Christmas vs. Xmas

Christmas Traditions and Customs You Might Not Know


Christmas comes to town every year, but do you know all the traditions and the customs in this occasion? No one knows exactly all of them, but at least if you are a person who is a big fan of Christmas, you should look for some useful information about those traditions and customs so as to accumulate more experiences as well as fall in love with the most beautiful time of the year.

In this article, I will show you some Christmas traditions and customs. It would be common to some of you when hearing the names, but the content is about some facts that you might not know yet. Let’s find out together about Christmas!

Xmas or Christmas?

To many people, it’s acceptable to call Christmas by another name – Xmas. However, others don’t think it’s correct to change the “Christ” part of this word since it represents Jesus in the name of the occasion. Originally, Christmas comes from Christ – Mass which is used by the church in memory of Jesus’s birth.

On the other hand, it’s not quite right since in other countries, the character “X” has other meanings. In the alphabet of Greek, there is a letter which is quite similar to an X and it is the first letter in Greek word for Christ in this language – Christos.

Christmas vs. Xmas

Earlier, the church used two letters in Greek alphabet to create the symbol that refers to the name of Jesus, and one of them is “chi” (the one that looks like an X). The symbol is similar to an X with a small P on top of it.

That’s the reason why it’s acceptable to call Christmas by another name – Xmas. However, you should notice the pronunciation because it is pronounced “Christmas” not “ex – mas”.

Christmas Eve Around the World

If you think people just countdown and watch the fireworks at Christmas Eve everywhere and don’t do anything else, you are wrong. There are so many types of customs and tradition at Christmas Eve according to the country you live. The most common one is going to the Midnight Mass Church Service. It still exists widely till today in so many countries. It is one of the most important church services during the season of Christmas in so many countries, especially in Catholic ones for example Mexico, Poland, and Italy. People often have a fast meal during the Christmas Eve (with no meat or fish), then go to the Midnight Mass Service and have the main meal later. In other countries such as Finland or Lithuania, people often have a meal in the evening and go to the Service after that.

In several countries, the Christmas Eve is also the occasion to exchange presents and bring joy to each other. Some countries like Germany, Sweden or Portugal might have been listed in Santa’s early list because of this tradition!

In European countries, people often bring the Christmas tree into the house and decorate it in this day. That’s the reason why people are often very busy on Christmas Eve. If you are in Germany, Serbia or Slovakia, this is considered normal and fundamental to this day.

Christmas Carols

This is an old – fashioned traditions that people still keep till today. “Carol” means a dance or a song that brings joy to people. Its origin was in Europe thousands of year ago when the pagan used it to celebrate the four seasons. Later, only carols for Winter Solstice survived. When the carols were passed to England in 1410, the first carol that everyone can understand was written in 1410 since before this song, all of them were written in Latin and not many people can understand the lyrics. English carols then became associated with Christmas – which is held every year in the similar period of time to the old Winter Solstice.

Silent night

After that, there are many customs related to the Christmas carols was born such as carol services or public carol-singing. Though we are living in a fast – paced world, these old traditions are still kept each time Christmas comes and become the symbol of it. All over the world, people love carols as a type of traditional music as well as the signal of a peaceful and happy Christmas.

There are many famous Christmas carols, but it would not be a mistake if you don’t know some names such as White Christmas, Silent Night…

The Yule Log

This custom was a Nordic tradition from a long time ago, even before the medieval times. The custom of burning a log called the Yule Log began with the Yule – the name of an old festival held in winter in some northern European countries such as Germany.

The log has to be chosen carefully from a tree. People call this log the Yule Log after doing a great ceremony and bring it into the house. The large end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth. On the other hand, the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. Actually, the Yule Log is an entire tree, so it would be such a difficult task to burn it all. Especially when most of the house today has central heating.

Today, with the development of the society, so many customs and traditions are too old to keep and maintain. However, some of them still find their positions in this world and become the signal of Christmas. If you know more about these traditions, you can see the true beauty and spirit of this occasion. It’s not just some days off, it’s the time for everyone to gather around with their family and decorate things together. And if you want some activities that are different, try building a snowman or setting up your own Christmas carol group is not a bad idea at all! So let’s enjoy this time of the year together!

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