Christmas day is a public holiday in all Canadian provinces and territories. Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ observed on December 25th of every year. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in AD336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Today Christmas is a religious and cultural celebration by billions of people around the globe.
The Holy Bible does not mention the date of Jesus Christ’s birth. Some evidence suggests that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth may have occurred in the spring. So in the early fourth century, Pope Julius I chose December 25 as the birth date of Jesus. Scholars believe the date December 25 comes from the ancient Roman Calendar holiday called Saturnalia. Saturnalia is a holiday in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture.
Christmas was first called the “Feast of the Nativity” in earlier days. The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, which means the mass of Christ. For Christians, it’s a day that God came into the world in the form of man to recompense for the sins of humanity.
Popular customs include decorating houses with lights, Christmas trees, exchanging gifts, attending religious ceremonies, sharing meals with family and friends, etc. Santa Claus, also known as Christmas Father, reindeer, snowmen, and candy canes are also associated with the Christmas celebrations.
Another legend related to Christmas is “Santa Claus“, who brings gifts and presents to kids all over the world. The legend of Santa Claus is traced back to a Turkish monk named St. Nicholas who was born around 280 A.D. St. Nicholas anonymously gifted all of his inherited wealth to the poor and sick. The name Santa Claus” was associated with Christmas in the late 18th century when Dutch families gathered to honour the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. The name “Santa Claus” is derived from this abbreviation.
In modern days, Xmas and Boxing Day (the next day of Christmas) is a multi-million dollar season for retailers.