- 1 十年前最愛解答
The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.
The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.
In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.
- BEASTLv 71 十年前
Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Christmas celebrations often combine the marking of Jesus' birth with various other traditions and customs, many of which were influenced by ancient winter festivals. Christmas traditions include the display of Nativity scenes, Holly and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) on Christmas Eve. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill, giving, compassion, and quality family time.
Christmas Day falls on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day on December 26. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6, while some Eastern Orthodox Churches (old rite or old style Orthodox) celebrate Christmas on January 7, the date on the Gregorian calendar which corresponds to 25 December. The date as a birthdate for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not widely considered to be his actual date of birth.
Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world, owing to the spread of Christianity and Western culture. Various local and regional Christmas traditions are still practiced.
 Etymology and names
The Anglo-Saxons referred to Christmas as geol (Yule). The word "Christmas" is a contraction meaning "Christ's mass." It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.
The words used to refer to the holiday in Spanish (navidad), Portuguese (natal), French (noël), Italian (natale), and Catalan (nadal) refer to the Nativity of Jesus. In contrast, the German name, Weihnachten, means "hallowed night," while the Dutch call it Kerstmis or Kerst.
Christmas is sometimes shortened to Xmas, an abbreviation that has a long history. In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ (Χριστός). Since the mid-sixteenth century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ.
The Midnight Mass is the dominating service, but in Sweden and some parts of Finland and Norway a special service called julotta is celebrated early in Christmas morning.
 Pre-Christian winter festivals
Main article: List of winter festivals
A winter festival was traditionally the most popular festival of the year in many cultures, in part because there was less agricultural work to be done during the winter. From a Christian perspective, Easter was the most significant feast in the church calendar. Christmas was considered less significant, and the early church opposed the celebration of birthdays of church members. The prominence of Christmas in modern times may reflect the continuing influence of the winter festival tradition, including the following festivals:
- 1 十年前
to celebrate jesus christ's born/birth~資料來源： book