The History of Christmas

The holiday Christmas is celebrated to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas wasn’t celebrated from the start of Christianity; Easter was the main holiday. In the fourth century, church officials decided to make the birth of Jesus a holiday. There was only one problem. The Bible does not give a date of his birth. Pope Julius I chose December 25 to adopt the traditions of the Saturnalia Festival.

Early Christmas was celebrated  in a drunked atomosphere, alot like today’s Mardi Gra. A student would be crowned the Lord of Mirule, and celebrants  would play the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the rich’s houses and demand their best foods and drinks, and if they did not comply, the poor would terrorize them with mischeif.

When Puritan forces took over England in the 1600’s, Christmas was cancelled. When Charels II was restored the throne, Christmas returned. In early America, Christmas was not celebrated. It was actually outlawed in Boston from 1659 to  1681. After the American Revoulution, alot of English customs, including Christmas, was dropped. Congress was in session on the first Christmas under America’s new constition.

Americans re-invented Christmas from a carnival-based holiday to a family-centered day of peace. They did it to fill the needs of a growing nation.

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