Photo by: Malavika Kumar
Christmas is a day spent with loved ones; it's a time where everyone comes together on this memorable holiday filled with joy. To some, it is also a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As we all know, Christmas is on the 25th of December. According to an article on Britannica, it was Sextus Julius Africanus who first declared it back in 221 B.C; it blossomed into an extraordinary day amid winter with the arrival of Jesus. In the beginning, the main religion of Christianity was Easter, and devotees did not celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is associated with numerous symbols and phrases, but one of the figures you'd think of is Santa Claus. Now, the story and existence of Santa Claus is a mere, old myth. The reason why this person even existed is to showcase the spirit of giving. Speaking of giving, do you know who Saint Nicholas is? According to Biography, Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop that helped people in need. After he died in 280, the people eternalised his charitable soul by crafting the memory of him into Santa Claus.
Photo by: Liliboas
The idea of Christmas branches into so many things. Different people would associate other things but, the most well-known visuals are presents, Christmas trees and of course, Santa Claus. But the real meaning behind Christmas to some is the time spent with friends and family. The practices of going to church, having comforting meals and decorating houses together hold a special place where everyone can come together as one.
When talking about the practices of Christmas, a fellow college-mate, Ricky says his family will hang a star on top of their tree because that symbol represents the birth of Jesus. In his household, the festival is a time of togetherness which allows for bonding with friends and family. The spirit of Christmas displays to devotees, love and compassion, which is beautiful because the love people give to others, also represents the love Jesus gave. Speaking to another college-mate, Jeat, mentions that when he was younger, he would expect presents and toys; as any child would. But as Jeat grew older and learned more about Catholicism, he now looks to Christmas as a celebration of his faith. He also goes to mass on Christmas mornings and reunites with friends he doesn't get to see all the time.
Denisha, another collegemate, shares her experience with Christmas. She does not practice the festival in a religious way nor does her family. But, Christmas to her is a means to reconnect with friends and loved ones. She usually goes to a friend's open house and takes part in helping them prepare meals. She says that she looks forward to these sorts of gatherings because she loves spending time with close friends. Her nights with friends tend to end with a gift exchanging moment, which is known as 'Secret Santa' where they pass around gifts they got for one another.
Festivals like Christmas are one of the many great ways to pass down knowledge and traditions to future generations. In this time, it does not matter what religion you belong to; everyone is welcome to celebrate this holiday and create new memories together.
By Hooi Chin