was born. This traditional narrative is known as The Nativity of Jesus.
As said earlier, Christmas celebrations take on many forms across more than 160 countries and billions of people. Traditionally, people decorate their homes with bright, colourful lights and a Christmas tree.
Feasts are prepared and many people also ring in the occasion weeks in advance and Christmas carols are sung for the occasion.
Children are given importance in Christmas, as they receive gifts from their parents and the famous Santa Claus, who has acquired a mythic status through the years and is celebrated with eagerness and enthusiasm by children, who are told that he will bring gifts for them by coming down the chimney and placing them right below the Christmas tree, on the night of Christmas.
As Christmas dawns upon the world, here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!