Christmas or Christmas Day (in the Old English language: Crīstesmæsse, literally “Christ’s mass”) is an annual recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday. Baby Jesus was born to Mary, assisted by her husband Joseph, in the city of Bethlehem. Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the baby. Three kings or wise men (named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar) visited the infant Jesus. They were said to be following a mysterious star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, believing it to announce the arrival of the baby.
Christians celebrate Christmas with the attendance of church services on the eve (Midnight Mass) or in the morning. Children re-enact the events of the Nativity to portray the event with more realism or sing carols that reference the event.
In Malaysia, Christmas lights and banners are hung along streets, music played from speakers, and Christmas trees placed in prominent places. Other traditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, and angels. A special Christmas family meal is traditionally an important part of the holiday’s celebration. It usually includes turkey or chicken, meat, gravy or cranberry sauce, potatoes, vegetables, sometimes bread and wine with fruit cake for dessert.
The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making the Christmas season the most profitable time of year for retailers around the world.
With Christmas and the seasonal giving of gifts, are some notable figures. Among these are Father Christmas, also known as Santa Claus, Père Noël, the Weihnachtsmann, Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas, the Christkind, Kris Kringle, Joulupukki, Babbo Natale, Saint Basil and Father Frost. In Malaysia, we know Santa Klaus, the jolly chubby man with the white beard wearing a bright red and white suit while handing out presents with a smile.
Merry Christmas !