The importance of Christmas is known almost everyone living under this vast blue sky. It is the day of celebration – the day when Jesus Christ was born. Christmas moment is the moment of celebration, exchanging gifts, spending time with family and friends and sharing care, love and affection for others. If you talk about Christmas history, we need to look back 4000 years back. History witnessed that the customs and traditions were celebrated even before the birth of Christ. However, in 137 AD with the instruction of Bishop of Rome, Christ’s birthday was celebrated as the solemn feast. On the year of 350 AD Julius I, the Bishop of Rome, popularized 25th December for Christmas day celebration.
If we look thoroughly on the time line, we can explore different festivals associated with Christmas history.
Mesopotamian: New Years
There were several celebrations that initiated with Mesopotamian civilization. They are believer of many gods, while the prime god used to be Marduk. The myth was lying with the idea of fighting that used to be conducted on every winter between Marduk and monsters of chaos. The celebration was conducted in the support of Marduk in his struggle for the war. The schedule of the celebration used to be held during New Year. This was known as Zagmuk; however, it only lasted for 12 years.
Persians and Babylonians: Sacaea
The celebration was known as Sacaea in Persia and Babylon. During the celebration, areas were exchanged as gift. Another wonderful system was there in the celebration. In this celebration, the roles of slaves and masters got interchanged.
Christmas history was the witness of another exciting celebration that used to occur in old Scandinavia. During winter season, sun disappears for many days. Scouts were sent to the mountain looking for sun. When the first ray of the sun was seen, the scouts came back and a celebration used to take place for welcoming new sun. This was known as Yuletide. Scandinavians celebrated the time with arranging bonfire, having special feast and tying up apple to the branches of tree symbolizing the return of spring and summer.
Saturnalia is the celebration that focuses on the worshipping of God Saturn. This festival was celebrated during middle of December to starting of January, precisely January 1. During the celebration, Romanians organized masquerades in the roads. They enjoyed with big festive meals and meeting friends and family members. During the festival, they also exchanged their lucky charm in the form of gift. This gift was known as Strenae.
The day, 25th December is considered as a sacred moment for Romanians. But 25th was not only celebrated by Romans, it was also celebrated by Persians who were the followers of Mithrasim religion. At that time, this religion was considered as one of main rivals. Church used to collect merriment, lights and gifts successfully during Saturnalia festival and it used to bring those collections to the celebration of Christmas.