Monday, December 21, 2015

Why is Christmas so important for most people?

In many families it is the highlight of the year when everyone gathers around the elaborately decorated tree and the room is bathed in festive lighting; children’s eyes light up as they admire their gifts and you can simply forget about your everyday worries. Christmas and Advent time exercise an unmistakeable magical charm over people. As the days get shorter and colder and you can feel wintertime approaching, many people console themselves about the last few warm autumn days coming to an end by thinking about the upcoming Christmas.

But why is Christmas so important for most people, especially in the western world? Is it tradition, religion or are there other reasons?

Of course to start with Christmas is a Christian festival. The birth of Christ is celebrated by 2 billion Christians all over the world on 25th December.

But why was precisely this date laid down by the church? An exact date of birth is not mentioned for the Christ child in the bible. The date was probably defined at the end of December for various reasons. The solstice, the day from which the days get longer, has always been celebrated in almost all well-known cultures in the western world, be it Germanic, Celtic, Roman or Persian. The definition of the date might have resulted from this custom. Or even from the natural need of people to live off the hope of salvation through the Christian message of the birth of the Saviour, be it only from ice and snow during the cold and long winter when nothing thrives on the fields and pastures.

However, we must not forget that Christmas is not the most important festival in the church year from a purely Christian perspective. Although it marks the birth of Jesus, the most important festival is Easter, which solemnises the resurrection of the Son of God.

The fact that despite this Christmas is celebrated much more elaborately than Easter in so many families can certainly be explained by tradition. Particularly during the cold and dark season, people have a greater need to come closer together, retreat to their homes and simply enjoy a few quiet days with their family in a peaceful atmosphere with good food.

Even if this explains the date and reason for Christmas, many people still ask though, where do the many symbols that we encounter around Christmas time every year come from. Anyway, Merry Christmas to all my friends, fans, colleagues and sponsors, not forgetting my beloved family and everyone at Royal Entertainment and Project Awareness.