Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
Europe, many mid-winter festivals that existed prior to Jesus even walking the earth. Then Christians decided to start a birthday celebration, and intentionally set it in the middle of pre-existing mid-winter festivals. So right from the very beginning, the Christmas tradition has always been a mixture of a winter party and a Christian celebration.
The popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins.
Popular modern customs of the holiday include Gift Giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal,
and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, Wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.
In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.
Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. December 25, Christmas Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
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