Most of the Christmas traditions being practiced today originate from ancient times. These include the twelve days of Christmas, the Yule logs, the giving of gifts, Christmas trees, feasts and carols. These activities can be traced back to customs and traditions from ancient civilization, which were eventually adopted by the Christian Church over time. As time goes by, new traditions develop, changing the way Christmas is celebrated. Originally, Christmas was a solemn celebration meant to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, but in modern times, Christmas has become a joyous celebration which includes santa claus, feasts and carnivals.
Burning Yule Logs
The tradition of burning Yule logs on Christmas came from the rituals of sun-worshipping civilizations of the ancient world. Yule logs are cut from red oak trees and should be burned continually from Christmas Eve up until Christmas Day.
Decorating with Evergreen Hollies
Evergreen hollies are taken as symbols of eternal life because it does not die in winter. There are also claims that the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus Christ was made out of holly. The berries in were supposedly white, however they turned red after they were drenched in Jesus’ blood.
The association of Christmas to snow comes from the fact that in most countries, Christmas occurs during the cold seasons. Over time, snow-related activities such as skiing, snow mobile riding, snowboarding, sled riding, and hiking with snow shoes have become embedded into the Christmas tradition.
Another element of the Christmas tradition is the practice of hanging mistletoes in houses. This tradition can be traced back to the ancient Druids who hung them in their houses to ward off evil spirits and to bring good luck. The mistletoe is also considered a symbol of love in Norse mythology, and this is where we took the practice of kissing under the mistletoe.
Christmas Tree Decorations
Christmas trees first appeared inGermany. The first Christmas trees were made of red oak, which is the same tree used for the Yule log. Its significance to Christmas has its origins from the middle ages, where trees were considered to be symbols of good luck.
Decorating with Christmas Light
The use of colorful Christmas lights to decorate our homes on Christmas day was introduced by Edward Johnson. Edward Johnson used to work for the scientist who invented the light bulb, Thomas Edison. Johnson was the first person to use light as a decoration for his Christmas tree.
Singing Christmas carols began in 13th centuryItaly, where Saint Francis ofAssisisang songs of praise. It is said that not giving anything to carolers would bring the household bad luck. Caroling now becomes the symbol of the spirit of gift giving, and is one of the most common Christmas practices in the world.