For the male name, see Christmas (name).
Christmas is an annual holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus, the second largest holiday in Christendom - after Easter. Across large parts of the world, December 25 is the central date of the Christmas celebration. In Norway, Christmas Eve (the evening of December 24) is perceived as the highlight of the Christmas celebration.
The time before Christmas is Advent which was introduced in the 400s. The first Sunday in Advent is considered the beginning of the church year.
Christ's birthday party, Christmas, lasts in most places until January 6 (thirteenth day of Christmas). In Norway, Sweden, and Finland, Christmas has traditionally been counted as January 13 (the 20th day of Christmas). time between the years 350 and 360. Earlier (from around the year 200) it was primarily Jesus' baptism day January 6 (epiphany or Epiphany) which was celebrated. In Rome, the winter solstice was reckoned until December 25, but no great feast was to this day until after the Christian feast had been established there on that date. Shortly afterwards, the end of the original harvest festival Saturnalia had lasted until December 24. In Norse times, Christmas was the celebration of the midwinter day of January 12, 21 days after the winter solstice. No etymological explanation has been found for what the word means, but the oldest form of the word is ylir which is a plural word, or dualis form in Norse. The Christmas months are believed to have lasted from around 14 November to around 13 January. The god Odin had the nickname Jólnir, and there are many indications that he was the center of the festivities around the midwinter parties. We know of the exposures and sacrifices of the deities, and in Norway especially of Odin, Tor and Frøy. In Sweden, the god Ull was the dominant one. Sigvat skald describes his journey to the Finn forests and the Eidskog region in the poem Austrfararvisur. Here it was diseblot, that is, sacrifices to fertility goddesses.
At this time in Norse time, one went after the lunar year, and the word moon actually means measure of time.
The Christian celebration of the Birth of Jesus overshadowed the pagan Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 has some visible but not significant similarities with Old Christmas; party food and the name Christmas are the clearest similarities. When the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7, it is not because they reckon that Jesus was born on a different date, but because they still use the Julian calendar which has had more leap years than the Gregorian one, and is therefore 13 days behind. When the leap year in 2100 is abolished, the difference will increase further, and the Greek Orthodox Christmas will then fall on 8 January.
Jól or jólablót, was an original Norse celebration with a sacrifice on the occasion of Midwinter Day, added on 12 January. Håkon the Good ordered in the 10th century that the country should celebrate Christmas on December 25, at the same time as the Christian holiday was celebrated all over Europe, and sought to stop the pagan sacrificial ritual, as part of a political process in Christianizing Norway. Thus, the Christian holiday became the heir to the old name "Christmas". The Gulating Act linked the pagan custom of "drinking Christmas" with the rule that "the beer is to be signed in thanksgiving for Christ and Saint Mary, for a good year and peace." In most of Europe, the celebration has been given a Christian name: Christmas or "Christmas Mass", German Weihnachten or "vienatt", but in Scandinavia the holiday has retained its old Germanic name Christmas. English has preserved Yuletide as an archaic form.
Typical traditions in Christmas celebrations around the world are church attendance, candles, festive gatherings, family gatherings, powerful, traditional food, giving gifts and alms, symbols such as red and green, elves, angels, stars and Christmas cribs, and a variety of traditions such as varies from country to country. In Norway, Christmas is celebrated with Christmas food, candles and music; one gives each other gifts, they